Five years ago, today, my family (mom, dad, two sisters, a brother, a gecko and a hamster) and I huddled in our laundry room as our house shook, roof tiles slaughtered our neighbors windows, and water began to forcibly enter our house in every way possible.
Have you seen the movie Twister? Remember the scene at the very beginning where the storm rips open the storm shelter and pulls out the father of miniature Helen Hunt? There was a moment in that laundry room where that scene flashed across my mind, followed by a question:
Is this it? Is this what my life has come to?...That was also the exact moment I knew I'd survive.
For two weeks following that storm, we lived without power or running water. Our refrigerator rotted, and our house never recovered from the musty stench of mold forming and growing in the rain-soggy walls. Mosquitoes began to find their way into our house through the holes in the roof and broken doors.
Once, our water spigot outside began to leak. The six of us danced and bathed in the drip for the first time in a week.
Before long, though, our nightmare ended. But for those two weeks, we relied entirely on the compassion of others, and FEMA, to eat and drink and survive.
This past weekend, Taiwan received over 80 inches of rainfall - more than its been known to get in a year. The regions of south Taiwan are now plagued by flash floods and mudslides that have wiped out entire villages.
What was once my greatest trial is only a speed bump on the road the survivors are facing. I know from first hand experience that the disaster is a reality long after media coverage fades (especially American Media coverage...).
Next week, I have plans to head down to the disaster sites in hopes to offer any help I can muster. I'll be sure to report here on The Drift with photos/videos and stories.
Also, I'll be keeping my feelers out for any grassroots (and scandal-free) organizations accepting donations. I do know World Vision is down there right now, providing relief, and if anyone feels like giving what they can, they would be a great avenue to look into.
Please keep the victims of Typhoon Morakot in your thoughts and prayers.
Stay with me. More updates soon...
[Photo Credit: Here and Here]