Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Last week we had a cyclone come through our city while Rob was away in Nairobi! While it brewed near the east coast of Madagascar, it was gaining strength and by the time it hit our island, we were feeling it! Tana, the capitol city where we live, is about 4500ft above sea level and almost in the very center of the island—fairly protected from stormy coastal weather such as this, however, we still felt the storm, as it maintained momentum passing over Madagascar. When you look at satellite pictures of Cyclone Giovanna (as it came to be named) you can see that the entire storm just about covered our island!
We had a bit of notice the storm was coming, so I we prepared for an extended power cut, and made provision in case our water supply was cut off or damaged somehow. By the end of Monday it was getting pretty stormy out, and by the time the middle of the night came, it was raining like crazy and very windy out. The power was out, and we were housebound until the rain let up a bit. There was a small waterfall in our backyard where the drain runs, and the little lake in our compound rose extremely quickly! A tree ended up coming down in one of the yards of the other homes, and when men came to remove it, a branch fell – which disconnected the telephone wire delivering internet service to our homes. By Thursday evening the power was back on, and off, and on again... we are quickly getting used to intermittent power. It’s a little bit funny because when the lights begin to flicker Joyanne runs to me and says “Mommy! I need a candle Mommy!” There was night in particular when they were watching a video upstairs and I was giving Calvin his bottle downstairs. I had no candles or anything lit, when suddenly the power went out, their movie was cut short (which the children weren’t too pleased about) and we were left in the pitch dark, literally. They all started screaming (a mixture of anger and terror, I think), and I calmly tried to feel my way upstairs to my bedroom (with Calvin in my arms of course) to light the candles and get the flashlights. I think that experience has their senses a bit heightened when it comes to any flickering of lights now. J
Rob is safely home from Nairobi, which we are all thankful for. He enjoyed a full scheduled week of meetings with other engineers from African MAF programs. Our MAF plane in Madagascar is very busy flying over the next two weeks due to the damage from the cyclone. So Rob’s main responsibility, with the huge assistance of his co-engineer, is to keep the plane “flight-ready.”
Your prayers are needed for the people of Madagascar. Even though people living along these coastal villages are somewhat accustomed to cyclones, it still means devastation and sometimes death, and once again, starting from scratch. Now many people are in the rebuilding stage. Rebuilding their homes, and perhaps for some, rebuilding lives as a single parent, or an orphan, or a family missing another.
For more information about what MAF is doing click here http://www.medair.org/en/where-we-work/madagascar/medairs-assessment-after-cyclone-giovanna/