"Teatro in Time of Plague – 62

It rained all night. Then it rained all morning. Then it rained all afternoon. Then there was a discharge of the dam. It rained in the mountains in Santa Bárbara, where the two rivers Ulúa and Chamelecón rise. That rainwater came downstream to the valley. It’s 8:30 pm and it’s raining and feels like it will last all night. The forecast is that this will last all day tomorrow and into Wednesday morning. There are a variety of types of rain; this gives us a sort of fashion runway of the varying types of precipitation. I went to the office this morning. Luis was taking the Christmas photo of the group. I think he came up with some pretty good stuff. And some excellent individuals that we can always use for something. Downtown was quite jammed in spite of the rain (the rain came and went all day). The rivers rose.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 105, 211 cases, 2, 869 deaths.

It rained all night and then all day. The volume of water was considerably less during the day, and we seem to be approaching the end of this vaguada (that’s what they are calling it). But the meteorologists are now saying that tomorrow a cold front will enter, which always means rain – that will last the rest of the week. The waters have receded in some areas, but most remain flooded after rises in the rivers last night. La Lima has had four complete floods in two weeks. While we were distracted by Iota, boats from Turkey arrived at Puerto Cortés last Thursday, bearing 89 containers which contain the remaining three mobile hospitals. These will go to Juticalpa, Danli, and La Ceiba. To remind you, we already have four of these, in San Pedro Sula, in Tegucigalpa, in Choluteca and in Santa Rosa. The only one that is functioning is that of San Pedro Sula. This is a classic theft on the part of the narco-government. They closed the Puente de la Democracia today – the bridge over the Río Ulúa that controls the road to San Pedro Sula. Only emergency vehicles are allowed through.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - The official statistics page has not been updated.

It stopped raining at nightfall; the clouds opened up to reveal a beautiful moon and stars. It dawned sunny and blue. Then at noon it clouded over again, but without any rain for the moment. This would be the cold front that was predicted. But no rain yet. The waters receded enough to give us passage to San Pedro. But most areas remain under water. The numbers in shelters seems to have diminished somewhat, but mostly because people find a place to crash with relatives or friends.

Thursday, November 26, 2020 - 106, 116 cases, 2, 888 deaths.

The morning was cloudy without any rain; it almost looked like it was going to clear up at noon, but during siesta it started to rain, fairly hard. That slowed after about half an hour but the clouds remained, and at about 3:00 a moderate to heavy spell for a couple of hours. I haven’t heard any news of its having caused any special trouble; the level of the rivers is determined much more by the rainfall in the mountains in any case. I went to the teatro in the morning. They were rehearsing El Cordoncito, which they are going to record in a couple of days. This is one of the Greatest Hits from the Teatro de Emergencia project we developed in the wake of Hurricane Mitch. Seems appropriate for the moment. It’s a kids’ story by the Mexican author Vicente Leñero. Luis is organizing a project for tomorrow which might serve as a model for the next few weeks: they are taking food – sandwiches -- to a shelter along with a sound system to play the stories we have recorded for the kids. Twill be interesting to see if it works: a bit of food for the body and a bit of food for the soul. In the afternoon I went with Roger to Café Esperanza downtown. He is going to San Pedro Sula tomorrow, so we’ll get a first-hand report on how the road is. There wasn’t any serious damage downtown, and it’s slowly drying out. There still aren’t many buses operating, but yes the whole scourge of taxis is back on the streets. Downtown is trying to find a new normal and hasn’t quite gotten there yet.

Friday, November 27, 2020 - The statistics page has not been updated.

It dawned sunny and partly cloudy; then at noon the clouds closed in and it rained in siesta, and stayed cold and overcast. The troup went to Guaymas, a large village about half an hour to the north, to begin Teatro de Emergencia with food and a couple of stories for the kids in a shelter there. An out-of-town try-out. From the fotos, it seems they had more adults than kids. Edy called afterwards. They had mechanical problems with the van, but he was quite satisfied with the show. It’s good to have that moving. Roger went to San Pedro Sula. He hired a taxi. He was most impressed with the quantity of people camped out in Lima. Seems like the road is not seriously damaged. Traffic in San Pedro was terrible. The Progreso jail was seriously flooded, and the prisoners refuged in the gym of the Instituto Tecnico Loyola, the teatro’s neighbor, as well as in the Municipal Gym downtown. Nine of those in the municipal gym escaped yesterday. Doesn’t seem like the best way to keep people jailed. They have started on cleaning up the airport. They are shooting for getting it back working for the New Year. Sounds like that will be quite a task. In the areas where the waters have receded, people are beginning to try to clean up. The number of people who have lost everything is huge.

Saturday, November 28, 2020 - The official statistics page has not been updated.

No rain today. That’s probably the most significant thing today. It was partly cloudy and never got too hot. People got to work cleaning up. Mattresses are almost universally ruined, it seems. Stoves and refrigerators are iffy. Televisions and computers might be able to be brought back to life. Three of the escaped prisoners from the Progreso jail have been caught. The other six escapees remain at large. I don’t know how many prisoners they normally have in the jail. I do know that it’s far beyond capacity. The big danger that is still operative is mudslides. These have cut roads all over the place and have buried whole groups of houses. With the ground as saturated as it is, and the deforested hillsides, they are inevitable.

Sunday, November 29, 2020 - The official statistics page still hasn’t been updated.

Partly cloudy, a good sun for drying things out. La Prensa today says there are 74 villages of Progreso that are still under water, most of them in the ex-campos bananeros to the north of the city. That area used to be banana camps, with the railroad traversing it to take the bananas to the port at Tela. The Company has gone to container trucks and uses the roadway to Puerto Cortés (the government maintains the roads; the Company had to maintain the train). After Mitch the Company switched to production of African Palm, which occupy far less work force, but which poison the land. The land is basically flood plain of the Ulúa River, protected by levees; the levees have burst at numerous points and have not, of course, been repaired. The weathermen are predicting a cold front moving in tomorrow, bringing more rain with it. They specify it will be moderate rainfall; let us hope they are right. Even moderate is dangerous at this point.

Keep safe and wash your hands,





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