Almost four months after the devastation of Cyclone Winston, the seemingly endless recovery and restoration process on this breathtakingly beautiful and most sacred Island of Naitauba continues daily. Much clean up and repair has occurred and continues slowly, but surely.
Retreatants have been helping in the continuing process of restoring sites blessed and empowered by Adi Da. This week a team restored the site at the wharf and made improvements to another holy site at the village square. The restoration of such holy sites on the island, including the gates to Adi Da’s burial site, is an inspiration to all serving there.
Homecoming wharf site after restoration
The Matrix, where Adi Da’s residence is located, is a busy scene of a continued cleanup process. The buildings there incurred the most devastation because of huge storm surges during the cyclone. A number of retreatants continue to help with repairs, debris removal, and the continuing search for personal items of Adi Da that disappeared in the flooding. Remarkably, some of those objects, often buried in the sand or hidden under buildings, are still being located each day.
Retreatants carefully searching the sand for personal effects of Adi Da
When objects are found they go to a team of devotees in the art building in the village. Under the direction of an art curator, they repair, restore, inventory, and pack them carefully for temporary storage.
Each day, retreatants and public volunteers with building skills are also engaged in reconstruction of buildings in Qaravi, the resident village. Painstakingly, damaged buildings are being re-built, roofs repaired, porches put back in place, and all new work painted. Buildings look like new and are much stronger when completed. Steady progress is being made, yet so many destroyed buildings still remain untouched.
A crew starting to restore a village residence which was severely damaged.
Blessings Continue to Flow
Everyone here, including the public volunteers, are on retreat. In a beautiful occasion each Monday, all come to the gates leading to Adi Da’s burial site. Each person receives a personal, blessed gift from the site and again before their departure on the boat the following day. Adi Da’s deep blessing gratitude for their service to Naitauba in this great moment of need is symbolized in these gifts and is clearly palpable to all who come.
That people are coming here and helping makes an enormous difference, but this must continue since the restoration process will take years to complete. For this, skilled tradespeople, in particular, are needed. To see a small group of carpenters take a severely damaged building and within weeks transform it is amazing. However, this process is only just beginning. Necessary repairs and re-building at the Matrix or at Adi Da’s other residence in the village have not yet even begun. This will take some time.
Under the guidance of the sacred authority of Adidam, the preparation of a new master plan is underway for Naitauba. It will provide for and make possible a complete move to higher ground over time while maintaining the sacredness of all that Adi Da established during his lifetime. It will be very creative and will take a long time, but it can be done.
Finally, an update on Buren Tarawa, the man severely injured during the process of refloating the Turaga Dau Loloma. Buren and his family are doing well in their simple, new house in Suva, which has been furnished with donations from friends all around the world. Not long ago, he had a health crisis. After a heart attack, he spent some time in the hospital, but has now recovered and is back at home. He continues physical rehabilitation three times a week with check-ups on his leg. Buren and his family never fail to express deep gratitude for the help received from all of our friends.