Hurricane Ivan has completely disappeared from the US media as a newsmaking event. However, those who live in the Caribbean and who experienced that particular category 5 hurricane for themselves find themselves living with the aftermath of the hurricane every day. Some extended family of ours is hosting several refugees from the Cayman Islands at their Minneapolis area home. Last weekend, Sarah and I drove up to Minneapolis to make dinner for them.

How are these folks related to me? The mother of the family is the sister of my uncle by marraige. The mother, in turn, is married to a man who originally hailed from Grand Cayman. They, in turn have three kids, including one set of twins.

The folks staying in Minnesota from Grand Cayman are all nieces and nephews of the father of the Minnesota family. The number of Caymanite (?) refugees still living in Minnesota has dwindled to six from a high of thirteen, so life is getting more sane for them. If you want to keep up with their daily lives, you can read their website.

The devastation of Grand Cayman by Hurricane Ivan was nearly complete. Winds were clocked at over 200 miles per hour when the storm blitzed the island. Almost no structure on the island survived without some damage. Power is still out to large parts of the island. Drinking water is scarce and most people are getting their water from wells. If you want to view pictures of the devastation, the Forbes’ website, listed above, has a page full of links to various photo collections. As an example, check out

The kids staying in Minnesota will most likely not go home until power has been restored, drinking water is once again available, and schools are open. Until then, they will be in Minnesota drinking clean water, attending public school, eating good food, and wearing clean clothes.

Of course, providing all those things for nine kids isn’t easy for most folks, so Sarah and I drove up to Minneapolis to give the parents a night off from cooking. We cooked too much chili. Apparently, I was expecting the 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Division to stop by for a light snack. In addition to chili, we cooked four loaves of cornbread, which were generally well received.