Thank you again for your prayers. We are in full-swing of Operation Restore Kioa! The damage is pretty extensive but thankfully no one was injured! It looks like 10% of the houses were completely destroyed and most had major flooding and damage to the umu's (outdoor kitchens) and roofs. Almost all of the crops were destroyed. Half the jetty and most of the sea wall was washed away. The footpath lights were blown away and the solar panels for the office were damaged. Most of the guttering and downpipes for the rain catchments were blown away.
The lima malosi (men's workforce) is quickly clearing the debris and much progress has been made so far. However, this is preventing them from planting crops and there will be a need for food very soon. Kioans rely completely on their gardens and the fish in the sea, both are respectively destroyed or limited after a cyclone. The government has brought 2 weeks of relief foodstuffs (rice, flour, sugar, and lentils) and promised 3 months more. So crop-loss is a major concern and then of course typhoid. There is currently a major typhoid outbreak throughout Fiji and so we are very concerned about the water quality. Most of the rain catchments are full of salt water and the tap water tested positive for pathogens a couple of weeks before the cyclone. Please continue to pray for us and our friends and if you would like to donate to the Kioa Island please visit http://kioaisland.org/ and go to the donate page.
Please do not worry about Matt and I! We are fine. Our house was hit by waves in the storm surge and the sea reached beyond the house to Matt's garden. We lost all of his hard planting work, but he is already re-planting. Everything got wet, but most was salvageable and is already drying. Some items were ruined, but we didn't need them anyway …. EXCEPT for photos and art work from home – PLEASE SEND MORE!! ;o)
We miss, miss, miss you. And love you even more. Kelly & Matt
visit us online @ http://www.kioaisland.org/
The storm surge reached the church and nursing station.
The inside of our house. Our neighbors said the waves hit our house and the sea reached beyond Matt's garden.
But Lika found a dead bat!!! Unfortunately, she also said she was going to eat it for dinner!
All of the traditionally built houses came down, but they are easy to rebuild
Since the storm surge went so far into the village, there is beach sand everywhere.
The Talofa sign and welcome bure are gone.
Inside of the falekaupule was flooded.
1/2 the Jetty is gone.
Same with the sea wall.
Washed up boats are all over the place
Huge trees were blown over.
The cutting of branches for cooking firewood has already begun.
It is amazing how dead everything looks. Like it was burned.
They actually call it salt-burn. The sea water kills all the plants and since our storm surge was so bad and the west side of the eye stayed on the island for 10 hours, the salt-burn was severe.
But already the grass and trees are recovering. Look at one of Matt's banana trees – a leaf!
Most of the coconut trees look like they have mohawks!
Thankfully, the kids are optimistic!!
And already back in school!! Here are my favorite Kindi kids!!
For me, the hardest part is the small things. Here are all the photos you have sent me from home. Melted.
Jackson's paintings left marks on the walls, but by the time we got home, the paintings were nowhere to be found.
Thankfully, the sun has been out so we are drying out all our belongings.
The government delivered 2 weeks worth of food rations and promised to bring 3 months more.
Lentils, flour, sugar, rice, and oil.
All the ladies brought their buckets and told stories while they waited for their portions.
Our rain catchment was full of salt water from the storm surge waves, so here is Matt preparing to clean it out.
And finally, here is Mataio with his Kioan Head Gear – a hat with a dish rag.
And what was I doing while trapped in a hotel in Suva for 10 days?? I cut all my hair off!