Many of you may be unaware that I am still in Jamaica. Unless you live under a rock (Jen) then you know that there is a major hurricane coming right for Jamaica in about 24 hours from now. My flight was actually supposed to leave tomorrow (Sunday) at 1:30 but has been cancelled. To the dismay of a few (sorry) I actually wanted to be here for the hurricane. I know I'm crazy and all, but I thought it'd be a good experience. So here I am with Dennis and Mary waiting for Dean! Gonna play with the CANE!!! I don't know when I'll be able to leave, though I'm not all that concerned. I'm home, right?
We spent pretty much all day preparing for the storm. We first had to make sure the team got out safely as their flight left this morning. (I have so much writing I need to do in order to catch everyone up on what's been going on. But we've been EXTREMELY busy for the past two and half weeks and I haven't had a chance to write. Maybe I'll catch up during the storm) So they went to the airport with Dennis while Mary and I went foraging for food. haha Spent most of the morning getting food and supplies, ate lunch, and spent the rest of the day working around the house getting things ready.
If anyone's worried about me. . . there's good news and bad news. But don't be worried! The good news. . . the building we are in is built of solid cement and reinforced with steel. On top of that, there is no wood/aluminum roof but instead a solid slab of cement and steel. We have plenty of food (and coffee!!) and probably 60 gallons of drinking water. Plus we have a 650 gallon tank on top of the house that can be used to drink if needed. The bad news. . . the Weather Channel is saying that this storm is following an "eerily reminiscent" path of hurricane Gilbert in 1988. In Jamaica Gilbert is the hurricane all other hurricanes are compared to. Some of the island's infrastructure is actually still rebuilding from Gilbert almost 20 years later. On top of that Gilbert hit Jamaica as only (yeah, only. . . haha) a category 3 hurricane. Dean is now a strong category 4 with 150 mph sustained winds. Just 5 mph more makes it a category 5. The difference may be whether or not Dean makes a direct hit. Gilbert did and Dean looks like he may.
The moral of the story so far. . . pray for us!! But more than us pray for the majority of the population of Jamaica that does not have a cement house. Many of the "houses" are built from plywood, zinc sheets (roofing material), and scrap metal. These would blow away in 50 mph winds let alone 150 mph! Put almost a foot of rain on top of that and you've got tragedy! There are shelters set up but that won't help much after the storm's gone. I'm glad I'm here to help in whatever way I can during and after the storm! I'm sure the days after the storm will be spent helping secure roofs and rebuilding lives. I think I'm physically ready for the storm but I am just now thinking about the mental aspect of the storm. But I know God is with me and I know that this is the path he's prepared for me!!
To finish on a lighter note, I will be trying to keep this updated as much as possible over the next couple days. I would like to put a lot of pictures up but that may not happen since I think I broke my camera today. But so far I've taken a few pictures today and you can keep up with them at http://s29.photobucket.com/albums/c269/zeschke41/Hurricane%20Dean%20August%2007/ password "jamaica1".
Right now it's 7:50 Jamaica time (8:50 EDT, 7:50 CDT) and things are eerily (good word) calm. Today was a typical day in Jamaica. . . sun and heat! haha Although Dennis said when he went to the airport the sea side of the road (the background in my picture) was completely calm. It's NEVER calm! Weird! Around 6:00 p.m. here some very ominous looking clouds started rolling over the mountains. The rain is scheduled to start (not random rain) later tonight and conditions will deteriorate after that for the next 24 hours or so.
Well, that's all for now. More later hopefully. Remember I'll be updating this as long as I still have electricity and internet. Thank you all for your prayers in advance!!