So, it's been a while here at Traditionally Virtual, and I bet you're all just chomping at the bit to read more
As those who have been following the past week of US news already know, the Big Island of Hawaii had been hit with a category 1 hurricane, known by its name "Iselle". Being that I actually live in the affected region, and because I'm waiting for Hawaiian Telcom to grant me the privilege of using it's fabled
Without further ado: a short, day by day account.
WednesdayThe Wednesday before the hurricane, I go out and help with the gathering of supplies -- water, paper towels, paper plates. I even took the opportunity to renew my IDs at the public safety building, since they were on the verge of expiration. All of the things purchased were at normal amounts, and not like those crazy people I see on facebook with a veritable truckloads of bottled water being assholes and hoarding that shit. Just restocking our normal supply, since we were expecting some wind, but nothing too bad. I go about my day, downplaying the hurricane with friends and family, as I know the past couple either missed us, or did so little by the time it hit that I couldn't be bothered about it.
ThursdayThe day was festive. Downplaying the seriousness with clanmates and other friends on teamspeak, I even went so far as to change my name to "teh_chris [>implying hurricane]" on Steam. I played games as usual and I got to taste the last bit of internet before the storm came on time at around 6p. Heralded with a couple of power losses over the next couple of hours, the power struggled to stay on until it finally went out and stayed out at 8:30p. We stayed up for a short while, listening to the howling of the wind as it smacked down tons of brittle albezia trees, which would continue well into the night. With the reasonable knowledge that the power should be up by morning (so we thought), I decide on calling it a night, and my family and I all hit the bed by around 9pm or slightly thereafter.
|Friday statuses after the storm.|
FridayFriday was the worst. Before the batteries on all my electrical devices died, I was able to get this short faecbook status out. We also got a phone call from my grandmother, which I found amazing, due to all the damage the storm caused. We haven't had a call since. Dozens of destroyed power poles, and ruined telephone wires meant that it felt like repairs would be weeks away. By the time nightfall came, we were wondering about the state of the food in the refrigerator. This "oh shit" sentiment would continue until the power returned the next day. The cool thing about it was I got to see my family do stuff I never thought we'd ever do again. Play board games, for instance. I haven't played a board game with my family for probably 5 years or so. It was weird. But we came together, and had a blast.
The day of the Primary Election was one of general sadness. Due to the massage damage all around the area, I was still unable to leave my house and therefore unable to exercise my right to vote at that time. My family went to survey the neighborhood, leaving me to watch the property. At around 3, the power returned, which brought general feelings of gratitude and calm to the house.
|Yes, that is Dynasty Warriors 4 on the PC. You jealous?|
|Thank god for cell phone towers, right?|
Sunday and Beyond
ReflectionI've thought about it for some time (like, fifteen minutes), and I put together a tentative pros/cons of my experience:
-Family came together for like two days. Seriously. That's huge for a family like mine.
-It pays to have friends, who knows where they'd be years down the road.
-Made me much more aware of how much we rely on electricity.
-I got to sleep at much earlier times than I normally do. And I'm going to try to keep it that way, because it's Healthier™.
-I didn't have to eat nasty-ass cold cuts. (No really, I'm sick of Cotto Salami and Velveeta. It's all my family eats nowadays.)
-In the grand scheme of things, this wasn't nearly as bad as the experience of living in really bad areas (looking at you, Middle East, and you too, West Africa).
-I was able to knock out a few anime on my backlog that I've been dragging my feet over. More on that in a later blogpost.
-I got to write something because I felt like venting.
-My dad's arowana died. I sort of liked that fish, and I'm very sad it's dead.
-Good bye, DickerMax.
-I have been proven yet again just how bad HawaiianTel's service really is. HELCO got their shit together in like a day, and explained themselves. What's your excuse?
-I realize just how badly I utilize my time. For example, here's what I've done in the past week:
|Taiga is like the best anime tracking program ever.|
|Yuan Zheng undertakes the Great Chinese Crusade of 203.|
|Funny thing is, I was playing as USA Lazer.|
Don't get me wrong, there are still communities to this day that are still without power, internet, even basic running water due to their inaccessibility to the main power grid. I applaud the efforts of HELCO to return everyone back to the grid. I also want to throw a shout-out to the folks from the other islands that sent repair crews to help our guys. Big mahalos there. Also shout-out to County Councilman Greg Ilagan, a guy I've known for about as long as our families have been friends here -- his hosted free breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a week after the storm hit, all out of his humble home within Paradise Park for anyone who could make it there.
My own experience was very light compared to some of the other people living in Paradise Park and the greater Puna area. I know of friends who have literally received power yesterday. I also know of friends who weren't affected at all (lucky bastards). There are still some who need ice for their food and medicines, and others who need water. This is only one story in the Iselle experience, and I wanted to share it for those interested.