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Just another beautiful day in paradise…

Just another day in paradise. Seriously!
We spent Sunday delivering aid and supplies – in a caravan of six cars – to the terribly hit mountainous area of Adjuntas. Everyone’s spirit was high and we were all so happy to help. We saw families and homes where everything was lost, and the people were still so positive and grateful. We learned a lot about the best ways to distribute most efficiently and effectively, and are looking forward to returning on Thursday with water filtration systems that are a true game changer for so many people without clean drinking water.
Monday was spent recharging and getting everything at home situated for the long haul without power. We are getting by just fine. Like everyone else here. Many people have water AND power these days, and every day we hear of more people coming online. We have running water now, but we are prepared for power restoration to take more time for us. We live on the beach in an area with lots of vacation homes. There are no schools or hospitals, or big stores in our area, so it’s not a priority for the power company to return power to us, and it shouldn’t be. Other places need electricity more than we do. So many have offered us a place to stay or whatever they else have to offer. We’re doing just fine. Many of the hotels and rental properties on the beach DO have generators, however, and they are either open for business or will be very soon. So, please, plan your return trips and vacations. Puerto Rico needs it!
We fired up the small generator that we brought back to Puerto Rico with us, only to find we didn’t really like the noise and the gaseous smell, so we turned it back off so as to enjoy the peace and tranquility of living among nature and on the ocean. We took some time yesterday to go snorkeling and enjoy the crystal clear water. Yesterday’s sunset, as well as this morning’s sunrise, was truly a gift from God. In our post-Maria world, we take the time to see and appreciate these things even more.
It’s fun seeing people we haven’t seen since before the storm, whether at a hotspot with wifi, or out-and-about at restaurants, or even on the road as we pass. We are all part of one community, one Puerto Rico, and we are part of history as we look to rebuild our beautiful island, better and smarter.
Yes, there are frustrations. Of course.
It’s frustrating, and heartbreaking, to go to the mountains and see families who lost everything, and know that serious aid and help is so far away for them. They don’t have the internet access and English skills to apply for FEMA help, and one can only pray that the local municipality has them on their radar and will move heaven and earth to help them.
It’s frustrating to see all the destruction porn (our words) still littering the news media and folks’ instagram and facebook feeds. We know all too well how destroyed so much of our island was. It is hardly news-worthy anymore, or productive. What is helpful is showing the rebuilding, the spirit, the positives. That is what we are focusing on.
It’s frustrating to have setbacks when we are working so hard to keep the business afloat, for us, for our vendors, and for our community that depends on the tourism dollars that our couples and their guests bring. Just last week a couple with whom we have been working cancelled their wedding. They are getting married in April; we confirmed weeks ago that their rental property was on generator power and ready to go as soon as the day after Maria. The couple was excited about proceeding, until some of their family members who left Puerto Rico arrived in Florida saying that they must cancel their wedding SIX MONTHS from now because things were so AWFUL in Puerto Rico (which is simply not true). We understand why some are making the decisions to leave the island, but please don’t jeopardize those of us who are staying behind and working so hard to rebuild. Good things are happening.
It’s frustrating to sit in traffic for so much of every day. The post-Maria motto for Puerto Rico, other than #PRselevanta, is PACIENCIA (patience)!
But overall, things are great. Our beaches and oceans are fully open for business, as are many of our hotels and restaurants. We’ve never seen the island friendlier and more willing to help. People are so NICE to each other these days, and so grateful for every little gift from God. Tonight is Game 6 of the World Series, and this baseball-crazy island is even more baseball-crazy, as some of our hometown heroes are the stars of this World Series. It’s reassuring to watch the commercials and the PSA announcements showing our native sons like Carlos Correa and Kiké Hernández and George Springer cheer on our island, just as we are cheering them on.
Our community has never been stronger, and our spirit remains unbroken. Thank you all for the prayers and support! #PRselevanta

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