Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Brush with Hurricane Wilma

I'm heading to Belize on Saturday - another mission trip - only this time, working more in construction and with children. More up my ally.

The last time I was in Belize, Hurricane Wilma decided to join me. I didn't invite her - if anything, she was the LAST traveling partner I would have brought along. History says she was the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlanta basin - and she did reach a Category 5. She was nasty.

It was in 2005 - and we were on a Western Caribbean cruise... We had spent the good part of the cruise about one day ahead of Hurricane Wilma - she was chasing us around, we were running full-steam ahead of her - dodging this way, feigning that way, doing our best to avoid her and her treacherous path - but when we reached Belize - she caught us.

Oh, it was a mess. Lots and lots of rain...cats and dogs, buckets, you name it - winds whipping at us - as we traversed the streets of Belize City in a little cab driven by a wonderful Belizan named Douglas. We had planned on going cave-tubing that day, but duh - all shore excursions were cancelled, due to Wilma. We survived a harrowing tender ride from the ship to the port, where Hubby turns to me, and asks,

"So - do you want to go snorkeling? I mean, I know it's raining and all - but we'd be wet anyway. We'll be in the water and we won't even notice the rain."

I looked at him like he'd just grown 4 heads....and said, "Uh yeah...but I WOULD notice the 6-foot swells out there! We're on the edge of a hurricane, dude! And I DON'T SWIM!!!"

Maybe he had ulterior motives...I suspect he had increased my life insurance or something before we left. Hmmm....

I'm not the smartest bulb in the bunch, but I DO know to not go snorkeling in a hurricane. (Well, the edge of a hurricane, anyway. We were "in the outer bands" at this point.)

Anyway, we DIDN'T snorkel - but we did opt to go on a little driving tour of the country - in the pouring rain, in the wind - and we had a great time that day with Douglas. Douglas made a drippy day very sunny for us with his obvious love for his country. He even proudly took us to his house that day.

Later that afternoon, we had another harrowing ride on the tender back to the ship - it was awful.

The next day, we learned that 7 people had died in Belize the day before - 2 people were killed in a small airplane crash at the airport, (trying to land in the winds), and 5 fishermen had died when their boat overturned at sea. And hubby had wanted to go snorkeling. Geesh.

I'm so glad it's not hurricane season now. Although rain is in the forecast for Belize next week, it can't be as bad as 2005. When Wilma tagged along with us the day we were in Belize. Bleh.




Mental P Mama said...

Belize! I hope you are feeling better, too;)

Noelle said...

ooooh...sounds interesting! i hope you have a great time...can't wait to hear about it!

i hope you're feeling better, too!

Dual Mom said...

Sounds like a wonderful mission.

And I think I'd be suspicious of hubby too! Geeeesh

La'Tonya Richardson said...

It sounds like you're feeling better. Hope your trip is dryer. I'm looking forward to reading the recap of your trip.