The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Friday, August 24, 2007

More of the Storm

I said the other day that Red Stripe and Appleton helped us cope with the storm, but really it was the thoughts and prayers of our friends and families, and our limited contact that gave us reassurance.

We lost internet access Saturday, and for some of us our cell phones would not work to call the states. But we discovered we could send and recieve text messages, so updates like these let us know where the storm was and what was being reported at home. Until we lost that ability at the height of the storm as well.

Thanks Bobby and Ted. Ted reported the National Hurricane Center updates, Bobby reported off the Weather Channel. Your updates kept us informed and just being in contact, even electronically was conforting.

I want someone who understands these things to tell me why my verizon phone (which does not have international capability) was able to transmit text but not voice.

Of course we did have battery powered radio and good information was available there also, but we liked getting information from our families.

Jamaican hospitality and concern are top notch. On the day after the storm, when public transportation was cut off and everyone was dealing with their own problems, the kitchen staff showed up and prepared us lunch. One woman told me they were concerned about us and thought we needed a hot meal. Jamaicans who were involved with our course returned to check on us. Here is Dr. Brendan Bain of Kingston who lectured us on HIV and AIDS checking on us after the storm.

And we were able to make our presentations and have a celebration on Monday night, thanks to a generator and a gas stove. Here is Mr. Henroy Scarlett of UWI receiving an award from Madhav Bhatta of the Sparkman Center for Global Health while Dr. Stephanie Brodine of San Diego State University looks on.

My group was the mosquito group and here we are (minus Stephanie and Maung, two Jamaican students who are also public health officers in their parishes) with our instructor Mr. Trevor Castle, a retired entomologist from UWI who knows literally everything there is to know about the mosquito vectors of Jamaica.

On the night before the storm, several locals came by to make sure the Americans felt secure for the next day before going to their homes or shelters to endure the storm.

That will probably end my hurricane coverage for this blog, unless I come across pictures that I can't resist sharing. But I will post next week some information about Jamaica and the communities we worked in.

And thanks to all of you who sent emails, texts, calls, thoughts and prayers before, during and after the storm. Your well wishes are greatly appreciated.

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