On Saturday morning, we woke up to these clouds. Dark and looming and a very different view from what I’m used to seeing from our balcony.
Little did we know what was to come! Just last week I wrote about how little it rains in Santiago, and also about how rain is welcomed to clear the smog and produce the most beautiful views of snowy mountains. Well, this weekend it rained! In fact, it poured and it flooded. The flooding wasn’t caused by the river bursting it’s banks or because there was too much rain to be dealt with. It was actually caused by human error from a construction company who didn’t have things ready to cope with the rain of the weekend. But anyway, that’s a story for another time.
We knew it was going to rain for the whole weekend, and we had already heard that water would be cut in many homes. But the level of chaos wasn’t predicted by anyone.Carlos and I left Santiago on Saturday morning to go to his family’s home 40 mins outside of Santiago. It started to rain on Saturday evening and it rained throughout the entire night, I woke up several times, realising it hadn’t yet stopped. When I turned on my phone I had a Whatsapp photo from Lauren with scenes of flooding. We turned on the news and saw how some roads by the river looked like rivers too. We saw how businesses in small shopping centres had been flooded and we saw how informal housing had water up to knee height. Still, it continued to rain. The news announced that all schools across Santiago would be closed on Sunday, and we started to wonder if we would make it back to Santiago as they warned people to only take necessary journeys.At around 3pm, we left ready for Santiago, while it still rained. Upon reaching the city, we had never seen the metro so quiet and we got home in around the same time as usual. Only to turn the tap on and realise there was no water, and that it probably won’t be back for another 20 hours. Luckily, we had filled up 4 litres of water from Carlos’ mum’s house as we realised this might happen. But you don’t realise what you have until it’s gone, right? We turn on the tap and the shower so many times a day without thinking twice! We wash our hands more times that we can count, we fill up glasses of water, we rinse fruit, we wash our dishes, we clean, we scrub, we boil pasta, we brush our teeth, we never stop using water!
And how lucky we are to have water available to us whenever we need, and want it. This reminds me that we have something that to others is in fact a luxury. Something that we should never take advantage of.
How lucky we are,