Friday, 31 July 2009 8:21 AM

Are you there, Melanie?

Hello Melanie, are you there? This is Danny.

From my primary and secondary education uni, I lived a responsible life and from time to time accountable for what I have done. At this stage, if I fail a course, I can't blame my lecturer/tutor or someone else, but myself. That's what life is all about friend. I had overcome the challenges I encountered in life to this very day and thank God that I'm not the kind of person I used to be. Equally likely, everyone goes through ups and down and shortcomings in their own lives.

Interesting indeed friend for you to mentioned that we are not the priority to SIG. that's fine. Though we are not priority to them, after we finish from here, we will go back and serve our beloved nation, and thats what we are here for. Though you might not accept it, they are the ones that send us here. If a need arises due to something beyond our control, who are we going to consult and look up to? Come on guys, only common sense. Thus, our case here was disgusting for you only.

You attack me personally by saying that the government is not my mama so that I can depend on them for my survival every time. Your statement shows how shallow minded you are without good reasoning ability.

After form seven and USP centre, I follow the formal process by applying to the NTU for a scholarship. Fortunately, I was offered a scholarship to pursue further studies here at Laucala. Therefore, under my scholarship provision I could look up to them as my mama. Get it clear, SIG sponsored me from my foundation at USP SI Campus to this very day.

For clarification, in 2005, we from Waimapuru and Honiara High School were the very first two schools in the Solomon Islands to undertake the SPBEA form seven program. Because we are new to the program and lack the relevant and required texts books, none of us managed to pass all the four course we enrolled in (if I'm right). From there, SIG put us all at USP centre to continue with USP foundation under their sponsorship. From there, they are behind us till this day. Are we not priority to them? Why don't they just leave us after we fail to perform to their expectation? To some certain extent, we must be priority to them as their future leaders. Aren't we?

Regarding my guardian, three times a year he usually comes through Fiji when he was on his official duty. The very first question he always asks me was, "how, allowance blo iufala come nao? If my answer is no, he then gave me something to keep me going while waiting. Besides that, my family members from Honiara also support me financially through Western Union. Not always, but when I'm down. You attack me personally by emphasizing SIG is not my mama, that is why I touch on financial assistance from my family here.

You did stress that lot of us SI students here at USP Laucala are struggling financially because we live beyond our means. Friend, if everything is constant for us here. We will not ask for an increase in our allowance. Over the years, the only thing we usually experienced when USP academic year begin was we usually received our allowance late. When it comes, Individual student was responsible for him/herself of how well he manages his/her budget to sustain him/her through to the next semester, and it works.

Friend, during my first year at USP, the price of 10 kg (calrose) was only $12. Last year a slight increase from $12 to $18. When we arrived back from the Solomons at the beginning of this year, the price is $28. Right now, the price stands at $32. Who knows, it might increase to $34 or $36 in few weeks time. Long grain rice is much cheaper than calrose here. However, we did not get used to it back in the Solomons before we came here. It tastes similar to the golden rice introduced in the Solomons few years back. Why does golden rice totally disappeared from the shops in Honiara? Hem taste nogud. In our case here, we have to go for calrose with a can of Solomon Blue (180g white tuna flakes) though their prices are beyond our control.

Yesterday on my way out from the library, I saw few Solomon colleagues (boys) sitting under a shady tree next to the library. I then ask them why they were there instead of attending their first lectures. This was their response, "we are waiting for indo-Fijian students to buy second hand text books from them". "We cannot believe our eyes when we saw the hiking price of the same text books at the USP Book Centre". And so Melanie, if everything is consistent (by not experiencing the 20% devaluation), we cannot ask for an increase. These are some of the problems we currently encountering and the list goes on.

Regarding my budget friend, I continually adhere to my simple budget plan since my first year to this day. Over the years, I adjust accordingly to the prevailing situation. I don't need an angel from heaven above or someone from Barack Obama's administration like the Director, Peter R. Orszag from the Office of Management & Budget to come and draw the budget for me. I do it my way and that's my way ka tau na mai.

For SI students who rented together, they have their finance minister; the one who holds all their money for food. If the prices are rising and the allowance remains as it is, no matter how many times we adjust our budget, it can't work. We have no other alternatives, but to try and appeal to the one who send us here, the one you mentioned we are not priority to them. Whatever the decision they reached is final. At least we give a try.

The famous Fuaga Brothers song summarize it all, 'everything something, something for trym ya'.

Lastly friend, just compare which country you are in and us. While Fiji devalued it currency by 20%, how about Aussie? If you reason it out and find the disparity, thanks.

ASA

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Danny Asa and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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