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Samoa Tala Fou - from Fr. Hiko

Talofa Lava from Samoa,

I hope all is well with everybody in the family. Patele 'Unaloto had left for the retreat in France and from there he will go on to Rome to meet Pope Benedict. The Pope will finally ordain him as 'Epikopo 'Unaloto of Faleula. I still remember 'Epikopo 'Unaloto was written in the old oven in their old kitchen. In his absence I am in-charge of the parish. He will be away for a month and in the meantime I am encouraging young people to get married so that I will get all the 'envelopes', 'green basket' and the 'ie toga for myself.

I believe that most of you have heard of th earthquake and the tsunami that hit Samoa and American Samoa. Today is a day of national mourning in Samoa - no work and no school. Faka'ofa 'aupito e kakai ne uesia kae tautautefito ki he ngaaahi feitu'u ma'ulalo. 'Oku toko 119 e kau mate pea 'oku tokolahi mo e fanau iiki. 'Oku tui e tokolahi 'e toe lahi ange he 'oku 'iai e fa'ahinga ne 'ave 'ehe peau ki tahi. 'Oku ou mo'ui lelei pe pea 'oku ou hao pe he ko e feitu'u 'oku ou nofo ai 'oku ofi ia ki he mo'unga. Many people camp at our school since yeaterday and they slowly find their way home this morning. We will begin class tommorrow but I am sure our students will find it hard to focus. Most of them are from rural areas and that's where the tsunami hit hard. In the meantime our hearts and prayers go out to all those families who have lost loved ones and the big numbers who are left homeless.

'Ofa atu kiate kimoutolu hono kotoa. Hiko sm.

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