My name is Lexina, I’m from Asor and I’m 17 years old.
Can you tell us again how you first found out that the typhoon was coming and what you felt?
Yeah. Um … when we first heard that the typhoon was coming, it’s … everybody are preparing for it. We were just … we just took a little stuff and we went to a concrete house because that’s the safe place.
How many people were with you?
We were in the concrete house, two families. But during the night when the, it’s getting stronger, another two family came. Ran through the rain and they come in with us.
Was it a pretty tight fit, a lot of people squished together?
Yeah. We were just standing and sitting. Cannot sleep. The floor was … there was a lot of water. It’s flood. And the windows and the doors almost breaking, so the boys just hold … hold on to them.
Was it scary?
What did it feel like?
I was inside and … I sleep a little.
Yeah. I slept.
What did you think you would see when you woke up?
The island would be the same. But when we woke up … we woke up and went outside, everything was broken and dead (laughs). We could not walk. Just stayed there in our house and see other people. Only the concrete house was standing. All the others are down.
How long did it last?
Like … almost the whole night, I think. Yeah. Until morning. In the morning it was just raining. I think it’s bad.
Did you ever think that the anyone would die?
Yeah. I think … I thought there’s some people on the other islands, like here that were going to die. But after we heard that no one, everyone is okay and … it is this lady, she died, but it’s not because of the typhoon. [3:10] I think. I was scared but it didn’t happen, the house didn’t break down so …
Were the babies crying?
What did your mom do after the storm? How did she … what was the first thing that she did?
We all went outside and went to our house that is broken. We started collecting the stuff that was not broke.
What about food, what about coconuts or anything?
Oh yeah, we … there’s all kind of coconuts that time, all of them were on the grass, or … we could get the ones there and bring it to the house. And we have, we have a lot of, all the local foods are … we go and get them, that’s what we go and eat until the first donations of food.
Was there enough food?
Yeah. There was a lot.
What did it feel like to see your community the morning after the storm?
Sad. (Laughs) It’s really … it’s like we don’t believe that it’s broken.
What about the feeling during the storm? What sounds did you hear?
There’s a lot of tree fell on the house. Just, it scared us all inside, but we didn’t actually know how it looks, how it’s … I went outside to use the bathroom, ‘cause the house and the bathroom are not connected. When I first opened the door, the wind come and blew me outside, I fell outside and then my mom come, and we closed the door, she closed. I ran to the bathroom. It was my first time seeing that bathroom because it’s not our house so I could not lock myself inside, I don’t know how to go back outside but I keep on pushing the knob and all but its open, and I went back inside all wet.
That’s really funny! (Laughs)
Yeah (laughs). When I was outside I kept on screaming and they couldn’t hear me from inside. It was really scary when I was outside.
Could you see – it was dark. Could you see stuff blowing?
I see all the coconuts almost fell, and … lightening. It was … It wasn’t that dark. I could see the trees moving.
What was it like trying to rebuild? What is your day like now? Does everybody kind of come together to work on community stuff, or …?
Yeah. Every morning, the chief call a meeting and all people gather and talk what they do. First they clean the main roads and help people rebuild their houses. Like if one family really don’t have a house, they help them and rebuild one because after the typhoon it’s like … only four houses people are living in. All of us. Few families and their houses. They help people rebuild their homes. And now, people working in the community, cleaning up everything.
So you pretty much work all day every day?
Yeah. We work a lot after the typhoon. (Laughs)
What about the reefs? What about the damage on the reefs? What do you think about it?
After the typhoon, there’s … There’s fish and broken reefs on the shore, on the beach, but I didn’t look in the water, I don’t know. It’s really hard to leave, went in the water. Just stay on land and clean.
Have you been eating more fresh fish since?
How often would you say you have fresh fish per week with your family? Once a week? A couple times a week?
Yeah, a couple times.
Did you used to have more fish before the typhoon? Would you eat more fresh fish?
It’s like the same.
So you were in high school? Not when the storm happened, but you used to go there?
What was the rest of your school year like?
Did you go to school still?
On Asor, or … ?
On … After the typhoon, the school closed down, and we just work. All the students. Only the seniors, they paid them to go to Yap and finish school. The rest of us stayed back home.
What year were you? Are you … sophomore, or freshman?
Junior. Did you finish your junior year or do you have to do more school before you finish?
So you’ll be a senior next year?
That’s great. Exciting! Do you go to high school on Asor?
There’s only one high school here.
(Sara) There’s only two in the whole outer islands. And one’s here.
(Kelsey) I went there with Amalia three days ago, and we saw it.
Have you seen it since the storm?
(Kelsey) It’s pretty crazy. There’s like file cabinets everywhere.
(Sara) You should go find your papers.
Do you have any idea what you want to do after high school?
I want to go attend college in Guam.
University of Guam?
That’s a cool school. I’ve been there. Have you been there?
It’s very pretty. What do you want to study?
I don’t know. Don’t know yet.
Do you like doing the reef stuff? Swimming?
Yeah. I like. It’s interested. It helps.
You think so?
Do you see yourself living on this island later, after college, and coming back here?
Yeah. I want to go and finish school and come back.