Back to Normal

We went almost a week without seeing any blue sky. When the clouds parted for a few minutes yesterday I was so excited I took a picture.

Since this morning it’s been mostly sunny and extremely hot except for twenty minutes of intense rain- pretty much the weather we get every day when there are no cyclones or monsoonal troughs around. The forecast calls for more of the same, and the nasty-looking red stuff on the radar map is all moving away from us.

I finally went back to work today. I had the combined 5th/6th grade class for PE and they played flag football (team names chosen by the kids: Bengals vs. Taco Bell). It felt good to be back at work, and I was happy that the kids I talked to during recess weren’t too upset by the storm. Most of them thought it was fun!

Since our fallen papaya tree’s roots were mostly intact, I thought we might be able to save it. Nate and Joe came over to help stand it back up.

Then I tied ropes to two coconut trees and the corner of the patio.

It’s either going to stand there forever or be knocked down by the next stiff breeze. Tomorrow I’ll go pick up a couple of bags of compost to cover the bare roots and give it a little help.

The post-cyclone cleanup is moving along, and for most people in American Samoa things were fairly normal today. Obviously, those whose homes or businesses were severely damaged have experienced a traumatic event. But no one was killed or even seriously injured (except the guy who fell off his roof; I don’t know the details but if you’re on your roof during a hurricane you’re kind of asking for it). The level of destruction was much lower than in previous storms the territory has seen, not to mention the tsunami that hit in September 2009. Everyone I talk to about Cyclone Wilma has the same response: “It could have been a lot worse.” has some pictures taken during and after the storm, as well as this article describing cleanup efforts and the process of assessing the damage.

One more thing that will probably go back to normal soon: the number of people reading this blog. As of Saturday, I had a total of 1,799 views since I started my blog in August. I’ve had 1,083 views since Sunday. A typical day, pre-Wilma, brought fewer than thirty visitors; I had 415 on Monday. Writing for a larger audience has been fun, but I’m ready to go back to my once-a-week posts about hanging out on the beach, and there doesn’t seem to be as much demand for that as there is for on-the-scene hurricane coverage.


2 responses to “Back to Normal

  1. Michelle O'Connor

    I thought I should tell you about our North Shore Winter Camping experience, and the John Beargrease Sleddog Marathon. Your uncle Dan is actually here and a young man named Cole. Tomorrow we set up camp out in the middle of the deep woods. YES!!! Tonight we hope to sleep well at the Shoreline. Dan just brought pizza from Sven and Ole’s. -16 tomorrow night for our night in the tent. Think about us as you suffer through your tropical weather.

  2. Hi Ryan – I’m enjoying your blog. I’m going to be working in American Samoa and will possibly be moving my family over there. Would you be able to send me an email? I’d like to ask you some questions about island life off-line…

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