2017 Life Logs, Day 282: A Bit of Good News from Justin
Date: Monday, October 9, 2017
Weather: Second Day of Rain and Wind; High 71, Low 65 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

I was on the phone this afternoon when I got the buzz-buzz telling me someone else was calling me. Since I almost never get phone calls during the day, I just figured the person on the other end could leave a message. When I got off the phone, I looked at the number that had called and area code told me it was a Puerto Rican number. I frantically looked for a message and found one. The missed call had been from Justin. I called back and Justin answered. How could this be? He explained that he had purchased a Claro go-phone and was in an area with a signal. Claro is the Puerto Rican cell provider and they have more cell signal than other providers. Hurray! Unfortunately, the call dropped fairly quickly, but then Justin sent a text asking if the text got through. It did. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. Just knowing that Justin and Jo can find a signal and contact me if there is an emergency is such a huge relief.

Now to how to best help Justin and Jo and their neighbors. Justin’s Facebook post that I shared in Sunday night’s log outlines most needs very clearly and includes his address. In addition, when I talked to Justin on Friday night, he said that he knows that one person in Rincon received a package from Amazon that was sent from the US the day after the hurricane. Hopefully this means that packages from Amazon will arrive. If you have Amazon Prime, you can send things to Puerto Rico with no shipping charge. One caution is that items produced in some countries cannot be shipped to Puerto Rico, but Amazon will let you know that when you enter the shipping address. Justin’s address for Amazon:
Justin Handley
100 Carreterra 115, Unit 870
Rincon, Puerto Rico 00677

The address for flat-rate Priority packages sent through the US Postal system:
Justin Handley
PO Box 870
Rincon, Puerto Rico 00677

A few items that Justin did not mention in his Facebook post are Home Depot gift certificates and organic potatoes, especially sweet potatoes, that will be used as seed potatoes to grow more potatoes. There are also items that are specifically needed by Justin and Jo. I won’t list those here, but if you are interested in knowing more, please contact me by email at judithmhandley@gmail.com. If you would prefer to have me order and send things for you, I am glad to do that. Just let me know and we’ll figure out the best way to pay for that.

The most important thing right now is that Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco are doing fine. They are all pirates at heart and don’t mind the temporary (hopefully) absence of running water, electricity, and reliable communication. But people who have never thought about living without these necessities of life are struggling desperately. And the federal response is just not getting through to the people. FEMA is visiting towns to have people fill out forms for assistance, but those same people need food and water and electricity and access to cash, not more forms to fill out. The American citizens of Puerto Rico have been thrown into conditions of a third world country which they were not before the storm. Before Hurricane Maria, the people of Puerto Rico enjoyed the same life style as you and me. Try to imagine that tomorrow morning you wake up with none of the basic necessities of life and with no way to do anything about your situation; no way to buy anything using a credit card and no way to get cash; no way to drive anywhere because there is no fuel; no way to get drinking water except to collect rain water or find a spring. At least that is the way it is in Rincon where Justin and family live and I think it is that way for much of the island. It is truly a desperate situation.

2017 Life Logs, Day 283: Meeting a Fascinating Woman
2017 Life Logs, Day 281: Trust the Wait