Guest Column: Prayers to Mi Mija Down in Puerto Rico

Irma was just an unplanned, but well-needed, vacation that allowed me to go home and have extra time to “study” for my exams. While everyone else was losing power and having traumatic experiences, I received nothing but heavy rains and extra sleep. However, although I was not physically affected by Hurricane Irma, I did experience strong emotional scares and anxiety, specifically for my best friend Angelina.

Angelina is Puerto Rican and moved back to San Juan, Puerto Rico the summer before college. When I first heard about Irma I was not worried about me or Statesboro because all I could focus on was my best friend stuck on that tiny island. Angelina is no stranger to hurricanes, so she told me not to worry and that she would be safe. Unfortunately, I am an extremely worrisome person, so no matter how many times she told me she would be alright, I would not believe her until the moment Irma officially ran her course.

I kept checking every news website for updates, blowing up her phone, and posting “prayers for mi mija (a nickname and spanish term we always call each other) down in Puerto Rico” on my social media. The whole time she would let us—me and our best friend D’asia—know that she was alright , and would charge her phone using a generator. We kept sending encouraging messages followed by the black heart emoji, which for some odd reason is super special to her and significantly more important than the red heart emoji, for reassurance. She could feel our love for her and was touched. Fortunately, Angelina and her family made it safely through Hurricane Irma.

As we know, the Earth is extremely hormonal right now, and there’s a new hurricane, earthquake, or some other natural disaster happening every other day. Right after surviving Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria came to annihilate Puerto Rico. Right before Maria hit, Angelina told us that she would be alright and that they have been preparing for this hurricane, but she was scared.

This was that last time I communicated with Angelina. I have not been able to get in contact with her since then and probably will not hear from her for weeks or months. Luckily, her mom told me that she was fine; however, it it stressful not being able to communicate with your best friend or hear her personally say she is fine. Puerto Rico is basically destroyed right now and they will not have power for quite some time. All I can do is pray and do whatever I can to help.

I share sympathy and sorrow to all the victims of Irma, Maria and the multiple other natural disasters. My heart goes out to you. Lord knows I am I worried and miss my best friend, and I do not know when I will hear from her again. Until then… I will continue to send love and “prayers to mi mija down in Puerto Rico.”