Category 5: a reminder of our fragile lives and the audacity of the federal government . 

The island of Puerto Rico where I was born and raised has suffered a severe storm catastrophe.. it has been almost destroyed. One hundred percent of its power was wiped out. There was no communication for days. We could not reach our loved ones in the island so we did not know if they were dead or alive. It has been one of the worst natural disasters for puertoricans in a century.

It just makes me think about how fragile human life is.  In a few hours everybody’s lives were dramatically changed. . A few people died and others were just left homeless .

Now people are struggling to survive in an island with no power , no water, and few resources .. Food is scarce and gas is limited.  And now the federal government is finally arriving and helping out… but it’s not enough .  The mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital, Mrs. Cruz, made it very clear that there are people who are dying and there is  not enough help from the federal government.

No way to go to hospitals or gas stations because there is not enough gas… can’t get gas because the gas stations are empty or have long lines.. can’t go to the grocery stores to get water and food because there is no gas in cars… can’t call anyone because there is no signal or internet… so on and so forth. 

And now the president of this “great nation” is saying that the mayor of San Juan has poor leadership skills, and that the people of Puerto Rico want ” everything to be done for them.”

Screw him! 

Now he is planning to travel to Puerto Rico this Tuesday.   To do what? Make a show and pretend he cares about the victims ? It’s all politics, and he should be politically incorrect ..  the government will spend too much money sending this clown and protecting him during this trip . This money should be spent helping the people of Puerto Rico.  

The mayor or San Juan said she is mad as hell… we should all be mad  as hell. 

Excitement in Paradise

I have been visiting another country outside of the US.  and it has been an exciting experience.  The country is the Dominican Republic , and I am truly experiencing every moment of it.   I wanted to emphasize a few details that I have been perplexed with.   My wife has warned me about a few things in  this country (which is actually her home town), particularly the lack of respect towars traffic laws. 

During my stay in the DR, I have witnessed and experienced the total disregard of rules and respect for others on the streets.  While driving on streets and avenues, various automobiles, trucks, and motorcycles run in front and around me like there is an apocalyptic emergency.  Especially the motorcycles, which travel on the opposite lane , run every stop sign, and do not stop or slow down while crossing intersections.  They run at high speed and do not seem to care about the safety of others.   People use horns to intimidate , particularly large truck drivers , and to warn others to get out of the way or to yield because they are about to pass by.   People often create additional lines of cars by trying to slowly pass others in close proximity.  

It is as if stop signs didn’t  exist, even though they can be seen everywhere. The lines on the roads are merely decorations. Traffic lights are rarely  obeyed.  Cutting people off and stopping in front while waiting at red lights is common.  Pedestrians , including children , cross the roads or stand between two lanes waiting to cross the road, while cars and motorcycles fly inches from their bodies.  It is truly a scary but exciting view.  It reminds me of an action movie.  I feel the same rush and adrenaline when I am playing a high speed  car racing video game.  Except that I am in real life. 
I started to regard stop signs as a reminder to hold my breath while  crossing  intersections (instead of actually stopping the car), and resume breathing afterwards.  People usually cross and then look , instead of vice versa.  I started hoping people will stop or slow down while I cross an intersection because if I don’t , I may not be allowed to cross myself.  It’s a survival of the fittest.  

Another interesting sight was seeing taxi drivers with cars that were literally falling apart .  Many buses did not have  a door and some cars didn’t have  license plates.   Some motorcycles and scooters had three or four people on them.  They also carry big loads of groceries.  The smell of burned gasoline is overwhelming.  

Keep in mind that the DR is a poor country and most people live in these conditions out of necessity.  So by no means am I  criticizing or judging the Dominican culture.  The food is great and people are very friendly.  There are many people who randomly came to the rescue when we had a problem with our car and needed assistance with  pushing and jumping the car’s batteries.  Others, still in their pre-teens, approached my car while at a red light and started washing my windshield.   Of course, many people expect to be paid but it is also part of their need to survive. 

Children play on the streets and a lot of elders sit on the corners watching cars go by. It is mainly a familiar and friendly environment.  But most people here drive as if they are always in a big rush and patience is rarely practiced.  When I return to the states, I will most likely be stunned by the tranquility and patience that people drive with .  But I would miss the familiarity and friendliness of the Dominican people.  

Can I have Sunlight with that vacation please?: Family time with a bit of cool weather 

Ahh…! Spring break …. The trees are greener… The birds are singing. The temperature is rising . The flowers are blooming…. And the pollen is invading every single one of our nostrils causing  sneezes and coughs… And our cars look green too.

But I am not complaining… The family and I are enjoying a three day vacation (finally) in a hotel right at the Beach. The following is our experience so far…:

Day one: we arrive at the hotel .. The sky looks grey… With a little bit of blue here and there.. Temperatures are  in the 70s. Not bad for spring .. The kids brought surfing boards (they don’t really surf), beach balls, and tools to make sand castles .   We are planning to stay at the beach most of the time .  Once we go in the room .. It starts raining.   I am thinking “Ok… Good for the flowers and the grass.”  After the rain , it is too dark and cold (60s now) to go walk at the beach … So we go buy pizza and a little bit of groceries and bring it back to hotel room.  No microwave in the room so we have to eat fast before pizza gets too cold. But everything else is good, so far.

Day two : We wake up and it feels like 6:00 in the morning , but it’s actually almost 9 o’clock! So we run downstairs to eat breakfast in hotel’s lobby before they close at 10  am.   No sunlight yet… It is 63 degrees outside. Not too bad, but no time for beach yet.  We go back upstairs and just relax.  At noon we go to the beach to test the environment.. Still too cold and windy .. A few people  are walking on the sand . Three guys trying to fly a kite that literally hits me two times because they obviously cannot control it , but I politely return the kite to them . Pool area is empty.    My wife and I cannot stand the cold wind anymore and head back to room with kids.

 After a long nap, we go back outside to eat dinner.  We find a nice restaurant close by, and , voila! there is a perfect new park right across the street  and right at the beach too !  So after linner (lunch and dinner) , we spend time at this park.  Sky is still cloudy and wind is cool. Upon returning to hotel , my son wants to return to beach , to play some soccer with him at an almost empty beach.. The wind kept pushing the ball toward the ocean, but my son is fast enough to get it. Tomorrow should be warmer and sunnier … Wish us luck….!

Day three: We got up to eat breakfast and the sky was still grey. But I saw some sunlight around 10 am . !! We went running to the beach and spent time under the sun for about four hours .   We finally got some beach time as a family.    We may continue tomorrow even after checking out of the hotel.!!