On a lovely Tuesday morning, I woke up as usual to go to school, and I looked outside. The weather was nice and the sun was brightly shining. At school, my friend Jedson and I were talking about what we were going to do after school. I said to him, “Hey! Would you like to come to play soccer with me after school?”
“Yes, I would like to come but after I finish my homework,” said Jedson.
“Sure, meet me at my house at 5:00 when you finish.”
When I got back home from school, I sat down in my living room and turned my T.V. on to a show about music videos. I took out my workbook and started doing my homework. I was enjoying the sounds of the singer’s voice when I suddenly felt everything around me was starting to shake and I heard a lot of people’s voices screaming and crying outside. It was an earthquake! I froze. I could not move anywhere and a large entertainment center fell on me. The front of the T.V. hit my left arm, and I felt extreme pain and was terrified that I would die. There was a soccer field close to my house. It was the only place people could go to be safe because it was a flat land with no buildings.
I ran as fast as I could to the soccer field even though my arm was hurting badly. I did not think about my pain--I was only thinking about saving my life. On the way to the soccer field, I saw a lot of people dying and buildings crashing to the ground. All the sounds of the panicked voices and the destruction of the town grew louder and louder. As I ran, I felt the ground under my feet shaking. I was bouncing back and forth, trying to keep my balance. When I got to the field, I saw many people already there safe.
Unfortunately, I could not find my family, but I did find some of my friends. I said to one of them, “Benzaza, how is your family? Are they okay?”
“Yes, they are okay. How is your family?”
I responded sadly, “ I don’t know.”
I felt scared, because I couldn’t find my family. A couple hours later, I found them. I was so thankful that my family was okay. We were extremely happy to find each other, but they were worried about my injured arm. They thought it was broken, but it was not.
With many other families, my family and I decided to live in a tent on the soccer field for a long time. After three months of living in a tent, my parents decided to return to our home, because our house had not fallen down. My brothers and I didn’t want to go back home with them because we were afraid another earthquake would happen again. We stayed for another three months living in a tent after my parents returned home. I felt alone, very stressed and extremely scared, because I was only ten years old living in a tent with my siblings and no parents to take care of us.
On some days, I would wish that I could still play soccer, but I could not because the soccer field was like a village full of people living in tents. One day I was talking to one of my friends, "Marc, Don’t you want to play some soccer?” I said.
“Yes, but there are a lot of people staying here, including us.” He responded.
After three months after our parents had left us, dangerous fighting started happening in a neighborhood near the field and families began leaving the soccer field village scared for their safety. My brothers and I thought it had become too dangerous for us to stay living there so we also left the tent village and returned home to live with our parents. My friends and I were hopeful that if enough people would leave the field due to the fights, that the soccer field would be empty again and we could play soccer as we once had. Eventually everyone left the soccer field. Finally, we could have fun playing soccer like we did before the Earthquake.
On that day of the earthquake, I learned an important lesson: Someday you might wake up and feel like it will be a normal day, but you never know what kind of crazy thing could happen.