Rain and Tragedy

5 11 2010

What a crazy week here.  It rained and rained and as I write this it is still raining.  We have not lived here very long but one thing we have learned pretty quickly is that when it rains, there are usually mudslides.

All of Wednesday, there was a feeling of discomfort in the air. Every time I looked out the window of my classroom, the rain blurred the trees that are not more than 15 ft away. After work, I splashed down the street to Spanish class. During class we had to stop talking multiple times because the rain became too loud.

On Wednesday, Vanessa and I laid down to go to sleep but the pounding of the rain on the roof made it difficult.  As we started to doze off, I told her a fact that I had looked up earlier:  In the some parts of Costa Rica they had received 1.5 ft of rain in two days, that is more rain than Colorado averages in a year. We slept restlessly. It’s hard getting use to such heavy rain.

Vanessa and I woke up on Thursday to the phone ringing.  It was Andrea and Brandon telling us that there was no school because there had been a major mudslide in San Antonio de Escazu, and others around the country.  San Antonio is just up the hill from us, maybe 3 minutes.  My first reaction was to be happy, it was like a snow day, but then the reality began to sink in.  A mudslide that would cancel school, not just our school but every school around the country, meant that something was probably bad.  It was, it is a tragedy.

The cable, internet and cell service was out at our house, which was nothing compared to the 800,000 people without water or electricity; regardless, we started to piece together the facts pretty quickly and as of last night it totaled to 20 people dead, and 12 missing.  They didn’t even try to count how many houses were gone, obliterated, as if they never existed.

It is such a tragic time here, you can feel it.  The damage is clearly read on the streets, and we don’t have school for the remainder of this week. If something like this happens in the States, it is sad, yes, but life can go back to normal relatively quickly.  Here, not so much. There is not much equipment helping with the clean up, it is men, friends, and families. From what I know, and have seen, the beautiful area in San Antonio de Escazu will not return to normal, ever. The scars will not be erased, like they would in the States.

Mine and Vanessa’s hearts are heavy as we think about the people that were affected, so very, very close to home.  But we are okay, we are fine.  We still love it here, but it does bring a bit of realism as we live out our dreams.

Here is a link to a Costa Rican newspaper article on the disaster:  Tico Times (in English)

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7 responses

6 11 2010
Twanda

Oh Sweet Folks,
I purposely waited to read this post as I knew your experience would lead to a heavy heart. Please stay safe and keep us updated. May I share this post with my students?
Peace, Twanda

6 11 2010
mvgonzo

You are more than welcome to share the post, in fact please do! I am glad that you are reading and enjoying. We think about everyone often. We are staying safe and you do the same. -M

6 11 2010
PLew

I am so glad to know that you two are okay and I will be thinking about those poor people who have lost their lives and homes. Stay safe and we love you!

6 11 2010
Sandy

Keeping you in our thoughts. Talk about getting the “whole” experience. Did you get my email about Peggy?

9 11 2010
aford

That’s so crazy. I experienced similar rain while in Bali; almost unreal how the sky just opens up and dumps and how much damage it can cause. Glad you guys are OK. We think of you often.

10 11 2010
Renee G Orness

That is so sad but we are so thankful that you are safe. We will keep your community in our prayers. love you!

16 11 2010
Sara

That is crazy to hear! I along with my faily are glad you guys are safe. Its good that you guys are enjoying it there! We all miss you lots!

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