How did your community find out that there was going to be a big storm? What did you think about it?
Alecia: It was before …
Orpha: Maybe, yeah. Three days before that, we heard about it and we start preparing those…
Orpha: The house.
What did you do to prepare the house?
Orpha: Us girls, we don’t have things to do. The boys are the one.
Alecia: They take plywoods, they come and they nail it to the windows so that the rain won’t come in.
Orpha: Over the windows.
Alecia: Or they tie the roof of the house down, and … they get … the machine for the boat, that are like outside. They get it and put it inside.
Orpha: Those pigs, they said the pigs, they bring …
Alecia: Yeah, they bring it closer to the land, the pigs.
Orpha: Because of the water. And the boat, they move up.
Alecia: Yeah. I wasn’t … As for me, I didn’t really think it was such a big storm. I was like, no, we don’t need to prepare for it.
Orpha: Yeah, before, we say, “It’s not a storm.” Yeah.
Alecia: It’s just like those little storms that people keep on talking about. And then, later on, everybody was getting scared. You gotta go and buy like, stoves, ’cause they can’t cook outside, and …
Orpha: When they said it was a super-typhoon, that’s the time when people got more scared.
Alecia: Started working.
Orpha: Start mixing those.
Alecia: Some people, “Oh, we wish that the storm would come.” And when the storm came, “Oh man, I wish the storm never came.”
So then the storm happened, and what? Where did you go?
Orpha: Me, I go to my Aunty’s house and we stay there.
Alecia: ‘Cause, her house, it’s made out of concrete. So it’s much safer.
How many people were there?
Orpha: There? Not plenty. Only me and my mom, and my brothers are there at the men’s house. Only me and my mom and aunty’s and the husband, the kids was there.
What did the storm sound like?
Orpha: (Laughs) It’s like something really bad. ‘Cause it’s maybe 6:00 in the evening, and it starts, the trees start falling down. Strong wind, and it start raining. Not really strong, but when it’s like 10 to 11 at night, that’s the time it’s really strong. We’re still inside and we can hear the sound, it’s really …
Alecia: The trees were falling.
Orpha: Yeah. ‘Cause the house we stay at, it’s by the breadfruit trees and those big trees, but it’s keep falling down and … and we can hear the waves because it’s close.
And what about when the storm was the strongest, were you really scared? Where was everyone else in the community? Were they in the other houses?
Orpha: Yeah, all the other people, they go to the house they know that it’s strong for them to stay. Some people come to the dispensary, and some goes to the men’s house. Some just stayed at their house.
Alecia: When the eye of the storm came, I heard that people thought that the storm was over, so they went outside and then later on it came really strong.
Orpha: All the people stay inside the house, but only my brothers and one of my cousin, they were like running around, watching what’s going on, like …
Alecia: The trees.
Orpha: The trees falling down and the house that fall down. They go and search for it and then come back, they were like “Hey, this is what happened to the other house,” because we’re still there staying inside the house, but they’re the one walking around.
Alecia: Her brother and my brother.
Orpha: Yeah. My brother and … But people worry about them, because we had not heard from them in the storm, but they … they like running around instead of staying inside then.
When you came out after the storm from your aunt’s house, what did it look like?
Orpha: When I opened the door and I looked, it’s like it’s not here. We cannot see houses and those things because of the trees, big trees that had fallen down. It’s like, we go and we don’t know where the road is. We just go outside, only the front house we stay in, we watch those because people start working. First they work, they clear the road because people can walk to the other houses. That’s the time, because … it’s like, a lot of houses here, down. Cannot go, because it’s really … When we go on the beach, it’s really clean on the beach but here it’s like all those things on the beach, the wave bring it on land.
Orpha: There’s rock, big rock.
Aphelia: And the trash that people like, take it and dump it there for the waves to take it.
Orpha: Yeah, on the beach.
Aphelia: But it brought it back.
Orpha: But they brought it back.
Orpha: And it’s like … Oh, yeah. When we throw sand, we can find it on land but yeah. It’s instead of soil it’s sand.
Aphelia: And in our taro patch, there’s a little salt water.
So has the taro stopped growing?
Orpha: It’s growing, but now we put the things in …
Aphelia: We put leaves inside …
Orpha: Because it’s …
Aphelia: It might die.
Was your mom our your aunt really sad walking around after the storm?
Orpha: Yeah. Because I have the house, the one over there. My house there. That’s the house that it’s … It’s not one fall down, but the other one, the roof only the roof. The house there, it’s still there. It’s not …
Orpha: Yeah. It’s still good.