While on the Big Island, we have witnessed the damage done as a result of the tsunami. Many resorts sustained major damage to their grounds. The Kona Village resort was forced to close indefinitely, laying off over 200 hundred of their employees. The Four Seasons sustained significant damage and will remain closed through April. There is a section of road that was washed out, along the scenic route in downtown Kona. In all, many speculate the tsunami did tens of millions of damage to the Kona shoreline.
Of course, Hilo, on the the other side of the Big Island and other Hawaiian islands sustained great damage to their shorelines as well. The sure power of this natural disaster has left me in awe. Fortunately, no lives were lost on the Big Island. Seeing the damage, however, truly brings the tsunami’s devastation to the forefront of my consciousness.
While we were visiting the Pu?uhonua O H?naunau National Historical Park (The City of Refuge), this sign was posted:
This was the beach where we found the signs. Many areas on the island were closed either partially or completely, while they work to repair the damage or houses and roofs, using professionals as the orlando roofers that have more experience in this kind of jobs.
We saw many clean-up crews along the shoreline cleaning up debris. Pictured below, is a truck that was removing debris from the ocean, near where we were.
If you look closely in the picture below, you can see a roof top on the water’s edge which probably will be needing repair soon from a company as Roof Depot Florida.
There were homes that were swept away from their foundations, businesses damaged, vehicles damaged, and roads that were washed away. We were given first hand accounts from our family and their neighbors about the evacuation that saved many lives on the island.
Many thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the people of Japan, as they work to put their lives together after such a tremendous tragedy.
We recently tightened up our budget to put more money into savings and in an attempt to brace ourselves from the capricious, tumultuous financial climate. We want to be prepared for anything; especially given the state of affairs in the great state of California and our irresponsible spending in the Capitol.
The other day, I was at Michael’s. I was purchasing some ribbon for Allie’s hair bows. I meandered my way through the store, giving myself a pat on the back for only getting the items I came for. I marched past the sale items, without much more than a thought about buying anything else. I made my way to the register and immediately recognized the cashier. She has rang me up before and to say her customer service is lacking is an understatement. In the past, she has been rude, sarcastic, condescending, is always frowning, and if you ask her a question, look out for the A T T I T U D E. As I walked up to the register, a woman politely asked her a question, to which she snapped back the answer curtly. I cringed as I handed her the ribbon.
The register misread the price on of the rolls of ribbon and I timidly told her it was on sale. I apologized for complaining about the price, adding, “We are really watching our money, right now.” She sharply blurted, “Tell me about it.” Her face softened slightly. She explained that her husband had gone on disability, leaving a $2000 deficit in their income. It was then that I saw the anger melt a bit from her face, a furrow form in her brow, and the sadness fill her eyes. She began telling me that if it was not for her minimum wage job, as a cashier, they would be homeless. She told me how lucky she and her husband were that their children were grown and that those were fewer mouths to feed. I felt so badly, but what could I say to make that better? How could I respond? It was a terribly tragic story. It made our situation seem trite.
The exchange lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I wanted to get out of there. I could feel a lump rising in my throat. I really needed a bit of perspective and this poor lady’s situation really did the trick. It reminded me that you never know what is going on in the lives of others and the old adage, “Never judge a book by it’s cover,” is something I need to remember. I realized just how disconnected I have been with the economy and how grateful I should be.
On a less serious note, I heard this the other day.
Did you know?
The economy is so bad that 7 of 10 houses on Sesame Street are in foreclosure.