Almost a year ago, I was studying for my first exams in my second year of vet school when Hurricane Maria hit my home and brought with it a lot of chaos. I thought this hurricane would lose its strength and weaken as soon as it passed over the island, but it did not. The hardest part was not being able to communicate with my parents and simultaneously staying focused on my school duties. In the beginning, vet school helped me stay busy and focus on something else other than the chaos happening at home. However after 10 days passed, not knowing my parents’ health status and the possibility of them being injured worried me. They lived in a rural area and I knew it would have been hard for them to find phone reception. But I finally heard from them 20 days after the hurricane. Then, my sister relocated them to California.
Three weeks after the hurricane, I went to Puerto Rico during my fall break to rescue my pets and bring them back to Alabama with me. However, I was a little scared of going back home, not knowing what to expect with limited potable water, gas, and phone reception. When I got there, everything looked so different. In some areas, it seemed like an atomic bomb exploded there! Most of what I saw over there was devastating–from trees fallen everywhere, huge sinkholes opened on the ground, hundreds of people making a line at Walmart to buy food, and many children taking showers in spring water close to the road.
I checked on my uncle who lives next to parents’ home and brought him food and clothes. I could not bring my cat so I left him with my uncle for a few months. I came back safely with my dog. And I was glad that all of my family and friends were okay and survived this horrendous natural disaster.