El Matal/Jama Ecuador – Around 4:30 this morning, after peering into the pre-dawn seascape from my balcony perch at my friends’ home, I tipped downstairs and wondered whether to awaken Lesli or Becky or both. If I knocked on Becky’s door, the dog might start barking, so I tapped lightly on Lesli’s bedroom door.
“It’s here,” I said as if I were a child announcing the devil peering through my window. Or perhaps a dragon or some malevolent creature from a Stephen King novel.
Becky opened her door. “Are you OK?” she asked.
Seasoned veterans, they’ve learned the nuances of sounds that the ocean makes as it gauges its daily appetite. “It’s OK right now. We would hear the sound of the bags if they were falling.”
“But it looks like it’s reaching Paul and Cinzia’s house. It’s —“ I felt so silly, but my friends turned on the outside lights, which confirmed that the bags were in place. We stepped outside and stared quietly at the waves.
“What time is it?”
“I think around 4:30, “I sheepishly replied.
Becky checked the tide charts and said we were about half an hour from high tide.
Lesli, in her dry sense of humor, stated, “We’ve got a rookie in the house.”
We wondered what Linda was experiencing, as the municipality did a lot of work/rearranging the toppled rocks in the area near her home and Pat’s.
“Leroy and Shirley seem to be getting more water today,” Leslie stated, and we peered in the other direction as the water found its way back to the sea.
I don’t know how one can face this night after night, week after week, month after month – wondering if the next set of waves will break through the weakening defense. Some of the waves reverberate through the ground and shake this well-built home. How does one deal with the emotional and physical fatigue without having combat training?
Yes, this rookie tips her hat to the stoic ones who have been enduring this for two years. May today bring news of hope.