I have never experienced a hurricane before. When I was here last year, we had a couple storms, but nothing like this. And I imagine hurricanes, like Katrina, are/were much worse. Here is my account of Hurricane Isaac in Haiti:
Things were pretty calm until late Friday night. That was when the winds picked up to a roar and the rain fell harder. I am the only person staying upstairs. I tried to be a big girl and remind myself it was just a storm, but I eventually succumbed to the child within. As I lay in bed watching the trees flop around like they were made of rubber and listen to rattling windows and doors, I was quite unsettled. It was when the locked door on the outside of my room flung open TWICE and rain blew in that I freaked out. I ended up on the couch downstairs for the night where I didn’t really sleep due to the intense roaring of Isaac.
When I went back upstairs Saturday morning, I could not open the door to my room because the wind had blown it shut so tight it was unmovable. The back door had again blown open and some of my things were wet. There are still leaves in the room that I haven’t swept out. There was a good amount of water in the main living area that had to be mopped up and mattresses on the floor that needed to dry out. I was sad because we missed the wedding of Nadege Duvil (if you remember her story from last year) that morning due to the storm. I still don’t know if it happened or not.
Saturday afternoon we went to take food and water to the tents in front of the school in Fonds-Parisiens and Vilaj Kanès. Driving up to the school was heartbreaking. The tents, and everything inside, were destroyed. The tarps were torn apart and all possessions lay wet in the mud. Everyone living there is in the school for the time being. Seeing my deaf/mute friend sitting on a bench with a kitten in front of her shredded tent tore me apart. I know that these are resilient people and they will gather up what they can to move forward but, after everything they have gone through, it just doesn’t seem fair.
We next slid through the muddy path in the truck all the way to Vilaj Kanès. The “houses” there seemed to have held up relatively well. But, for a community where most eat every two days, I can only imagine the complications this storm will bring.
Sunday was another food distribution, but I had to stay home due to a migraine. We’ve been trying to save inverter power because we don’t know when they will give town power again. That means my internet access will be more limited than usual for a while.
Today, there is some sun shining through even as the wind continues. We are at the tail end of it all and I am happy we are. I have 8 more days here in Haiti before I head back home and, soon after, back to school. I hope to get out and experience a few more things before I say goodbye once again.