We survived! Happy one month on Pentecost to me. I spent Friday on the floor in the same room as all the sisters, Kerina, Basil and Leona. Mamie, Viran, Kelly, Lavi, Krystal, Sorina, Roger and Dad slept in the other room. I got kicked in the head all night by Jineth, Kay kept rolling onto me, it was about the same temperature as the surface of the sun but we got some sleep.
After breakfast we waited for the all clear. We spent our time playing with the local kids. The ones who aren’t at school yet are either terrified or completely intrigued by white people. Some liked having their tummies tickled, others screamed when they saw us. Can’t win them all.
The climb back home was silent. There was no wind, no rain, just Courtney, Faylina, Kesia and I.
Surrounding us was destruction, fallen trees, ripped branches. Raton Village had a house with a tree straight through it while the house next door was untouched. The school station had taken more damage. The school office, known for its drunken angle, had collapsed, class six was all but destroyed, I climbed in under broken beams, had I been sitting at the teacher’s desk in the storm, I would have been squished. The cobana was gone, kindy and class three had lost their roofs, class one and two was a mess and the water tank had a massive split through the bottom.
My little house hadn’t escaped. The roof at the front was gone, there were holes over the bedroom. The toilet had survived, so had the kitchen. The shower didn’t have a roof and the door wasn’t attached anymore, that was going to make life interesting. Our belongings were just in need of a wash.
From what we heard, no one was hurt during the storm, not even a chicken. Ours had sheltered in the big kitchen, which was total mess from them. The cows were already back to their usual antics. Sadly so was the Small Devil but the rats seemed to be in hiding.
The Ni-vans are incredibly resilient. My dad was straight up on our roof, reattaching it. Mr Kelly was doing the same to his. We were all out collecting the fallen fruit. The calm now wasn’t waiting, it was the resting kind.
Sunday was kind of the start of many problems for us. Turns out it takes a cyclone to take me down and I got really sick like everyone else had been before. Coughing, sweating through whatever I was wearing, itchy ears, sore throat, the works. As soon as the Panadol started to wear off, I felt like my head was going to explode. Courtney, on the other hand, actually felt better and was out helping with sweeping in other buildings. She also had flying fox for lunch. I tried it and I am never keen to again, but she claimed to like it. I am not going forget the smell of burnt fur for a long time.
The phones were down too, so we had no way of telling people that we were ok. I hoped people weren’t worrying too much but I knew that the news would be reporting the worst of the damage. I didn’t think that’s where I was because we were all still alive, life was getting back to normal and the cyclone had only skirted us. I also reasoned that soon enough Australia and New Zealand would be sending aid in. Surely it wouldn’t be too long until we had contact.
Love from Me and My Backpack