When one of the 7th graders told me that school here is sometimes cancelled due to rain, I was pretty excited. Between the number of classes that I have to prepare and teach and the differences in culture, work can be exhausting. I think it will become less so as I understand more of the school system here and continue to adapt, but it’s definitely difficult right now. So when I walked to school Tuesday morning, only to have the principal tell me that the department of education had called off school for the city because of the rain and flooding, I was ecstatic. Remember that feeling you had on the morning of a snow day when you were a kid? It doesn’t feel any less great as an adult.
Other than the inconvenience of near constant rain and occasionally flooded streets that usually quickly drain, our area wasn’t affected much. It wasn’t until I watched the local news and read the paper later that day that I realized the severity of it in other parts of the city and country. The rain has lessened now, but in the past several days, 29 people have died, 14 are missing, and 20,000 moved to shelters. 200,000 people have had damage to their homes. Though the damage has been nowhere near comparable, Hurricane Mitch is often mentioned, and it’s clear how much this country is haunted by the devastation Mitch caused almost exactly 10 years ago. For good reason. Mitch killed 6,000 with 8,000 more missing, left 20% of the population homeless and wiped out most of the country’s infrastructure, an event from which they haven’t recovered.
Don’t get me wrong. I still loved having a day off of school, but I don’t know if I’ll be quite so eager to hope for another.