Friday, July 28, 2006

High Water

While I was in Chile last year a big news story was the death of about 15 Chilean soldiers in the Andes. They were poorly led into a terrible winter storm doing a mountain training exercise. Heavy rains July 11-13th led to extensive flooding in the same region of the country . Approximately 28,000 peoples homes or property were severely damaged. Many lost almost everything.

Doug, Kurt and I traveled down to the disaster area to help the family of one of our Chilean staff who lost almost all their livestock and whose home was almost completely destroyed. We visited neighbors to serve them some hot coffee and bring them food and blankets. We felt quite humbled and inadequate as we realized that these poor farmers had lost everything.
We had hoped to connect with some other relief organization with whom we could partner. The only clear signs of organized relief was the delivery of water by the municipality. And the Army delivered cots and sheets of plastic. It is still unclear how we can best mobilize students to help.