This was the view from the Taufua Beach Fales in Lalomanu, Samoa, where I attended the wedding of two new friends in June 2008. I've been wanting to blog about the recent earthquakes and tsunami that killed many in the Samoan Islands, but had no idea was to say about such a tragic event. Then after this terrible event, there were other natural disasters in Indonesia and the Philippines. It has been a terrible last few weeks for the South Pacific.
Samoa is a major holiday destination for many in New Zealand. After the events, there continue to be many stories of loss and devestation. The first-hand accounts of the waves hitting are amazing. Today I had lunch with my friend who was the bride at the wedding in June 2008. She and her husband have organized a group donation to go directly to the family who owned and operated the Taufua Beach Fales. Tai and Sili both made it through the disaster, though they both spent time in hospital. However, they lost 13 members of their family. The bride told me Sili's account of being hit by all three of the tsunami waves. He is very, very lucky to be alive.
Taufua Beach Fales no longer exists, and from all accounts, Lalomanu no longer looks anything like it does in the photo above. But to the credit of this one Samoan family, they plan to rebuild their resort and open again one year from now.