using my inside voice

Day 89 - The day the earth moved...

Central American Travel | August 31, 2009

It sent chills up and down my spine, like nothing I'd ever experienced. I could feel it coming like a distant train you know is imminent only due to the slightest tingle at the very tip of your toes. It started building and I didn't just have one butterfly in my stomach, I had an army of butterflies, all wearing Doc Martins and doing their own interpretation of Riverdance.

Fuentes Georginas Hot Springs

As it got closer, the tension built to proportions only encountered in bad romance novels. And then, the earth moved. It was as if the room itself shook with the force of what I can only call one of the most unbelievable occurrences of my life. At that final moment, shaken to the depths of my soul, I knew I had experienced something very special - my first earthquake.

Fuentes Georginas

It was 9.30am on a lazy Thursday morning. We had spent the previous day lounging to our heart's content at Fuentes Georginas, the most hot, steamy and incredibly relaxing hot springs right near Xela, Guatemala. We'd gotten up at 6am that day for an early swim, to have the pools to ourselves, before shuttle buses full of tourists and pickups loaded with locals arrived to steal our serenity. After our early morning enthusiasm it was back to bed to stack up some more zzz's. At 9.30am I was woken by a small earthquake (good timing really, since I'd meant to get out of bed then anyway).

The cabins at Fuentes Georginas

It was a strange sensation because you could literally hear it coming from a few miles away, a small rumbling in the distance, like an angry, empty stomach protesting for food. When I heard it I sat up in bed and looked around to figure out what in our room could be making such an odd sound. I quickly ruled out my own stomach and turned to the fireplace questioningly. It sat silent and ashen to my inquisitive glare. Then, just as my brain started to wake up, our little cabin shook right down to it's Guatemalan foundations. It's unimaginatively-constructed entirety wobbled like red jelly on Christmas Day. I was excited, but afterwards prayed that another of the quake's larger cousins wouldn't come for a visit...

To take our mind off potential impending disaster, we headed to the restaurant overlooking the pools and had eggs and beans for breakfast.

More soon...


1. Andrea on August 31, 2009

Craziness! That must have been pretty scary! I don't know how I would have felt if I'd been in an earthquake in such unknown territory. I've lived through a bunch of small ones (Montreal quakes every few years), but I've never felt one come on from such a long way away! By the time I figure out what's happening, the shaking has usually stopped. I also slept through a few of them.... You're experience sounds way more awe inspiring!

2. Elizabeth on September 1, 2009

HOLY SMOKES! I'd be nervous.

Last time that happened to me in Vancouver I was in my birthday suit and imagined I'd be embarrassed when they found me in the rubble.

Miss you. Try to stay out of rubble. (Get it? Like stay out of _trouble_, only it's just a rhyme and it's like saying "WHOAH! No more earthquakes for you two!" ... look away now... awkward...)

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About Bay Oliver

Bay's career has been many and varied due to a penchant for traveling the world. After completing a double degree in Business Management and Journalism at the University of Queensland in 2002 she was lucky enough to land herself a job at Brisbane's Quest Community Newspapers. A year of roving reporting brought the epiphany that journalism and Bay didn't jive.
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How to be creative...

Creating an economically viable entity where lack of original thought is handsomely rewarded creates a rich, fertile environment for parasites to breed. And thatʼs exactly whatʼs been happening. So now we have millions upon millions of human tapeworms thriving in the Western World, making love to their Powerpoint presentations, feasting on the creativity of others.

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Categories of Published Work

Day 71 - Spanish School and Guatemalan Adventures

Published: August 10, 2009

Guatemala is everything and nothing like I expected, with contradictions at every corner and a smile just an 'hola!' away.

Day 82 - Two weeks in Antigua

Published: August 21, 2009

Two weeks went by so fast, but now I at least know how to say more than 'Hola!'