A few days ago there was a storm (rain, thunder , lightning ) that prevented me to go out to the fields for working as usual, I stayed for a moment looking out the window mesmerized while Jackie asked me : Are you nervous? I said -No- but the true is that yes, I was nervous , I must confess!!! YES the heavy rains make me feel a little nervous, when I see it I go back years (1997-1998) when I was 8 years old I experienced one of the worst seasons on the Ecuadorian Coast (El Niño). Lisa asked in her last post to share our experience about “ El Nino Phenomenon“. I decided to share mine.
Scattered pictures come to my mind , I remember being at my family ‘s farm in Tasaste – Jama in our rudimentary house with bamboo walls and ceiling of cade’s leaves , that night there was a lot of thunder, lightning and the roof looked like it was coming down so much rain that fell , my dad put plastic on the walls so that water does not enter, my mom lighted candles for her saints, and my siblings and I covered us from head to toe with the sheets as if that were enough to protect us.
The next day the river has reached to the yard, go out to the main road was not the best idea because in front of us there was a very high hill that looked like it will fall down, my dad took a big tank that He used to store shrimp larvae and my mom his saints , with the tank flipped everyone was there stand between the river and the hill , waiting til the rain stop. I do not know if it was mom ‘s prayers but suddenly stop raining and the river returned to its place .
My 3 sisters and I were studying in school in Chone and We lived with my grandparents there, I do not remember how many classes we lost because the school was flooded, I don’t remember how many times I had to come home with the shoes on my hands and my uniform all wet. I do not remember how many times we had to pull up all the things from the ground to avoid they getting wet, I do not remember how many times we had to get up at midnight to go to sleep upstairs, but what I do remember like it was yesterday is when we had to spend more than two weeks on the top floor of the house waiting for the water level down til we can return to our apartment on the ground floor.
Of the twelve steps that had the stairs of the house, there was only one without water. During those two weeks the kids had fun making paper boats and throwing them out the window, I remember that they used to leave by wooden canoe to buy our food, All we slept on mattresses on the floor, for me it was not so bad : not school, playing all day … nothing seemed to go wrong for a 8 years girl; but one night we heard the news that if it was still raining would have to open the dam and part of the city had to be evacuated because the water it would cover all, remember we all cried I thought of my parents who were on the farm with my two little siblings, frightened trying to get out of there because the river would come to the house. Floods were gradually ceasing , occasionally we slept upstairs of the house because the water would cover our beds, then we had to wait til the water level down and come back to wash the sludge remaining residues on the floor.
Every time I see news on natural disasters, saddens me and I pray that these people have the strength to resist and survive.
“Never a night could beat a sunrise”.