Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rain Rain, Go Away

Save it for another day.

In case anyone isn’t sure what season we are in in Haiti, its rainy season.  Apparently the month of May is notoriously rainy.  And so far that has proven true, mostly coming in the middle of night.  It is really the perfect way to have a rainy season.  Raining at night when everyone is asleep, replenishing the earth with enough water to keep things growing, and then clearing up to become sunny and mild during the hours when people are expected to be productive.  It was really the best of both worlds;

Until Sunday afternoon when a monsoon like storm swept across the Southern part of Haiti right over Cite Lumiere (where the Mission Center is), Cayes, Simon (See-moan) and the surrounding areas in the vicinity of Cite Lumiere.    I was out to lunch with my roommates and the missionary family I had attended church with.  We were at this lovely hotel and restaurant called Auberg.  The setting was tropical; little bungalows for sleeping, a pool for swimming, a big fish pond, lots of tropical flowers and trees providing a canopy over head and even some tropical animals in cages; a monkey and a pair of turtle doves, and a pair of peacocks running around free. (Click the picture to see more photos)

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We were sitting inside a cabana set up with lots of tables with 102_6269beautiful hand-painted linens and chairs, enjoying a lunch of fish, chicken, omelets, fresh bread with butter and homemade orange jelly, french fries, and rice and beans.  Not long after we commenced with eating a storm blew in; and it blew hard.  With less than a moments notice rain was coming into the cabana , the wind throwing it sideways and directly at us.  We were sitting along the perimeter of the structure so we experienced the full force of the storm.  It came hard and fast and we quickly downed the rest of lunch before having to seek shelter further into the cabana.  It poured for thirty minutes as we huddled together trying to stay warm and at least partially dry, waiting for our check to be brought.  We had to wade through massive puddles to get back to the car and the canals that ran along the road beside the hotel had gone from blue and gentle to brown and rushing, as the river water from up in the mountains cascaded down.  The road in was rough to begin with, full of holes, rocks, and ruts.  As we headed back, the roads were even more full of obstacles and many of the trees and vegetation that had lined the road previously had already broken underneath the weight of the rain.  Banana trees and corn stalks lay crushed on the ground.  And it had only been raining an hour. 

We were soaked from getting to the car, but made it home safely and the rain continued on through the rest of the day, through the night and on into the next day.  It stopped briefly for about four hours on Monday and then about 6pm it returned with a vengeance.  All night long the lightning crashed and thunder boomed, and the rain slammed against the earth and anything else in its way.  There is nothing like experiencing a rain storm in an open air house with a tin roof.  Even Beth who has lived here for years said she was frightened that night.  At 1:30am I was awakened by the storm and spent the rest of the morning tossing and turning, unable to sleep because it was so loud.  I am afraid words can only inadequately describe how it actually felt and sounded during the storm.  About 4:30am I heard loud voices down in the valley below shouting back and forth in Creole and I knew that something must be wrong.  We are at the top of the hill so most of the water makes it way down, and the water that goes down, ends up down below.  I found out later that many of the houses in the valley had flooded, and some of them even filled with water.  Susanne said this storm was worse than any she remembered during the hurricanes last year. 

Susanne had three leaks in her room; one of them along most of the length of the ceiling , which leaked into her room all night long.  And I have a leak in my closet. I noticed the ceiling looked a little swollen the other night but it didn’t seem wet so I thought maybe it was from a previous leak that had been repaired but then the other night I noticed liquid coming through the ceiling and I asked Susanne about it.  She confirmed it was a leak and poked a hole to let it drain and we put a bucket beneath it to catch the water.  It probably caught about a gallon of water through out the night. 

We had a respite from the rain yesterday, allowing some of the dampness to dry out but this morning around 8:30am it began again and it has been raining ever since.  I am told we can probably expect another two to three weeks of this.  I love a rainy afternoon with a good book by my heart hurts for the people who will loose much during the rainy time of year.  They need our prayers; prayers of mercy, prayers of provision, and prayers of hope.

1 comment:

"Celia Golightly" said...

If it makes you feel beddah, it's been raining monsoons here (can you make 'monsoon' plural?). Well, I really don't have much else to say other than I miss you (and keep the pics coming!).