My first hurricane

In the time since being sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers, we’ve helped to ring in the nation’s 31st year of independence from British rule, subsequently traveled by boat to the picturesque Grenadine island Mustique, and survived our first natural disaster: Hurricane Tomas.

The recent series of events has resulted in schools closing for this entire week, as many families whose homes have been damaged by Tomas are seeking temporary refuge on the campuses.  While the current situation doesn’t afford for us newly-minted PCVs to get much work done, we have certainly been slammed with the task of learning how to adapt to the challenges of living in a post-hurricane-stricken developing country.

On Saturday just before Tomas hit, electrical current went out island-wide.  I awoke on Sunday morning to discover that running water was gone, too.  Luckily, my house is equipped with a huge water tank that collects rainwater for my washing machine, which I was able to access for all my cleansing and hydration needs.  It seems that my village was the last to have electricity and water restored; we regained power Tuesday evening and water made its way back through the pipes on Wednesday afternoon.

From my balcony I can see several houses with rooftops now missing, blown away during the hurricane.  My house fared well, but the property on which I live suffered some damage: my host-mother’s animal shed is missing its roof, and repairs had to be made to the roof of her washing machine shed.  Fortunately, everyone made it through in one piece and the kids and I survived our first hurricane.

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Copyright © 2010-2012 Camille Aragon

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