Friday, May 30, 2008

Tropical Storm Alma

A plethora a mangoes brought down by storm winds

Two nights ago I woke up to wind whistling forcefully through the windows and doors which had all been shut tightly against the rain. 'It looks like a hurricane out there!' I thought to myself as I rolled over and went back to sleep. But it wasn't, it was just a massive tropical storm that hit us on our side of the coast, the first to do so since I've been here.

Puddles in the patio reflect the now calm palms

Yes, we got the first of the season! Tropical Storm Alma!

These mushrooms sprung up in the yard literally overnight, they're each at least 5 inches across

In the morning the house was flooded (um, by the way, I've moved to a house and been hired as an employee of NPH International) and time was spent ringing out the towels that had been placed at the bottoms of the doors and windows the night before in order to sop up the massive amounts of water that had still been driven in by the wind.

The peaceful sunrise after the storm has gone

It continued to rain hard most of the day, but by afternoon, the storm moved on to wreak havoc on the rest of Nicaragua and parts of Honduras.

The absolutely still windmill the morning after

Watching the news that night I could see the destruction of the storm easily. Homes here aren't built out of floodplains, they're built wherever people can find a place cheap enough. Homes aren't built to withstand winds of 65 mph, they're built to shelter just as much as they can afford from the drizzle with cardboard and zinc.

People waiting at the ferry dock to return to the island the morning after the storm, the day before, in the middle of the storm, the boats were still running, but sometime during the day, we all figured out what it was and the ferries were shut down.

Once again, Nicaraguans suffer, not because they have so much worse luck (although in a country of volcanoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes for a sum total of only 6 million people, sometimes you wonder), but the fact that they don't have insurance to rebuild, any type of unemployment as a stopgap, no building standards to start with and no security blanket for what if.

Flowers above the passageway from the house to the beach

They'll sop up, they'll figure a way through, they'll go through it all again. Just when you wonder why people struggle so much, why there is so much poverty here, remember we're not all in the same boat.

Sorry, couldn't leave without a shot of Amelia playing in the lake after the storm!

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