Even the most stoic people sometimes need a break from a trying situation, like recovering from a cyclone, and watching the heartbreak and courage as the community makes ongoing repairs and the rainforests grow back.
We are about to have a HOLIDAY! Yes, a total break from all things cyclone recovery related.
We are heading for Melbourne where relatives assure us the weather is warming up. The physical reminders that repairs are under way – like scaffolds, tarps and half disintegrating houses will be out of sight but not fully out of mind.
Soon we will leave the house I renamed Hotel B to give a positive spin on our upcoming move. I feel that having a break from our house before the move will renew our strength.
Hotel B has been a temporary stopover in place with a wondrous tropical garden, a pool, and a friendly leafy street, although our new street, like many others, has houses under repair. We have donated some plants to replace the palms it lost.
Our story is not uncommon in the Cassowary Coast. Many people move from temporary accommodation back to their homes when work is complete enough for them to reside there, or on to more temporary housing as their houses are still not livable.
Some people have already moved three times since Cyclone Yasi, and several have left Yasi land temporarily or forever. Some still live in garages, under tarped rooves, or on porches awaiting rebuilds.
One tricky thing about moving is packing. We are in the process of collecting boxes, quotes and sorting stuff still not completely sorted after the cyclone. I wish we had done more sorting when we first shifted to Hotel B, but it was daunting and we did not get around to it. We didn’t realise how soon we would be moving again.
My kids have decided they LOVE ebooks now, after all the paper books we salvaged and moved from our Feluga home.
I know others who have had holidays from Yasi land – usually as a treat from friends – they have gone to Japan, on cruises or just for weekend getaways within Queensland. These holidays represent a time to recharge, renew and put everything into perspective. Some local students are going, or have been on, interstate trips and rather than thinking about cyclone’s they are overjoyed to have seen snow for the first time.
For now my mind is thinking about a family reunion where we will see people not seen for years and make reconnections to a world where people are not thinking about their cyclone related issues.
We will go to the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs and think about ancient history. We will celebrate my husband’s parents fifty years of marriage and my niece’s engagement and will be surrounded by the love of our family.
Are you going on a holiday to recharge soon?
I hope you get an opportunity for a holiday as everyone from a disaster related area needs a break! Then we can only come back stronger! Thanks to anyone who has given this opportunity to people from our area, you are legends!
First published ABC Open, September 2012.
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