Friends and family,
Whew, what a week. Hurricane Odile put La Paz out of commission for most of the week. Water, electricity, Internet, cell service, and basic services were all down. No one was working, stories were closed, and people were scrambling to find fresh water and food. Charlie and I spent three nights roughing it in our Calle Golfo California house before the stench of moldy food and unwashed bodies (our own) drove us into Hotel One. After two nights there, we moved into our current (temporary) house, Tres Puertas – great location, and with all the creature comforts (and it’s own website).
Without electricity and Internet, Charlie and I were forced to do something that few teenagers and fathers ever experience: sustained conversation. Not to get schmaltzy, but it’s difficult to overstate how wonderful it was to walk and bike with him around town, solve life-problems (e.g., find a hotel with power and water, find a cash machine that worked), go to La Fuente for sorbet, and talk about the incredibly special nature of this time in both our lives.
I haven’t been in a lot of natural disasters – the Loma Prietan earthquake of 1989 that cut off electricity and basic services in Monterey for a couple days, the 1995 floods that closed all of the roads and left the Monterey Peninsula an island for about a week – but my sense is that they bring out both the best and worst of humanity. Cabo San Lucas saw looting and rioting, while La Paz lived up to its peaceful reputation, with neighbors helping one another. Policewoman Pena, the officer on our local beat, confirmed that there had been little change in crime this week. Rather amazing, I think. Not a lot of cities around the world with 100,000 citizens where that would be true, I think.
Charlie and I spent a good part of the week helping others. Tuesday we helped sweep up glass and debris at Se Habla La Paz. Wednesday and Thursday we chauffeured a North Carolina family to various locations. Saturday we visited the impoverished Colonia Laguna Azul and put together a proposal to support Fundación Ayuda Niños La Paz good work in the community.
There was, of course, more, such as the discovery of a Mezcaleria right across the street from our new house.
Wishing you all well, and encouraging you to post, comment, and communicate in Spanish whenever you feel inspired.
Michael and Charlie