Saturday, May 29, 2010
I'm heading to Guatemala in a few short weeks... June 17th to be exact. Now I am already scared of the plane ride ahead- (all the news reports of more terrorist attacks to come, near misses with other planes and several crashes have added more than one gray hair to my head these past few weeks)and of course the potential for earthquakes which I have never experienced before. (other than watching them on TV disaster movies of course.)
Imagine my surprise when I find out now that PACAYA volcano (the one closest to the city of course) has been erupting since this past Thursday. Hubby's family in the city were cleaning up ash that fell around their house, the first they have seen since 1998. But they could not clean up the ash fast enough-because on the heels of the erupting volcano, we've got Tropical Storm Agatha. 10-20-30 inches of rain, mudslides, impassible roadways, flooding, and a State of Calamity for the country. Not to mention that the airport is still closed... for the next 5 days. Wow!
I am wondering why all this shit is happening now that I have finally (in 12 years of being married) decided to get on the plane and go. This has got to be some sort of sign, but I haven't quite figured it out yet. My son told me to have a pleasant trip, and told me that he hoped my will was up to date. Very comforting news...I'll tell ya! Now, in addition to malaria, dengue fever, or some other foreign illness that I might get-I've got to worry about volcanoes and way too much rain. I should have known though, hubby DID tell me we were visiting his homeland in the rainy season.
I'm a trooper, I am still planning on going. Don't ask me why, because I don't know the answer myself. Maybe this 44 year old broad is ready for some sort of new adventure. I have already packed the hand crank flashlight/radio/cellphone charger. I'm buying lots of bottled water in 5 gallon jugs when I get there. Hubby's family has plenty of beans, rice and corn to make tortillas-so I might just come home a few pounds lighter as well. Heading to a country where there is currently a state of emergency, and possibility for more eruptions in the near future has me a bit unsettled. It will certainly be interesting-but I am sure I will make it just fine, I will be in good hands.
I've even told hubby, if the airport isn't open, maybe we can get in by going to El Salvador instead, and having his family pick us up there. My mother thinks I am crazy. My son is already picking out what he wants from my estate. I'm due to go back to work soon after I return to the US-ladies, I know you read this blog, so for some reason if I don't show, don't give up on me just yet. I may need to wade in snake infested waters, through fields of volcanic ash, but I will be back, better late than never.
In the meantime, I leave you all with a pic of the very pretty city lights... and the current natural light show going on from Pacaya Volcano. Beautiful, but very scary at the same time.
*** Note Added *** In this post, I am making fun of myself because I am a wimp when it comes to plane rides, natural disasters etc... It is in no way meant to make light of the situation Guatemalans are now facing in their country as they struggle with not one, but two devastating natural disasters within the same time frame. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Guatemala during this horrible time. I feel absolutely terrible for those killed, hurt or dislocated from their homes by this double disaster. In a few short weeks, I will be there to see the devastation first hand for myself, and I am sure it will be a sobering experience. I am currently monitoring the situation via the web, news and firsthand from hubby's family. It seems our Earth is full of surprises, with natural and man made disasters going on all over. I am really wondering if all this 2012 stuff is true...but that, my folks, is another post. Wherever you are, stay safe and stay strong!
UPDATE: For a very somber look at the devastation going on in Guatemala due to Agatha, check out Expat Mom for her excellent photos showing first hand accounts of what has happened there. And if you can donate or help in any way, please do! Some poor people now have nothing at all... I know if I go there, if the airport opens by June 17th, I am definitely going to be emotional after seeing these tragic scenes. It is definitely going to be a long recovery time, and I wish the Guatemalan people the best. Some people have asked me why I am even considering going now that this has happened, but I don't have any answers. All I can say is that I feel that I need to be there...