We went into our house to get a change of clothes and rest for a few minutes. Once we got in we went out onto our terrace to see if we could get a glimpse inside the building that was hit. While we were peering inside the building (everything looked safe) a photographer heralded us from the top of a hotel that is on the immediate other side of our building. This building is not represented on Google Maps yet.
He told us he was from Reuters and asked if he could snap a few photos from our terrace. We said that was not a problem and we exchanged phone numbers. About 10 minutes later Guillermo (the photographer) called us and asked us if he could go into the destroyed building with us. We told him that they were not letting us in for a few hours. He told he had just seen a cop escort a woman into the building.
We ran outside and Guillermo helped us negotiate entrance into the building with two police escorts. This was very unexpected, so we got into the apartment and fanned out. There was no electricity and the room of Michele’s parents had no windows. A man with a large war like gun stood over me while I scrambled to find jewelry, passports, and anything else. I asked the military guy for a flashlight and he looked at me like I was was an idiot. He offered the LCD screen of his cell phone, because heaven forbid the military personnel carry a light.
They gave us five minutes to get our important documents, but we worked really fast, and got all of their luggage gathered up and packed. Guillermo was taking lots of photos, but even he helped us get stuff out. We were not sure if we would be let back in before their parents flight so we went after everything.
The military guys started rushing us out and we got everything they had brought. When we got back into the house Michele’s parents met us and went through all of their stuff. After our landlord left I let Guillermo take some secretive photos of the wreckage from our garden. And after that I have just been sitting around thinking about everything that happened.