Yesterday was one of my favorite days ever! When we arrived here at Crooked Island two days ago, a sweet couple (Allan and Cheri) from a neighboring vessel stopped by to say hi. Before leaving Alan mentioned that he was going to be helping in town the next day. That of course grabbed my interest and I asked him what he was going to be helping with, and he said this island was hit by a hurricane last November and were still trying to clean things up and repair homes. I asked him if there was anything we could do to help and he said he was sure there was and that if we wanted to we could join him in the morning. Everyone on board was excited, and the next morning we set out on our adventure.Hurricane Joaquin had had caused so much devastation. The population had been 450, and due to group effort and a whole lot of love from everyone involved, there were no casualties – which is hard to believe when looking at the aftermath.
Now, only 50 residents remain, and they are the most wonderful people. Positive attitudes, big, loving, exhausted smiles and gratitude are what best describes these amazing individuals.
Danny stayed on board to work on the boat, so that made 12 of us to help on land. They divided us into 2 groups and placed us at a couple homes to dejunk and clean.
Chad, Marci, Mycah, Emma and I were assigned to empty out the debris from a home that they are hoping to repair. We were asked to place everything on the grass outside.
Everything inside was ripped, twisted, shattered and smashed, and hornets nests were everywhere.
We found the best approach to be laying large items like shower curtains on the ground, loading them up and then dragging them outside. We used several items until they ripped, and just in time found something else to take its place.
Many electrical wires still connected made it difficult to move items out so Chad borrowed a pair of pliers from a sweet gentleman on a bicycle, and used them to rip through the wires so we could carry the timbers out. We used lids, plates, shingle scraps and anything else we could find to scrape up broken glass and other smaller debris from the floors.
Slowly but surely we made progress, stopping only to rehydrate on ice cold water they had provided for us. We were so excited when we found a broom in the debris! The worst part of all of it for me were the many little frogs that jumped around as we cleaned. I had to take a deep breath and go to my happy place. I did threaten to kill Mycah when she came to me with one.
Finally, our work was done and it felt SO good. I wished we could stay a month and help them every day.
The other group returned and we loaded all our debris into the pick up and ran several loads to the dump.
Wilhemina, invited us all to her restaurant afterward where she served us spaghetti and salad. We were all famished.
We even had a magic show…eggs magically landed in glasses of water without breaking and without being touched!
Afterward Wilhelmina took us to her 80 year old mother, because she wanted to meet us and thank us for clearing our her home. What a sweet little Angel.
Crooked Island is in need of so much help. I would love to put together some sort of relief efforts to help them more. If you want contact information for Wilhelmina, let me know. They are all so appreciative and any help they can get.
We shared lots of hugs and made our way back to Tanda Malaika where we washed our dirty, sweaty bodies off in the clear cool water.
The creatures were goofy as always…
What a beautiful place!
I made a big bread pudding while the creatures did their school work. One of the great advantages of homeschool is that if an opportunity like yesterday’s arises, school can be put off till evening.
We are so grateful that we had the opportunity to help, and hope to have many more.