It is hard to see the damage caused by the cyclone Evan and even harder to hear that 2 or 3 (depending upon which news source you read) perished in the storm. Here is a link to photos of the storm and ensuing damage.
The good news? Having lived in Samoa for two years, I know that the Samoan people will come together to whip things back into shape and will be laughing as they do it. Not that it isn't painful and hard but Samoans have a remarkable ability to find humor in the darkest circumstances.
The only MacDonald's in the country was devastated but that's probably good news for Burger Bills - a newly expanded local competitor.
On the other hand, Apia tended to flood during even "normal" rains, which is why they demolished the old market. Until it is replaced, vendors have set up temporary stalls in the surrounding area and I can only imagine what a mess they are.
The airport remains closed. The flight that was supposed to carry home several PCV's was one of the ones cancelled. Three Samoan boys, part of the Samoan Youth Empowerment Initiative were also scheduled to be on the flight.
I played a small part in helping Kyle Kincaid in raising funds to give the boys a chance to visit the United States for a month to experience a different culture. The boys worked hard at fundraising efforts and hopefully they'll land safely in Chicago soon.
I'm happy to be safe and dry in Florida, but my heart is in Samoa right now.