“Hurry! Run to the doorway!” I tried to say, but there wasn’t time. I was already out of my chair in motion. My body was reacting before my mind could even process it. Brian, too, was reaching for his bag and on his feet. It was a complete fight or flight response. The lights flickered a few times, and when it all stopped, they dropped completely out for a minute. Other people in the restaurant scurried to light the candles, but the lights came back on. At the calming motions of the owner, everyone returned to their seats.
I had just gotten done emailing my mom upstairs about the craziness from the previous few days. Brian and I were hanging out in the restaurant below after dinner so we could catch the movie of the night – Team America. The lights were on and we were full of good food. Finally, San Pedro felt like a place instead of a dark hole in the wall.
Then it happened – yet another event we had no control over. I felt the floor starting to vibrate, and it persisted. Then, it felt like it got stronger. That’s when we started to run for the doorway. It lasted only a few seconds, but it was a terrifying experience! My first real earthquake and it had to be in a third world country. Honestly, I started thinking about all the weird events occurring this week – 1) really cold weather, 2) extremely strong winds, 3) the lack of electricity – and I figured the earthquake tied into this chain of events. It was like the previous events were omens of bad things to come – something you might hear about on a TV special.
In retrospect, the quake was probably nothing – a mere tremor – but I was definitely ready to hop a bus to Costa Rica that night. The owner played it off like it just happens, some hippies started cheering, but Brian and I were a little freaked out. Was there going to be more? Is it safe to stay? It is amazing the type of thoughts that run through your head. You just never know, right, what could happen. My fears were not alleviated until we talked to another language student who said he didn’t really feel it when he was walking on the other side of town. I think our experience was so bad because we were right on the lake on a deck-type restaurant setup, making it extra wobbly.
So, all is well now since this incident. Brian and I went to the market today and bought some local (organic) veggies to make soup. I’m still nursing a sinus infection, resting and drinking lots of water, while Brian is spending tons of time reading. We are finally feeling comfortable again with San Pedro (except for all those damn hippies!).