Earlier this week, Tansen experienced the effects of the hurricane (called Hudhud) that hit the east coast of India. We had around 8 inches of rain (but that is a rough guess in our little garden rain gauge, because the rain was falling sideways much of the time!) and strong winds. Our power was off for 3 days.
During the storm, we didn’t think too much of this (other than exclaiming about how we felt like we were going to fly with our umbrellas while walking because of the strong winds) until we did our usual morning walks. (Oh – we also noticed that during the worst of the storm, even the local duck population were huddled under the eaves of houses!!)
Our first hint of big troubles was the huge tree down so we couldn’t walk to the hospital on our normal path. Then we saw the first electric pole down….then another one. We walked up to the top of Srinagar mountain and started on our normal path through the pine forest. Les ran, and Debbie walked along her normal path – or at least tried to! Along the way, she had to go around, over, under and through at least a dozen downed trees. Going around was the scariest – the hill is so steep, that it was hard not to slide long distances down the mountain while trying to get around the tree! The walk took longer than usual – and at the end, there were 2 metal high tension line poles that had just collapsed due to the wind. We moved all of our perishable items from our fridge up to the hospital compound where the generator keeps things running. After 2 days, our battery died, so we were searching for our candles and matches, and realized we couldn’t access internet or do anything except read books by candlelight! Just like old times.
An amusing side – up on Srinagar early the morning following the storm, Debbie passed 4 – 5 women who were already cutting branches from trees and collecting big bundles of firewood. Perhaps it is better to live more simply here – there is less to lose!
In the world scheme of things, this doesn’t really mean much – but it will have an impact around here. We were actually surprised when our power returned last night and thankful we were able to move our food to other places, and charge our phone and computer up on the hospital compound.
As I was walking (and climbing and slipping and ducking) that first morning, I was listening to a podcast from Focus on the Family featuring Tim Keller. The topic was, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” His initial answer was, “I don’t know.” A couple of comments stuck with me, however. One was that it’s okay to be honest with God about things that happen to us. Job said some pretty strong things to God – but he always knew that God was there and that God was in charge. So – it’s okay to be honest about how we are feeling and hurting. The other interesting point was from a book that a doctor who had served both in India and in the U.S. had made. He said that westerners don’t handle suffering as well as our non-western friends. That really made me start to think – an interesting point of view!
So – now that our power is restored, I could finish this post and hopefully get it sent out! Yesterday, Debbie attended a ladies meeting at church. While she was walking there at around 9 am, she met a lady on the path also heading to church. This lady had started her walk at 6 am – and was just getting here! She is 80 years old and was coming from a village far out in the hills. Wow – I was amazed!
Unfortunately, other parts of Nepal were also hard hit by this hurricane (bad weather). There was lots of snow and therefore avalanches on one of the main trekking routes in the Annapurnas. Many people have died or are lost. Please remember them and their families in your prayers. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29625605
Here are some photos from “post hurricane Tansen”! Thanks for your prayers and messages! We love to hear from you.
Tree down our path
Electric pole down
High Tension electric pole down
Trees down across Deb’s walking path on Srinagar
More trees down- branches already cut by enterprising ladies
But the Himalayas were pretty spectacular after the storm
Repairs in progress- with an audience