I was disappointed yesterday to learn that Abaco — which, for decades prior to Hurricane Dorian, has generated a significant amount of tourist revenue for the Bahamas — had been all but wiped clean from the Ministry of Tourism’s website. (Presumably in response to the backlash this generated, it now appears to have been partially reinstated.)
Thankfully, Abaconians are far more resilient and resourceful than our Ministry of Tourism gives us credit for. And to paraphrase Mark Twain, the rumours of Abaco’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Don’t get me wrong. We’ve suffered a significant setback. And the road to recovery — especially for Marsh Harbour and central Abaco — will be long and difficult.
But the truth is that there are still resorts, rental properties, boat and cart rental agencies, tour guides and attractions open and available to help plan your Abaco vacation. And your friends in Abaco need your support and tourist dollars now more than ever before.
Several times over the years, I’ve written about the importance of Junkanoo to Bahamian culture.
For well over a century, Green Turtle Cay residents have gathered on New Year’s Day to welcome in the coming year by donning colourful costumes and marching through town accompanied by a cacophony of cowbells, whistles and the infectious rhythm of goat-skin drums.
But when Hurricane Dorian devastated Green Turtle Cay this past September, the storm not only destroyed the island’s Junkanoo shack where residents gathered to make costumes and to practice, but it also ruined many existing costumes and instruments.
With so many locals left without homes and jobs, and with so much rebuilding to do, it seemed unlikely they’d want (or be able) to stage a 2020 New Year’s Junkanoo rush.
Today is Giving Tuesday – a day that encourages people to give, to collaborate and to do good deeds. Which makes it the perfect day to help the thousands of Bahamians who’ve lost their homes and livelihoods to Hurricane Dorian.
Here’s an updated list of organizations who are doing good things for our Bahamian friends and family members displaced or affected by Dorian. Some agencies are matching donations for Giving Tuesday, so your contribution will go even further.
You might assume the images were shot in early September, shortly after Hurricane Dorian. However, they were taken November 24th — nearly three months after the Category 5 devastated the northern Bahamas.
Of the many things for which I am grateful this year, Team M/V Adventure is high on the list. Thanks to them, to the Green Turtle Club and to everyone who’s helping to give Green Turtle Cay a Thanksgiving dinner later this week.
Ok, folks. Here’s the first iteration of my “What’s Open in Abaco” list. It’s amazing the number of Abaco businesses that have reopened in just the past few weeks — and many more are expected back in the weeks and months ahead.
This video of my cousin, Oswald Hall, will give you a brief glimpse into what our friends and relatives endured in the days following Hurricane Dorian.
The footage was recorded in September, but for many on Abaco and Grand Bahama, the emotions are as raw and the pain just as real nearly three months after the storm.
Ossie’s right when he says that the only way Abaconians are going to get through this experience is to pull together and make it happen. And it’s been incredibly inspiring seeing folks in Abaco do just that.
Of course, their progress to date would not have been possible without the generous outpouring of love and support from countless individuals, relief organizations and foreign and domestic NGOs.
And whereas some regions of Abaco — the cays in particular — are making strides toward rebuilding, greater Marsh Harbour (including Murphy and Dundas Towns) is recovering more slowly. In the past few weeks, several vital businesses have reopened, but Marsh Harbour has a long way to go.
The township of Marsh Harbour and Marsh Harbour Volunteer Fire And Rescue remind donors and potential donors that only the individuals listed below are authorized to collect donations (material or financial) on behalf of MHVFR.
I’ve received numerous reader emails since Hurricane Dorian and by far, the most commonly asked questions are “How can I help Dorian victims?” (which I’ve answered HERE) and “What Abaco businesses are open?”
To keep everyone informed (and to help me keep track, since the list is growing daily!) I’m compiling a master list of open Abaco businesses, which I’ll share over the next few days here on the blog.