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.
Two weeks after Hurricane Dorian devastated the northern Bahamas, the 55’ Nordhavn trawler M/V Adventure arrived at Green Turtle Cay to assist with the island’s recovery. Together with a group of friends and volunteers, vessel owners Captain Bradford and Lorraine Carlton quickly established a food kitchen, which they dubbed the Adventure Cafe.
For twelve weeks, Team M/V Adventure has served breakfast and dinner to the entire community. On November 21, the group announced that, since running water and power have been restored to many homes on the cay, they’d be serving their last meal today, December 13th.
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.
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.
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.
This terrific video was posted yesterday on YouTube by a member of Team M/V Adventure. Team M/V Adventure helped set up the Adventure Cafe, which has been feeding the folks of Green Turtle Cay as they attempt to rebuild their town and their lives after Hurricane Dorian.
I just did a rough tally, and over the past 14 years, I’ve shot more than 115,000 photos on Green Turtle Cay. And yet, in watching this video, there were entire street scenes that I didn’t immediately recognize. The amount of damage and destruction our little island has sustained is absolutely heartbreaking.