I turned on The Weather Channel shortly after I woke up this morning. It’s not an everyday routine; I was merely checking to see how many more days of October we would have in August.
The channel almost immediately went live to its reporter covering Hurricane Dean hitting Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Jim Cantore, the meteorologist whose appearance signals a hurricane as surely as 20-foot waves and 150-mile-per-hour winds, was broadcasting from Puerto Aventura. Interesting, I thought, that’s where I was one month ago today.
I told my wife to turn on her television. The more we watched, the more it looked as though The Weather Channel was broadcasting from the exact resort we stayed at during our honeymoon. The cameraman eventually pulled back and began to pan over the resort. We recognized it immediately. The Aventura Spa Palace was getting hammered by Hurricane Dean.
One month ago was the day we returned from our honeymoon. On the way to the airport, I asked our driver what happens when a storm hits the tourism-driven Riviera Maya. “If you have a cement house, you stay in your house,” he said. “If you do not have a cement house, you leave your home and look for a friend with a cement house.” People head inland, our driver said. The area averages a hurricane about every 5 years. The last time they were hit badly, he said, was four years ago. “The economy was very bad for six months then,” the driver said. “Nobody had jobs because nobody visited.”
I hope they finish the repairs quickly.