Sorry it has been so long since I posted. I finally got a new laptop and can type again! I was actually able to find one here that was already programmed in English and has an English keyboard. This was hard to find in the area that I live in because I live in a very rural community without a lot of other Gringos. It is a very local community. Also, the term gringo is perfectly fine to use down here in Costa Rica, it has no negative connotation to it. Just if someone asks you where you are from, never tell them America. You tell the you are from the United States, as they consider everyone on these two continents to be Americans; and they are correct. But I am very glad to be back on here and writing again.
Well, a lot has been going on lately. We have had some serious rain for this time of year. I know it is a rainforest and that I have said before get used to it. But this has been ridiculous. But we have had widespread flooding. Many rivers have come over their banks and taken out homes and businesses. Several bridges and roads have been washed out too. For a while, our community was pretty much an island. There was no way to get out of our area. Sunday morning I was awoken to the sound of the siren going off at 4:50. I had one cat look at me with huge eyes and a scared look, my other cat started growling, and the dog just laid there like nothing was happening. This is the first time I have ever heard the siren go off and it is very close to my house. I got up and turned the radio on and heard nothing about it. So I knew it wasn’t anything national and that it was only for local. I stumble out of bed, in the dark, and look out the window which faces the main road. I could see police lights and a spot light in the trees. That is when I think I woke up enough to hear the noise. It was the river. Now, we live up on a hill and back off the main road and the river is on the other side of the main road. If I had to guess how far the river is from the house I would probably say about 1,000 feet. You could just hear the rushing sound of the water coming down from the mountains. All I could think of was all the people who live close to it, including a friend of mine who is from the States. There being nothing I could do, I crawled back into bed and waited until I could call someone who could really tell me what was going on.
I did a lot of texting and calling that morning. Found out there was a landslide up the mountain on the river and it sent a huge wave of water rushing downstream. We had people on the way to visit us for a few nights and didn’t know if they would be able to stay or not as our water main broke. They were quick about it and had it repaired in under two hours. I was very impressed with that. There was an entire community stranded on the other side of one of the bridges as the water washed out part of the road by the bridge. As of right now there are at least 450 people in shelters in and around our canton, that is like a county in the US. So many businesses had to close because of all the rain, tourist places were closed because of fallen trees and flooding. It was really a scary couple of days here. We are hoping that the worst is over. I did see a rainbow yesterday and the sun is out now. Our company only stayed for one night because there was nothing to do in our area with everything being shutdown. We completely understood. It is times like this that Facebook really comes in handy. There are a lot of pages for our area to keep people up to date on what is happening in and around the area. I was able to see photos and get lots of information about the outlying areas about road closures and where the worst is to help my friends get around and to pass information along to others. Glad we are through this now. Just hope that we have at least of week of no rain. We need the sunshine.
The first photo is in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, a few towns over from where I live. Normally this walking bridge is 15 feet above the water, there was a bridge below that you could drive across.
These photos are here in my town of La Virgen de Sarapiqui. The first one is where the river has washed out part of the road leaving an entire community stranded. I would estimate there are probably close to 1,000 people who live back there. The next two are of the Rio Saraipiqui. This is a common river to use for rafting, but it is too dangerous now. Normally there is a little beach on the right hand side of the second photo, that is where a lot of people go to go swimming. The beach is gone. On the third photo, the little island in the middle usually goes almost all the way across the river with just a little stream on each side of it. There is normally a good 20 feet between the river and the bridge, this day there were only a couple of feet between the two. Luckily, it is going down now and life will return to normal, it will just take a little time. The community is coming together to help everyone out, it is like one big family and they care for each other. It will take a long time though to get many of the roads open and the bridges repaired. One such road they are saying it will take three months to fix and clear out because of a landslide. Mother nature is a serious force and not to be messed with. This river came up quick and deadly. A simple reminder not to mess around with water and rain and to always be careful. Pura Vida!