The Flood — Part 2

The flood waters have receded, the streets are more or less dry and we are–dare I say it?– almost finished the cleanup.

BUT take a look at this.



Yep, that’s the drainage canal. Just how much water can it hold? Enough to prevent another flood during the next one or two or ten storms predicted for the area in the coming weeks?

NO, there are no signs of backhoes or excavators coming to the rescue.

So we wait with fingers crossed for the end of hurricane season.


I haven’t heard from my friend Uzo in a long while and then I get this message.

“I am currently writing you from a low-cost hotel. I lost “everything” in my apartment to a flood which devastated many homes in my vicinity (it rained heavily for six hours). Ah! It was really bad. In one case, neighbours had to break into a man’s fortress-like house (he wasn’t present at the time) to carry off his bedridden wife.

I think I can now relate on a deeper level with victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.”

I Google his city (in Nigeria) and find pictures like this.

Uzo survives

Yes, I think, he can relate.

I write back and comment that a “low-cost” hotel can’t be very nice. (I’ve seen enough in many parts of the world to know what they are like.)

Uzo writes back.

“Well, the hotel room is better when compared to other places I lived in—a two-bedroom apartment with a leaky roof, and then a mud house in the northern part of the country (in this case, I had to fetch water each day and there was no power throughout my one-year-and-a-half stay).

“I’ve to reprioritize my spending from now on, bearing in mind I have to replace (buy) some essentials at least, like settee and chair cushions, electronics. You may be wondering, but most of us (if not all) do not have insurance (schemes). I don’t trust the state government to help; they put us in this mess with their shitty road constructions. They’ve seen the extent of damage caused by the disaster and are saying help is not for everyone. Can you imagine that?”

I ask if he’ll be able to move back to his home.

“Yes, I intend to go back home. In the meantime, I’ve invited some friends to help me clear, reorganize, and wash the things I can still use.”

I admire Uzo’s strength and resiliency. And I bitterly resent those who could, but don’t help—the wealthy elite of the world.

Joys of Tropical Paradise



Those of us living in northern climes long for the joys of tropical paradise. We escape the cold and snow for a couple of weeks of sun and sand down south. The beaches lure us, the beer refreshes us, the music warms us, the sun burns us—and we’re happy.

But, the reality of tropical climate doesn’t affect us unless we spend time during the “off season.”

Then it’s:

Rust – all metal suffers, from the inside of the dryer to the bike, the car, the braces holding the air conditioner or the satellite dish….

Painting – over and over and over again each year as the humidity bubbles and peels and wears the best paint job away.

Rain – washing away the garden, pouring through the best sealed doors and windows, leaking through the roof, saturating the concrete walls….

Floods – rather not talk about those. Fish swimming in the back yard isn’t exactly desirable.

Replacing – televisions with screens spotted by moisture, furniture ruined by humidity and flooding….

Bugs – and more bugs—cockroaches, scorpions, frogs, crabs….

I love my holiday time in the tropics, but for the rest of the year I promise to appreciate fully life in Canada.