Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cyclone Evan

Never been in a cyclone before! It is an experience. Sadly our Ceremony is cancelled
for tomorrow, we had to rush this morning to stalk up on food and luckily had water,
Josh and I calling home letting them we are safe.
not sure how long I will have internet but the power is off.The last major Cyclone that hit Samoa was 20 years ago, it was overdue and we just happen to get lucky enough and be apart of it. I am worried about my family from the training village.
They do not have a safe place to go and I can picture all the damage the wind will
do to their village. I hope they are not scared and had a plan for what to do in this situation. If we were there Peace Corps would have made us travel into town days ago to make
sure we would be safe. The timing was lucky for us since we are all in the main city, Apia. We are in a hotel with bricked walls and have plenty of water and among friends. Plus, being Government "property" is nice too. Who would of thought the place I'd be during a Cyclone would be in the hands of Uncle Sam??

LEVEL ONE- I have all the information about it being okay, that I am in a safe place
and I just have to stay inside (which I may or may not have followed that rule) but
this morning when all the chaos was happening my mind was NOT registering the fact
that I will be okay. I could just feel my body tense up and I was getting
overwhelmed with stress. I called and called and called a few people to chat with
back home and eventually I decided I needed to do Yoga. SURPRISED? It was JUST what I
needed! So Allyson and I sat in front of the storm and did Yoga together. It was an awesome moment! The best way to spend my first Cyclone. After... I got the courage to go outside and make videos with Brad and Josh. It was a lot of fun to play in the
rain! I heard it already has 17,000 hits! Look it up! Search- Hurricane Evan in Apia. You can see me in it!!

Best thing to do during a storm! 
LEVEL TWO- My body is still not understanding everything will be okay. It is almost like it knows something bigger is going to happen. My body is tense and I am trying and trying to calm it down. Things around the hotel are starting to flood and I can
feel panic from those around me. I tried to comfort a woman whose home is getting destroyed and she can not contact her family. Weird to think it went from crazy and fun to be in the storm to very serious and upsetting all within five minutes.

LEVEL THREE- The hotel is pretty silent while we all listen to the storm destroy the city. Looking out the window is hard to see but I can not stop myself from watching. The water is rising higher and higher. The first level of our hotel room is full of
water, going down there reminds me of the Titanic when Rose and Jack go into the basement of the ship. I wonder about all the wild dogs and where people have gone for safety. I feel so trapped and helpless. Chaos is happening around me and I can literally not do anything about it.

AFTERMATH- Walked around Apia today. Never seen anything like this. Almost like my brain doesn't believe it is real. I feel like I am watching a movie or in a dream. The city, people's homes, their lives are destroyed. Photos up soon, trying to get as many blogs online while I can while we still have internet.

RED-CROSS- Samoa seems to be bouncing back really quickly. Seeing smiles on people's faces and they are already started to rebuild their city. A lot of us went to help at Red Cross today. We sorted clothes, went out in the fields and collected date, distributed things each evacuation site needed and did data entry. It felt good to go out and actually DO something to help.


  1. Faamalo lava! Thank you for your help during this hard time. I'm a Samoan in NZ and have been holding out for updates since Evan hit. My family are from Siumu on the south coast, and we've seen photos on facebook showing many of the houses destroyed. But Samoans will rise again, with the help of people such as yourself. Faafetai ma soifua.

  2. Talofa Lava FreshyNZ!
    I hope your family is okay and safe! The whole country of Samoa feels like one big family and I feel honored to be apart of it!
    Thank you for your comment and your encouraging words!
    Faafetai foi ma soifua!