Higher yet we go
This morning began with the shifter between my legs. The engine rumbling beneath, we headed further up into the mountains. In a different truck this time, though we had a smaller crew we were more crowded and I was in the middle of the front. Second gear was notably uncomfortable. The driver pushed my knee to the left so he could steer, a moment later to push it back to the right so he could shift. On repeat. There was nothing more to do than submit.
We were headed through the clouds to visit the homes we had sent roofing to the day before. I recall wondering if there was such a thing as a pinnacle. When we finally arrived at the first cluster of damaged houses, we parked the truck where there was a small group of people waiting for us and followed them down a narrow path through the trees. It quickly opened up into a field of corn and other crops; on the other side of which were a cluster of three houses made of the typical mud and daub walls usually painted in cadmium orange, framed by wood and with corrugated aluminum roofing. These small conglomerations of houses turned out to be quite typical. The first thing I noticed was that the pattern and shapes of the cracks looked exactly like the ones I saw in Haiti in 2011. A Mandelbrot set reserved solely for earthquakes.
The damage of the houses varied from subtle cracks to piles of rubble with most somewhere in between. Many of the houses we couldn’t even enter for fear of imminent collapse, but we were allowed to go into one to see that sometimes barely visible damage on the outside can hide total destruction on the inside.