Some sections of the road are not being repaired with all the machinery dedicated to a larger break in the road. This is the largest of the washouts but is a small problem in comparison to the large pass closer to Kelilalina.
It is rare to see machinery like this here in Mada so it was a real treat for Judah to see them on March 8, his birthday. He is four years old now and all boy!
This is the break in the road that is temporarily reconnected. The machines have pushed land from the mountain above to fill the void. The larger trucks get stuck in the mud and can block the pass for 5-30 minutes. Before they reconnected the road people would get off the taxi on one side of the break, hire a porter to carry their gear across the break and get on a new taxi on the other side. Villagers built mini vendor stands to sell fried foods and fruits to stranded passengers. Traffic is moving now so the circus has packed up and gone home.
Judah loves to watch the machinery. He could stand there at the pass all day watching the Caterpillar push dirt if we let him.
After celebrating the road being open and Judah’s birthday in Ranomafana we were blocked from going home by a tree that had fallen at the newly opened pass. Thanks to Mell for the chainsaw that Tim used to open the road again.
Anjara (Vololona’s son) and Tim visited the sick in the hospital during the days following the cyclone. There were ten patients in the hospital during this visit, none of which were ill due to the floods or landslides. Jenny, lying on the bed, has Malaria and has very high fever. The hospital’s generator was not running during our visit so no fans or ice blocks were available to help cool her down.
We assessed ALL the homes in the Ifanadiana town. We concluded that twenty homes should be considered a partial or total loss. This is one of twenty homes we assessed this week. An eight year boy died in the collapse of the house. Tim and Mirana joined the District Office and other NGOs (ONGs) to visit the family of the boy. The government gave the family 200,000Ar (about $100 USD). This is the largest form of aid being given in the days following the cyclone and only given to families involving death due to the cyclone.
In the midst of loss the government is slowly bringing aid to the area. Surprisingly, Jirama (Mada’s power company) has been working diligently to restore power to Ifanadiana. In some locations this meant wading in the river below to recover cable under twisted trees and debris.
Our power was restored in the afternoon on the 11th day of the outage, Saturday, March 10. This involved looking for the Jirama workers in town and spreading the word that our power was still out, though the rest of the town already had power, waiting for them to arrive and then aiding them to set straight a near-fallen pole using the truck’s winch. Thanks to Lottie Moon for a truck and winch that proved essential during a time of crisis.
Thanks for praying. Keep praying:
- For the families of the dead to be comforted.
- That we show by our actions that God is compassionate, slow to anger, desiring that all men be saved.
- For the BGR food aid project as we wait for approval.
- For the believers in this area who have lost crops and homes. Tim has yet to visit the believers since the arrival of the cyclone due to cut roads, landslides and flooding. Pray Tim can access them this week to encourage them in the face of such loss.
- For our remaining days here in the forest before we travel to South Africa. We have much to do and time is short. Pray God gives us wisdom to see His priorities, not ours.