Drying Out After Gustav (and Glad Hanna isn’t coming our way!)
We’ve been without internet for almost 2 weeks now due to a satellite problem. So we’ve been fasting….missed the ending news of the Olympics (were connected though for Phelps’ 8 Golds), Felix has been struggling to keep up with the US election news (he was able to find a UN radio station that broadcasted Obama’s convention speech in English and got the news of who were finally chosen for running mates) and I have been missing all my xanga friends’ news. The technician was to come before Gustav came through but didn’t which delayed things a bit.
We were finally reconnected this afternoon and one of the first things we did was go to the Weather.com site to check on the hurricane maps. What amazed me was the tracking map for Gustav and realized that the storm passed right over us! And then, instead of heading for Cuba it turned to go visit our friends in Kingston and southern Jamaica. We haven’t heard from them so hope all is well.
Here, we had a good amount of rain and some wind. There was some flooding, banana plants down, loss of corn crop and livestock. A lady and her two kids (relatives of one of our pharmacy workers) were swept away while trying to cross the normally small stream in FDN while trying to go home from the market.
There is a bridge out now about 20 minutes up the road from us but, to the road crew’s credit, they were out immediately digging up a bypass that goes down into the river bed so that we are not cut off from PAP. In fact, those working on the bypass were involved in an accident when one of the heavy equipment slipped in the mud and nearly ran over some of the men. Two were injured and were brought here to our clinic for treatment.
Our Swiss officer friend, Emmi, will be returning soon so five of us went over to her house in Guirand (a little village not far from us) to get the house put back in order after being empty (of people at least) since January. Again, the damage was of lost crops and livestock, water in houses and more extensive damage to some of the more fragil houses (those made of sticks, mud, corrugated metal) was evident. This will be hard on the people, who are already dealing with steep price increases, unaffordable school costs and higher tap-tap (our local transportation) fares.
The little bridge going into Guirand had the soil washed away on both sides of the bridge but there was still enough left for our truck to pass. Amazingly enough, the road itself was still passable in spite of a few muddy, rut-infested parts.
We are drying out and very thankful to God for His protection. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Now we need to be praying for our friends in the Bahamas as Hanna (Hannah Montana, asks Matthew??) is heading straight for them. And then there is IKE (the beginning of Matthew’s first name…Ikechukwu…Ike (EE-Kay) in Igbo means “power” and I hope this Ike doesn’t live up to it’s name!).