Last night the city opened the Alameda to traffic.
We could clearly hear alot of car and truck noise and more than a few happy people. Alot of children were out playing last night, too. Their laughter warmed our hearts....
We also heard alot of pretty mexican music and it was the first night we have heard any music since last Saturday night, before Norbert hit.....
In the background, the sounds of the dozers continued through out most of the night.
I kept waiting to see a cloud of dust come up our street, but Bill was down yesterday morning before his trip to Navajoa and he says the Alameda is clean and tidy, except for a few shops and casas, and of course the mercado.
Evidently the front of the mercado appears clean, but the side streets, (along the length of the building) are still filled with mud and debris and the mercado itself is shut down tight. Lots of vendors in there and they have lost all of their inventory.
The first of the bush pilots have been coming, and there is alot of small jet and helicopter activity.
A warning has been issued encouraging people to not wear flip flops or other open toed shoes outside the house and to have a pair of shoes for outdoors and switch to the indoor pair as you enter your casa. Workers are sprinkling lime on the ever growing piles of mud that line many streets, especially in the centro and historic areas, and on the carreterra leaving town.
Mexican news reports state that there are 2o fatalities and over 20 missing.
The calmest, cleanest area downtown, is the Plaza de Armas, where the church, the museum, the government offices and the tourist office, and several businesses are located.
It is a very quiet place right now. The church doors are open; they are always open, but they look even more inviting, given the state of the rest of the town.
Garbage pick up did occur today, which was a very welcome sight.
We hear there are a few trucks and cars stranded at the border with supplies, because certain aduana rules or regulations were not met, and people are working hard to resolve those issues. I understand that over 30 foreigners attended yesterday's meeting with DIF , and other officials, to learn how they can help. Schools may open again this next week and we've been told that children need writing pads and pens and pencils.
I did start my day early again at DIF and it was as rewarding as the others have been.
Today the huge deliveries from other DIF programs were fruits and vegetables, some from as far away as Northern California. So, after getting the frijoles going with the men in the morning, and cracking 400 eggs, I sorted lots and lots of fruits: bananas, pears, peaches, apples, oranges, cantaloupes, other melons and papayas and mangoes. I was a very noisy sorter as I did not want any unexpected surprises like hairy pin cushions or tarantulas crawling up my hands as I reached into numerous crates and burlap sacks. If I'd had any idea that would be my day's job, I'd have worn long sleeves and gloves.........
After sorting and bagging alot of fruit, I packaged meals and went back to sorting, stacking and labeling the steady flow of incoming boxes of tuna, rice, salt and sugar and other staples. My english speaking friend is trying to keep a room adjacent to the cocina, neatly stacked with labled boxes to enable us to be more efficient. That works until the federales bring in donations during the night and we are once again, saturated with boxes.
While I was sorting, the remainder of yesterday's liver was cooked and served. I stayed in the other room as long as I could.....
It is in another room of the DIF where food items and household items are being packaged for distribution to families.
There are hundreds and hundreds of boxes in there, baby food and formula, and diapers, powdered milk, toothpaste, boullions, bottles of water, bandaids, hairbrushes, hundreds of things you and I might take for granted....
I have never seen so many hard working young people, too. Kids as young as ten were in long lines with adults and teens, passing boxes, hand over hand, to other workers who were busy sorting the items.
Outside, under large tents, hundreds and hundreds of pieces of donated clothing have been laid on tarps.
While I was stirring the frijoles this morning I looked out the gated window over the stoves, to the piles and piles of clothing. Dawn was just breaking. Suddenly I saw people coming up from out of the mounds of clothing. It was truly a scene from a horror film..... The egg cooking man next to me said...the federales, they sleep where they can.....
So, that is it for the day. I am thankful for what we have, thankful that I can sleep in a bed, thankful that the federales, many of whom are Ian's age, just very young men, are here to help and protect us. I am thankful that I can continue to share the energy I have by going to the DIF.
Also, I am thankful for all the happy sounds of voices, laughter and music that we heard coming from the alameda last night.
And I know I am not the only thankful person in this wonderful town of Alamos....