First it was the volcano. Then came a historic wildfire on the west side of the island. High schoolers around the country are on strike and provoking intervention by riot police. Then Wednesday afternoon I find out Saint Pierre is under a Tsunami Warning?? Apparently a massive swell triggered by the earthquake in Indonesia smashed into the Saint Pierre harbor some time in the middle of the night on Tuesday and sank a large number of boats. The new apartment I have moved into is less than 100m from the shore and somehow I didn’t even know about this until well after the fact. (Here’s an article from the local paper: http://www.clicanoo.re/11-actualites/16-faits-divers/261955-tsunami-une-faille-dans-le-plan-de.html)
Since I last wrote, Reunion Island has gotten a lot more extreme. Natural disasters for everyday of the week and mounting social tension as the French Senate continues passing the controversial Pension Reform. I am supposed to be at school right now, but the teachers have gone on strike, so instead I’m at the beach.
Also, every October the island gears up for a giant race called the Grand Raid which takes place over several days. Its a race for the craziest of the crazies. You start running at midnight on the southeast coast of the island, pass the volcano (mind the lava), traverse the 10,000 foot peaks of the interior, and 165km later descend to the coast on the north side of the island. Several thousand participants come from all over the world (meaning, mainland France) to run it, and it’s either very inspiring or makes you feel very lazy about yourself.
Here are some images from my past week: