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Let Us Build Together

Page 7

Tricia Natoli

We were billeted with families in the village who showed great generosity. The married couple stayed with the magistrate, the single man was with an older couple, whilst the four single women were guests of the policeman, his wife and daughters. The daughters gave up their room for us. A new toilet had been dug for our use which was much appreciated and used freely, until the day I pushed open the door to find the family’s dog had given birth to numerous puppies overnight. Then we all became more wary of what we would find inside…

As in all cultures food and the sharing of it was an important element in making us feel welcome. During negotiations we had been promised a “lobster feast” and been asked to send extra money so that batteries for torches, expensive locally, could be purchased for the men to fish at night. After waiting in great anticipation it was with disappointment on both sides that, in spite of being at sea all night, the total catch was just three very small lobsters. Apparently it had become more and more difficult to get a decent catch of any type of fish, and this was becoming a great concern for the villagers.

Undaunted the women told us that another feast, this time of “pig meat” would be held in a few days. This was indeed a celebration but it did not go unnoticed that the pet pig kept by our hosts disappeared at the same time.

Habitat for Humanity has different rules for prospective homeowners, depending on local resources and needs. In GauGau it was required that a tree be supplied by the family. A mobile saw would be brought to the site and powered by generator for planks to be cut.

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