Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sirens at 6 AM!

I had big plans for Saturday! I've been working on a Girl Scout event for weeks! Not to mention all the drama (that I won't go into) that surrounded putting on this event. It's a traditional Girl Scout "holiday" if you will, that not only celebrates the birthdays of Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement, and his wife Olave, who served as Cheif World Guide (the beginning of the Girl Scout Movement), but also is a day that Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the globe can think of their 'sisterhood'. I'm referring to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) that is presently in 145 countries. Way back at the 4th International meeting of WAGGGS they decided it would be good to have a day set aside for this occasion and they chose February 22nd since it's the birthday of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell. Our event was the 27th since that was the following Saturday. For the event, each troop chooses a country and creates a display, prepares a food to share, and has a craft or song or dance to share as well.

I was pretty nervous since I'm not fond of being "in charge" of anything really. I'm more of a worker bee - a drone if you will. Tell me what to do and I do it. Putting me in charge of something is a different story altogether. It's definitely out of my comfort zone! Nonetheless - I've risen to the occasion and thought I did a pretty good job. I did help that a lot of the planning was done already, I was just stepping in and continuing where they'd left off (hint at the drama). So by Friday night, after I'd packed my car with the programs, fake passports, paper goods, etc., gone to Costco and picked up the 2 LARGE cakes (they feed 48 people each), 2 veggie platters, boxes of crackers and dips to dip them in, I was feeling pretty good about things and ready to jump up and go on Saturday morning.

Thinking I had everything prepared, I tried to relax Friday night. Around 10pm just before going to bed, we flipped to the news (we don't always do this) and saw the horrible news about the devastating earthquake in Chile. Then they mentioned a tsunami 'advisory'. Just so you can have the right visual in your head, the Community Center we were going to hold this event at is in Paia, a coastal town (note the map below). And the Community Center itself is right on Hana Highway - facing the beautiful ocean!

So you can imagine what's going through my head right after hearing "tsunami advisory"! I'm thinking, "I don't want to be anywhere near that place." Then of course the thoughts inside my head were all jumbled up, worried thoughts like "should I cancel?", "what will Council want me to do", (visions of a huge wave killing us all) (yikes, get that thought outta there . . .) Well, you get the idea.

I didn't sleep too well that night. I was pretty much awake when our alarm started going off at 5:30 am. But it wasn't the usual cheerful Alakai (that's the radio announcer's name). She had another guy with her and they were talking about the tsunami WARNING! That's right people, the advisory was upgraded to a warning! Holy kamoli . . . oh boy. I am definitely cancelling! Thankfully, my Girl Scout guru (that's what I call her), Tricia, from Kauai called me and TOLD me to cancel it. WHEW . . . that took the pressure of 'choosing' to do so off my shoulders. Now all I needed to do was call everyone else. You know, when you're up and awake and the adrenaline is pumping you kinda forget that it's 6 am on a Saturday morning. The first troop leader I called sounded like a man . . . I thought it was her husband (oops, my bad!). Most other people were up already. Apparently some stores opened super early for people, and Costco let the general public in during the early hours that are usually for just business owners. Everyone was trying to stalk up on food, water and toilet paper. You know what? We were PREPARED! Yup, that's right, we didn't have to do anything but glue ourselves to the t.v. We did fill our guest bathtub up with water as a precaution, in case we needed water for flushing toilets or something. But other than that - we could sit back and 'enjoy' if you will, the madness of everyone else running around getting stuck in lines for hours. I don't know about you, but when a wall of impending doom is headed your way, would you want to be stuck in a line somewhere? Me neither!

I was told to get a video of the water when it came, but actually, we are too far away to get a good view. We can SEE the ocean, but we couldn't see any difference from our viewpoint. What Scott and I watched for about 6 hours straight was the news that had a camera posted over Hilo Bay, where the first of it would hit. Click the link below to watch what we watched.