Puerto Rico Blog Day 2

Puerto Rico Blog Day 2
Geno Erker '20

This morning was special because I got to help people rebuild their house and livelihood after the hurricane. It’s still amazing to me that after all this time there is still a lot of damage and still so much work to be done to help recover fully from the hurricane. It was really cool to be able to help SBP do work on the house that could take them multiple days and knock it out in just several hours. We went to a small local restaurant for lunch so that was really cool to try some authentic Puerto Rican food. It was also really cool because I got to know Mr. Howe and the SBP I was working with a lot better throughout the day.

My new routine today was hanging out more with my brother and his family. Both me and Nacho are quiet so it’s been an adventure/challenge for me to branch out and try to be more outgoing and trying to carry a conversation. I’ve been progressively getting better and I hope by the end we will both be more comfortable hanging out with each other.

The work with Julia’s house influenced me by opening my eyes to the long term destruction of the hurricane. Before watching it on the news it was still very tragic, but there was a level of disconnect since it was far away and I’ve never experienced a hurricane. But now I saw firsthand the damage hurricanes cause and I now have a face in the form of Julia to help connect me to the struggle of recovering from a hurricane.

I think today was very impactful for her since now she is one step closer to regaining her home and with it her livelihood and I think it was awesome to help make that a reality. Working with the community and SBP was really awesome since I got to help people reclaim their lives and I could see the fruits of my labor present in the house and the people I was working with. I love how there were chickens, cats, and dogs roaming our neighborhood since it made me feel more comfortable. Overall I really enjoyed the service today, even though it was tiring, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the trip.

- Kevin Westphal '20

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