Leon, August 5, 1999


Leon had an earthquake last night.

First in the evening we had a doozy of a thunderstorm. Poor little Yenifer was scared to death. She huddled under a cover with fingers in her ears.

I was wakened around 11 pm by the swinging of my bed. I stayed quiet and in a few minutes I was rocking again. I thought it was firly common for here so I wasn't concerned. Then we got a rolling rumble.

I could hear the others stirring in the other bedroom, but I decided to be quiet and lie there and listen for sounds through the walls.

We had four more rolling rumbles and Mirian hollered, "Elenita, temblor!" They ran out of the bedroom. I put a skirt and blouse on over my nightgown, took my glasses and flashlight and went out to sit with them and wait.

All up and down the street people were sitting outside or in their doorways. They turned on the radio and we heard reports of earthquakes in Leon, Chinandega, and Jinotega.

The shaking kept on and on. Again Yenifer was terrified. "You're not afraid?" she asked me, and I said "No. I'm not afraid. I lived many years in California." "Mirian is nervous," Norma said. "Of course," I said, "It's her house."

I wondered what these people would do if their roofs caved in or their walls cracked open. It would be disastrous.

We all sat out back for several hours. I was so sleepy I couldn't stand it, so I decided to go to bed, to heck with it. I was going to bed.

I was rumbled awake at six. Didn't get up, but I figured that one was stronger than the steady rollers we had.

I managed to sleep until 9, then got ready for work. Poor Mirian was sweeping the yard when I got up. She'd had about three hours sleep.

We got to the coop about ten and no one else was here. They'd all spent an unsteady night and came an hour later.

So guess what it is: It's the volcano Cerro Negro. It's rumbling and grumbling all the time. It's running lava down one side and is blowing sand. Danelia put a white cloth spread outside to check for sand a while ago, but we don't need that to know now. There's fine sand coming in steadily. I shake off this paper every little while.

Norma told me that Volcan Cristobal emits steam, Volcan Casita emits mud, Volcan Cerro Negro emits sand.

I hope this doesn't get too serious.

Norma is expecting a baby. She asked me if I could teach her how to embroider. She'd like to make something for the baby.

We selected a piece of plain weave cloth here, something that had been done to test the warp on one of the looms. After she gets it washed and dried, we'll put a design on it. I drew up a rabbit, a duckling, and some flowers for the corners.

Norma has a long time to get it finished, but I hope she'll sail right along with it. I think the design is simple, but I wonder if I would have back when I was embroidering for may expected babies.

You know, back last year when we were getting ready to put on a warp for baby blankets, I asked someone, anyone, to bring in a baby blanket or two so we could decide on a size, which would help determine what sort of design. None of the babies had a baby blanket. I never saw a baby wrapped up here, but I suppose at time they must be, mustn't they?

The babies are dressed like little dolls. All little bitty girls wear ruffles and lace, and little boys have cute boy outfits. The parents my not have anything nice to wear but those babies do.

I hope I get a good night's sleep tonight.



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