How to Survive a Hurricane

Monday Sept. 5 Hurricane Newton. From Cabo

The afternoon visit to Los Cabos Square was originally an outing to enjoy lunch, stroll and explore the small authentic town.San Jose Square

We met shopkeepers and art gallery owners, as we meandered from shop to shop, the talk of the storm intensified…initially described as a  tropical storm by some, it was clear by the end of the few blocks that the storm indeed was stronger than a tropical depression. Mothers in the shops mentioned school was already declared closed on Tuesday and as we took one more walk around the historic square the presence of a small convoy of AK47 armed military police indicated looting prevention measures were falling into place. OK, perhaps we look for a taxi and head back to our hotel.

We moved hotels to Esperanza, an Auberge Resort where we were warmly greeted with the usual custom of a chilled flavorful fruit drink – tequila infused? Si!

Red Flag Beach Closed!

Our suite was perched on the hilltop overlooking the grassy green resort, the seas below  were already churning and slamming the beach boulders. Staff members removed the outdoor furniture from the dining terraces…we would not be dining at Cocina del Mar on the terrace above the rocky cliff.

The hotel sent out several notices to the guests apologizing for the interruption to their vacations and Hurricane Advisories – basically stay in your room. We walked in the medium rainfall to dinner; enthusiastic staff was coping with the eventual downpour and blustery winds…guests were moved into a small ballroom for dinner, enormous glass doors rattled with each massive gust of wind. Sheets of rain poured off the rooftop, it was exciting, if you like Mother Nature’s personality! I do.

Hurricane Newton Esperanza Resort Cabo

Hurricane Newton Esperanza Resort Cabo

Dinner was festive, the congenial and fun hotel GM, Marc Rodriguez came to chat, slightly soaked from walking the grounds…all the staff conveyed a marvelous sense of ‘we will be fine’ and still apologetic for our inconvenience…Guillermo Gomez, the new chef came to our table to discuss the menu items and ingredients, followed by the sommelier to make his personal recommendations. Very festive and enjoyable! Our Last Supper was joyous, delicious and quite grand!

Marc Sent SOS Supplies..tequila and snacks!

Marc Sent SOS Supplies..tequila and snacks!

A golf cart ride up the hill in the pouring rain and ferocious winds – we kept our glass doors open for awhile to enjoy the drama…Marc had generously delivered a beautiful array of tequila, juices and snacks with a Buenas Noches note. Power blipped a few times and the generators took on their task. Dancing palms bent in the wind, but the fierce winds were no challenge to these astonishing trees…I had no idea palms were so robust, proudly standing up to Mother Nature’s whipping wind – Newton was not going to uproot or de-frond these impenetrable dancers.

My goal was to stay up all night and watch the spectacle unfold, alas, I fell asleep, slightly apprehensive…the eye was supposed to pass over us around 1 am, at exactly 2 am, I woke up – jolted by a loud banging – the door was rattling in the raging wind. I got up to look outside, double check the locks, the floor was wet by the doors…I have to say the door rattling jarred my initial sense of adventure – the reality of 100 mph winds was right here on my doorstep! I checked my phone and we still had WiFi until 2.20 am when we dropped off the WiFi radar.

I woke up again around 7 and the ceiling fan was off, indicating the generator power was off as well. The wild wind deterred me from opening the glass sliders, so I took a few misty photos through the streaky debris laden glass doors. Massive waves heaved and rolled against the beach wall. Nodded off again and at 8.30 woke to a loud rapping on the door…staff presented breakfast boxes with fruit and croissants…the porch and the golf cart path were littered with tree debris. But out across the grounds, only one palm tree seemed to have lost its waving mane, all others were proudly erect, standing in defiance,  defeating Newton.

Thirty minutes later staff arrived to clean the room, replenish towels and deliver breakfast burritos! Wow – an efficient team checking in on all the guests and really – change my bed linens? No, we are bueno, coffee would be happily received, but bed linens, no we can survive!

Hurricane Newton clean up begins

Hurricane Newton clean up begins

It’s now almost 11 am, we still don’t have power or WiFi, and honestly after a few days of local dining, I am certain we could use a detox day…we can organize boot camp in the room! The wind is still howling, the rain seems to have subsided; our glass door is open enough to enjoy the gusts. So far so good…

We subsequently enjoyed visits from the head of finance and Marc, our GM. The hotel staff is extremely well trained in managing drastic situations, their chief concern is the safety of their guests. Esperanza chefs toiled in a candlelit kitchen all night preparing our breakfast, grounds people were out as soon as the rain stopped clearing paths for their guests, this exceptional team kept us safe.

How to survive a Hurricane? Hope you are checked in to the five star Esperanza, an Auberge Resort.






Riley Fitting – Peace Corps Volunteer

I had the supreme pleasure of meeting Riley on my visit to Ranch at Rock Creek last year – he was my expert fly fishing guide.

Meandering the stream banks with Riley, guaranteed my fishing success! During our conversations, he confided that he was leaving soon for South Africa to become a Peace Corp Volunteer – he wants to help eradicate Aids in Africa.

Riley is surviving the challenges of living in Jane Furse, Limpopo province, South Africa.  He has been there for 8 months, and leaves in March 2018.

I subscribe to his blog posts and am always so impressed with his endeavor and his descriptive colorful interpretation of his life – working to help others. Latest post is below.

Riley, you are my hero!

God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water, the fire next time~


Well, yesterday was hot, like it was next time.  But today was cold, a cold whose wind sears through your yesterday’s tank top and sandals and tightens your skin.  Catching you off guard and unprepared, making you wonder, ‘Damn, why is it so cold today? Whats happening, am I not in Africa?’  A cold that can only be described as, ‘Africa Cold.’

A cold like early fall in Montana.  After too many days of an Indian summer, with nothing but midges and pseudos and overwhelming terrestrial patterns left on the luke-warm rivers.  When the first blue-winged olives hatch and a single Hecuba ignites the ancient instinct of cutthroat that must have been painted in heaven.  A cold like a perfect day of fall fly fishing in Montana.

Today I wished I was back in Montana.


A week ago I sat on a couple cinder blocks, stacked the best way I could stack them to have an even seat.  I ripped a grease stained Roman’s Pizza box in half and gave the top to my friend so we could both have a cushion and keep our pants clean.  We sat on our blocks and talked about our histories and current lives.  We were on the side of the street just outside his cement Lego-block of a shop where he fixes cellphones and sells electronic accessories. Two sketchy, visibly neglected young men with hollow faces, shaky legs, holey clothes and tiny shoes approached us and tried to sell us ‘cool-times.’  They had clearly bought them in the grocery store at the crossing and were trying to flip them quick to a white guy and his ‘must-also-be-rich’ friend.  They were dumb, high and clumsy and my friend wasn’t going to entertain them so he shooed them away.  “Nyaope guys,” we both sighed to each other after they spun across the street.

You know? you’re not going to be able to change them, brotha..

I know, you want me to stop trying?

No, I don’t mean stop trying… but seriously, why are you even trying?

I’m trying so that maybe their parents or siblings or children can see that I’m trying, and maybe get some hope or assurance that somebody in this damn town cares about them.

Ok, brotha, I get you..

Why shouldn’t I beat the rot of homesickness and throw myself at impossible challenges?  Challenges that people talk about, but nobody does anything.  Why can’t I want to be the next Gandhi?  If we do not dare everything, to change the world, whose to say that old slave song about ‘the great flood’ is only a child’s warning?

Today I choose Jane Furse over Montana.  I choose this place not unlike millions of other stuck, miserable hoods overtaken by taverns and drugs, exhaust fumes and burning garbage heaps.  Invaded by low-level thieves and professional crooks.  Called home by smart and beautiful people who keep tidy yards and cleaner consciences.  Played in and laughed in by innocent children who think all schools and soccer fields are surrounded by razor-link fence and broken glass.  Sure, I could choose Montana and help people there too, I like to think I used to.  But if I’m going to dare everything, how could I?

How could I escape with privilege back into comfort, possibilities and freedom?  Back into a life which thinks that prevention most righteous.  A life that is twisted into prioritizing unknown lives as if it is possible.  If I’ve affirmed any belief of mine, it is that people are people no matter where they are, we all do the best we can with what we have, and none of us are equal.  How could I leave?  When others cannot.

Brotha, I’ve lived here a long time and.. you really care too much about this place.

Do I care too much? How could I care too much about people, man?

I don’t know, but you’re going to get to let down.

Yeah? I’ll feel that when it happens, I’m going home man, see you tomorrow.