Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Harsh Blow

The weather in Costa Rican can be summed up in one word: Extreme. From September through the beginning of December, hardly a day passed without at least one good downpour. Since the beginning of January, however, we’ve barely felt a drop, and the ground has become dusty, dry and cracked. We are now in the middle of Costa Rican summer, and there’s no question now that we’re just ten degrees above the equator.

Apparently, it’s not unusual for the winds to pick up here in summertime, as evidenced by the kite salesmen who have recently emerged selling their wares next to wide open soccer fields. Last week, though, the winds were completely out of the ordinary, reaching speeds of 60 miles per hour due to the arrival of a Caribbean cold front. The winds were strongest for us last Wednesday night, when we were awakened by loud banging noises. We assumed that parts of our tin roof were just flapping about enthusiastically. As it turns out, the racket was coming from the car port which was about to become completely unhinged. We’re still not quite sure how exactly it happened, but one large gust picked up the entire structure and carried it clear over our roof to the other side of the house. It landed right outside the bedroom window where Lucas and I were clinging to each other with our eyes squeezed shut (which was a shame, because it would have been really cool to see the garage in flight!). Of course, Patrick, being a man, was compelled to go out and survey the damage immediately, which made me wish the Worst Case Scenario guys had included something about dodging flying sheet metal in a wind storm. Thankfully, the cars were untouched, but the satellite dish has seen better days!

As if losing the garage weren’t bad enough, we were in for a terrible shock when we arrived at our property the following day. It was as if a hurricane had ripped through the place, uprooting trees by the dozens, splitting huge branches and defoliating the entire forest. It was almost as though a micro~system had developed in that particular location, which intensified the destruction ten~fold. After all the care we have taken over the past six months to beautify the property and to protect the trees and plants, it was like a punch in the gut. More than a few tears were shed that day.

The good news is that nothing on our construction site was damaged, and the main road is still accessible. Luckily, growth happens quickly in a rainforest, and with the rains that are sure to come eventually, the leaves will be back in no time. On the bright side (and we haven’t given up looking for it!), our views to the ocean (which we were reluctant to clear on our own) have improved quite considerably. Mother Nature works in mysterious ways.

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