The Strength of the Bahamian Spirit

In the nearly ten weeks since Hurricane Dorian, we’ve talked a lot about the helpers. And rightfully so.

Hundreds of relief workers and volunteers have put their lives on hold to come to the Bahamas to feed storm victims, raise sunken vessels and muck out buildings.

A chef from World Central Kitchen, one of hundreds of relief workers currently on the ground in the Bahamas, watches as supplies are unloaded from the weekly freight boat in Marsh Harbour.

Thousands of kind donors have contributed funds, food, clothing, vehicles, construction materials and more. And the Bahamian people are incredibly grateful for this support. 

 But on Friday night, Tom’s news report – shot while we were in Abaco in late October – was about Bahamians. In this case, the residents of Green Turtle Cay who are working tirelessly to rebuild their homes and lives.

Like any story, it focuses on a few individuals.  But for every person Tom interviewed, there are many more Abaconians and Grand Bahamians experiencing the same stresses and emotions.  

Tom and I spent just eight days in Abaco and to be honest, I was exhausted when we got back. But our Bahamian friends and family members have been at it for more than two months. And they remain as resilient and determined as ever.

This post is for them. The people who spent long, dark hours huddled in disintegrating homes, not knowing whether they would survive or when the storm would end.

It’s for those taking time away from digging through the debris of their lives to cook for neighbours or deliver aid to others in need.

It’s for the business people who’ve put off dealing with personal losses so they can restore vital services to the community.

And the many Abaconians and Grand Bahamians forced to endure painful separations from family members and beloved pets as they recover.    

This post is for everyone battling post-traumatic stress and depression while trying to restore some semblance of order to lives turned upside down. 

Tom has covered many disasters over the years, but usually during the early stages of the aftermath. He often says that there’s another story to tell, about the long months that follow, when the victims of the crisis become the champions of the recovery.

That’s the story we got to see in Abaco.  We saw the incredible fortitude and grace of my fellow Bahamians, working day after day – still shaken by their experiences, and with precious little in the way of comfort or convenience – to help each other rebuild their lives and their communities.

I’m honoured to recognize these resilient Bahamians for all they have endured and achieved. And I’m grateful to Tom for showing their strength of spirit to viewers in Canada on Friday night.   

To learn how you can help the Bahamian victims of Hurricane Dorian, click HERE.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: