Huri (pronounced Who-dee)

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

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Electric pole down

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High Tension electric pole down

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Trees down across Deb’s walking path on Srinagar

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More trees down- branches already cut by enterprising ladies

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But the Himalayas were pretty spectacular after the storm

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Repairs in progress- with an audience

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Huri (pronounced Who-dee)

  1. Peter A Block

    Thanks for the news about the storm and the aftermath. We have been following the news about the tragedy on the Annapurna circuit in the news and the papers and wondered how this had affected you.

    We had 17 people here for Thanksgiving eleven of whom were Nepali’s who are studying at the U of S. All doing masters degrees in electrical engineering. It seems to be a good choice as the ones who graduated in the past all got jobs with Sask Power and two with BC Hydro.

    We are doing well and I have made a good recovery from my Cholecyctecomy Sept. 2nd. Unfortunately they had to convert from a laparoscopy approach to an open chole so I was in hospital longer and of course my recovery was also longer.

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

    Peter and Arlene

  2. Sarah Acland

    Thanks for your piece about the storm. I’m so glad none of those trees hit you! Or the hospital.
    We have all been following the horrible news about the deaths on the Annapurna Circuit. We hear about these because a lot of them were Westerners, but there must have been many Nepali country people up in the hills who died too at that time.
    God bless everything you do

  3. Keith

    Oregon had such a storm on Columbus day fourty years ago.People still use it as a chronological marker for other events. It has been much in the news. I’m susre many of the Tansen crew have hiked there as did June and I on several occasions. No doubt they will rebuild as they have no retreat. We met many believers along the trails, so it is a blow to the
    Church as well as the rest of the villagers. Keith

  4. Val Watson

    Thanks for the update of the hurricane. We were kept fairly well informed about the Annapurna circuit tragedy by the BBC and for once they did mention the locals who had lost their lives too.

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