Tag Archives: Yani Oprea

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.

Helping Yani Oprea

Last weekend, the Pacaya volcano in Guatemala became active.  There were small earthquakes; then Tropical Storm Agatha rolled in, generating a dangerous combination of falling water, ashes and stones.

Yani Oprea and Max -- she's smiling, despite standing in one of the only undamaged parts of her home.

Regions of the Central American country are in a “state of calamity,” President Colom said.

No one in Westport knows about the destruction.

Yani Oprea does.  The Staples graduate lives there.

Now she and her young son Max have lost their home.

The first Facebook posting — early Sunday morning — was a report from a friend.  “She’s fine,” it said.  “Though her house may have washed into the river.”

A day and a half later — yesterday, at 5:30 p.m. — Yani checked in.  This is her remarkable status update:

Thanks, I appreciate the thoughts!  We didn’t make out so well in this storm though.  Lost my apartment & all my identification & belongings.  But hey, we still have our health!”

Yani did not post today.  Her friends — in Westport, on Facebook, and around the world — are worried, and want to help.  No one is sure what to do.

“06880” has these suggestions:

  • Go on Facebook, and search for Ileana Oprea.  Add your thoughts to her wall.
  • Click “Comments” at the top or bottom of this post — and offer any suggestions you have.

Yani Oprea, salvaging what she can.