Mother recalls the pain, struggle

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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Lina Sina o Lalomanu.

Lina Sina o Lalomanu. (Photo: Vatapuia Maiava )

When a tragedy strikes, it’s not  an easy task to get back on your feet.

For Lina Sina from the village of Lalomanu, after the tsunami hit seven years ago, life became a little tougher for her and her family.

Aged 30, Lina admits that the affects of the tsunami still impacts the family.

“My husband and I were really affected by the tsunami,” she explained to the Village Voice.

“I had four children at the time and I lost one of them that day, my baby. My baby was only two months when the tsunami hit.”

“I know in my heart that I shouldn’t be angry at God because it is what it is. Right now we try not to think about that day and we are moving on.”

“I refuse to move back down to the coastal area because I don’t want to have to run with all of my children again. The first strong wave took my baby.”

Although she is trying to move on from that day, Lina still remembers 29th September 2009 like it was only yesterday.

“I now have many children running around,” she said.

“The Lord is good. On that day I had gone to Tai Taufua’s house with my son for his massage while my husband was getting ready to go to the plantation.”

“As soon as my husband grabbed the machete to leave the house we felt the earthquake and it never crossed our mind that a tsunami was yet to hit. We just looked at the shaking ground and I told my husband not to leave.”

“We then heard a man on the road call out that a tsunami was coming then we ran towards the hill a little too late.”

“The wave hit us hard and I thought to myself that this was my time. I was sure I was going to die. While I was underwater I just prayed in my mind for strength.”

“I lost my children in the water and when it was the tsunami surpassed I felt my body was weak. After the tsunami has passed, I was happy to find out that the wave had pushed my children up the hill and they were safe.”

“I am sure that the Lord saved them. My son said that he and his sibling were hit by a branch and they were wedged to another branch.”

“They don’t know when they broke free but all of a sudden they were safe on a hill.”

Lina says that life isn’t the same as before the tsunami. Her and family faces a lot of hardships these days.

“Life is hard right now but I like where we are staying because I don’t have to worry about any tsunamis up here,” she said.

“We had a good life before the tsunami; we weren’t poor because we had a tourist business at the time.”

“Moving inland has presented some problems for my family because we don’t make much from our plantation.”

“After that day we tried to rebuild from what we earned from our plantation but it wasn’t easy. The aid we received helped a lot but that time is gone now.”

“We now have to take our crops to the hotels to make enough to feed the family and send the children to school.”

Furthermore, Lina has a few other struggles every now and then.

“I am sure we will make it work with what we are doing,” she said.

“Our plantation is on the side and we work there every day. I also make mats to make a bit more money. We are living on our water tank but at times it dries out and the water truck rarely comes.”

“Despite these difficulties, I am sure we can make things work.”

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