On the 20th of September from last year, Hurricane Maria stroked Puerto Rico and changed the lives of many Puertoricans. I remember the day after Hurricane Maria passed, how everyone from the neighborhood just stood outside seeing the aftermath of the hurricane. All of us cleaning up the front of their houses. My parents and I were walking around, seeing the destruction that left. From light posts on the floor, pieces of zinc and trees on the streets; the neighborhood looked like a big mess.
Maria took a big toll on our daily lives. We were trying to live with ought the basic necessities; electricity and water. How we had to bathe with what puertoricans called “baños a cubitos” for the first few days. Since water came back a little early that we expected, I had family members come into my house just so that they can bathe themselves and feel fresh. The electricity didn’t come to our house for a month and a half.
When it came for food, my dad was cooking for a lot of people; no more than 9, this included family members and neighbors. Sometimes we didn’t have a lot to cook with so we came down to buying a lot in fast food restaurants ( thank you Wendy’s and Pizza Mia). I remember one early morning how my mom came into our house looking relieved because she bought a small carton of fresh milk for me and my sister to drink for breakfast. One time my mom, aunt and I, we went to buy food on the supermarket and we did a one hour line just too that we can buy food and water but the gallon of water was one per family.
The days in Maria felt longer and so we found methods to keep ourselves distracted . My neighbors and I took card games seriously . From briscas, UNO and the classic cards; that’s all it took to distract us. Solved a couple of CLUE mysteries and played the game of LIFE. I indulged myself in a couple of books, playing with my DS or just talking with my neighbors on the front porch.
Even from all the chaos, there are some fonds memories that came from Hurricane Maria. One day my friends came to my house and they and some neighbors decided to do a serrucho just buy and drink hot beer; proceeding on doing a small briscas tournament. How my friends and I we were just talking and the front neighbor made us popcorn or how we were just chilling in the roof of the house; taking some fresh air.On how my birthday was on the 25 of September and my mom went to a pharmacy just so she can buy a cupcake for me. In the midst of chaos, we had to embrace the small things just we can keep it together.
Hurricane Maria changes the lives of many people. We learn to adapt and to live with ought basic necessities. Our patience was being tested when we did lines just to get ice, water or gas; sometimes we didn’t even get it at all. How there was a moment where we just didn’t listen to the radio anymore because all we could hear was sad news. Maria is an event that will always be remembered by us Puertoricans; how much we struggled to keep our lives in order and survive.
Pictures of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria; Courtesy of Anna Gabriela Cintron .
Being a Transfer student from La IUPI my heart was full of mix feeling watching this video: