Gratefulness: day 15

Today I am grateful for:

1. Being a heavy sleeper.

Last night I was having a very strange dream, when I awoke to a text message from the assistant field director of my program, who wanted to ensure that I was ok. At 10 minutes past 3am, in my freshly woken state, I held myself back from sending a less than polite message along the lines of…

I was fine until you woke me up!

Later this morning, feeling reasonably refreshed, I scrolled through Facebook to see a status from a friend which reminded me of the message I had recieved 6 hours earlier.

It can’t be true…

I typed into google “earthquake Ecuador” to find a news story explaining the 6.8 magnitude earthquake that had rocked the coast of Ecuador at 3am. I thought to myself,

“That probably explains the wierd dream and I am happy that I didn’t wake up.”

One of my good friends woke to find her bed moving towards the middle of the room, while others heard crashing objects and bounced out of bed to stand in the centre of their 8th floor apartment. This is apparently the safest place to be while the building sways from side to side.

Now, I’m a scaredy cat when it comes to roller coasters and the like and they are much more controlled than these events. I am glad that I was able to stay asleep. If not… I may have just solid myself!

2. My health and safety being more important than my students results.

Around midday I was on my way into one of the buildings we work from to prepare for my class when a steady stream of students and teachers were calmly exiting. I thought that this was nothing more than a class change over when I heard the word “terremoto”. I spun on my heals and joined the exodus.

Apparently I had missed another earthquake of similar magnitude. I think I should get myself tested.

We stood outside, discussing the events of the day for 15 minutes as per the universities evacuation plan, before heading back into the 8 story “death-trap” where many of my friends classes are held. Later, we were all informed that due to potential aftershocks and the fact that all classrooms are in multiple level buildings, even though our students final exams are on Friday, we were advised that classes were cancelled. I appreciate that the institution values our lives more than the service we are providing.

3. Hanging out with my friends.

I am very lucky to have people I can call my friends all over the world. Today, I am grateful for my crew in Quito who I discussed earthquakes with, had D&Ms with, planned for the future with, played games with and most importantly laughed with. I feel like no matter how I am feeling, I can count on these people to be there to not only share, but enrich my experience. Especially with laughter.

According to the latest reports, today’s earthquake took the life of one person. As sad as this is to hear, I am so glad that many other people’s lives were not taken from us as a result. It is my hope that Ecuador’s luck will begin to change sooner rather than later, as this wonderful country and its people are in great need of respite so that they can rebuild both physically and emotionally.

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