On 27th February, I got a message to ‘expect the unexpected’. The following day Vanuatu experienced the first of two major cyclones, back-to-back cyclones. Last Friday our power came back on after 31 days. There was a whoop of delight, and then… silence. It was over.
Living without power, water, communication was tough, challenging, there were definite highs and lows, tears and laughter, lessons and opportunities. What immediately stands out is how the only way to be was to be in the moment and how that didn’t always come naturally… to find the simplest way to live, and a sense of humour in whatever was happening. As someone said; ‘when your lime trees get blown down, make lemonade, or margaritas!’
Being thankful, counting our blessings was soothing, witnessing small acts of kindness heartwarming, and the acceptance and resilience of the local people was inspiriing.
I still feel shocked at the scale of the disaster – homes destroyed, roads collapsed, gardens washed away, telephone towers and electricity pylons knocked over bent double, the soil erosion, the power of the cyclone. And learning to live simply, seeing how little we need was a gift.