Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Isabel's tsunami story

December 26, 2004 8:40 am. I wake up just like any other morning, take my morning piss, put on my bathing suit and my dark blue sun dress. Brush my teeth with my orange flavoured tooth paste. Derek and I order the typical breakfast of 4 pieces of toast, ginger tea and we were planning to finish off our cheese that we had bought for christmas. Derek asked if i wanted to go for a walk on the beach before breakfast was ready but i decided I would prefer to lie down for a bit.
"Derek!!! you come here, Look look" I hear the owner of the guest house,Siri yelling.
9:15 am (10:15 pm on christmas day for you canadian folk )
"Isabel, shit come here!" says Derek after he takes a look, groggily i crawl my way out of bed, assuming they spotted another working elephant down the road.
As I look out side I see water about a foot deep creeping up the path towards the beach. "hmmm sewage over flowing that must suck" I thought. when I realizecd this water was rising fasting, and caring chairs and tables along with it, soon it entered the building.
"grab what you can and get out of here" derek instructs. Still thinking this will only be a slight inconvinience just getting everything wet not reaching past a few inches. But at the same time getting jittery and panicy. I quickly try to think of what i need dry the most. First I grab my Thesis paper (which i was a few hundred words away from finishing), god forbid my hours of work get wet, and my book i need to read,then on my way out i spot my cd player I grab that too, neglecting my passport and money completely for some reason (thank god you'll see why later).By the time I got to the front door, I was waste deep in water. "SHit this is much more seriouse than i thought" I grabbed a hold of Siri's Tuc-tuc (the three wheeled taxi) and realize that's being swept away with the water aswell. At this point everything got pretty blurry.I realized my thesis and cd player weren't that important when i saw Siri holding on to the shop's pole with his wife panicing and disapearing underwater.

I managed to some how get swept from just outside my guest house out through the gate, across the street, which is at least 10 meters away, I don't really remeber this. Then i tried to grab a hold to a telephone pole.I couldn't get a good grip, but thank god for derek he was holding onto me so I didn't go anywhere. Had i slipped away I would have been washed out into the river and possibly back into the ocean. Then the gushing water just stopped. I have no idea how long all this took, could have been a few seconds or a few minutes i don't know.
So having no idea what had just happened.I make my way back to the guest house everythign was destroyed and a refrigerator had been washed into my room. heading back to the guest house was probably the dumbest thing to do, cuz u never now, these things could have been followed by bigger stronger waves, but we were all in shock and wanted to make sure everyone was ok. We had lost the cook we couldn't find her for a long time, but turns out she was alright.

There was constant tention in the air.No body knew what we were just hit by, and there were constant rumors of more coming, about 15 minutes after the whole ordeal, I heard some one screaming in the distants and a mob of people tryign running downhill. Soenmone thought another one was coming, and i quickly tried to scramble outside the house as i did that i slippped and dislocated my shoulder, but soemwhere while i was running it popped itself back in, and now it's a lil soar, but not too bad. I also have a few cuts on my feet from trying to grip the concrete and a bruise on my leg but besides that I'm fine.

There were about 6 other scares. It was so tense because anytime U here anyone screaming, your afraid that another Tsunami is coming. I must have run dow hill away from the coast and up mountains about half a dozen times thanks to these scares.

Well I gto out of this EXTREMELY lucky, almost too lucky. I feel a bit guilty for all that I have, and nothign I can do
The only things i lost was my cd player, my thesis (figures!!!!) and the books i need to write my other paper. Derek's bag got swept away, but we are both in good health.
The night of the insident, we slept outsode on a mountain where there was a temple, with a few other people, and the night after we took refuge in the house of the pumber of the guest house which was half a km. from the beach. the next morning we caught a bus that was organized to take us to a refugee type of place for the ngiht, where we got a place to sleep and some food to eat.
It was interesting to meet other people and swap our stories, some peopel have soem amazing escape stories.
Some very sad stories. I also got a chance to watch some CNN, up till that moment i had no idea what it was i had just survived, and how extremely lucky i was, and am for that matter. Now I took a bus further up into the mountaims, back to Kandy (where i was first when i came to sri lanka)
I'm safe now, and hopefully disease won't be too big a problem.
Thanks to those of you who send me e-mails of concern, in a time l;iek this it really means a lot to me.
Hey and now i can add a new natural catastrophe to my list

Ice storm, montreal 1998
Hurricane Isidora Yucatan, mexico 2002
SARS Guanxi China 2003
Tsunami Mirisa, sri lanka 2004

hmm i wonder what's next


Anonymous said...

Zig, it kind of seems these countries won't let you travel to them anymore...

everywhere you go a natural catastrophe hits!

seriously, good to here it was just bumps, bruises, and scare of a life time.

good to still have you around :)


pajvani said...

I am glad to hear that you are okay Isi! XOX

Ashley said...

hey isabel
i am so very glad you are ok. you had us all scared. reading your story gave me chills. please keep safe we all miss and love you and come home to montreal!we need to go to karoke again lmfao!

Anonymous said...

Hey Zig, it's Marlowe!!!
Glad to hear your okay :) Can't wait to see more awesome pictures of your travels, it's been a while eh? ;) nice talking to you <3