Actually, it is not for 1000 days. It is just that 3 years times 365 days plus June 27 through June 30, 2008 equals 1098 days, and that is way too cumbersome to convert into a blog headline. Futhermore, our release date will not be determined until May or June of 2011. Therefore, 1000 Days sounded just about right, more or less. Having noted all that, we are humbled and thrilled (Pres. Uchtdorf would refer to the feeling as "joyfully overwhelmed") about having this marvelous opportunity to serve in La Mision Mexico Veracruz.

Con amor,
Pdte. y Hna. Pete and JoElla Hansen

Friday, October 1, 2010

Huracán Karl

You will need to be patient while this video loads. It will take about 45 seconds.

We are way behind on our postings, but Mom created a nice video of Hurricane Karl which we are posting out of order. Karl dropped in on us on Friday, September 17, 2010 at about 11 a.m. He was supposed to have first touched land near Tuxpam which is 5 hours north of Veracruz and was to have arrived after 2 p.m. Instead, he took a hard left and hit our fair city full-force, winds at 120 mph, machine-gunning us with 5 inches of sideways-blown rain in 90 minutes over a very large area. More rain fell in the mountains west of us. One city, Huatusco received 9.2 inches. All that that rainwater runs downhill picking up dirt along the way. Downhill is Veracruz and other beachside communities.

The video includes photos during the height of the storm as we tried to drive from the office to the mission home, a normal drive of 10 minutes which took about 40--and it was a nail-biter as we dodged falling trees and downed power lines, all the while blinded by the driven sheets of gray water. Waves were 16 feet high. On a calm day, they are about 2 inches tall. Following the "Riders on the Storm" (Doors, 1971) shots are others taken right after the storm ranging in time from one to five hours later. The pictures inside a church building were the Sunday evening after. About 100 men, women, and children lived in that church for many days. Two weeks later, most had found other places to live.

As waters collected in lower elevations, complete colónias (large geograpical and semi-concentric neighhborhoods) floundered in more than 2 meters (6 feet) of runoff. In the video you next see some of those areas, pictures taken five days later after the water had receded a great deal. The Floresta Chapel shown had a couple of inches of water inside and throughout the building.

Finally, eight days later, we took 40 missionaries through the tiny and completely destroyed pueblito, San Pancho, to the town of Cardel. Cardel is 20 km north of Veracruz and it was storm central. On that Saturday after the hurricane, members of the Church from as far as four hours away came in on rented buses to help dig out homes and help people they have never known. Heavy mud and stinky water still rule many areas of town and will do so for weeks and weeks.

The government is necessarily opening dams to release water thereby preventing bursting, but the result is that many riverside pueblos, such as Carlos A. Carrillo, Cosamaloapan, and Tlacaoltalpan, are completely inundated. 150,000 people have been evacuated throughout the state. Six missionaries are still relocated, but all are 100% safe.

Just say, "¡NO!" to huracanes.