Posts Categorized: Family

Rebuilding a life from the ashes

By Tevu Tenasi

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At around 9pm on Monday 6th August 2012 I took a call from my brother in-law, Mr Pency Kaevariri. He sounded shocked.

‘Mage eang tama taba teang komana iung ge?’ ‘Friend, do you have your belongings in your cottage?’ he asked in a shaky tone.

‘Ainge,a tabae a hata?’ Sure,Is there anything wrong? I replied, already knowing there was.

A iung teang pa asiu’ ‘Your house has been burnt down,’ he said.

I was left speechless with nothing to say as the sound of my in-law faded from my phone.

Our little cottage at Teairas in Tinputz was burnt to ashes.

I tortured myself trying to figure out what caused the fire and my wife hardly spoke as she thought about the everything that we worked for that was now nothing but ashes.

The next morning, I was informed that our house was mistakenly put on fire by a local crisis warlord and a report was made known to the police for investigation.

856-mill-timberWe waited and waited as the negotiations and investigation were taken care of by the police.

Days of waiting turned to months and with so much grief over our great loss, my wife and our two sons decided to move over to Kieta where she was from.

On Christmas Eve, 24 December 2012, we moved out of Kekesu Primary School where we were to Arawa. A sad Christmas was spent there and then we booked an open back LandCruiser that took us to what would become our new home Kurai, some 20 kilometres from Arawa town.

The thought of our loss was painful to bear, but we also carried with us the aspiration to build a home again.

This all came to pass as the first timbers of the new house was milled on 22nd of May 2013.

I also resume worked as a Nursing Officer in Roreinang Aid post while my wife resumed in Kurai Primary School.

856-carpentry-teamA few months later I was offered a position to work as an Officer-in-charge of Moanava Clinic a newly open site for HIV/AIDS voluntary counselling and testing in Arawa Health Centre.

Beyond all doubt God was taking care of us.

By January 2014, the building profile was already up by the hands of my brother in-law Mr Wayne Mah, an experienced and skilful carpenter, with the assistance of other locals.

Everybody, men, women and children, offered help even with simple activities like food preparation for our hardworking carpenters.

Things changed rapidly as months passed and by September we already had the house up.

There was a setback in 2015, when our family lost two members. One passed to illness and another was murdered in cold blood and in accordance with local custom we ceased most of our work.

Today everything is taking shape and is on track to be completed by 2017.

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Hapepe – A celebration of Dads

By Anastasia Hagai

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From the day we are born to the day we have children of our own we learn many of life’s traits within our families from the two most important figures, who we come to know as our parents, before advancing into the real world.

As a sign of gratitude for the hardships and challenges our families go through, especially the head of the family (in this case our fathers), villages along North Bougainville practice a traditional ritual where the immediate family, particularly the children, get to appreciate the contribution of their father in raising them to where and who they have become in life.

A traditional ritual known as Hapepe is done by the immediate family along with the assistance of the mother’s extended family. It also takes quite a period of time in preparation prior to the actual event itself.

It can also be an expensive exercise to carry out with respect to the immediate as well as extended family of the mother. The actual event is scheduled for a particular date and the maternal side of the family works towards that target.

The Hapepe is held normally at the immediate family’s residence as the paternal side of the family gather to receive the gifts from the maternal side of the family. During the ceremony the children are embraced by their father and show their appreciation for him being their provider throughout their growing up.

The practice of such traditions not only unites and builds families, but also gives us the sense of belong to a family which makes us who we are and want to be in the future.

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