Tuesday, October 03, 2006

For those of you who didn't get Dea's email chronicling the recent events here's her side of the story. And if you want to get those email updates send request to dea@wmodavis.com.

Hi All,
We have the day off of school because we are in the middle of a typhoon [Sept28]. I think it’s pretty cool to see God’s amazing power! I’m also enjoying a day to relaxand get caught up on a few things. Some I can’t because we have no power but I do havebattery-operated computer which will last for a few hours and I have a gas stove so I can cook. I’m making a big pot of chili and will probably have some of the neighbors over this evening. We must be in the eye of the storm for a while as the winds have subsided some. There are trees down and lines down and we can’t get through on our cell phone or Vonage. I just finished my first progress reports for the first quarter of the school year. Wow, one quarter gone already and I am starting to get things figured out and feeling a little more comfortable here. Oct. 9 I have parent/teacher conferences. After that, the time will fly and Christmas will be upon us. We do have a break for about a week the end of October. But before that I have 3 field trips to plan!! I was Field Trip starved at DPS so now I’m making up for it. There are so many great opportunities for kids to see and experience here. We will be going to the Center of Hope for our service project, then The Rice Institute to find out all about the research they’ve been doing on rice and actually getting to muck around in the fields to see how it’s done, and finally for United Nations Week, we will be going to the US Embassy! I have 2 parents who work there so they’resetting it up for me. We’ll be going to spend the weekend with our grandkids tomorrow while Michelle and Barry go to Mindoro for a get-away by themselves, weather permitting. Bill did some substitute teaching the last two weeks for 10-12th grade computer classes. He was a littlefrustrated because there were no lesson plans and he had to scramble to put something together for each day. But it worked out ok and he survived. We got pulled over 3 times in one week by police, 1 for going the wrong way on a one-way street, (We didn’t see any signs and followed another car!) Another for driving our car on the wrong day. (Wepleaded ignorant and after asking him a lot of questions he finally sent us on our way infrustration!) The third for unknown reasons. (Michelle was with her Dad and said, " Just keep going!!" And being the obedient Dad he did with no consequences!!)Well, it was not the eye of the storm, just one of the pauses between 2-3 streamers and after that the eye of the storm. This may be as big as the super typhoon Pamela that we had on Guam [Not quite thankfully though this one was rated a Super]. Our house is starting to fill up with people. Our little cocoon of an apartment is turning out to be a blessing. Without all the windows, we’re somewhat protected. Our neighbors are comingin for safety. I hear we’ll have the rest of the week off of school. I may be ready to go back on Monday!Well the typhoon is over. It hit land and dissipated into just a tropical storm[We thought so at first]. But still there was lots of damage and flooding. We have many trees down in our subdivision. Bill went with a neighbor to check out the roads. We may not be able to get to Michelle’s this weekend and most likely they won’t be able to go to Mindoro. Several of us cooked rice and sent it over the wall to the people in huts whose homes were destroyed by the storm. We are on an upper level and to go over the fence is about a 20-foot drop. Some innovative gents from our group tied a rope to pots full of cooked rice and lowered them over the fence. There is no other way to get to them! The pots were quickly emptied and more sent over. Two young men here (Mark-from New Zealand, and Stephen a French Canadian) are very sensitive to the needs of those around them.This year we are celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving as a group sometime in October. I guess they had American Thanksgiving last year. We will celebrate Thanksgiving in November with our kids. It’s now Friday[Sept29] night and we had another day off ofschool. I did go over and get a few things done because they have generator power over there and I could do some computing. We are still without electricity and may be for a week. Water is turned off at 8PM to save on the generator. I got some gardening done out in the front of our condo. Something that has needed to be done since we got here but we never got to. It looks quite nice and with so many plants growing up all over, I had no trouble finding something to plant there. There’s a lot of camaraderie now, more so than usual, with so many home and without electricity, we’re all out cleaning and surveying the situation. We’ve met some people we didn’t know before and got better acquainted with others.It’s now Saturday [Sept30] night and we’re staying at a luxury hotel, compliments of Barry’s company. They were allowed 2 rooms so we’re staying with the grandkids,which we volunteered to do. This was the weekend they were supposed to go off by themselves and we were going to stay with the kids anyway. Since none of us has electricity and sometimes no water, we’re enjoying the comforts here. I’d say we got a pretty good deal!We brought our cell phones and computers to charge up while we’re here. This sure makes typhoons a lot easier than what we had when we were on Guam withoutelectricity for 6 weeks! (For those of you who remember Typhoon Pamela!)Bill has been eyeing all the big chunks of wood that are laying around everywhere, wanting to know what sort of wood it is and how he can get some of it home to make something beautiful. My neighbor and I went up to the mountains this morning [Sept30] to buy some terra cotta pots. (A 20 minute drive) We had such fun buying flower pots for very little. I even found some large terra cotta pumpkins of various sizes with carved faces. I got some forMichelle and me and we both have them sitting on our front steps. The grandkids put candles in theirs.It’s now Monday night[Oct2]. We now have electricity and were back to school for the first time since the storm. All the kids had stories to tell so I told them to write it in their journal and we would share. I think I ‘d better close this and get it sent while I have internet connection and before it gets so long you fall asleep in the middle of it! We are doing well and wish you all well too.

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