So, remember how Palau is out of the typhoon zone, and with the exception of Typhoon Bopha— which ripped through last December, snapped boats from their anchors and hurtled swaths of sandy beach into the jungle—we leave the tropical storms to Guam and the Philippines? Well, yesterday we heard a rumor that a hurricane was maybe on its way.
This morning, the sun was shining like every other day at the tail-end of the wet season, with the occasional sheet of rain sweeping through for ten minutes and disappearing. A couple of maintenance guys on staff at our apartment building whistled while they worked on our leaky sink and rusty windows (in fact, at one point, I was writing on the couch in the living room, and they simultaneously started whistling and humming Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner,” which was pretty much the highlight of my day).
They went on lunch break. The sun was still shining.
But just now, Allen, the one who hums while chipping paint on the balcony, knocked on my door to inform me he is going to stop repainting the rusting wrought iron over the windows and instead tie down all of the outdoor furniture on the deck because the hurricane is coming.
And just like that, the skies turned. It’s a grey, cloudy world out there. The Management came by with a memo “To All Our Valued Tenants Re: Tropical Storm Haiyan.” Brian texted to say that work is off tomorrow and Thursday, and we, along the rest of Palau, are going grocery shopping tonight for supplies.
According to the memo, the storm is expected to pass through Palau “12 pm tomorrow night” (other reports have all mentioned Thursday, so I assume that means midnight). You can check WindGuru for weather updates, and we’ll keep you posted here when we can, but since the already-hit-or-miss phone and Internet connections will no doubt be affected by weather, we wanted to let you know that we’re in good hands at our apartment; we know where the U.S. Embassy is located and have friends at both the U.S. Military base and Australian Navy (because they’ll know what to do, right?); we have a good stockpile of supplies: candles, flashlights, guitars, a deck of cards, a bottle of vino; and we’re hoping this will all shake out like a northern Wisconsin snow day. Stay tuned…XOXO