Cyclone in Fiji…We missed it by seven weeks…

Lilies are blooming in the lily pad in the huge stone pot in the yard.

Many of our less frequent readers have written asking if we were still living in Fiji’s during the horrific Cyclone Winston on February 20th, (ironically, the day of my birthday). Having left Fiji on January 4th to fly to Sydney for our last cruise we were long gone from the islands. Thank you for all of your inquiries.

We’re grateful we left when we did, but saddened by the loss of 42 lives as recorded to date, thousands injured, and loss of homes, crops, and livelihood for many of its residents. 

We can’t possibly imagine how hard life must be for them now grieving for their lost loved ones and friends along with homes destroyed, no power and water, and, Savusavu roads to the village being completely washed out.

Had we still been living on the island of Vanua Levu high on the hills above the ocean, the house held up on stilts on the ocean view side, we can only speculate on the awful experience of living through one of the worst cyclones (referred to as a hurricane in the northern hemisphere) in recorded history. 

This streak across the sky seemed somewhat long and wide to be from a plane.

Here’s a link describing the storm in detail.

A cyclone or tropical storm is a system of winds rotating inward to an area of low atmospheric pressure with a counterclockwise (in the northern hemisphere) or clockwise southern hemisphere circulation; a depression.

As it was, there were power outages 10% of our time in Savusavu without any major storms. We can only speculate on how long the islands may be without power and public services over the next many months. I tried writing to our two past landlords on both islands, only to get the messages kicked back as “undeliverable.”

Here’s a video of some of the devastation in Savusavu, Fiji.

We spent our first three months in Vanua Levu beginning September 8, 2015, flying to Viti Levu, the main island on December 6th, living in Pacific Harbor, eventually leaving for Sydney on January 4, 2016.

View of Mount Taranaki from a walk in the neighborhood.

Five people were killed by the cyclone in Pacific Harbour, the small town where we spent our final 28 days in Fiji.

Here’s a video of some of the devastation in Pacific Harbour, Fiji. 

It’s hard for us to believe this occurred shortly after we left Fiji. In our world travels, we always run the risk of political unrest, wars, terrorist attacks, accidents, earthquakes, and destructive life-threatening weather. 

Some of our family members have expressed concern over our being exposed to such devastation to a greater degree by traveling the world. Sure, airport terminals, flights, and cruises do expose us to additional risks. 

The scenery from a recent drive.

But, as we watch the US news on a daily basis, we’re often appalled by the devastation that occurs in our native country; lives were taken by the radicals and lives taken by natural disasters. 

There’s no place in the world that is exempt from risk. We don’t take these risks lightly. As we thrive in this simple, beautiful life in seemingly innocuous New Zealand, we continually hear of more earthquakes in Christchurch, South Island, NZ.

On February 11, 2011, 80% of Christchurch and the surrounding areas were devastated by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake as described in this recent news story as more and more quakes continue to occur. As reported in the news 185 souls were lost as a result of this quake.

The flower blooming season is coming to an end.  I spotted this solitary flower yesterday on a walk in the neighborhood.

It makes no sense for us to spend our lives in fear of what “could happen.” We can only proceed with our journey with a degree of caution and alertness for our continued safety as we pray for those who suffer at the hands of humans and nature.

May the lovely people of Fiji find their way to recovery and healing with the heartfelt assistance and prayers from millions worldwide. May your lives be safe from harm.

Photo from one year ago today, February 29, 2015:

There was no post on February 29, 2015, when there was no February 29th one year ago with this year as a leap year!  Back tomorrow with March 1st!