At the end of my second week there, Cyclone Cook passed through Vanuatu. This is the first time I've experienced a cyclone or hurricane firsthand. A couple days before the cyclone passed through our area, the weather started to get windy and the waves were stronger than before.
As the storm got closer, the wind and rain picked up. Some members of Kathleen's community own fiberglass motorboats (used for fishing and transportation), and we went down to the beach with a group of men to help haul the boats out of the water. They were pushed high up into the bush by rolling them on plastic pvc pipes, so they couldn't be swept away by the waves. It was fun being out there in the rain with everyone, getting soaked and helping push the boats. Everyone prepared their houses, as well. Many of the houses have thatch roofs, which are great for keeping a house cool and allowing air circulation - but the thatch can be blown off in heavy wind. To prevent this people cut coconut leaves, tie them together in sets of two, and lay them over the top of the roof to weigh the thatch down. Here's a photo of Kathleen's house once we'd done this, with the help of her family in village: