9.15.14 to 9.19.14
Monday through the whole week until we arrived in LAX was a combination of hopeful highs and terrible, deflating lows. The general manager of the resort did his best to keep all of the 700ish guests informed, however each meeting brought bad news or good news that fell through. Every plan had it’s hitches. Every day was spent sitting around worrying if we will survive, or be rescued, or be robbed, or whatever else awful things I could imagine.
The only designated safe areas we were contained to was the cement built loading dock, which is where meals were served, and a 2 story parking garage without windows beyond the first 50 yards. We thought we made out lucky when we put out patio chairs - “beds” - in that area. That’s until a chemical spill or leak in the garage burned everyone’s throat and eyes, so we were herded into the driveway outside. With a glass half full attitude, i could look forward to sleeping under the stars, made even brighter by the lack of electricity polluting my sky anywhere within hundreds of miles. A glass half empty attitude meant that I stayed up all night feeling the bugs land and crawl on me, worrying about how far our food and water resources could stretch, concerned for the well being of my mom, my girlfriend, Karen and our small group we formed with a few others. Anyways, it’s basically a blur of little sleep and stressful boring daylight hours with a few events that probably aren’t worth repeating so they can hopefully be forgotten in my own mind.
4 days went by, and after seeing the worst brought out in humanity after previously feeling somewhat united with the other stranded guests, we were taken to the airport in shuttles. High spirits on the way, while feeling as if we escaped, we could see all they devastation among the outside world. Reminiscent of imagines of destroyed buildings from tornados, or tsunamis, or earthquakes all look the same as this hurricanes wake. Just rubble, and panic.
Arriving at the airport there was a distinct line for domestic traveling Mexicans and then one for Americans eager to get out. We spent 6 hours in the sun and wind, shuffling forward in a line that moved each time a plane landed. By sunset, much fewer planes were around, and a US consulate worker informed us that the last free one-way-trip plane has left. Now the US was going to charter a couple more commercial sized planes and we could be passengers bound for Dallas Texas if we sign a promissory note to pay the US back $600 each.
We had not other alternative. There’s no shelter in a destroyed, closed airport, and no transportation to take anyone back to a hotel that told them they cannot return.
On the Tarmac, being metal-detected, we found out that the flight plan changed and it’s landing in Los Angeles instead. Finally, the best news I heard on 5 days.
One news article said that the days following the hurricane in cabo was like witnessing the end of the world. I couldn’t have said it better myself, and I was confined to a busted down resort. It’s been a week now, and finally people in the US have seen enough damage and heard enough outcry to make the political moves to send aid. However not the government, it’s basically environmental, humanitarian, and surf-industry-based groups.