Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wilma 15

Thursday, October 27, 2005
Last night had been a late one for me. It was 9:20 PM before I blew out the candles and went to bed. We had tried playing a few rounds of Dominoes but quickly gave up on it. We just couldn’t see what the big deal was with this game. Maybe we weren’t playing it right because the Mexicans play all the time and love it. We then tried to play a few rounds of Rummy but nobody’s heart was in it. B and L decided to go to bed. I still had a warm beer to finish and I was not going to waste it. Thus the late night for me!
the ocean road about half a mile south of me. water damage from storm surge.

Even with having stayed up so late (!), we were all up before sunrise again. At this time of year, late October, that is about 6:00 AM. As we waited for the water to boil for our morning coffee, we watched another gloriously beautiful sunrise unfold over the ocean. I once again marveled at how nature could produce such a work of beauty but turn around, and with the same ingredients, produce such terror and devastation. Watching the sunrise, it was easy to forget for a moment the devastation all around us. But all I had to do was look to my right at my neighbor’s house to be instantly reminded of it.

The water itself was also a reminder. Usually it is those intense shade of blues, fading in and out of light blue to dark blue with pieces of blue topaz thrown in for good measure. Not now. It is still choppy with lots of waves and is a pale emerald green. No sparkle or shine to it at all. Here and there it is dotted with areas of brown. Seaweed torn up from someplace out there and now floating and finding its’ way to our shores to lie there and rot and stink in the blazing sun.
Seeing as how it was my morning to make coffee, I reluctantly said goodbye to the sunrise and turned my attention to the kitchen. We were fortunate in the coffee department too. Having no electricity, using the coffee maker was out of the question. Months before, B had decided that he occasionally wanted a “good” cup of coffee so he had bought a French Press in Cancun. This is what we now used to obtain our daily fix of caffeine. With our steaming java in front of us, we sat down to discuss what our day’s activities were going to be.
the road to Garrafon Park. The power poles were like this everywhere.

I hate to shop. In all of its’ forms. Except for shoes but I won’t go there now! The daily scavenger hunts that we conducted around the island, to see what food items might now be available, were not my thing at all. I hated going from little shop to little shop to see if they had gotten anything new and interesting delivered to them from the daily helicopter drop offs. It was decided that B and L would head off on this particular adventure and I would stay home and sweep the floors. Besides the hurricane stuff, we were in a constant battle with the house next door.

The little house and store that used to be next to us had been sold to a fellow American. In September they started tearing these structures down to make way for the new houses that were to be built on this 9 x 20 meter piece of property. And, believe it or not, it was being done all by hand. An older gentleman and his helper were doing all the demolition work using just a sledge hammer. Incredible. But, of course, the cement dust that was being created was incredible also. The wind would carry it into our house and cement dust was covering everything and filling every nook and cranny in our house. With the hot and humid weather that follows a hurricane, it was just out of the question to close the windows. Since we were still rationing water, we did not dare use any to mop the floors or for general cleaning at all. All we could do was sweep, sweep, sweep. And all day long we had to listen to the pound, pound, pound of sledge hammers hitting against cement blocks. It was an aggravating experience to add on top of the insult of Wilma. Besides staying behind to do a little cleaning, I had to stick around because I did not know when the mechanics would return with my scooter.

L decided to head a bit “inland” to the local market. We were hoping to maybe find some fresh meat, vegetables or eggs. We were getting tired of eating our canned goods. Although both B and L were quite creative in the kitchen and were creating some good meals, usually served over a bed of rice. During this period, I was not allowed to cook. My idea at that time of gourmet cooking was to dump a can of soup over rice and call it a casserole.

L returned after a very short time and reported that there was a vendor open that was selling pork. Since we had not seen any pigs delivered to the slaughterhouse a few doors down from us, we figured it was some old stuff that he had stashed somewhere. Probably not very fresh and probably not very safe either. He decided to give it a miss and leave it hanging from the hooks in the stand. He had been told that they were expecting a delivery of eggs around noon so he planned to return then and get in line. No vegetables though and none expected for a few more days. Looked like another meal featuring canned peas for us!

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