It was another very busy day, this time in Verapaz. This community of about 2000 experienced the most tragedy from the flooding that hit in November. It is situated close to the foot of a volcano. After the rain started that night, they explained that water and mud came rushing down the mountain, but it wasn’t bad and they weren’t worried. Then they started to feel the ground shake. They didn’t know which way to run, although they knew what was happening. Huge rocks and boulders crushed houses and lives. This had happened before, a few years ago. The town is more settled, with subsistent farmers and others who live off the land. It has paved or cobbled streets in a grid-like pattern. They own the land they live on. They can’t sell it because no one will buy it; the prices of land has sky-rocketed lately. It is their pride. So they just simply rebuild and hope this disaster doesn’t happen again.
This time the rock slide started more than halfway up the mountain. You can see the spot in the following photos, where brown has replaced the green. With such momentum, the rocks tore through the town.
I worked hard to keep the tears back when I saw these two crosses. A grandmother and her granddaughter were killed in their house and not able to be buried in a cemetary. There has been so much pain. The slide left behind broken homes, broken families, broken lives and broken spirits. But we were able to see that spirit starting to come back as houses and streets were repaired. We brought them hope as we loved them through their pain, to give them relief from their physical ailments and let them know someone cared. I was happy to fill the prescription of a young teenager who hadn’t really slept since the disaster, giving her some Gravol to help her sleep along with other meds and vitamins. I also saw hope in the faces of the kids who smiled and laughed and played along the roadway. I saw hope in the way they are taking those boulders and rocks and piling them up to create a barrier for future rock slides. I know we helped today. 766 people came through our clinic.
Tomorrow we go to Somalia, a slum right in San Salvador. It will be a different situation. There is no school or classroom to set up in. We will be under tarps in the open. Pray for our safety and the people we will help there as well. I am still on the road to total health, still strugling with congestion and a runny nose and cough. Chances are I’ll be perfectly healthy just in time to go home. Not so sure about that timing.
Until next time,