Many more stores are opening as they're getting their generators online, their staff and security organized, and many are well stocked with food. It even appeared yesterday that Selectos in Fajardo had received a shipment of milk and eggs as well as some fresh produce. Candles and water are still very hard to come by, but shopping almost felt normal.
In Naguabo, two grocery stores are open. One has a generator and is functioning fairly normally, but the other is still dark and shoppers are escorted with a flashlight.
Gas stations are being repaired rapidly, and gas lines have reduced to nearly normal, and we are able to get full tanks of gas as well as fill a gas can.
Everything is still cash only, except for one Walgreens that we found. Anyone that relies on food stamps, SNAP, and EBT is still out of luck, so there's a particular hardship on them.
There are two people that have lived in my village their entire lives that are monitoring the situations of people and are helping me to distribute supplies and money to those most in need.
Unfortunately my car has been at the mechanic for several days as it needed repairs that could not be delayed any longer. The mechanic has a small garage in his backyard and has a long standing reputation of integrity and is known to help those in dire need of repairs. He supports his wife and two children off his work, but still manages to do free and reduced cost work for those who need it. Obviously many people lost their cars or their cars sustained damage during the storm.
I am paying full price for the repairs of my car, and am also donating money to him to help get parts and make repairs for people that are in desperate need.
There is no public transportation here, and cars are a necessity for many to get to work and feed their families.
Thankfully, the people that lost their homes are being sheltered by neighbors or family members, just as I am staying with a neighbor. There's a sense of people returning to normal activities, and it was nice to see people congregating at El Malecón, laughing and hanging out like before the storm.
We still don't expect running water, electricity, or phone service any time soon, but some places nearby have running water, so we are filling jugs daily. It's amazing how good it feels to shower, even if it's only with 3/4 of a gallon out of a jug :)
We're adjusting to a new normal, and things will be repaired eventually. Trying to take it a day at a time. Mother Nature is working fast. The trees are starting to turn green with leaves and every day looks a little less like a nuclear war zone.