There is a pretty big music festival happening on our island right now. We have been here for more than 2 years but have never attended. Sorta like the people who live in Chicago but have never been to the Mag mile or Sears Tower (which I know is now called something else but will always be the Sears to me). Because really it is more of a tourist thing and since the dominant religion here forbids music it really is not a “cultural” festival, East African culture for sure, our island not so much. So being busy with life we have never checked it out. But something that is free and new is always a welcome change to the day to day so I decided the girls and I would head up to check out the opening celebration and parade. After teaching yesterday I raced home grabbed the girls (Anni insisted on matching party wear since she thought she was PART of the attractions) and then picked up a Canadian guest that is staying here for a couple weeks helping at a local school. We headed into town and made it just in time to catch the end of a parade through town. We then headed into the Old Fort here along the water and watched some performers, musicians, and acrobats. It was really an impressive festival put on to attract tourists here in the hot season since really banging your head against a brick wall is as much fun as coming here right now (ok, sorry, that is my ‘I have had no fans since yesterday’ self talking…please still come and visit :).
We were waiting for the next act to begin on the stage and Evy and Anni were making fast friends with everyone when crazy winds started (you can hear the wind starting in the end of the video). Like whipping dust and debris in our faces. The sky changed and within 5 minutes the rain, wind, and chaos was insane. So we were at the festival for a whole maybe 30 minutes (but I still managed to take a tons of photos of course) before having to make a mad dash home. We ran for it (as much as you can run with 2 little kids through a crush of people) and luckily stumbled upon Doro allowed our wet and bedraggled selves to pile into her already packed car to escort us to our car.
As we drove we quickly saw how much damage had already been caused; corrugated steel was strewn on the roads, grabage everywhere, many trees were down, and people running through the rain and wind. We made it back to our car and headed home but the drive back was very stressful as we had to take 3 detours through dirt roads and over rocks and through tiny spaces (our car has war wounds to prove it). People were out using machetes to cut apart the fallen trees and everyone was helping direct traffic so we went with the flow.
machete neighborhood clean up!
the road to our house
We have never seen a storm like this since living here! We arrived home after a much longer than normal drive to no power; of course, and two hungry and tired girls (make that 3!). Although Anni was so pumped and excited about everything. Yep, I was shaking from the stress of driving and worrying about the storm and she was dancing and telling everyone about the wind and trees and people and how “it was so cool!” Jason soon returned from teaching and even told us his class watched a coconut tree that fell 10 feet from one of my English student’s head. Thank you God, he was unharmed!! But still Crazy. AFfer the storm stopped everyone was out and about ‘telling the tales’ and surveying the damage (we lost a banana tree in our shamba that has been a major attraction) but no people we know in our neighborhood were harmed and for that I am so grateful. No power since the storm yesterday (using precious generator power right now) but the girls and I had a great time listening to some music and we even we survived a tropical storm…at least it is never dull!