Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This evening in the dark, an ambulance came to our house. They were here to pick up an indigenous young person who they believe had been snake bit on Friday, today is Tuesday. He is bleeding from his ears and his eyes. The weather has been too bad to send a helicopter to the Cabecar’s Chirripo Reservation to rescue this young man.

It is our rainy season, and this afternoon it rained as hard as the hardest rain I have experienced. We get 300 inches of rain a year. Hard rain, white-out rain and today’s rain blew down the valley, not up which is usually the direction it comes. So it was blowing down from the reservation.

We heard the ambulance squealing it horn, so when we finished dinner we took the quad and went further up mountain to see if the ambulance was in trouble. He was not, but the indigenous had not arrived as expected. Felipe and I went as far as the Rio Oro on my quad and there was no sign of the Indigenous. The ambulance left and we went home after checking gates, and taking a look at Brava and what damage had been done following the big water event.

I expect the ambulance will return, either tonight or in the morning. My best guess is that the storm was so severe that the men carrying the young man down have not been able to ford the rivers. At various places, they must walk through the river waters, on a good day for as long as 2 hours. This trip can take 7-10 hours depending on various conditions. A healthy Indigenous can make the trip down, running all the way under great conditions in 5 hours. Carrying a bleeding man, in landslide and whiteout conditions…. These are amazing people, able to overcome unbelievable odds.

When the rains stopped today, and I could see across the river, the Rio Atirro, I saw waterfalls cascading down the Fila Atirro. There were also several new landslides, one very large slide on a vertical slope. Not part of our farm, but dangerous for the river.

The bridge in front of the mill in Atirro, is in desperate need of repair. The locals are protesting, in the middle of the night they removed the giant steel plates that we drive over and threw them in the river and they cut down trees and placed them in front of the bridges so people would not drive to their deaths. Good thought.

The Rio Atirro Bridge has become so dangerous that we really needed to question driving across loose and missing steel. The buses refused to cross, and the government is dragging its feet, so the people made their point, dismantled the bridge, then marched to the Casa Presidential and voice their complaints. We can ford the river in our 4 wheel drive truck on a good day, if need be. But today a neighbor was kind enough to open his locked gates and to allow us passage through his beautiful farm. Thank You Machina Viejo!


Marika said...

What a heart wrenching story about the young man - can you tell us the outcome or is it something you would rather not do?

Best wishes,

Ginnee Hancock said...

I am sorry to report that the young man died. His village was not able to get him off the reservation due to extreme rain conditions in the mountains. We wish him many blessings.