I think it would be appropriate to say that September, 2017 was hell. The repeated threats of tropical storms, hurricanes and super-storms made us uneasy. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria disrupted our peace and pleasures. The new school year was postponed, businesses were locked and residents barred their buildings and stored food for what was to come. Time and time again the power was removed and there was complete darkness. Our world stood still. We silently screamed “WHAT NEXT?” in unison as we sat in wait for the next possible tragedy. When the light returned, we faced the damage.

Our sister island of Barbuda felt a wicked blow from Hurricane Irma – a super-storm. Many houses and possessions were lost but worst of all, a life was taken. We silently cried “ARE WE NEXT?” in unison as we sat in wait for the next possible tragedy. The barbarous storms passed from island to island. Increased crimes, deaths, homelessness, hunger and the fear of the unknown become a daily norm to the people whose islands were devastated. Regionally, we were also awakened to the heartlessness of many men who live in bigger territories. Instead of being sympathetic, they made vile and misinformed remarks regarding our way of life and our building codes (which in fact were created to withstand the strengths of hurricane force winds).

Through it all, we stood together and screamed aloud and in unison, “WE WILL HELP!” We gathered tools, supplies, clothing, man-power, money and made plans for a better future. Although each island in the Caribbean Sea boasts of their individual heritage in their native tongue, we speak one language in the face of turmoil.

I think it would be appropriate to say September, 2017 prompted change towards a more desirable way of life. Even an ounce of hope can be garnered from the most periling situations.

I love our little islands in the sea. May we drink to the songs of prosperity.