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An inspirational visit

Serafina Silaitoga
Friday, January 04, 2013

INDEED he is the President of all.

This was the unanimous phrase uttered by the people of Vanua Levu over the past days following the whirlwind visit there by the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

Ratu Epeli was in Labasa this week to visit inmates, victims of Tropical Cyclone Evan, patients at the Labasa Hospital and everyone else he met in town or places he visited.

At 7am on New Year's Day, he walked through Labasa's main street to the service station near Naseakula Village.

His appearance surprised many including passengers in a special bus parked nearby.

Passengers, excited about his presence without a security detail, called out to him and were even more shocked to see the President walk into the bus to shake their hands and wish them blessings for the New Year. It was even more of a blessing for the villagers of Yadua Island in Bua who were worst hit by TC Evan.

The hurt and the tears they shed from losing their properties to TC Evan didn't seem to matter at all after Ratu Epeli visited them on Wednesday.

For them, having Ratu Epeli in their midst brought joy after the traumatic experience of TC Evan.

Villagers continuously thanked Ratu Epeli for his visit as he shook their hands.

Village headman Meli Rokobuli said about 40 families were trying to get over the fact that most of their properties were damaged by the cyclone and Ratu Epeli's visit was uplifting.

"The visit by Ratu Epeli is indeed a joy for the villagers. They have been down since TC Evan because they lost most of their belongings like clothes and other things at home," Mr Rokobuli said.

"So to have our President in the village is such a blessing and for him to come down to our level is even more touching."

"His visit has certainly lifted our spirits and the villagers are happy that our leader has come to visit us and give us assurance that the government will always care," Mr Rokobuli said.





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