Saturday, March 13, 2010

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming...

I apologize for no real update on the flood yet, but it is most certainly upon us. You may remember me posting a few blogs this time last year about the flood. That was the first time the flooding was bad enough for evacuation of COZV. Well, this past year’s hot season needed to be very hot to get the water tables even close to where they needed to be and that didn’t happen. We also didn’t get anywhere near the rain we should have in the so called “rainy season,” but with the water tables not going down combined with continuous rain in Angola equals flood time yet again.

Last Saturday we began stage one of evacuation…all vehicles that couldn’t drive through wheel-deep water exited stage left. There is a 4 km dirt road back to the children’s home in which the puddles have now become ponds and the small rickety bridge is now under water. When I left to take Ray and the Curry’s to the airport on Thursday morning we had to take the pickup truck out to the other vehicles and got out just shortly before the bridge covered over. By the time I returned on Friday, I had to be brought back by boat.

Today has started stage 2.37…the packing and laying of sandbags. We went in this morning and bought 500 bags (we hope to not use them all) from the mill and everyone has been packing and laying all day. The water is quite close to my house now. There used to be a very large dry area between my house and the river, but the river is now just a few meters from my front door. The water has already crossed the fence in one spot and in another is rushing towards the staff housing just outside the compound.
The mighty Zambezi has been rising at a rate of at least 3 inches per day and sometimes up to 8 for a total of more than 8.5 feet in just 3 and a half weeks. (If) and when evacuation time comes, we will be camping in a plot of 6 ft high grass graciously lent to us by the Catholic priest unless we can find a better accommodations last minute. We will have to supply our own food, water, housing, septic, etc. Talk about a chaotic camping trip…never fear, adventure is near.

Please pray for wisdom in the evacuation timing (never would be fantastic) and procedures as well as safety for everyone in the area. It is of course not just us being flooded out, but many, many villages as well. Some in the western Caprivi have already been evacuated. Please pray for their health, safety, and for God’s provisions of the relief needs all along the Zambezi this year.

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