A surprise visit by Ethel Arek


I had the biggest pleasure in meeting Ethel Arek on Thursday, Aug 9 at the HID headquarters. Ethel was one of Papa Sam’s first students pre-Stretpasin Stoa Scheme. Now in old age she has settled back at home.
She still talks about her experience that eventually shaped the Stretpasin Stoa Scheme like it happened yesterday with so much joy and enthusiasm, not to mention the youthful like energy that comes through as she takes you through her life’s story.
She comes from Collingwood Bay in the Tufi district of Northern or Oro Province as it is commonly known. She has five sons and three daughters and a total of 23 grand-children to date.
I ask about the tattoos on her face and she gladly replies: “Back in our days we took our culture and customs very seriously as our parents made it their life time responsibility to make sure everything they knew about customs and beliefs were passed on to us their children.
“For my village the young girls had to go through the tattooing of the face to mark the beginning of their journey as a young woman.”
In Arek’s case she was fortunate that her mother was the one that took her through this process of facial tattooing.
From this experience she has a lot to relate to in all areas of a person’s life. She says in order for someone to live a prosperous life you first align yourself with the right and correct attitude and mindset.
You cannot expect anyone in this world to make decisions for you because you know yourself better than anyone else.
The power of choice lies in the palm of your hands. Comparing her generation to today’s she believes parents must take ownership of their children and bring them up in a way that keeps them in the right track for the rest of their lives because discipline and everything else is firstly learnt from the house and most importantly from the parents. If all parents do this it will show in how today’s generation live their lives.
These very words and advice are priceless because they are from her journey through life she is happy and able to share.
In her own very meaningful words she is definitely talking about the use of personal power and how it can make or break a person’s life when you make more and more use of it in the right way.

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