09 June 2006

Now where did I put that ark?

Last night booming thunder woke up most folks at the Practice Hotel, sounding as if the clap materialized from inside the building.

"It was the loudest thunder I have ever heard," stated resident and foreign teacher Anna Horkey.

Since that time a massive low pressure system with arms all over Asia has dumped almost a foot of rain on ChiaYi, Taiwan.

"My alarm went off at 7:30 this morning, when I usually go walking with Anna Horkey," said Anne Woodward, another foreign teacher. "But I didn't even have to look out the window to know that we wouldn't be walking today." By the time it came to walk two hundred meters to work, Anne had a hard time finding high ground between puddles. "I was wishing for a boat."

Driving to work was more of a gamble. Foreign teacher Michelle Cavalli braved roads that had become rivers, reaching as high as the seat of her scooter in some places. She had to drive in the middle of the road to get anywhere at all.

National teacher Pearl found it necessary to drive over a sandbag barrier in order to navigate a route to Concordia English Language Academy. The 15 minute trip took her 50 minutes.

Nevertheless the schoolday began normally with Friday morning Bible study and continued with the usual Friday preparation and general milling around.

Finally, at 11:28, the memo arrived from the boss: all elementary classes cancelled. Kindergarten classes were quick to follow suit. Everyone in the office joined their voices in a jubilant whoop and found themselves embraced in adrenalized group hugs with Michael Vogel, office nutcase.

Woodward remembers where she was when the call came. "I was writing an email to my friend Charlotte, and I was just saying how I thought school should be called off...and then it was!"

Still there remained the obstacle of getting home. Though the rain had let up by intervals since the morning downpour, many teachers had to negotiate closed roads and traffic jams.

Friday Night Bible Study has also been cancelled. Plans for the evening? Asserts Woodward, "Bloggercise."