Showing posts from March, 2016

10 years after Cyclone Larry: Dad's Altruism

On March 20, 2006 my hometown was destroyed by a category 5 cyclone. Cyclone Larry took away a lot of things - our houses, our school, our farms, our banana crops, my ability to fall asleep without sleeping tablets. But this is a story not of taking away, but of giving back. When the winds and rain died down 2 days after the cyclone hit, my dad, a pharmacist, announced we had to go to town to open the pharmacy. I was unimpressed - we had a destroyed house, a destroyed farm, no electricity, no food- why couldn't we stay and fix things for ourselves? Dad said that people, especially the local nursing homes needed their medicine, and he needed me to help him. We had to take one of the four-wheel drives from the farm rather than dad’s car as the roads were covered in water and dangerous. At one river crossing we had to sit and wait for an hour for the water to recede. I kept suggesting we turn back home but Dad was insistent - there were people who needed us. The pharmacy is in t