paris remembered

2

“His fingers touched the strings, and all my thoughts were displaced. The sound was pure and sweet as water, bright as lemons. It was like no music I had ever heard before. It had warmth as a fire does, a texture and weight like polished ivory. It buoyed and soothed at once.”

- Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles, page 34

8

“My aunt used to live in Paris.  I remember, she used to come home and tell us stories about being abroad.  And I remember that she told us she jumped in the river once, barefoot.  She smiled, leapt without looking, and tumbled into the Seine.  The water was freezing - she spent a month sneezing - but she said she would do it again.”  

la la land (2016), dir. by damien chazelle

I’m just saying a couple of ceiling bats or wall skeletons could really improve the atmosphere in here

My Story during 19/09/2017 (Mexico City Earthquake)

TL;DR below

It is September 19, 2017 and we’ve just had an evacuation drill. We do not know what to do specifically, we just heard the alarm and evacuated each classroom at Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Ciudad de México. It is close to 1:10 pm, we are in class, we are laughing and completing some assignment that I can remember now: Paris Climate Agreement. We can feel the ground shaking lightly; we look up from our devices, we stop talking, we look at each other. We think it is just another minor tremor, it feels lighter than the one we felt on September 7. We are wrong.
We feel it intensifying, the teacher is telling me to get up and join my classmates away from the windows, away from the heavy projector that is hanging in the middle of the classroom. I clutch the very first thing I see, my laptop. My laptop with the sunflowers in the cover, the sunflowers that are supposed to bring me hope. I do not know why, but I hug it close. I pray, as I join my classmates in a circle holding each other, let this be over let this be over let this be over. It was not.
The next thing I know, the building is swaying back and forth, the windows are cracking and I hear pieces falling from the ceiling. We are on the first floor on the building, we are closer to the floor, we look at each other terrified surely thinking about the other three floors above us. Floors full of students just like us that do not have an escape route from a possible collapse. We do. If we leave the classroom we will be greeted with the Claustro, the area where there is no roof above the building. Not another second goes by before we are already running outside, we are fleeing what we felt was a sure death.
I breakdown, I start crying, I cannot see what takes me to the center of the Claustro. I am engulfed by my classmates and by strangers, I can feel tears coming down my face and I can feel my friends comforting me. The movement has not stopped. The building is moving even more violently, with so much force I feel it will come down around, trapping so many of my friends, of my classmates. I cry and I shout, I feel like death is coming up behind us.
I look up as I hear a very loud sound, and I can see so many people escaping another building, so so scared. I hear other people crying, I try to calm down and dry my tears. I am not successful. All I can think of are my friends, my brother in another building’s fourth floor. Just meters away from me, but still very far out of my vision. I cannot believe what I am seeing, I fear for my life and everybody else’s. And I still do not know the place of origin of that horrible, horrible sound.
The movement stops. We evacuate the building. I take my friends’ hands and follow without uttering a single word. Everybody’s in shock, everybody fears the building will come down any minute if we do not move fast enough. I find myself in one of the courtyards, outside of the building I was in, but without view of the other buildings on campus. What I see completely shatters my heart. There are really big holes in the walls of the entire building, there are so many pieces of my school in the floor. I am so very scared. We all are. We are in the same courtyard we were at during the drill, this time hit by the reality of an earthquake.
The rest comes and goes in my mind. We are moved from one place to another until we are moved in front of another building. People breaking down, friends I cannot locate, parents entering campus trying to find their relatives. This was the building my brother was on, and I cannot locate him. I only have my laptop still clutched at my side, I had forgotten my cellphone in that now long forgotten classroom. Soon before we are moved outside campus, I find my brother and I completely break down. We have never hugged so tightly.
We wait hours before we can leave campus. I live far away from school, and the streets were cramped, the traffic stumped. I am lucky to have found a working phone to communicate with my mother. We learn the origin of the sound, eight bridges collapsed: three buildings that were connected on the four floors they have. We know there are students still inside helping clean the rubble from this collapses. We wait five hours with our hearts completely crushed.
Those bridges that collapsed saved many lives. They could have created enough to tension to actually bring down the buildings. Including the one I was on. I am lucky. Unfortunately, my school is devastated, my life and dreams completely shattered. We now know there are 5 confirmed deaths, 5 dreams and souls gone. Other 40 people were injured or rescued, thanks to my classmates’ efforts. We are completely in the dark about our classes.
But we are not the only tragedy. Coming home I learn about so many other tragedies that add to mine. Several buildings collapsed, including a school that had children trapped underneath. I hear about so many places in need of help, getting home is a challenge itself because of the heavy traffic. I know most of my family is okay and getting home and I am lucky. I know my home is okay, that it is still standing, and I am lucky. So many people were not.
My beloved Mexico City has declared an official State of Emergency. The epicenter of this deadly earthquake in the states of Puebla and Morelos is in ruins. So many people have been left homeless, with no food or shelter for the time being. So little attention has been put on them. As I write this, we are coming close to 300 lost lives.
You have probably heard about the insane support that my beautiful people have given. As inspiring and incredible as it is, really hard months are upon us. We have weeks in which the amount of internal support will not be enough to relief the many victims of this disaster. This is were YOU come in dear reader, you can help with as little as you have, reblogging this post and/or my others. I will only be posting about this tragedy. Please help in any way you can, this help will be greatly appreciated and of much much use. Currency disparity is now working in our favor: a dollar is worth approximately 18 pesos right now. Every donation, as small as it may be, will help enormously.


TL;DR: Mexico City has declared a State of Emergency after the 19/09/2017 earthquake. We will need every piece of help that YOU can offer, even as time goes by. Posts about aid are in my blog, please PLEASE help any way you can. My school (TEC CCM) is shattered and I am very very lucky I am alive. The bridges that collapses SAVED my life and many others’.

Thank you for reading this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Just wanted to tell my story to help communicate this tragedy. I love you and appreciate my current situation very much.