GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A Glenwood Springs Rotary exchange university student experienced a harrowing pair of times, not to mention some apprehensive parents again residence, following torrential rains prompted lethal flooding and landslides in the Rio de Janeiro area of Brazil previous 7 days.
Serena Kauffman, a sophomore at Glenwood Springs High University, has been on Rotary exchange in Brazil due to the fact late August. She was remaining with her host family members in the city of Nova Friburgo in the location most afflicted by final week’s tragedy, which claimed the life of more than 400 folks.
“It was quite terrifying for about 24 hrs prior to we could get in contact with her,” said Serena’s mother, Leigh McGown, who is the principal at Yampah Mountain Higher Faculty in Glenwood Springs.
She and Serena’s father, Ted Kauffman, were being on edge wondering if their daughter was Okay.
“Part of what sophisticated the problem is the Rotary contacts we have are from the identical town, and they had been active supporting with the disaster,” McGown explained.
With aid from Serena’s grandmother, who works for Marriott hotels, McGown reported they were capable to relay a message by way of resort workers in Rio de Janeiro on Jan. 13, the day soon after the rain storms.
They finally been given term back again that their daughter was Alright, and had relocated to a secure area in the town of Rio with users of her host household.
The Post Impartial attempted to get to Serena through e-mail without the need of achievement, as Internet support is continue to spotty a week right after the flooding.
McGown explained they managed to contact their daughter as a result of Skype a couple of occasions given that the catastrophe. She informed them she was in the middle of city the night time of the storm.
“The schools are on summer time break there, so she was out with some mates,” McGown claimed. “She resolved to get a bus back again home, and the storm strike about 15 minutes later. There was no warning that it was just about anything unusual. It had been raining all month, so she did not consider anything at all of it.”
Luckily, McGown stated, the host family’s condominium building was in a neighborhood that was considerably less-impacted by the flooding, despite the fact that water and other utilities were reduce off. The host family’s mom and 18-12 months-aged daughter, together with Serena, located a location to remain in Rio, though the father stayed at the condominium, she stated.
Serena is one of 4 Rotary exchange learners in the location, including two from Australia and a person from Canada.
“She was equipped to get in speak to with the lady from Canada the future working day, but it took awhile to get in contact with the other two,” McGown claimed. “A ton of the roadways were being ruined, and it’s hard to get anyplace.”
Tragically, they also realized that a boy from the university Serena attended died when his household collapsed.
“It’s been a very rigorous predicament,” McGown claimed. “We’re ecstatic she’s Alright, but she’s nevertheless there in a alternatively unstable position, so it is worrisome.”
Ironically, Serena is not the initial Rotary trade university student from the Roaring Fork Valley to practical experience a organic catastrophe in South The usa in recent decades. Just last calendar year, Roaring Fork Substantial University pupil Raleigh Burleigh was a Carbondale Rotary exchange college student in Chile when a main earthquake ravaged that nation. He, much too, was unharmed.