Stories From Kiribati
|Posted by Amota Eromanga on May 28, 2012 at 2:35 PM|
We were in the midst of our group work discussion when Joe, our TESOL lecturer, suddenly demanded, "Leave that exercise for your homework - write a summary of what communicative approach is, and ... "
Instantly, I knew that I must disagree to what Joe demanded, since we had already started working on that summary. He should have said it earlier - before sending us to work in our groups of five members. "Hmm, did he mean to say something else?" I asked myself.
"There is a TSUNAMI warning being issued to the public and it might get to Kiribati at around ten o'clock this morning!" Joe continued. "We know, you need to go home, to make sure that your family is informed and ready ... this warning might come true!"
The rest of our KTC lecturers were also at the front, not far from where Joe was, though Miss Elaine was the closest to Joe and a paper in her hand. Although the lecturers said nothing, their facial expressions told us that the warning was not a joke.
"Tsunami and at around ten o'clock, today!?" everyone muttered and started to get panic as it was almost nine.
"Yes, this tsunami has hit Samoa including the neighboring islands. Now it's coming towards Kiribati!" Elaine added with that paper (that we guessed it contained the warning) in her hand.
There wasn't a need to ask permission from our five lecturers to leave the classroom. The warning was real, so everyone rushed out. I was the second to stroll out of the classroom and without turning my head back; I believed the rest were following me.
Confused and uncertain of where to start, I just walked all the way to the main road. Tsunami??? My mind started rocking and began to see a blur scene of the upcoming ocean with mindless waves coming to the island. Gradually, this imaginary scene became clearer and clearer until it was completely incredible. It all started with a huge group of waves that raced mercilessly toward the island from the ocean side. They were as high as the coconut trees.
The waves knew for certain that no one could stop them. So with inhuman mind, they smashed the reefs, scratched the platform and without paying any attention, they stirred through the land. Trees and buildings were shaken and forced to go down. Things were dug up and made float, while others were pulled down and made sink. In some parts of this dreadful scene, things were spun around, squeezed, stretched, beaten and some were feasibly indescribable. Thunder of these destructive waves and the shouts of people struggling for life were overwhelming. I could see many people swimming helplessly - many were drowning. It was the most horrible scene I had ever come across!
It was not long before these bully waves finally reached the other side of our narrow island. The island was all covered with vicious water and was now completely submerged. Invader from the ocean had finally attacked our island - our paradise! The real and only home of our ancestors who were truly strong and courageous, masters of the land and ocean; and people who did not easily give up - even in the hours of despair!
All of a sudden ... "There, please!" called one of the passengers who wanted to get out of the bus.
The scene disappeared instantly. There wasn't any tsunami!! I was only riding a bus back home and was just DREAMING!
Categories: Personal Stories