Education via Hurricane
Hurricane Irmajosaria? What is that? Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria brought us a bit of a challenge this last year!
We had a collection of wonderful lessons underway for the year, including SCUBA lessons for science, outdoor explorations, and some new favorite resources. Well, that all got put in to a different context after the first major hurricane. Instead, we had an opportunity to learn science as it unfolded before us in real time.
Hurricane Irma did some pretty serious damage to our island of St. Croix, but St. Thomas and surrounding island sustained greater loss. It was a beautiful to see so many folks working together to help others. St. Croix became a bit of a hub for the islands as everyone worked to find ways to help. Private boaters gathered supplies and took them to other islands with a load of pregnant mothers who would need access to medical care and support.
Everyone should have a frog join them while trimming branches from the porch so that everyone can safely avoid the downed powerlines, right? Barry did. Check out the branch that was keeping the power line from landing on the metal fence (and this one wasn't even on fire like some of the others above). Help from authorities? Nope. With so many folks in need, everyone pitches in to keep everyone safe.
Power, supplies, water, food, and other 'normal' amenities of modern life were often tricky to get if even available. Alas, we were content in our new camping lifestyle with plenty of five-gallon buckets for washing dishes, laundry, bathing, and even a dug-out latrine hidden by the row of trees near the back of our property.
Hurricane Jose posed a bit of an electrical threat to already downed powerlines and compromised systems across the commmunity. Thankfully, my husband was able to secure that our power box connections were off to our unit. With the recent severity of Irma, Jose felt like a walk in the park, and we were getting pretty good at improvising. Due to the nature of my husband's work, we were flown to Puerto Rico to allow him to regroup with what was needed while damage to his building was assessed. We were blessed to have been placed into a location near other federal workers, and my husband secured food, water, and even a few treats and surprises for the girls. Then Maria hit.
Finding myself incredibly thankful that plans had already been made for us to be in a secure location that just happened to also be a temporary FEMA's base in Puerto Rico.
Here are a few samples of what we did instead with the initial goals in mind. Kina chose to scribe her morning with Hurricane Maria with a newspaper chronicling her experience and FEMA's work in the area.
Staying in a temporary base with 400 firemen (FEMA workers) has it's benefits... they want to live, too. They also share their candy and MREs, know when and were the winds, rain, and dangers are most common. They also come in handy when a fire strikes in the spot where you were supposed to ride out the storm.
FEMA works to free their vehicles from the property to they can get out and go help people trapped by damaged structures in Puerto Rico.
Anyone ever cooked hot dogs with a sterilized iron? Barry has! MREs for lunch, creativity for dinner!
With Batman and Pikachu leading the way, we will get through this adventure together!