Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Running for Cover

It’s a wonderful thing to know that one’s safety is looked after and prioritized. Not long after news broke out about Hurricane Felix reaching category 5 off the Caribbean, Peace Corps immediately sent out an order having all volunteers close and not so-close to the north coast to consolidate in an area more to the center of the country.

After about a 10- hour sojourn in three different bus rides yesterday, here I am safe and sound, far from my site and far from the work I have to be doing. About 20 or so volunteers are in my company and we are just on standby on when we could go back to our sites if nothing catastrophic happens. The downpour has started in various parts of Honduras but it seems that the hurricane’s impact is not going to be as strong as originally forecasted…or feared.

I can’t complain about being safe, warm and well-fed where I am now and in good company and well-equipped with all my gadgets…however, it sure was a sucky feeling having to leave my site and being one of the first ones to skip town and run to safety. I know Peace Corps isn’t the Red Cross, the U.N., nor any search and rescue group. We’re not here to help out when the circumstances become a threat to our own safety, because that’s not what we signed up for. I just have to accept that and not beat myself up for having the privilege of having the option of having a safer place to go to when the going gets rough, unlike the majority of the population here.

I guess this has been another reality check where in I am reminded that no matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable my predicament sometimes may be, it will never be the plight of someone being at a perpetual disadvantage. I will always have choices at my fingertips to improve my conditions and have someone watching my back…and paying the bills. Hopefully when the tempestuous weather subsides and I am back at my site, I can resume trying to do meaningful work. Work that is significant enough that no one will have to remember me as the Peace Corps Volunteer who “peaced out” when the rain started pouring.