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7 seconds…

Walking down to Spanish class it was pouring rain… I almost felt like I was back in Germany, except Germany’s petite hills cannot compare to the beautiful landscapes and nature of Guatemala.

I met with my teacher and we made ourselves comfortable under a sheltered area, away from the rain. The lesson started out like any other. Learning some new words and working on the different tenses.

About an hour into the lesson, the dog that was leaning on my leg quickly skipped away. Thinking nothing of it, I kept working. Following this, things started happening more abruptly.

A helicopter was flying almost directly over the Spanish school. The sound getting more intense by the millisecond. As I kept writing, I noticed my teacher hadn’t moved his body. I look over, and see the concern in his eyes and he looked as if he were listening very closely to the sound  coming from the helicopter. Suddenly, we exchange looks and he quickly says “Earthquake.” Instantly, my body went numb, but before I knew it I was standing up, feeling the earth shake beneath my feet. My teacher said “Stand here!”

Without thinking I stood in the exact spot he told me to stand in. At this point I realized my eyes were dry and I hadn’t blinked. After a couple of seconds the trembling stopped. It wasn’t a helicopter after all. What I had just experienced was an earthquake!

I took my hand and placed it a top of my heart. My heart was pounding in my chest. I couldn’t really believe it. Part of me was in shock. I wasn’t sure what to do. The other part of me was excited. My first earthquake experience in Guatemala! Looking at my watch I saw 15:11. Oddly enough I was trying to guess how long it was. 7 seconds..?

Some phone calls were made and after a minute, or 2, my teacher said “Vamos”. We sat back down at the table and went back to our normal routine. However, I couldn’t get what happened out of my head. Due to the way my teacher had acted, it was as if this was a normal thing.

I quickly asked to reassure myself. “Is this normal!?” Without hesitation he answered with “Yeah! Tremors are relativley frequent in Guatemala.” I was relieved, but at the same time a bit flustered. After a couple more questions, I resumed to my studies with a clear mind.

So, hey parents/family/friends! Just wanted to let you know, although there was an earthquake, all of us are safe and sound. For a couple of us earthquake virgin’s it was quite the experience, but the ones who have had past earthquake experience calmed us down. (Mainly me, because I am incredibly jumpy.)

Anyways, there is nothing to worry about and we all found this experience quite exciting.

If there is a next time, hopefully it will be us mistaking a helicopter for an earthquake.

Note from Dragons administration:  Please note that this was a mild tremor that can occur with some frequency in Guatemala, an area with a lot of seismic activity.  There was no damage or injury as a result of the tremor, and some students did not feel it at all.  In the case of any more urgent event we have protocol in place and will contact families immediately.