I'm from Mexico City and lived in the U.S. for a total of more than 24 years. Now I'm back in Mexico. I realized I was seeing my country through the eyes of a native stranger. This is an attempt to process the differences, to explain Mexico to the U.S. and the U.S. to Mexico. With digressions along the way.

jueves, diciembre 30, 2004

More Tsunami, Sophie's Choice, and the Animals

OK...so I digress from the Mexico subject again, but I just can't get my mind off of this. Whole islands have disappeared. Now I hear the death toll is 125,000! Sumatra lost about 1/4 of their citizens. About half of those who died were children. I just finished reading The Sweet Hereafter, a novel about a small town that loses most of its children in a bus accident. Imagine a whole nation losing so many children! The impact that will have for years to come....
I saw on the news this Australian woman who said she was holding on to her two children so that they wouldn't get swept away by the water. She just couldn't hold on to both of them because she was going to get swept away too, so she had to choose which of her children to let go of. She let go of the oldest one, who was five, thinking he had a better chance than the 18 month old. Luckily her 5 year old made it by hanging on to a door. Several people in that family are going to need counseling. (I was going to say it bothers me that a lot of the personal stories I see on the news are of tourists instead of locals, but in the last segment I saw there were a few locals as well. Still, the numbers certainly aren't representative.) It reminds me of the randomness of tragedy, how the strangest stories surface. During the Mexico City earthquake of 1985, which of course pales in comparison to this, but it's the closest I've been to that kind of disaster, we had one friend who was on the 13th floor of a building that collapsed. Lying in the rubble, he saw a light from a crack. He climbed out of the building, over the rubble, and onto the street, dusting himself off. After he was out of shock, his shoulder started to hurt, and it turned out he had dislocated it. A friend of my aunt's, on the other hand, was in a two story building that didn't collapse or suffer major damage. But he panicked, and when he ran outside, he was hit in the head by a brick that came off of the façade of the building and was killed.
Another thing that I heard about the tsunami is that they have not found ANY dead animals, even in a wildlife preserve. They think the animals sensed the danger and ran to safety.


Blogger Jason Metter said...

More about the animals sensing danger and seeking higher ground at This is London. Wish someone would drop some science about it though. The "sixth sense" stuff doesn't satisfy my curiosity.

(Hi Nayeli. Jim alerted me to your new venture. Looking forward to reading more and catching up with you more properly soon.)

12:51 a. m.

Blogger Jason Metter said...

Another blog discussion on the animal/sixth sense topic. Still no good explanation though.

2:16 a. m.

Blogger Nayeli said...

I think the "sixth sense" is shorthand for anything we don't understand. Do they hear it, smell something, feel changes in pressure or vibrations? Is it something based on the 5 known senses, or something else? I don't think scientists really know. But it sure is fascinating.

1:51 p. m.


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