Tag: Hurricane Relief

What Hope Looks Like

Several times over the years, I’ve written about the importance of Junkanoo to Bahamian culture.

Young Junkanoo Performer, oil painting by Alton Lowe

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.

Masked Junkanoo Performer, oil painting by Alton Lowe

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. 

Last Call for Donations to Abaco Toy Drive

A reminder that contributions toward Abaco Freight‘s Abaco Toy Drive must be received by this Saturday, December 14. Unwrapped gifts are still needed, especially for boys (aged 10-18).

Donations can be dropped off at or shipped to:

Abaco Toy Drive c/o Abaco Freight
10130 North Lake Blvd.
Suite 214–192
West Palm Beach, Florida
33412

If you need gift ideas, check out the toy drive’s Amazon wish list. And if you’d rather donate funds to buy toys, drop me a note and I’ll put you in touch with Kimber Mazzeo of Abaco Freight.

Thanks in advance for helping to give children throughout Abaco a wonderful Christmas.

Donations Needed for Abaco Christmas Toy Drive

The kind folks at Abaco Freight in West Palm Beach have been gathering toys to be delivered to children throughout Abaco, Bahamas the week before Christmas.

Volunteers wrap donated gifts at Abaco Freight toy drive.

A November 30 toy drive held at Wellington Mall in West Palm was quite successful, but they’re still in need of 150 or so more toys.

What Are You Doing for Giving Tuesday?

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.

The Days After Dorian

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.

Oswald Hall

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.

A Wish List from Marsh Harbour

One of the greatest challenges facing Abaconians as they recover from Hurricane Dorian is that Abaco’s economic center, Marsh Harbour, was virtually wiped out by the storm.

The destruction in much of Marsh Harbour is extensive

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.

Important Progress is Being Made in Marsh Harbour

It was terrific to see a Marsh Harbour update today on The Abaconian’s Facebook page. It’s amazing how much progress has been made in just the three weeks since Tom and I were there!

Marsh Harbour – October 23, 2019

New developments reported by The Abaconian include:

  • City water is once again available to many buildings
  • Bahamas Power and Light is working hard to restore electricity to key structures including the government complex, mini-hospital and Leonard Thompson International Airport

Bahamians Still Need Your Support – Here’s How to Help

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.

A building in Marsh Harbour destroyed by 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 Treasure Cay Airport, Abaco, Bahamas

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.

Bolo III is Back Home

A lot of blog readers have emailed to ask how the Green Turtle Cay Ferries fared during Dorian.

The Green Turtle Cay Ferry fleet, before Hurricane 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.  

Team M/V Adventure Helps Repair GTC’s Basketball Court

On September 15, two weeks after Hurricane Dorian, the 55’ Nordhavn trawler M/V Adventure arrived at Green Turtle Cay to assist with the island’s recovery.

Vessel owners Captain Bradford and Lorraine Carlton, along with a group of friends and volunteers, quickly established a food kitchen, which they called the Adventure Cafe.

For the past six weeks, with the help of local residents, the Adventure Cafe has served two meals a day, feeding people as they work hard to put their town, their homes and their lives back together.

Green Turtle Cay, Two Months Later

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.

Thanks to Tom for this video of the settlement of New Plymouth, shot October 30, 2019

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.

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