There are only a few times in our lives when we can directly help some of our fellowmen in need. Those few moments of grace give us a chance to share our own good fortunes, face to face instead of through anonymous relief organisations, with those less lucky. "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee ..."
The cyclone which smashed into Ha'apai in Tonga last weekend destroyed some 75% of all houses in the town of Pangai on the main island of Lifuka. Communications with the outer islands have still not been re-established but it must be assumed that villages there have fared far worse.
Horst Berger's 'fale Tonga'
My Austrian friend Horst Berger lived in a 'fale Tonga', a native-style hut, in the tiny village of Felemea on Uiha Island. I use the past tense advisedly because after Cyclone Ian there won't be anything left of his fale or his meagre belongings.
Horst lives a hand-to-mouth existence on a tiny pension which he shares with his Tongan wife and two teenaged children. To rebuild his fale - and his life - will probably cost him close to a thousand dollars in our money which he simply hasn't got. So far my first appeal for donations has received surprisingly few responses:
in cyclone-devastated Tonga:
1) Peter Goerman AUS$450
I could easily send him the money myself. However, I want him to know that there are other people who think of him in his time of need. So if you feel you want to contribute, however little, here's your second chance:
Send your donation to my PayPal account and I will remit the lot to Horst via Western Union when communications have been re-established. You don't need your own PayPal account to make a donation. Simply go to the PayPal website and send your donation to my email address
It's as simple as that! And it will make you feel good as well as Horst!
P.S. Sometimes, people need to be bashed over their heads to re-discover their humanity. I am bashing!