Friday, March 20, 2015

Song of the Week #341 - that girl Zoë is safe!

Where do I start? Wow. What a week.

If you are interested I wrote a gig review for our band earlier in the week; it's here.

And then there was Zoë. Here's what I wrote before she was heard from.

It seems hollow to me to cheer too much about Zoë while so many others remain in crisis. She's already let us know that she wants to return to her village and local family as soon as she can. This is exactly what we thought she'd do.

Now that we know Zoë is safe and well I urge you to consider the country and people of Vanuatu. This was no regular cyclone; it's the biggest one ever. Look at some pictures of Port Vila or of the island of Tanna. In many areas there is total devastation. Tanna has 20,000 people without fresh water. If you're in a position to support any of the aid agencies or charities who are working there then please do.

Can I just say thank you to everyone who has shown support and solidarity? That's family, friends, acquaintances and complete strangers. I know we've flooded your Facebook and Twitter feeds as well as being on the radio, TV and in the newspapers. I think that it is worth it to keep people thinking about Vanuatu and other countries badly impacted such as Tuvalu. We'll talk to anyone who wants to listen. I didn't realise that Zoë's gap placement was going to be quite so life changing for us as well as for her!

In terms of media, a huge shout out to Liz Burke from who read my anguished Tweet and responded. The media coverage just flowed as a result of her work. Plenty of others have since helped and we're very particularly thankful to The Project, ABC TV and Radio, Canberra Times, 2CC, WIN News, Bethany Keats, BBC World Service and The Daily Mail. Apologies if I've missed anyone, it's been a very long week.

At the moment we don't know the details about the organisation and logistics of getting Zoë picked up. Thanks go to DFAT, the Australian Defence Force, Lattitude and all others involved. If I could hug you I would.

My colleagues too, they've been saints.

And now, it's time to close my email, every tab on my browser and get some rest. At least for a few hours.

As I rode my bike to work this morning (the short way after talking to ABC Radio and 2CC) I had a few very emotional minutes. I guess if you're going to cry then on a bike, behind dark glasses, on a bike path on a beautiful Canberra morning isn't a bad time. 

Hunters & Collectors - True Tears of Joy -

Normal programming, if there is such a thing, will resume next week. On the way home I'll be thinking about Zoë's Vanuatu family. I hope they have food, water and shelter tonight.


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