Update From Yani Oprea

Many Westporters have been worried about Staples grad Yani Oprea, after learning that she and her son lost their home and possessions in Guatemala’s recent catastrophe.

Yani just checked in (via her brother Micu).  She says:

Hi guys!

We are doing great!  I have Max & the kitten AND the big dog with me … so I’m loving that!

We are staying with friends .. hopping about between meal invitations … and we are all enjoying the comfort and camraderie of another’s company.

Amazing how resilient people are.  Everyone is helping out everyone else!

People with no shoes on their feet have been offering me things.

The mayor is handing out packs of rice and beans to anyone that helps out on the clean-up/rebuild crews.

We’ve been helping dig mud out of poeple’s homes … hurrying before the normal rainy season rains begin again.

I’ve been sorting through our soggy clothes and will get things washed when we get water.

Miraculously the rain has held off  so now, at least the recently-removed mud is not flowing BACK into people’s homes!  That is incredibly good fortune!

Electricity is  intermittent and so is internet.

There is no water in town and Jucanya (where we live, across the river from Panajachel), so people are striking and blocking passage across the one functioning bridge in Pana.  They are trying to get the mayor and emergency crews to get the water pipes fixed.

Please pass this on.

The news is as good as can be expected.

And it kind of makes debates over Westport cafeteria food seem like small potatoes, huh?

The morning after. Yani and Max Oprea's house lies in the rubble below.

One response to “Update From Yani Oprea

  1. Adam Stolpen

    My cousin’s two 20-something kids were already in Guatemala doing medical service when the volcano errupted and the hurricane hit…we’ve been able to communicate by internet and they sent the following note which may put people at some ease here:

    Hi Adam,

    Thanks for writing! The rains subsided Sunday morning and it has been mostly sunny since then, thank goodness! The aftermath of so much rain was visible in Xela in the mud covering the streets in the lower part of town, and the moisture oozing through the walls of most buildings. However, Xela is a good place to be under such conditions, as it is not built on a muddy hill like the rest of the country. The surrounding areas are in bad shape right now as most of the roads to the little towns have been destroyed by landslides and many houses and buildings washed down the slopes in rivers of mud. Shipping anything in Guatemala is difficult under good conditions, but now it is nearly impossible. That’s fine for us because we are not in need of anything, but thank you for your offer! I wish we could get some fresh food to some of the stranded towns, but I think that is beyond my power at the moment!

    Take care,
    Mariah & Isaac