In light of the devastation in Vanuatu in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam, I have been thinking about the nature of the human spirit. My family has a property near Port Vila and we have been travelling there regularly for the past 15 years. The place and its people are dear to my heart, and my family and our friends are reeling at the direct and personal impact that Pam has had on our lives and those we know, and on this little archipelago of islands in the South Pacific known as Paradise.
The country’s entire infrastructure has to be rebuilt. Sad and tragic stories are emerging as time goes on and the clean up gets underway, as communications and access are gained more securely to the small villages and outer islands where entire communities have been severely impacted, some levelled. Mother Nature is a bitch. And her name is Pam. After time – the road ahead is a long and uncertain one – Vanuatu will reboot and rebuild, its people displaying through tragedy their strength and resilience.
Fighting for issues that are personal and close to home is a natural thing to do, but in the broader sense, issues of the human experience and the human spirit are universal – faced with adversity it is inspiring what we as a collective, and as individuals are capable of overcoming. They are what connects us and enables us to relate. Be it death, illness, loss, conflict, natural disaster, grief, love, heartache, hardship of any kind – the human spirit seemingly conquers all, in ways that are unimaginable and beyond comprehension of what we think is possible.
Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit. Bern Williams
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