Playing the ukulele in the light: how darkness ended for one Puerto Rican woman
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
Right now there are more than a million people in Puerto Rico still in complete darkness four months after Hurricane Maria barreled the island.
Every day is the same - rushing to get stuff done before daylight disappears.
CBS12 Investigates was there when darkness came to end for one woman who no longer takes electricity for granted.
Norma Angelica Munoz Torres is learning to play the ukulele. It’s one of the few things she can do in the dark.
"Without television, without lights, I can’t use my computer. I can’t read music," Torres said.
But she’s managed to learn how to cook with no power.
With a magnetic flashlight propped above a portable gas stove, she prepares dinner.
On the menu: instant mashed potatoes with canned beets.
From inside her home, she can hear the rumbling of nearby generators.
They almost drown out the croaking sounds of a native frog.
"We have here coquis. It's a little kind of frog that sings,” Torres said.
But no matter what she does to pass the time, Torres isn't happy.
"I feel sad. I feel sometimes I am afraid. And sometimes I feel alone," Torres said.
Darkness still overwhelms the neighborhood. She also doesn't have running water.
The conditions she's forced to live in are a constant reminder of how quickly her world changed.
"Most of the time I just stay in the darkness and see the stars and think about what happened and the plans that I have for the future,” Torres said.
But what she didn't know was her future was about to get a little brighter.
Javier Camacho and Jehu Garcia gave her a solar powered generator. The two men are building generators for people who are still without power.
"I think it’s been long enough for you to be living without energy and lights, so how about some lights?” Camacho said.
“It's going to be wonderful,” Torres said.
Camacho asked her if she wanted to do the honors.
A simple flip of the switch brought Torres a glimpse of hope - life will soon go back to normal.
Torres is now playing the ukulele with the lights on.