Logistics in Puerto Rico: 

One of my favorite drives when doing supply drop offs is down the mountain from the Aibonito FOB to the Yauco FOB- I love spotting the horses on the side of the road in the grasses tied to the nearest tree and the open van window letting in the delicate smell of meat wafting from vendors appearing as the road twists. 

In the past few weeks I have learned that it is okay to ask for help. Stubborn and independent, I have always been proud of being able to figure out how to do things myself, however; 
yesterday, while unloading the cargo van I drive with my teammate, I realized there was absolutely no way we could lift the generator I was transporting to the small warehouse in Bayamon. It was extremely humbling having to walk into the autoshop the warehouse shares and stumble over both spanish and english to ask the men for help. 

Another time, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of a older man who offered his help when he realized I was unloading supplies alone. With only smiles and painful grunts from both of us as we hauled the sixty pound bags of cement, we communicated. Drenched in sweat, I offered him cases of water for his assistance and again, I was humbled by the fact that he accepted. 

Something I was not prepared for when being deployed to Puerto Rico was the defined gender roles. While picking up supplies at hardware stores, I am offended when men insist on doing all the lifting and seem surprised when I want to help. I want to scream - I can drive a forklift!! However, I am aware of the fact that I am a guest here while doing disaster relief service and it would be rude to not respect the culture where I am serving.

Sarah Prill in a warehouse in Puerto Rico. Photo by Heather McSherry

Sarah Prill in a warehouse in Puerto Rico. Photo by Heather McSherry