Hurricane musings

So I am writing this starting at 3:53 in the afternoon on October 25. I start with that because I’m not exactly sure when I’ll get to post it. Power has been out now for a couple of days due to hurricane Sandy coming through the area. It didn’t hit Jacmel, but we gotta crap-ton of rain and wind from it. For those of you keeping score, this would be the second hurricane I’ve been through in Haiti, after Gustav in 2008. That was a Category 4 that hit Jacmel itself. This one wasn’t so bad. It’s confined us to the house though for the time being. I’ve only ventured outside to help open up drainage channels and scoop flood water from around the house. It got bad enough we had to put some small holes in the wall for it to drain through. I missed the 2010 Nashville flood (ironically, I was in Haiti) so I suppose I had this one coming. It was honestly the most fun I think I’ve had here, though. I just threw on my swim trunks and my Vibram shoes and got to work. The house is safe for now. But the road in front of the house looked like a river rushing past. It was pretty cool. We just emptied the buckets of water into the current. It amused some of the Haitians walking by to see a Blanc out there doing that kind of work. But that’s what I relish doing. I absolutely love digging in and getting something accomplished. Plus I got to wear my hurricane-proof coat from REI. I’m pleased to say it performs admirably.

The last team left Tuesday, just before things got bad. Good timing on their part. It was a team from Brentwood UMC. I only knew one person on the very large team. There were 23 people there. They brought me a care package from my church and a few things I requested my parents send. Like another pair of jeans to work in as one pair ripped clear across the seat and were no longer usable. They had some medical professionals that I was thankful to see. What I thought might have been an allergic reaction to a plant was ringworm. I got treatment for it and it’s getting better. The house I’ve been working on is done painting, save for a little touch up work I’ll get to when weather permits. A half day more there and it’ll be done!

Ok, that’s all for now. I’m home in under 4 weeks. Crazy how time flies.


Ok, so it’s 7:34 in the evening on the 26th. More rain this morning. Had to scoop water out again. Got to it before it entered the house though. My only help today was 7 year old Jackson. It was suggested that as long as it wasn’t coming inside, there was no need to scoop. It was almost there and I thought it better to do it before it came inside. I gave Jackson a pop tart for helping. He loved it. I thought I was going to be sans power completely. City power still isn’t on and the generator we have was out of gas and the gas station was closed. Was going to make for a long weekend but God is good. The gas station opened again this afternoon and we were able to get the generator going again. No rain this afternoon so I took an hour and went into Jacmel. The city doesn’t look to worse for the wear. The river, though, which has been dry all fall (you could walk across it without stepping in water) was full to its banks. Crazy. As recently as MONDAY it was dry.

There’s nothing else to really update. I finished another book. A biography of Theodore Roosevelt from the end of his presidency until death. The last of a three part series by Edmund Morris on my personal favorite president. TR had an amazing life and Morris captures it all in exquisite detail. I’ve read all three. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt dealt with his life up until McKinley died and Roosevelt became president. Theodore Rex dealt with the White House years and Colonel Roosevelt, the rest of his life if you like biographies, I highly recommend them. Ok, generator back on. Going to charge this iPad again. God bless!


It’s 10:30 AM on the 27th. The sun is shining this morning and for that I am grateful. It appears the storm is behind us. There was rain last night but not so much I needed to scoop water today. The lady that washes the clothes has come to clean all of them. She’ll have a long day, I’m afraid, with all of the extra towels, etc that were used to soak up water. We took the opportunity to clean the house. I helped clean my room. I got my bags reorganized and ready for the week. We swept and mopped and everything looks great. I’m glad to be done with it. The only thing left is for the city to turn on power. Hopefully it will be today but I won’t be surprised if its not until Monday. I’ll know more this afternoon.


It’s 7:22 PM on the 28th now. Power came back on in all of Jacmel yesterday early evening. I celebrated by getting out of the house and having a pizza. I needed some time away after being cooped up with those 4 boys all week. I am sitting here at the Hotel Leviya right now fully intending on posting this. Unfortunately, the Internet is not working. How’s that for irony? Ah, well. It’ll get done sooner or later. I found out that for (most likely) the remainder of my time here will be spent helping build a house. I’m looking forward to it. I go home in 23 days. Still seems hard to believe. Feels like I just got here.

Oh, I suggested to the church worship team here in Jacmel they need to play Scorpion’s Rock You Like a Hurricane in church today. They weren’t familiar with it.


It’s still the 28th but I always use the asterisk line to separate extreme changes in thought so I’m going to do it now anyway. I really miss playing music. Not that I have a desire to be a rock star and try and do it for a living any more but I just miss playing. I miss getting on stage at some small bar with a bunch of friends and ripping through a few cover songs for 50 people. I need to get a drum kit again. I want to play just for the fun of it like I did when I lived in Iowa.


It’s 10:40 AM on the 30th. Still no Internet here. 3 weeks left and I think I finally have learned what I need to learn here. Faith isn’t black and white. Faith lies in the beauty that are shades of gray. Don’t worry about His grand plan for your life. Move forward one step at a time. He’ll guide each of the steps. I honestly don’t know if I’ll have anything more to share with you. There isn’t more truth than that. Thanks for reading. God bless.

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One thought on “Hurricane musings

  1. buckyelliott

    Enjoyed this update. It brings back memories of Gustav, too.

    I think my favorite line was “Oh, I suggested to the church worship team here in Jacmel they need to play Scorpion’s Rock You Like a Hurricane in church today. They weren’t familiar with it.”

    Glad it’s going well!

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