The things that shows the best in people are usually the worst experiences. Those days when mother nature reminds us how small we really are for example. In our case, the worst hurricane in history left our little island in ruins and set us 100 years back. Back to living without electricity, water, not even comunications.
The beast called Maria, a category five that swept our little island. The eye went right through our town. continuing its way to the center. I wonder if most of you know how it is to have no communications, no way to know how your family and friends are for weeks. In 10 days it will be a month and still no electricity and no phone. My little one and her cousin were playing that they were coming back to school. I wonder if you understand this. If you do, I feel for you, its a new experience for most of us.
Though I had experienced a couple of hurricanes in my lifetime, even one with my name; never one like this, no one have. And it was scary as hell. Our house is in cement, and the windows are strong, still I felt they were going to give in to the fury of the winds.
But is the aftermath that has been a surreal experience. The first week you were not able to go out of your immediate area anywere. Walking on your street and watch that neighbor with only half her wood house still up and everything in it garbage now, but still she politely and resiliently smiles and say “I lost everything, I have to start over again.”
Making kilometric lines on gas stations to get diesel for the plants and gas for the cars. Losing a whole day just for that one task. Seeing the confraternization between people. The ice cream truck coming to help, people selling food on the lines.
The kids of this modern era learning what is like to actually still be able to breathe and not die of boredom and learning old games and filling their days outside. The family all on the living room watching movies together. Oh what a great lesson this has been and I am actually grateful.
At nightime we all go to sleep when the heat is not so bad and we can actually do, and in the morning we start the routine all over again. The boys go for gas, I go to the supermarket, wait in line for ever to get some food. Mother cooks for all the family members that comes to our house cause we are the ones with plant.
Every day gives a new piece of good news, you get news of someone, you know some other little area has electricity so it gives you hope. But finally been able to drive around a little farter you see all the destruction and wonder if it will ever be like before again, and you just cannot see it. The destruction is just too great. We have to adapt to a new way of living, to new routines. Today, one more lamp post is up, a couple of new cables are installed, a new antena is up so some people can get signal on their phones. Today another store opened up. Slowly, very slowly going back to a new reality.
So, in spite of this oddysey, I thank Maria for this pause and for giving us the chance to see how small we are, that things can always be worst. That life goes on, and we are still here.