by Mayukh Saha,
We’ve all been hearing about Hurricane Florence and for good reason. This powerful storm, the first in the Atlantic hurricane season of 2018, originated from a strong tropical wave near Cape Verde and made landfall just south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina in the second week of September. Sadly, its effects have been devastating and heart breaking.
Parts of North Carolina have received more rainfall than ever recorded in human history. This slow moving storm which raged over the state for more than four days caused sixteen rivers to flood, closed off many important highways, cut off cities and submerged entire neighbourhoods. In the storm’s wake, the death toll has risen to almost 40 with more fatalities being discovered as the water and debris are being cleared away.
But even as the state and its people struggle to get back on their feet, despite all the devastation and sorrow, the service rendered by many showed that humanity had once again won against destruction. With more than a million people being forced to evacuate their houses, complete strangers have opened up their homes and their hearts to help those in need. Volunteers from across the country have participated in rescue operations and many organisations were quick to set up food banks and provide other essentials to those who had lost everything in the storm.
The case of La Casa Del Patron in Havelock, North Carolina is one such defiant sparks of humanity. The enterprise is run by a family from Guanajuato, Mexico who migrated to the United States in 2001. For the past three years, they’ve worked hard to make it a success and to exhibit their own traditional family recipes.
As in most of the state, Havelock too saw its fair share of destruction in the wake of Hurricane Florence. The city lost power and many of its residents lost much of their property and belongings. In the midst of all this, the owners of La Casa Del Patron set about using all their resources to give back to the community. The kitchen was functioning as it was gas powered and they had food stocked. However, there were no lights as there was no power but this did little to stop them. Working by the light of their cell phone torches, the owners and restaurant staff worked hard to make hot meals for the community. They served up rice, quesadillas, fajitas and whatever else was in stock for no charge at all.
Antonio Quezava who owns the restaurant simply stated that they were happy to be able to do their bit to help out. According to Linzi Brajas, one of the restaurant staff, they had the means to give back and they did. Visibly emotional, she acknowledged that many others had lost so much and they were lucky to be able to help. For many who came to the restaurant, it was the first hot meal since last Thursday.
Their actions proved that the community always had each other’s back even in the very worst of times. Even while dealing with so much loss, human kindness and compassion won out in the end.
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