Mudslide Kills at Least 20

It’s a sad day today in Costa Rica.

Severe weather often accompanies changes in seasons. Many friends and family members in Texas and the Carolinas recently experienced flooding and outbreaks of tornadoes. I’ve witnessed many a posting on Facebook stating the welcomed cool weather.

Although there are only two seasons here in Costa Rica, we, too, are experiencing extremes. In a little over two weeks the rainy/wet season will come to an end. It is their version of winter. Then summer and school/government holidays begin.

Rain from Tropical Storm Thomas has been falling nonstop here for over three days. Fortunately, we don’t have any of the strong winds here in Costa Rica, but the flooding is bad enough. There are a few signs of damage from the heavy rains here in our hometown of Atenas. However, the damage along the Pacific Coast and in the town of Escazu has been devastating.

a home in the middle of the landslide

Early this morning, a massive mudslide destroyed many homes in Escazu, and took around 20 lives with it. Volunteers continue digging and searching for the missing.

After language training this morning, we had to drive into Escazu to pay the rent. Our small town doesn’t have the bank branch our landlord uses, so we had to make the trek. We didn’t have to go near the site of the worst damage, but all along the way there were countless areas where chunks of hillsides had given way. We saw lots of mud, felled trees and brush, but very few roads remained closed.  Traffic was backed up in quite a few places.

Escazu is home to the US Embassy, the Costa Rica Country Club, many upscale homes of affluent expats the world over, and, our favorite mall (Multiplaza) that surpasses even Stonebriar Mall back in Frisco, Texas. But along the river are many of the poorest families.

So many lives were forever changed today. Others, like us, who aren’t seemingly affected, go on with our “normal” daily activities. Our hearts hurt, we lift up prayers, and some may even search for meaning and purpose in God’s order of things. Sometimes all we can do is be thankful for what we have been blessed with.

Tonight I come home to a safe, dry, warm home. My belly is full. My family is together. I don’t want to worry about things like dirty laundry, unanswered emails, or other daily stresses. I want to live in the moment and enjoy all that I have been blessed with.

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