Thursday, March 08, 2007

Kind thoughts needed please...

You may or may not have heard about the riots of the last week in Port Vila between the people from Tanna and Ambrym.

Unfortunately these riots have had a disasterous impact on my partner Benson and his family. Benson's brother's house at Blacksands was burnt down on Sunday night and our home at Blacksands was broken into and all of Ben's clothes were taken (strangely enough my things were left untouched).

Ben and his family are now hiding in the bush, sleeping on banana leaves with only the clothes on their backs and no protection from malaria or rain. They are scared to get on buses into town because there are apparently men from Tanna riding on the buses with knives and they are scared that they are going to be attacked.

Ben's brother, James, has 3 children who cannot go to school as the school is in the area where fighting has been occuring and their uniforms and books were burnt in the fire. It now looks like the family will have to send the kids to the island for their safety and until James can rebuild their home.

The mens carvings were all burnt as were their chisels and other tools that they use to create the carvings that provide them with money to live off. The family also lost a large amount of money that they had been putting aside for a sisters wedding next month.

I am looking at freighting over some emergency items this weekend and will send at least one more "care package" via freight before I go over to start my new job on the 26th March.

Please keep Ben and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

21 Comments:

At 9:42 pm, Blogger Tohou Lidia said...

My gosh Yaeli! I heard about the riot and i knew it was in blacksands but i didn't even connect the dots! It's been hard to get accurate news about it! From what i heard, it all started when an Ambrym and a Tanna man raped and killed a woman and threw her in the river. Then the respective families went after them..i'm not sure if this is true! But i didn't know any houses had been burnt down! And i didn't know those man tanna were in the buses riding around. It's just so weird...beautiful peaceful Vanuatu which is relatively unscathed by ethnic violence...

I guess i shouldn't be surprised...it was bound to happen one day with alot more people from the outer islands moving in. I just hope everythign goes alright and definately i'll keep them in my prayers! If there's anything i can do to help just email me! I have a few Tanna uncles in Port Vila, i'll have to email them and see what's happening!
-Amy

 
At 3:39 am, Blogger utenzi said...

I had not heard about the riots, Yaeli. That's scary to think of Ben and his relatives in the middle of all that violence. I hope they remain safe and that the rioting ends soon.

I hope your care package gets there quickly. It sounds like they'll need it badly--and hopefully the riots won't impede your package nor your move there, Yaeli.

 
At 12:37 pm, Blogger Paul said...

Indeed we'll pray for you friends/family.

I'm here from Michelle's.

 
At 8:55 pm, Blogger Bob-kat said...

So sorry to hear about this terrible thing that is happening. I do hope the situation improves for them soon. It sounds frightening and I sincerely hope they stay safe.

Here from Michele's.

 
At 11:59 pm, Blogger carli said...

I have to admit, I'd never even HEARD of this place in Vanuatu. News has not really reached the states, but I'll be sure to read about it. Good wishes to your friend Ben.

 
At 9:05 am, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I pray they all will come through this alive and unhurt! That is very very scary Yaeli...

BTW: You may be right that I am obsessed with The Oscars, but it is my 'business', as well as my passionate interest, you know?
I'm pretty much done with it now, well at least for this year! (lol)

 
At 1:20 pm, Blogger panthergirl said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this!! How awful for the family. SO scary.

Hope all becomes peaceful soon.

Here by way of michele...

 
At 1:32 pm, Blogger Carmi said...

OMG I am so sorry to hear that this tragedy has touched your family. I wish we had a way to end the senseless hatred that leads to events like this. Humans can be so cruel sometimes, and it saddens me to the core of my soul.

You deserve better, Ben and his family deserve better. I'm praying for you all tonight.

 
At 2:23 pm, Blogger Melody said...

Humans can be terrible can't they?? Oh my goodness I hope Ben and his family are keeping safe. YOu must b e besides yourself... I recently watched on ABC2 or SBS (can't remember) about an Aussie Policeman who was stationed in Vanuatu for a year. He was training other coppers. Lots of riots etc., scary stuff. How can this little part of the world be so beautiful but so very terrible? I hope all is okay... You stay safe too Yaeli.

 
At 4:43 pm, Anonymous netchick said...

OH GOD, Y! I'm so sorry to hear all that's gone on for Ben. It makes all my life's issues so very trivial in comparison.

My thoughts go out to Ben and his family.

ps: Michele sent me but I would have come by anyhow.

 
At 5:24 pm, Anonymous Veda said...

How ugly society can get. It is truly a shame. Here's hoping the silver lining comes incredibly soon and yes, you have my well-wishes, etc. for your own sense of mentality as well for those of yours.
here from michele's.

 
At 6:21 pm, Blogger Mr. Althouse said...

I hope all turns out well - that everyone comes through safe and sound. I can only imagine what they must be experiencing.

Mike

PS: Thank you and I returned the favor.

 
At 11:48 am, Anonymous Becky68 said...

That is so scary. I will keep him & his family in my thoughts. Utenzi was right, this hasn't been in the news here in the US at all.
Here from Micheles

 
At 10:58 am, Anonymous foxy said...

Oh Yael - how scary for you, Ben and his family - and how sad that they lost so much. I hope that they all remain safe and unharmed as whilst losing the house and their possesions is awful - losing their lives/health is far worse, so I guess so far they have all been blessed...in a round about (but still not very positive) way.

love
foxy

 
At 3:53 pm, Blogger Diane said...

so scary . . .

 
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