Thursday, March 24, 2011

Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanos, MOWA, oh my....

We received word that MOWA will be processing 20 cases a day.  While this is less than half of what was processed before these changes, but we prefer to think of it as 4 times as many as we had previously been told a few short weeks ago.

While I, Patty, was in Hawaii, it turned out that my friend was not able to join me.  Her mother had a stroke as she was leaving for the airport, and I didn't find out until I hit the "sand" on the Big Island.  It was rather disappointing to find out, but I decided to move on and enjoy the vacation, I mean it's Hawaii, right?
Hawaiian Sunset

Upon arriving, unpacking and heading down to the "main drag" I found out that the Hawaiian Islands were significantly affected by the Japan Earthquake by the resulting Tsunami's the day before.  Several people had to sleep in cars at Walmart (interesting to think of how this is a normal life for some people).Several of the shops were closed and there was lots of infrastructure and houses that were damaged.  Almost all of the West (leeward?) beaches were closed.  Last I heard, was over $10M in damages.  Strike 2.

After speaking with the shop owners and asking how I could help and I ended up taking lots of photos for their insurance paperwork.  It was hard to see what this destruction had done, but what amazed me was the ability of the whole community to pull together and help each other out.  One of the shop keepers insisted I keep a shirt she had made saying "I survived the Tsunami."  For the record, I did not, but they did and this shirt will be my reminder of this.

The next day I took a helicopter over the volcano.  Many of you know how much of a lava/volcano chaser I am, so I was quite excited.  Well, as it turned out, the lava that had been busting at the seems the week before had all gone underground as soon as the earthquake hit.  So, by the time I got there, it looked like a newer Mt. St. Helens and the "regular" lava flow (since 1983) has gone completely underground.  Still cool, but it did not met or exceed my expectations.  Strike 3.
Volcano without Lava

New Fissure

So I think you could probably describe the last month as a bit of a downer, and struck out, but it will get better.  We have faith.

The first of things starting to look up:

Third Day, one of my favorite bands, has started collecting photos of children and families who were adopted to show in their concerts.  Pretty exciting to see the adoption movement be supported by some pretty large names these days!

Maholo for all of your support!
Hawaiian Sunrise

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