On a personal note

Sometimes world events cause scars in our archetypal core.  This last week, the typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines I was struck by the scope of the devastation. My mom recounted a typhoon she’d experienced while my father was stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

This event reminds me of August 1966.  We got to Okinawa in July and settled in Army base housing at Camp Chinen on the southern tip of the island.  An off the chart Typhoon was headed our way.  I came from the East and Florida so it did not mean much, then.  I missed the cutoff by a week for the pregnant wives to go to the base hospital at the Air Force Base in Naha to wait out the storm.  
 
All the planes had to be evacuated from the island and the men were in short supply to run things.  So C. took duty down on the base and I stayed in my earthquake proof house on the plateau.  Before he left, he moved everything to the center of the rooms, closed the blinds, and left me to watch the water rise up between the grout of the tiles as the pressure decreased.  He called frequently while I listened to the howling winds which blew off the anemometer on the base office when the winds hit 190 miles per hour.  The winds also blew in the window air conditioners which were bolted in and sometimes the front doors to leave grass on the ceilings.  Some neighbors entertained their children by floating paper boats as the ground water rose.  Other than that, the houses on base did not have much damage.  It was not that good for the surrounding communities whose houses were more traditionally constructed.
 
Leila was born about 2 months later.  That was the last storm of that magnitude i experienced. 
We are hearing stories of strength and desperation as the international community struggles to connect with the destroyed villages and damaged cities with food and medical aid. Here is a story about LDS missionaries arriving in Manila. Their thoughts were not of the experience they had endured, but of the people they left behind. Others stopped doing their jobs to lend aid as they could.
 
While I truly believe in the power of prayer, helping via donations is just as powerful.
 
Will there be another disaster in the future – yes. The key to maintaining an open and compassionate heart is to never do nothing. Just do what you can.
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