This I Believe

Francisco - Tijuana, Mexico
Entered on November 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Two days had already passed since the report of a fire in San Diego County first came up on the news. School was canceled so I was home watching the television and there was nothing else on but the never-ending news of the firestorm; my house was far from being threatened because I live in Tijuana on the top of a hill that overlooks the city. I began to see through the windows of my house how the otherwise mighty sun was being crippled by dense fog like clouds I saw how the sky was blackened by the smoke and ashes of distant but fierce full Santa Ana driven fires, and how the view from my house resembled that of a foggy day.

I watched on the news how people were being evacuated from their homes and how the fire was approaching residential areas, then phone rang and on the other side of the line was a very close family friend calling us to see if she and her sister could stay in our house because a mandatory evacuation order had been issued to their community, that was when I was bumped with the reality of what for me was a somewhat distant disaster.

They arrived an hour later, my sister and I were home to receive them, and as they came up the stairs leading to the front door I could see them scared carrying nothing else but a bag each one with what they could grab on their way out.

Their parents took off and then we stayed and talked for a while and made sure that they could feel safe, the danger was far from being over, as we later saw on the news, but at least they were away from it, at first they were restless receiving calls by the minute, wondering weather or not their house would be ok when they returned but after we ate and watched a movie they were felt a whole lot better.

Although the friends that where in my house only stayed for one day I felt good to help them feel better, the fact that they actually came all the way to Tijuana made me think that the disaster was a lot more widespread as I thought it was. They counted on us in their time of need; they could always come wherever they needed a place to stay. That made me restate my belief in hospitality, how in difficult times we can depend on each other to surpass any difficulties that may come our way.