Colonial Sickness Causes Delusions on Celebrating Independence
Ever since the 2016 election for the past year, I have been feeling numb. The elections in Puerto Rico and the US brought inexperienced politicians to serve the wealthy and a select group of individuals who want to remain living in the past while using conservative values as a lame excuse to benefit themselves and their voter base. Overall, I have kept myself active in an attempt to remain positive.
Many of the efforts I have been involved with for years while creating awareness cover coastal erosion and the environmental impact of building on the coast, served as early warnings signs of the damaged infrastructure Hurricane Maria and Irma left.
Two Months after Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma
The past two months have been filled with many emotions, changes, and draining day to day challenges. Most things that we sometimes took for granted are not necessarily available.
The Decision to Leave Puerto Rico for a Month
After having most of our food supply affected (about 80%), seeing shortages in supermarkets of food and water, we decided to leave the island for a month.
Many factors contributed to my decision; not being able to get gasoline unless you stood in line for hours, sometimes days, to fill up with $10. It became evident that I needed to look for a way to ensure the safety of my family first.
No Communications to run a business
Then came the topic of my business being able to operate under the fact that we had little or no communication. I could barely get a text out without having to wait for it to load slowly.
Getting Help from Friends and Family
We were lucky to have many friends, contacts, and even strangers reach out and help us. Our friends started two GofundMe Campaigns. One got us a hotel and covered some of the extra expenses. The other was to help us pay our veterinarian bill for our dog who became very ill.
Not being able to Take our Dog
One of the hardest things to do was leave our 8-year-old Labrador behind with some very close friends. We don’t leave him for more than two weeks, and he is always in good hands. But on this occasion the fact that we spent 38 days away, he got sick and then was showing signs of depression and anorexia.
Overall it has been the most challenging two months we have had in a while. We were dealing with lack of sleep due to the events caused by the hurricane and the issues created in the aftermath.
Home Brings us Comfort
Finally, I am feeling some sense of relief. We are back home on the Island. Yes, I don’t have the internet working all the time (which we need to run our business), but we work around when it's available.
Yes, some folks are more stressed than usual, and that might cause people to lash out at others. The exercises of being patient are pretty much a situation that can create a sort of feeling you are in a bad dream.
Challenging to Put every feeling into words.
There are no words to express what I feel.
As I browsed the internet the other day, I encountered a compelling depiction of the experience a local artist had created. A sort of Comic Book Diary of what happened after Maria hit Puerto Rico.
I enjoyed her work so much that I asked her for permission to re-publish it here on my blog.
So here is a snapshot of how many of us experienced Maria.
Keep in mind that other people face tougher challenges in the Hurricanes' aftermaths.
I am grateful that what I lost was material, but I always had a roof over my head.
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