As many of you know, the city of Boulder was met with torrential, ad very destructive flooding last week. I was born and raised in Boulder, and there has never been anything like this flooding. We do occassionally get wildfires that can be destructive, but nothing on this level has happened in recent memory.
As a local, I know many people whose houses are flooded, and a few whose homes were destroyed altogether (although I must express how fortunate I feel, my family home appears to have escaped mostly unharmed). Normally, I would want to be the first one out to help, but since I am in Istanbul for the semester, I am unable to lend anything more than words of support. It is actually a fairly common concern for students thinking of studying abroad, "What happens if I am around the world and something happens?"
It has been heartbreaking to have to observe from afar. At first, the torrents of water and many of my friends said they were having a pretty jolly old time playing in the rain. But then things started to turn destructive. Some of the images from the crisis have been startling to say the least, and I have been sent a number of photos that simply made my jaw drop. I long to be able to be at home with a bucket bailing water out of a basement.
This is the backyard of Boulder High School.
This is a road in Left Hand Canyon, north of town, one of my favorite places to ride my bike. Not anymore I guess.
However, I have been very excited to see/hear about the overwhelmingly supportive response from the city and students. There are already a number of Facebook groups that exist for people looking to pitch in and help people clear out basements etc. My teammates on the lacrosse team even donated a Saturday to volunteer for those whose homes were ravaged.
This is the team after getting good and muddy
I have been keeping in pretty close contact with friends at home throughout the crisis, and the support the citizens of Boulder have shown has become a source of great pride for me as a local. The city has rallied, and while the amount of destruction is huge, and the amount of money that will be needed to get everything repaired is really unimaginable, we'll be OK.
So, I guess if you are worried about studying abroad and being away for some sort of disaster, I would recommend surrounding yourself with truly exceptional people. Easy enough right?