“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. 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. I was hanging out in the restaurant below after dinner so I 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 I 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 developing country.
Just Felt an Earthquake
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.
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 I was 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 Guatemala fears were not alleviated until I 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 my 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. I’m still nursing a sinus infection, resting and drinking lots of water. I am finally feeling comfortable again with San Pedro (except for all those damn hippies!).