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.
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.
Though much of the world’s media has moved on to other stories, our friends and family in the Bahamas are still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
While it’s true that some communities are making progress in their recovery, many areas still have a long, long way to go. Thousands of Bahamians still have no electricity, running water or access to banks and other vital services.
The reality is that foreign aid is still very much needed in the northern Bahamas, and will be for years to come.
For those wondering how to best help Bahamians affected by Hurricane Dorian, I’ve recently updated my “How You Can Help” page. Please take a moment to check out the list and contribute if you can toward these worthy organizations.
A lot of blog readers have emailed to ask how the Green Turtle Cay Ferries fared during Dorian.
Prior to the storm, GTC Ferries had four vessels in operation: Bolo, Bolo II, Bolo III and Bolo IV.
With Dorian churning toward the island, the ferry company hauled Bolo and Bolo IV from the water and secured them on the hard at the boat yard. They tied up Bolo III in Black Sound and moored Bolo II deep in nearby Munjack Creek.
When Tom and I arrived on Green Turtle Cay last week, we were prepared for what we would meet. We’d seen the images and heard stories of the destruction Hurricane Dorian had visited upon this little island.
What I wasn’t expecting was how beautiful New Plymouth still is. Bruised and battered? Definitely. Still in need of help? Absolutely.
But, as the saying goes, true beauty comes from inside, from the heart. And the heart of Green Turtle Cay is bigger and stronger than ever.
Late last night, Tom and I arrived back in L.A. after a week in Abaco. Witnessing the destruction wrought by Dorian was heartbreaking. Even having seen it first hand, I have trouble believing it’s real.
Some of you may know that Tom’s a foreign correspondent for Canada’s CTV National News. When he took a week off work so that we could get to Green Turtle Cay and check on Fish Hooks, he planned to shoot some video for me to use here on the blog.
In the end, however, the journalist in him took over, and he put together the following news story, which aired nationally in Canada this past Tuesday.
Over the past six weeks, Tom and I have received so many kind calls, emails, texts, Facebook and Whatsapp messages and more, inquiring about our little house by the ferry and how it fared during Hurricane Dorian. Until now, however, I just didn’t feel ready to talk about it.
Early on Sunday, September 1, as Dorian barreled northwest along the coast of Abaco toward Green Turtle Cay, we began hearing how severely Hope Town and Marsh Harbour had been hit. At that point, Tom and I made peace with the fact that Fish Hooks would likely be destroyed.
Once again, I’m incredibly grateful to Bruce Pinder of Da Salty Pig Adventures in Spanish Wells for permitting me to share these photos with you.
Like the other Abaco Cays, Guana Cay was devastated by Hurricane Dorian. To help our Guana friends recover and rebuild, please consider:
Contributing to the Guana Fire and Rescue GoFundMe page. Funds raised through this effort will be allocated by Guana Fire and Rescue to the people of Guana Cay.
Contributing to the Guana Cay GoFundMe page set up by Katie Hoog, girlfriend of Guana Cay’s Ricky Sands. Funds are being used to purchase survival supplies, evacuation helicopters and boats, temporary housing, medical supplies and building materials.