Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wilma 18

This chapter is posthumously dedicated to my friend, Dillum. May he find a never ending supply of tuna in Heaven.

Alas, I am not coping well with the aftermath of disaster. B has risen to the challenge and seems to be enjoying it. He loves going out and finding stuff (food!). He loves having to be resourceful and finding new ways to get things done or a new way to conserve even more water. L thinks it is just like camping and is also having fun. I just want my normal, non-deprived life back!

We returned home after my little trip to the repair shop and our visit with P. B had been doing some more thinking about our water situation and had come up with yet another water saving idea. This one involved saving the used dish water and using it to flush the toilet.

I retreated to the safety of our bedroom and had myself a nice primeval scream! It was all just getting to be too much.

I think because they could see that I was fast loosing it, B and L decided that we should splurge with our newly acquired bag of ice and use it to chill a glass of wine for each of us. Now we’re talking sanity again. As we were basking in our refound decadence, our friend Carlos stopped by. We immediately felt guilty that we could splurge on ice just for a glass of wine, but I felt much better when he gladly accepted a warm beer! We asked him how he fared the hurricane.

Carlos had a roommate at that time and they both worked at the same restaurant downtown, Bamboo. Carlos was the bartender and his roommate, Dillum, was a waiter. They both worked as long as Bamboo stayed open the night before the storm and did not have time to make any preparations. Forget the fact that we knew Wilma was coming for a week before she got here. We just did not know how big she would eventually be. Bamboo emptied out its’ freezer that last night and split up the remaining food and meat between the employees. Carlos said he was rich with meat and immediately took it over to his sister’s house for safekeeping. He was planning on returning later to pick it up and have himself a BBQ of sorts.

He said he did return later and was extremely angry to discover that his sister had chopped up all the vegetables and meat he left with her and had added it to a big pot of soup she was making. We thought this was great. At least she had the forethought to know that she was going to have to feed a lot of people with very little. Carlos was still upset, although he admitted that she probably did the right thing. I think he eventually ended up getting one bowl of it.

Then he and Dillum went back to their one room apartment to hunker down for the night and wait for the storm to pass. At this point, they were sure that Wilma was going to be like the last two we had and just pass over during the night and tomorrow morning would be fine. So they had stocked no provisions at all.

They did have two cans of tuna fish. They split one of them before finally going to bed and planned on having the other one for breakfast. But that was not to be. Sometime during the night, Dillum woke up, decided he was still hungry and ate the other can while Carlos slept! When he discovered this, Carlos gave Dillum a good yelling but then let it pass. More of this life is life attitude. So they were holed up for three days with no food and one bottle of water. I felt sorry for him and we could not help but admonish him about the value of stocking up on something and especially water. One never knows how long it may be before food is available again. He agreed but I am sure will act just the same the next time.*

Listening to his story and his attitude about his selfish roommate, I was again amazed at the aftermath attitude displayed by so many people here. It is mostly just a shrug of the shoulder, we will survive attitude, no matter how great the personal loss. No whining about it, no woe is me. Just this is what happened to me and I will deal with it. And they usually do it with a sense of humor!

Unlike the American that B encountered a few days after the hurricane. He is having a new house built here and renting down the street from us in the meantime. A large, two story house. He had a generator and his lights, everyone of them, were burning 24/7. Plus his air conditioning and his refrigerator/freezer were working. Did he think to offer to make and give ice to people? No. His biggest concern and gripe was that nobody had showed up to work on his house for three days and it was putting him behind schedule. B said to him that he should take a look around. Maybe his workers were busy trying to rebuild their own houses and/or find food for their families. Some people! We hate this attitude from the white people on the island. Totally, me, me, me!

* For Hurricane Dean recently, he did stock up. Three cans of tuna and three boxes of just add water soup! Guess he learned his lesson!

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