Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rain, rain, go away

I've been meaning to write about my trip home, and I still will, but first I need to tell you about the crazy storm we had yesterday. I've never seen anything like it. We have monsoon season in Korea that is technically "over," and yet we got 9 inches of rain in an hour. It poured all morning and most of the afternoon. I had my rain boots and umbrella for my walk to school, but by the time I got there my pants were so wet that they looked dry. Water was actually shooting out of the drains like little fountains. Cars driving past sent up huge sprays of water, and none of them bothered to slow to keep us poor, already miserable pedestrians from getting wetter. The kids all came in soggy and scared too - rain is common but thunder and lightning are not - and they jumped at every loud noise. While the kiddos were busy with a worksheet and I looked out the window and saw this:

That is supposed to be a road. Our school is on the middle of a hill, and at the top of the hill is a mountain. Dirt and branches and water were running down the mountain and turned our street into a river. A few minutes later I looked out again and there were huge chunks of road floating down the river. Not good. About that same time my boss came in and said the van (most of our students get picked up and dropped off in the school van) couldn't get through because the roads around of our school were closed. She quickly called the parents and told them to keep their kids home, and then we had to figure out what to do with the ones that were already there...they obviously weren't going home on the van. Some of the moms parked a few blocks away and walked over in ponchos. One of our teachers walked some kids home who live close by, but he said he ended up piggy-backing them because he was afraid they were going to get swept away.

By the time the last kid was gone the rain had stopped and the teachers got out of there before it started again. On my way to the subway all the shop owners were out with their brooms and shovels and buckets trying to clean up. Everybody was working hard and working together to try to fix what they could. Across the street they're building new apartments, and all the construction workers stopped what they were doing pitched in too. It was actually very sweet.

I have a feeling they'll be busy filling in potholes for a while - or who knows, maybe they'll just leave the craters as a souvenir of this fun day.