There are a few reasons for the lack of excitement in the blog lately. Not only were Dad and Noah sick for a bit, but once we recovered we learned about Chikungunya... which unfortunately is not some sort of Indian food. Chikungunya is a mosquito spread virus that is going around the island right now. The virus leaves you with a fever, rash and joint pain, generally it's not life threatening but we certainly don't want to test it. The mosquito species that carry the virus are more active during the day resulting in our confinement to the house lately. The Samoans aren't taking the little epidemic as seriously as us. They still go about shirtless and even travel internationally (Western Samoa) when knowingly infected. It seems to me that this activity certainly won't help the situation, but we will just worry about us. It may be that we have had a little help lately from the rain keeping folks inside. Now normally rain wouldn't have this effect, in fact I am pretty sure most of the time the locals don't notice rain. They certainly don't acknowledge any ordinary down pour and will continue on with conversations, yard work or whatever they might be doing outdoors. This last week, however, has been very different.
About a week ago it started to rain, and by rain I mean half the Pacific has been dumped on our heads. This is not rain like you will ever experience on the mainland and apparently it's not so normal here, we had 6 inched in one day and it just kept coming!! I started bringing Noah wood and nails hoping it would ensure me a spot on the boat! Water was everywhere, our road appeared to be a long and very straight river which luckily was only 5 inches deep. Fortunately that was the worst of the experience for us, others here have not fared so well. The heavy downpours have caused mudslides and the flash flooding of rivers. Mudslides have destroyed several homes and at least one church, to my knowledge nobody was hurt in these events. Unfortunately there has been at least one fatality caused when a brother and sister where swept down a river during a flash flood. The young man managed to grab onto a tree, his sister unfortunately was not so lucky. I worked with Homeland Security, EPA and FEMA representatives last Friday assessing the river and surrounding area where this occurred. Hopefully our efforts can prevent this from happening again.
The rain has begun to stop and we are only getting a few daily showers. We are looking forward to a dry and virus free island in the near future so we may resume our adventures.
NOAH NEWS: Noah enjoy's eating solid food more and more, he comes running in his walker when Mom and Dad sit down at the table. We are also working on his sleep, he has been given a lot of leeway until now as a result of the time change, teething and being sick, but its time to start falling asleep on his own.
TIPS FOR FUTURE A.S. RESIDENTS: You may want to consider the potential disasters when looking for a home. I am a bit paranoid and therefore ensured our house was well above sea level and away from steep slopes.
The Jaskowiak Family
Subscribe to receive an e-mail when we update our blog: