260º West | Teaching, travelling and volunteering in Ecuador

Aftershocks: William Segura

On Saturday 16th April, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake ripped through Ecuador causing incalculable devastation. Over the next few days, I will be publishing personal accounts of the event contributed by friends in the Guayaquil community. You can help to alleviate the suffering of the Ecuadorian people by sharing their stories and donating to the rescue efforts.

••••••••••

William Segura, aged 18
(Isla Trinitaria, Guayaquil)

I was at home. I was just about to go out when suddenly everything started to shake. The truth is, I’ve felt tremors before, but I honestly never thought they’d ever get so intense.

We all hugged each other and my mum knelt in the doorway. In the street everyone was screaming and a few lampposts were on the verge of falling over. Obviously, other provinces were much worse hit, but we didn’t know that at the time because there was no way of finding out with the power out.

I could never have imagined that the earthquake had caused so much suffering in Manabí, the worst hit province. We found out the next day … and honestly I just felt awful. The news programmes reported all the deaths. It’s something that’s never happened before, or if it has, then it’s never been this bad.

I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I’m so sad about what our Ecuadorian brothers are experiencing. On the other hand, I feel so proud of our unity, the unity that typifies us as Ecuadorians, which has led us to act quickly in terms of offering help to the areas affected.

I thought about it for a moment and I’ve come to the conclusion that our country isn’t prepared for this type of thing. I understand that we’re very much united, but we’re not very well organised; we don’t have the kind of preparation that they have in other countries and it’s really important to have that.

We have countless things to learn from this, but the most important thing is to always keep calm – which reminds me of a friend of mine who explained the British phrase “keep calm … [and carry on]” to me.

We’re a small country but we’re really motivated to grow, we’re very hardworking and we have a lot of resolve. We have so much to learn from everyone else in order to become the community we want to be. The only way to overcome this is with a lot of inner strength.

••••••••••

William’s words above were translated from the original Spanish:

Yo estaba en mi casa. Estaba a punto de salir y de repente todo comenzo a temblar. La verdad habia sentido temblores antes pero nunca pense que sera luego tan fuerte.

Nos abrazamos todos y mi mama se arrodillo en la puerta, en la calle todo el mundo gritaba y algunos postes estubieron a punto de caerse. Claro, lo peor habia pasado en otra provincia pero no sabiamos nada por que no teniamos como comunicarnos ya que no habia electricidad.

Nunca me imagine que en Manabí (provincia mas afectada) habia sufrido tanto producto del terremoto. Nos enteramos al día siguiente … y sinceramente me sentia muy mal las noticias hablaban de muchos muertos. Es algo que nunca antes habia pasado y si paso no fue tan catastrófico.

Tengo sentimientos encontrados. Por una parte, muy triste por lo que pasan nuestros hermanos ecuatorianos. Por otro lado, me siento muy orgulloso por la union que nos caracteriza que nos ha llevado a actuar con mucha rapidez en cuanto a la ayuda brindada a los sectores afectados.

Estuve pensando por un momento y llegue a la conclusion de que nuestro pais no esta preparado para para este tipo de eventos. Entiendo que somos muy unidos pero pero somos poco organizados; no tenemos la preparacion que existe en otros paises y que es muy importante.

Son imnumerables las cosas que podemos aprender pero la mas importante es estar llevar siempre la calma – esto me hace recordar a una compañera que me explico sobre el “keep calm” de los británicos.

Somos un pais pequeño pero con unas ganas inmensas de crecer, muy trabajadores y con mucha constancia. Tenemos que aprender mucho de los demas para ser la comunidad que queremos. La unica forma de poder superar esto es con mucha fuerza.

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