I went to Managua this morning and got back in the afternoon. As soon as I turned the corner to my house I knew that something was up. There was a pile of roof tiles out front and someone was walking out the front door dumping more out. When I got inside my host family told me that there had been a “tornado” that blew part of the roof off.
There is a lot of damage on the far side of the house from my room. My room just has a lot of dust in it, but on the far side of the house there are patches with no roof. The most damaged room is the one that Aaron stayed in last week, and my housemate Christina now has a semi-outdoor shower.
[All photos and videos are courtesy of my housemate Sara, certified “tornado” survivor]
This certainly was not a tornado in the traditional sense. There was no super-cells, clouds, or rain. From what I’ve been told a vortex of wind swept over the neighborhood and caused the damage. The family said that the dust was swirling around in the courtyard and that it lasted for about 10 seconds. It was pretty windy here yesterday, but when I woke up this morning it seemed to have died down. I guess there was still some rogue wind out there.
Next week four Trainees are coming to León to work with me and my counterparts. I’ve been putting a lot of time into planning the week, and the Spanish teacher that is going to accompany them was going to stay in the now damaged room. Now I have to find him or her another room. My host mother said that he or she could still stay because she is going to put up plastic, to which I told her that if she thought that plastic was suitable she could stay in the damaged room and the teacher could stay in her room for the week.
Excuse me while I go sweep my bedroom.
A few videos surveying the damage:
DAY AFTER UPDATED:
I got home this afternoon and noticed some people in the courtyard and water spilled on the floor of the entrance room. My housemate told me that the Priest was over blessing the house with holy water. When my host mom heard me she hurried over to me and asked me to open my bedroom door so they could fling some holy water on my floor as well.
As they were flinging the water and muttering something in Latin she explained to me that Catholics do this sort of thing and it has been too many years since the last time they had a a Priest come in and do a half-assed mopping job, so given yesterday’s events it was about time.
To me it seems like they were a little too late. Better to have blessed the house two days ago. But for the Priest, who I am sure got paid, it is never too late! This also brings up important questions about the economics of religion and inequality. How long does a blessing last? Its duration is probably in relation to how much you pay, I’m sure (sorry, “donate”). Also, I guess God doesn’t give a shit about poor people because they can’t afford the holy water blessing. That’s probably why bad things happen to poor people! Or is it that they’re poor because God is punishing them for not paying up?
Excuse me while I go mop my bedroom.
A gallery of the God-ridden destruction (presumably for not having paid the holy water bill):