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Saipan, N.M.I. – Weekly Report – Oct 21-25-2019

November 5, 2019

Because of the delay in knowing whether or not the FEMA VALOR program would be renewed, no additional volunteers were scheduled to come to Saipan for this week.  Our team this week was eight in number.

Monday morning we were able to work a few hours before Typhoon Bualoi brought strong winds to the island.  For some of us, this was the second time to experience the island preparing for a typhoon.  Businesses closed down early, everyone pulled their shutters closed, vehicles lined up at the service stations and people made sure their cell phones were charged in case of a power outage.  Fortunately Typhoon Bualoi was not as strong as Hagibis that came through two weeks earlier.  Work was a bit slower Tues. morning due to heavy rains and strong winds.  Since the roof was on the house, we were able to keep working on getting windows framed in at Elaine and Angel’s.  By Thurs. we completed the work on Angel’s house.  Friday morning was spent cleaning out the tool trailer and moving all the tools into a storage area on the ground floor of the Aquarius hotel.  Friday afternoon we held a dedication ceremony for Angel’s house.  Joining the family and our MDS volunteers for this occasion were eight FEMA personnel.  It was very moving to have the dedication for their home on the one-year anniversary of Super Typhoon Yutu. 

Highlight of this week included the beautiful way things worked out for storing our tools.  After getting the news that the tool trailer would not be available after December, we looked for solutions to the situation.   We were indeed touched by the generous offer that Saipan Shipping Company first made to loan us an 8’x20’ shipping container.   And then, an even better option came from the Aquarius Hotel manager.   In thinking through the idea of placing the container at the hotel he said he would make a storage room available for our use, a room on the ground floor with easy access to vehicles!  This was done in a timely fashion and a huge blessing.

As we close out our six weeks here, we go home with the peace of having had a small part in bringing joy to the four families who now have a dry home.  Angel’s wife shared that she really thought she would never get to live in their house again, and now they can.  These words brought tears to her eyes as well as ours. 

Submitted by Don & Rachel Horst, project director and office manager