This week has been extremely difficult. “Let me call you back later,” my dad said last Tuesday evening and I haven’t heard from him since. He was preparing for Hurricane Maria to hit Puerto Rico where he currently resides, while I worried from California.
I am the type of person who walks glumly around a frozen Helsinki, Finland because I can’t talk to my family. Sometimes, I cry silently in my bed when I am away because I miss them. If I don’t call and have a good 2 hour talk with my mom, I will get grumpy. “You miss home,” my grandmother diagnoses me.
I couldn’t sleep Thursday night as I waited for a call even just a text to hear that my beloved family was safe. Nothing. Images of flooding and battered and broken landscapes flashed across the TV. Still nothing. In fact, there was absolutely nothing from my entire hometown. The governor hadn’t even heard from that side of the island
All sorts of false news started circulating. People posted old pictures. Others claimed that the my alma mater, home to many precious friends, was underwater. I sorted through news site after news site trying to find things from Puerto Rican news sources. Friday, Saturday came and went with no contact from my hometown. Complete silence.
Depression set in. My close friend lost 5 pounds as we worried together and sent each other every piece of news we could find. I couldn’t study. My dad had been my accountability partner and I now was worried and discombobulated.
I hear reports from trusted friends as little by little connection and internet comes back. Apparently, my family is okay. They have to walk everywhere because the roads are impassable. Yet, are they eating? Did they save up enough food? I am glad for the reports, but it is not the same as hearing their voices for myself. It’s been a long week.
There’s something you can do to help. Here are two of the ways.
Smorgasbord of Resources
Veronica put together a great page of resources on how to help Puerto Rico on her blog Los Ambulantes. You can check out safe organizations to donate and places in your city where they are accepting supplies. Check it out. Thank you, Veronica. And thank you, Ashley for the link.
Adventist Disaster Relief Agency is the organization that I trust the most when it comes to disaster relief. This organization is often able to get into countries where many American based agencies can because they have a broad network of the local volunteers. However, volunteers from all over the world are already on the field. Donate here. If you can’t donate, share the video.
Also remember Mexico… They need to be in our hearts and prayers too. If you would like to donate you can start here.
Have any of the recent disaster affected you?