Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Aftermath, part II

Firstly, I would like to apologize for the self absorbed post I wrote yesterday as I blubbered. I realize that some of you are interested in the experience of the hurricane in more detail, so here is a bit more about it.

I don't think we got a direct hit with sustained hurricane winds. It looked like tropical storm to me, with hurricane gusts. But this is totally subjective based on my past hurricane experience. This island was very lucky. Most of the damage I have observed is to crops and trees, and of course the landslides. The only deaths were from landslide, not wind or water. Even a lot of rickety buildings made it through. Our shack is still standing up at Wit's End, that expanse of air which was once our farm!

An American couple visiting on the island as they plan their move to Dominica stayed with us during the storm. It was helpful having a little house party during the blow, particularly since they are doting dog lovers. Chester got so much attention he never required a dose of doggie downers. They were a great help with the initial clearing away after the storm, too. And this hurricane has not changed their minds about Dominica, they still plan to move here.

Everyone is hard at work trying to set things right. We picked up a guy who works for the power company and gave him a ride. He told us he had worked 3 days straight during and after the storm. A fellow who works for the roads department was also near exhaustion when we spoke with him. I suspect these workers are the people hardest hit by the storm, as they try to restore services.

I certainly prefer life with electricity and running water, but we are old camping people who can cope without amenities. We had lots of water stored and we have a solar recharger for batteries, so we have water and light. I suspect our power will come and go for some time yet, but water has stayed on since it was restored.

I spoke with Nick, the one armed beggar yesterday. He and his comrades made it through the storm without difficulty in someone's cellar. He mentioned the Peace Corp people had brought them food. However, he was still hungry and could really use a little something...

A wonderful thing happened yesterday. Several of our closest friends dropped what they were doing with their own storm cleanup and came to give us support. It was an incredible gift, this rallying around the miserable. And that is one of the key difference between here and the real world: people take the time to care for one another, to support one another here. Even Eeyore me has to find a glimmer of hope in that.

livingdominica: may the people of the Yucatan be safe and protected.


Billy said...

well dean has dropped to 125mph so that is better news..

Kendra (theislandmedstudent) said...

I'm so glad to hear that you are safe. And sorry to hear about the damages. It sounds like it hit Roseau much harder than it did here in Picard. But very good to know you guys made it through okay!

Minerva said...

Oh, Jen, so sorry to read about your travails. And, please do not apologize for being personal and sharing your emotions - positive or negative. They make the blog yours, make the readers feel closer to you and that - perhaps - will make you feel a tiny bit better feeling their - be it only virtual - support.

My Chutney Garden said...

Hi Jen,
I'm so glad that you made it through safely. Your life must still be in turmoil. We were watching Dean from Trinidad and just despairing for everyone in its path. Really hope that everything works out with your land.
Best wishes,

TICA MACHA said...

I'm sure you are busy getting things normal again and I'm sure you are still counting your blessings.
Just checking in to see how things are fairing in your world.