I just saw an article about Puerto Rico being opened back up for tourism https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/puerto-rico-declares-it-is-officially-open-for-tourism-300569867.html it reminded me of a ride I had recently with a relative of a family who was hit by hurricane Maria.
Evie from Puerto Rico has 2 Bros and a sis and 80 yr old mom. She is the only one currently living in the US. Her brother Jose lived in countryside. When the hurricane hit a flash floods hit his home. Within minutes water had reached 6ft in his house. As he ran out he remembered his elderly neighbor who lived next door. As he went over to get her their was about 1ft of air in house!
Back in the US, Evie was in agony as she was unable to reach her mom for 4 days! On the 4th day she got a call from her mom, but she was only able to talk to her for 30 seconds just enough to let her know she was alive and that she loved her. It wasn’t for another 10 days that she was able to talk to her brother and rest of the family.
In America we sit and observe the devastation in the comfort of our homes. Meanwhile, Evies family went 1 mth without running water 1.5 mths without electricity. Luckily they were prepared for such an event by having big drums of water saved for a rainy day no pun intended.
They had to improvise by plugging in a hose to the drum and syphoning water for washing clothes and bathing using a stove to heat water! Too often we ignore the suffering of other human beings when the suffering happens outside of our circumference.
Where was FEMA I asked? Well, countryside was hit the worst and thus needed the most attention.
Her mother lived in the city and although was hit by the storm didn’t suffer as much damage as the countryside. Still, imagine not having running water, electricity for more than a week. We take for granted the luxuries afforded to us. I’m glad things have improved in Puerto Rico and encourage everyone to plan a vacation out there to help pour money back into the country as I’m sure this storm has dealt a savage blow to thier economy!