As a wonderful adventure for me, and a harrowing experience for my friends and family – I was staying on the coast of Sri Lanka when the tsunami hit in 2004.
I came upon a photo of myself “vogueing” while sporting table cloths from the resort where we were staying.
When the tsunami hit, I was in my room in my bikini, putting on sunscreen to prepare for a day at the beach. When I looked out the window to the ocean, that was supposed to be about 10 feet below me and about 20 feet away – suddenly, it was right at my window! By the time I arrived at the door to leave, there was 8 inches of water in my room – and I could hear a snap where the ocean pushed in on the outer wall of my room.
I walked out of my room with only a visor and bathing suit on. I did end up reclaiming some of my clothing, but everything was drenched by the Indian Ocean. For the rest of that first day, table cloths were the only thing I had to shield myself from the sun. Over the next few days, my chore was to try to convince my clothing to dry in the humid, tropical climate.
We were lucky to have not witnessed any human death – only destroyed property. Unfortunately, my friends and family at home had to view all the death and destruction on CNN, and they didn’t know if I was dead or alive for 3 days!