It’s never good to find your phone a buzz with multiple calls from the same neighborhood. As I glanced down after breakfast last Friday, I saw five missed calls from Nyein Nyein, three from San Aye; and then Stephen’s phone began to ring with Pa Chit calling right that moment.
We had thought by traveling in September we’d be in the clear, but the monsoon rains came late this year. The water has finally become too much that the city decided to release the dam–yet again, our yearly flood anniversary! The waters were rising around our house and filling our neighbor’s houses, and they were calling to ask for help.
I called our friend, Alisha, who is helping with bread & flower deliveries while were away and was scheduled to be there to deliver already-baked bread and already-arranged flowers in just an hour. I told her it was flooding, and I didn’t really know what that meant. I didn’t know if they’d still deliver, or if she’d even be able to get to their houses. I didn’t know if things would be piled up at our house or perhaps people might need a place to stay dry? I had no idea really, but I wanted to give her a heads up.
The next hour we took calls from a variety of neighbors, including one who had walked a kilometer to my Karen teacher’s house and asked her to call me.
Then I got a call from Alisha, laughing, as she told me she had parked a few blocks away and was walking because it was too high to drive through. It was now up to her waist as she neared our house, and everyone was out and about trying to get things to dry places.
…and our yard. But don’t worry, a safe place was found for the pigs & chickens!
It got nearer to our house than it has any other year. We were nervous for so many homes–the water was even into the concrete homes and flooding out the huts; we asked about Aung Moo, the blind man, to make sure someone would ensure he was okay. We called another family down the road that has had a lake of standing water under their home since June, and asked if it was okay. I told her in Burmese I had heard the water was coming up a lot, was her family okay? She replied in broken English, “This morning the water more and more into my house. Now it goes down little, little, little.”
Stephen & I weren’t really sure what to do. It was a pretty stressful morning of trying to decide if we get in the car and go to help, but hoping with all that we are that the water would be gone down by the time we could trek across the country and arrive at dinnertime. We asked a whole lot of questions, played out a whole lot of scenarios, and said we were sorry to a whole lot of friends over the phone.
We watched as our friends receiving flowers & bread graciously took them late and sent their love to the community. We heard as Alisha checked on everyone and made sure there were dry places to cook and sleep. And by late afternoon, we were seeing photos of the kids playing with Alisha’s kids swimming in the road.
Yet again, all the feelings. And yet again, so thankful for friendships and seeing these friendships collide.