Slice of Life: Isaac
This week we are looking at beautiful, clear 70 degree weather. This will be a nice reprieve from the oppressive tropical air and downpours that were brought to us courtesy of Hurricane Isaac last week. Here in America all of the news about Isaac was centered around 2 things: New Orleans and the Republican National Convention.
But we, here at the Haitian Connection Network, were watching it for a different reason. Isaac made his way directly over Haiti before worrying about the Republican’s.
There are many problems when a hurricane goes through Haiti. The country has been heavily deforested, so large amounts of rain potentially lead to mudslides. Widespread flooding leads to problems finding clean water. It greatly increases the risk of a Cholera outbreak. And lets not forget that there are still an estimated 390,000 people living in tents because of the 2010 earthquake.
I’m reminded of a camping trip I took several years ago with my community group from church. We had a lovely evening making smores and talking by the campfire. We all went to our tents and went to sleep for the night. Around 5:00 in the morning a big storm blew in unexpectedly. The rain was pounding and the wind was blowing so hard that the tent was only inches from my face while laying down. When the wind let up a bit the tent would pop back up.
During a small break in the storm we all quickly jumped up, gathered everything, threw it in our cars and drove to the safety of leader’s home where we all got dried off, changed into clean clothes and enjoyed a lovely breakfast inside where it was warm and dry.
For me this experience turned into a funny anecdote that we can all share years later. But this week I was trying to imagine what it would have been like if we didn’t have that nice house to go back to. What if we didn’t have a car to take us to safety? What if that tent was our home? How horrifying would that storm have been? and how long would our tent have lasted? Where would we have gone if our tent was destroyed? Who would have helped us?
29 people lost their lives to Isaac in Haiti. Our prayers are with those families. We were so thankful to hear that all of our students were safe and the school suffered little damage. Thankfully we are located higher in the mountains in Haiti so flooding isn’t as much of an issue as in the low lying capital.
The hurricane season lasts through November and I pray that Isaac is the worst storm to pass over Haiti this year.