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Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Return

Finally got back yesterday noon (Thurs) and took a tour of the neighbourhood. It was good timing because we arrived just after the President and Governator (yeah, that's what we heard a TV news reporter say) left. Residents who were there in the morning had to wait outside the perimeter. There were reporters from every news channel including Korea and Japan. We spoke briefly with reporters from ann.co.jp. There were fire engines and police patrol cars as well as helicopters. A fireman offered us a mask and a fire relief assistance team lady offered us some water and food. It is a scene of the aftermath of a disaster. A man asked us if the house (or whatever is left standing there) we were looking at were ours. This morning I saw his picture on our local newspaper - of him and his family - and his house. I didn't notice his anguish when he spoke to us. Other family members were also seen at their lost properties, some being interviewed by reporters. Curious residents and outsiders also visited the Rancho Bernardo neighbourhood and some took pictures with their camera, camcorder or phones.
The air still smells from the burn but life is back to normal to most of the people. In fact, some businesses started operation yesterday or the day before. Well, I got back to our complex and already some occupants have arrived earlier than us. I guess it gets tiring to stay too long at the evacuation centers despite the generous assistance given including entertainment....but who can go on days without proper shower and sleep. We were lucky to have good friends (thanks E.C.K.Y.) who took us in and even let us use their bedroom. I think Zoey enjoyed staying there with the fishes, hamsters and even a frog! So I finished sweeping outside...wow.....but have yet to clean the window/door insect nets.