Friday, December 9

Our morning started early with a shake around 4:30. The kids in the bottom bunks thought it was the kids in the top bunk climbing down and shaking the bed! But it was really just a long, gentle shake that thankfully didn't damage anything. The teenagers have been attending choir practice to prepare for Christmas: Sunday night, Monday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night, tonight, and many other nights between now and Christmas. They usually get home just before 11:00. The church is right next door, so those of us at home get to enjoy the choir practice. I've seen quite a few yawns in our house today.

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After school, the kids went down to play with their friends, and I walked around looking for my friends, too, while Aaron worked up at the house. One of Olivia's friends has a bird, and playing with the bird has become one of Olivia's favorite things to do. On this bright, sunshiny day, most of the adults had gone to the garden or to work on copra. With the few I did find, the talk inevitably turned to the earthquake and their early morning reactions. Everybody who lives right on the shore had ventured up to the higher ground where the next row of houses, including ours, is built.

Note from Ann: The earthquake was a 7.9 magnitude, with a 6.9 magnitude follow-up the next day. Although this does seem to have been one of the most strongly felt earthquakes in recent SI history (resulting in some structural damage on one island), the country seems to, for the most part, have been minimally affected by the quake. Tsunami warnings were issued after both quakes, but then cancelled. Communication and Internet have been disrupted as a result of the earthquake, so communication to and from the Choates may be sporadic for the next little while.

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