Saturday, October 29, 2005

Six Days in Cancun - Day Two The Second Evacuation

People began to gather up their belongings. The pillows, blankets, pallets and the plastic bags. We were unable to exit through the front door, as it was guarded by one of the Mexican Army with rifle. No one was getting out that way.

We made a plan. There was an area between the kitchen and the back porch that led to the men's rest room. It appeared to be the safest place in the building. We would huddle in there.....after going out into the gym and locating the families with the infants and making them join us.

At least we had a Plan B.

The RUI group had a Plan B also. We were to be evacuated a second time. The information that made its way to us was this....they were taking us across the street to the school, LaSalle. All 1,600 of us lined up in an orderly fashion and waited patiently to exit out the Back Porch.

It was like going through the neck of a bottle. I was truly amazed at how calm everyone was on the outside. Like me, I'm certain, most of us were coming apart on the inside. Dan and Cindy were able to push up ahead quicker. We lost them.

Dave was with us. We were on the other side of the wall trying to make the turn to head out the exit. The wind continued to gain strength and intensify. It continued to lift the South corner. The rain was pounding. Loud crashes were heard on the metal roof and what sounded like coconuts rolling and loudly hurtling across its length.

The wind began to pick up the roof from the South corner and head in the opposite direction. Light continued to be seen each time it lifted. Higher and higher. More and more of the sections.

Without warning, a section in the middle was peeled back. Rain and debris began to fly into the gym. People gasped and cried out!

Still, no panic. People remained calm and the evacuation continued.

I looked at Dave who was standing stoic and patient. "I'm not going to panic until the hurricane hits." I said to him.

I knew then I was going to be okay. Somewhere also inside of me I realized it was not my time.

A thick calmness engulfed me.

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