Saturday, October 29, 2005

SIX DAYS IN CANCUN - Day Two October 21st, Friday

I woke up from fitful dreams around 6am and tenetively made my way over the slumbering bodies to the bathroom.

Another arrival had joined us...bringing our total to seven (there was a lovely couple from Liverpool in the makeshift room when we arrived). I was relieved to see Dave, who had stayed behind on the concrete steps, had found us! Actually, he just stumbled into our area around 4am unable to deal with the rain anylonger. Karma.

The day took on a frustrating rhythm. A television had been set up in the Back Porch area and was broadcasting in Spanish. All we wanted to do was to watch the picture and path of Wilma making her way, very slowly towards Cancun. Category 4 with winds of 150 miles per hour.

When was it going to hit us? That is what everyone wanted to know. We were smashed together like sardines. It was hot, dank, sweaty and muggy. The roof was leaking. Babies were crying, the emergency medical staff had visited our gym numerous times.

A pattern was established. We were being told false information!!! The hurricane was to hit at 2am. At 2am? Nothing. Just false information to appease us.

A woman had been rushed out of the back porch area because she was overcome by the dense cigarette smoke. Also false, because we met up with this lady at a later date and a different shelter.

The hurricane had split in two! One headed towards Cuba and the second towards Cancun!

The only thing we could trust was what we were seeing with our own eyes. Around noon, the roof above the South corner, directly above our first camp on the steps, was being lifted up by the fierce winds and dropped back.

Each time a thunderous metal BAM vibrated and reverberated over us. At first it lifted one section along the seam on the edge. Light could be seen under it on each lift. It began to spread. First one section, then two, then three. Each time, the loud BAM as it slammed back down.

My heart began to beat faster. I felt the panic begin to rise up in me. Each BAM cause me to shudder and quickly look into the corner. In time, I could not tear my eyes away. The wind was now lifting up seven sections.

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