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#7369 - 10/05/00 06:48 PM From the eye of the storm- Caye Caulker
Marty Offline
Bear with me on this one because I haven't had much sleep and things are
a bit crazy. I am in Belize City with my Powerbook computer getting and
sending emails.

It has been the biggest few days of utter chaos I have ever experienced
and can't begin to tell you what's going on because my mind hardly works
right now.

This thing came up so fast nobody had time to think at all. You can't
board up and prepare for a hurricane every time a tropical depression
comes along. You'd be boarded up all the time.

First thing I have to say is that there were no casualties on the
island. A few accidents but nothing at all serious. There were a few
homes destroyed in the back of the island, but not all of them. Some
were spared back there and even poorly built ones. The worst damage was
to the back of the Caye because that's where the weather came from on
Sunday. We had not time to board up the back glass window (Pella -
really stong!) and got to see all the action during the day.

I'll get another email out as soon as I get things more together here.
We have lots of work to do and had to cancel our trip to Miami. The
original plan was to buy things for our new house but it looks like that
will have to wait.

Here's the damage report on our place: lots of water got in almost
everywhere it seemed. We were using all my towels to mop up the leaks
all day and most of one of the nights. The guestroom/gift shop roof
tiles went during the first day - but not the whole thing. One corner
and one side. The furniture was spared because we had guests in there.
The water was coming in so they moved the bed to one side. I'll tell you
stories about that later. The boats were damaged and the old Soledad is
gone. Lots of cleaning to do and raking and all that but it's not as bad
as it could have been.

There were a few homes destroyed and lots of roof blown off but not as
bad I'm sure as everyone has been reporting. There has been a lot of
erosion and a lot of trees have been destroyed but many were spared.

Val's house is a bit off with the foundation - tipped a bit. Amy &
Greg's not bad at all - even the stain glass in intact. Greg's
craftsmanship! Dane & Ledi not so good - quite a bit of damage. Chris &
Kathi not bad either - just that coconut tree but it fell away from the
house so not bad. Oh - sid enote: to Chris and Kathi - Ellena nd Orlando
and Morgan are ok. I'll try and get details about all of the damage and
send it to you. I have heard this from other people and have not been
back there myself.

Our well water is better than it has ever been - like rain water. Our
vat is intact and we have rain water.

You wouldn't believe the amount of people coming out to help. I just
hope they get those lines up so we can get power to run those power
tools and wash clothes and flush toilets without hauling buckets of
water. Chocolate is buying a hand pump right now so we can set up the
toilet and sink. That will be a great help.

Harrison was out with the boats all afternoon in the crazy part of the
storm. When he got back we three of us had to try and push the door
open. He stuck his hand in there and within seconds the door slammed
right on his finger and smashed it. I had to play nurse to a finger that
had the bone sticking right out the end. I just stayed calm and said
everything will be ok. Eventually he had to have the end cut off on
Tuesday - two days later but he's ok. Just frustrated that he can't do
anything.

I wish I would have typed this last night and had more time to think,
but things have been quite stressful and I had to take time for myself
and sit upstairs, listen to the radio and just cry.

It's amazing to see everyone taking care of each other. Passing out food
and water and just helping with clean up. A lot of places did not get
damaged - I have to stress that because I'm sure all you have heard is
the bad news. But there are trees still up and we do have a new high
beach out front. We did lose a lot of land on our new property but still
have a lot over there so it's ok.

We have Laura and Harrison and their two girls staying with us and
another couple (Samos and his girlfriend) that were originally living in
Neil and Molly's house next door.

The story about Neil & Molly is not good at all. They built that new
house on the north side of the island on the other side of the split.
Huge thing with lots of new furniture. They couldn't get back here in
time so they had to stay there. They were with another couple.

During the first day (Sunday) the roof came off and they had to stay in
a hutch type of thing - all of them! This went on for hours. That night
was a bit of a break in the rain so they could get out a bit. Monday
night more torrential rain and wind from the south so they had to go
back into the hutch. It's amazing they survived this thing.

Sorry this thing is not as easy to read as my Mitch story but this is
the real thing. You cannot imagine the sounds this thing made when the
wind picked up. 135 miles per hour is no joke. We were all back in our
kitchen and bathroom for the first day and night. After that we decided
to move into the new room and the other side upstairs. The noise in the
wood part of the house was so scary - we would hear loud smashing and
banging all night long and tried to figure out what it was.

I'll try and update when I can - who knows when we'll get connected up
again - may be at least a month. There was a guy staying in a place down
the street that had a video camera and he got a lot of shots of our
house in the storm - and some shots of the tiles flying off the roof. I
hope he can send me a copy!

I have to get off now and read all of my 50 emails. Chocolate is out
buying some supplies for us. I also have to get on the internet and
cancel all of our hotels, car rentals for our trip to Miami. Continental
has waived all change fees for me - and I can have an open ticket. That
really helps because we have no idea when we'll get power here.

The bottom line is we are all ok and it's not as bad as it could be.
There will be lots of people coming down from the States to help out. I
have heard they will hlep build houses for the people who have lost
their homes or the ones who have lost their roof etc. San Pedro got hit
pretty bad, too. But not many lives lost in this thing at all. Only some
drownings and a bus accident.

My hands are swelled up to double size and they are full of blisters
that look like I've been training for crew (rowing) with my sister. My
hands can hardly move right now and feel like stumps. Hammering for days
and wringing out towels have taken a toll!

Take care everyone and thanks for your prayers. All you guys that have
homes out here - get here! Amy & Greg sent an email to say that most of
you are coming down soon. We'll stick together and get this place back
in shape! It will happen. It's not really that bad! Only a few places.
Some shacks are still standing. And thatch roofs - we'll a lot of those
are still up. Weird! We should have put a thatch on our place - better
than those tiles. We will reroof the whole place now and never use tiles
again.

OK - this is it. Talk to everyone later.

Love to everyone, Annie & Chocolate

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#7370 - 10/05/00 07:37 PM Re: From the eye of the storm- Caye Caulker
chunkyruth Offline
Thank you so much Annie. You and Chocolate are an inspiration to us all. Our hearts and prayers are with you!

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#7371 - 10/05/00 07:50 PM Re: From the eye of the storm- Caye Caulker
Anonymous
:-)

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#7372 - 10/05/00 08:01 PM Re: From the eye of the storm- Caye Caulker
Lynne Offline
Islandgirl or anyone else: I am way up in Alaska and feeling about as far away from my Belizean family as I can be, and am not liking it much! Wondering and hoping that everyone is faring well in the Ernesto Marin family. I would appreciate any info. I read that Raleigh and Dora lost their house, but what about Jorge and Amparo? Does Valentin have any boat left? If anyone can get a message to them, please tell them that I am here but thinking about them constantly.
Thank you. I hope that people continue to pitch in and help one another in that true belizean way!

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#7373 - 10/05/00 08:09 PM Re: From the eye of the storm- Caye Caulker
Lynne Offline
Annie: I forgot to tell you thank you for the update on Caye Caulker. We alaskans are reading and calling each other all day long with any new information. I am glad to hear that you and Chocolate are ok. I hope that Harrison's finger heals quickly. Molly and Neil will have amazing stories to tell. I guess everyone will. I am happy to hear that people are doing ok and sticking together, wish I could help in some way. Let me know if there is anything that I can do from here. Hang in there girl!

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#7374 - 10/05/00 08:14 PM Re: From the eye of the storm- Caye Caulker
Marina Stoev Offline
Annie. I'm glad everyboddy is a life on Caye. I feel better from hear from you and Chocolate. If you have time on all this mess if you have news from Natasha Sleeuw and her twin babies I would appreciate. My e-mail is graycat@erols.com. Thanks. Marina.

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#7375 - 10/06/00 06:50 PM Re: From the eye of the storm- Caye Caulker
Anonymous
I just want to tell everyone one the Caye that my prayer are with all of you and you all remain in my heart. I have been following this tragedy and wish I could be there to help...I miss everyone and am so sorry about this disaster that hit Caye Caulker.
my e-mail is:
wendyzellea@hotamil.com
Formerly...Wendy Nunez (No not married again...just went back to my maiden name after my divorce from Alan) Please keep in touch. If I can help any way...please let me know.

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#7376 - 10/06/00 06:52 PM Re: From the eye of the storm- Caye Caulker
Anonymous
ooops...that is wendyzellea@hotmail.com

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#7377 - 10/07/00 10:39 AM Re: From the eye of the storm- Caye Caulker
Anonymous
Jorge and Amparo, kids and house are OK

Fran Dwight

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#7378 - 10/08/00 06:24 AM Re: From the eye of the storm- Caye Caulker
Ellie Offline
How about Sarah and Tico and their new baby boy?

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