Although naturally, the aftermath of the earthquake is still here, its definitely settled down a lot. The roads are getting fixed, the rubbish is getting swept into piles and cleared away, and contact is being made with unaccounted family and friends. Things are going back to their normal routine, taking into consideration that there will always be little reminders of what happened- whether that be candles, pictures, and flowers in windows, a caved in roof, a crack in the wall, or a missing family member.
The amount of support that Chile has received has been incredible. A fundraising telethon was held last weekend called “Chile ayuda a Chile” (aka, Chile helps Chile) and people from all over the nation donated, including the giant franchises and wealthiest families. It doubled its goal with an amazing $60 million. The Red Cross and other organizations have been working non-stop to send relief down to the more badly hit areas. Hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to go to Constitucion with a group to hand out care packages. Because the Universities have been postponed until April and many schools are too damaged to use, an amazing amount of volunteers have surfaced adding to the amount of support.
And last night, I witnessed another first. We were on our way home and when we turned onto our road, we saw thick puffs of black smoke coming from right where our house is. When we got a little further, we saw giant orange flames coming from the fields right in front of our house. All of the blackberry bushes and dead grass had caught on fire, and being an abnormally windy day already, it caught the entire field on fire. From the inside of the house, it looked like a lake of fire. I went out to take pictures and by that time the fire fighters had arrived and I watched them put it out. (Chile doesn’t have fire fighting as a profession. Its purely volunteer based.) And then, I went to bed, because God knows, we’ve gone through enough weird things this month, that nothing really phases me anymore.