Saturday, April 30, 2016

Learned a new word: TerreMOTO

As you all know, two weeks ago on April 16th we had a huge earthquake, 7.8 to be exact. I'm going to start at the beginning, and this will be a multiple part series. Here we go, I had just returned from the baby shower (a story for another day perhaps) and was putting water on to boil, the floor started moving and Mike called to me from the tv room, to come in. I thought I'd get to the doorway and the moving would stop...not so, I found out later it was 43 seconds, felt like forever! Mike tried to get up, and fell back onto the couch, I then lost my footing and fell onto the couch as well, there was nothing we could do. We bounced around, watched things fly off the shelves, then the power went out, black. We heard something fall/crash outside, I thought it was my shelving with all my was not, when the earth stopped moving, and our adrenaline let our legs move, we made our way outside. What we heard was this...

Half of Vecinos house collapsed.

We actually couldn't see all this as it was after dusk, these pictures were taken in the morning. Ok, back to the night of, glass and liquid everywhere, the fridge flew open and bottles of beer fell out, breaking and spilling all over the floor. The five gallon water bottle dispenser bounced off the counter and was spilling onto the floor. Wine bottles, glasses, coffee pot, blender all added  broken glass to the floor, I swept up what I could, and we went to town to see what the rest of the story was.

When we got to town we saw Joffre who was unofficially the guy directing everybody. He said we needed to get in the car with his mom and brother and go, there could be a tsunami, an alert had been issued. We told him we needed to get the dogs, and we went home to do that. We had mixed feeling about evacuating, but better safe than sorry. We ended up sitting in town for several hours hugging our neighbors and trying to figure out if we should leave, and where to...Charapoto is one place, higher ground, and people were going to hang out at the park. The other place is the San Clemente cemetery, we just wanted to go home, and go to bed.

We finally got in the back of an expats truck, who was driving down the Boca road looking for people needing evacuation, we helped an injured lady with her mother, husband and small child move to the main highway to get a ride out. They had their mattress, their bomba (water pump), and large speaker along with their suitcase, all their worldly possessions, so looters wouldn't steal them. We got them situated, and headed to higher ground. We sat under shelter with candles, and some snacks, finally tried to sleep in a hammock, but decided it had been long enough, we should head for home. It had been 5 hours, we were exhausted, and tomorrow only would bring more heartache. 

A house plant had fallen on the bed, so I had to change sheets, and a gallon of paint had lost its lid, what a mess, not to mention there was still water on the floor. Just as we were falling asleep (2am) we had a large aftershock, we realized we had been feeling them on higher ground, but being in hammocks, hadn't been sure. We would have aftershocks for a week, at least. We didn't really sleep well, but I was glad for sunrise, I needed to see the damage. Our house fared rather well, other than the decorations falling off shelves and the broken glass, our shade structure fell over, not bad.

So surprised more didn't fall off these shelves. Clean up went fairly easy since I had swept up most of the glass the night before. House plants had fallen over, but the dirt was wet, just needed to let it dry out. 

Interesting find, the paint from the pot rubbed off on the wall, look how far it shook!

It was time to walk into town, and see it in the daylight, I'll end here for today, so we will do our walk thru town tomorrow. In the mean time we have set up a new GoFundMe account to help in the rebuilding of our beloved little town. Please consider a donation, share with friends and family, co-workers, anybody who may be able to spare $5 or $10 to help our neighbors rebuild. I'm so impressed with our townspeople, such troopers! So, stay tuned...the adventure continues!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

When it rains it...

Floods! The PortoViejo River is too full, and not flowing properly due to all the debris. These pictures are all over Facebook, these pictures are all east of us, hopefully nothing like this will happen too close to us, but I'm afraid it's inevitable. (On our last bus ride, we saw debris like this near Rocafuerte)

Towns are being flooded, I can't imagine the feeling you'd have being in your house, and watching the water rise, rise, rise...

Thankfully the Police are around to help, and these people really help each other out. 

Above, Doing house searches, making sure everyone is out and safe. Below, people using the tables at the market place to store their important items, hope the water doesn't rise anymore!

One expat who was here in 1997 El Niño, said they had suggested then that the municipalities build rain water reservoirs and channels to avert flooding, but nothing was done. Now all they can do is help clean up the blockages, and pray it stops raining.

Found out the guy here in the blue and black check shirt is the mayor of PortoViejo.

And an aerial photo, check out the road...or rather bridge, all that is above water.

Obviously we are hoping it stops raining, it has been gray here the past couple days, was hoping for blue skies today, but so far no. Today is the first annual Chili Cook off, and pool party at The Cottages by the Sea. (and even tho it may be gray, remember it's still paradise, and 80 degrees) I've got the camera, so...stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Mangrove Tower Dedication

Now I know why they were doing such a thorough clean up job down at the Boca the other day. The next day tents and chairs went up, and the most important people came out for a dedication ceremony.

The Mayor came out (in blue) and all the people who worked on the project. The local people, Ali and Captain Pasqual, the architect and job foreman, and many of the workers.

Announcements, and such, then on to the ribbon cutting and tour...

The architect cutting the ribbon, and now the tour...all the woodwork has a fresh coat of varnish, looked great.

Captain Pasqual took people out on the boat, since that is one of the things he started after this tower got started. He is big on promoting tourism.

And finally the day ended with lunch down the Boca road at the nearby Editha's restaurant.
Editha and her husband posing with the Mayor.

And the whole San Jacinto/Boca tourism group with the Mayor.

I can't even remember when this project started, I'd have to look back thru the blog to see, but it must be a year ago! A LOT of work, blood sweat and tears has gone into it, looks great and I hope it brings lots of tourism to our little town. Now just waiting to see if they really put in the zip line they were talking about! The monument in town is progressing slowly, more on it soon. So...stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Walk to the Boca

Low tide is in the morning this week, and we've been taking our coffee on the "road." This is the time of year that the debris travels down the PortoViejo River, and gets clogged up around the point. We take bags and rope with us when we walk, because we know we are going to find treasure. 

The other day when we were down there, we came across this make shift pier, I loved looking at it up close to see just what was used. Wow, what an assortment, can you see why we love this?

Of course the next day it was gone...and then

Every couple weeks the municipality will send crews down to clean up, they do a great job, and it's clean until high tide brings more down the river.

The stretch of beach is a mile between our house and the Boca (mouth of the river) and so even tho they spent many hours cleaning, there is always something for us to find and carry home.

Yesterday's treasures, a wonderful small chunk of boat roller, perfect for a plant stand! And this bit of lovely-ness...such colors, different than other piece I have. I did use the boat roller for a plant stand, as I puttered around the patio yesterday after our walk.

And the other new plant, hibiscus with wonderful yellow flowers, prettied up the plastic nursery bag with beach finds.

Other treasures we found, waiting for cleaning and storing...

Here's a shot of what was happening on the other side of the fence, as I puttered in the "yard", I only knew they were there because of the friendly banter, not a single fish smell!

Walks to the Boca bring so many things, things to treasure for years to come. Getting quite the collection of "found objects". Probably considered a hoarder here, jajaja (that's hahaha in Spanish)

Well, laundry and smoothies are calling, better get on with it. The monument is coming along, and I've been invited to a Baby shower!! So, stay tuned...the adventure continues!