Hurricane !

2007 - Northwestern Pacific Ocean


The Philippines is battered by at least 20 typhoons per season, some not worth mentioning, others so destructive they leave scars and are still talked about years later. I don't know if global climate change will change all this. When I was a school-going child, I recall waking up at 5.30 or 6 in the morning just to listen to the radio, waiting for the announcement that we didn't have to go to school. Signal 1 = elementary/primary school had no classes; Signal 2 = high school or secondary school was off; Signal 3 = all the way up to university; Signal 4 = your boss could use his discretion to close the office at lunch so that you could leave before the flood waters rose. Somemtimes, we had no electricity. Sometimes the roof leaked, and we had to run to and fro with basins. Those were exciting times. Even the food tasted better, as though we were eating out. But that was for those who had a roof in the first place. The poor suffered, of course, from the cold and from various diseases.

howling wind ... the excitement of lighting candles

le vent hurle ... l'excitation de chandelles

strong winds ... now the neighbours cannot hear us

vents forts ... maintenant les voisins ne peuvent plus nous entendre

September rain ... that was when you left me at the orphanage

pluie de septembre ... c'est alors que tu m'as laissée à l'orphelinat

Ella Wagemakers

Copyright authors, 2007
trad. fr. Serge Tomé