Friday, October 28, 2011
Posted by Kriss Gates
The rainy season has hit with a vengeance! We are amazed how quickly the season switches from the dry season. They don't have seasons like summer, spring, winter & fall. They wouldn't have any idea what those words mean (In French or English.) One or two days of heavy rain has a huge impact on life.
Many people keep working. It is just a way of life.
We have found out that when people's homes flood... Life goes on. We had some road improvement on the road in front of our home during the dry season. We wondered how it would affect the rain runoff. Basically it turned our yard and our home into a drainage bowl.
The storm started on Monday morning. Ed woke up early to go play basketball with the Elders. He jumped out of bed, into one and a half inches water!!! We couldn't believe it! The rain had stopped, but our entire home was flooded.
We called an apartment of 4 Elders, to cancel basketball... and they came right over to help. Ed and I worked for about 7 hours, and the Elders worked about 5 hours. We weren't sure exactly where it had come in from... just the doors, or all around the exterior walls. We tried pumping it and spraying it down the road.
Somewhere we lost control and these 4 characters and Ed decided to party with a water fight, which deserves a blog of it's own. What a day!
Tuesday the sun shined and dried up all the rain. We thought it was over for awhile. But Tuesday night, at about midnight it started again. Ed heard it and got out of bed. He walked around the house and picked everything up off the floor, including computer chords, boxes, files, and our precious cardboard boxes we use for end tables, etc. While I was sleeping, Ed watched the water level rise in the front yard, and then come up over the porch, and then start flowing in through our front, side & back doors. There was absolutely nothing more he could do to stop it. 2 hours later he quetly climbed back in bed next to my sleeping, unaware body... and then he Sneezed! I sat up and asked if he was ok. It was very dark. He said he was fine, but since I was awake he wanted to warn me about the water, if I got up for anything in the night. "Honey," he quietly said as he turned on his little flashlight, "It has started to rain again, and look...". As my sleepy mind woke up, I watched our plastic wastepaper basket and my good rubber flip flops float across the room in 2 inches of water. It was an unbelievable feeling. It was like being on a boat, in our own bedroom. It seemed to crest at that depth, which means the water in the road found another outlet at the 2" mark inside our home. There was nothing we could do but wait and see if the water was finished rising. We snuggled down in bed and giggled and laughed and said "Now this is creating a memory." And in the quiet of the night rain, we slipped back asleep.
When we woke up Wednesday morning, the rain had stopped. Much of the water had seeped into the tile (they don't seal their tile or grout) and left a film of reddish-brown dirt throughout the house. We got up and the two of us got things squeegied and dried out in with about two and a half hours hard work.
We showered and headed off to a district meeting, to drop off copies... and then try to find something we could use as sandbags. The elders wished us good luck, and as we pulled out of their drive, the heavens opened up and it started to pour again. We got home just in time to lift the sofas up on dishes
& put some pieces of foam rubber tubing under the doors... and packed towels in, before the water was over the porch steps.
For about 90 minutes we thought we were very clever. We used our dust pans to scoop up the water as it came in. Then, the rain got so high it was over the dikes we had built, and started to pour in the sides of the doors. We just stood up, and put our arms around each other, and laughed again. We gave up until the rain had stopped. Our other 4 elders showed up to help us and we all worked together for about nother 4 hours.
Ed went and found bags and drove with Elder Rakotosonto the beach to fill them with sand. Our innocent road to the beach was flooded and there was a 200 yard wide river flowing over the road.
He drove the 4 wheel truck through it, praying that he would make it across and back. He said it was very scarey!!! He returned with enough bags to block the front and back door.
Now, we are just waiting for another down-pour to test our new dikes. Bring it on! We hope we are ready!!!