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Tales From Humber: Erin Haven – my hopes for Hope Town

Bahamas is a paradise on Earth, but no one has cared much about my country up until the worst natural disaster in our history hit us — Hurricane Dorian. We were even the most searched thing on Google in 2019.

I’m Erin Nicole Haven, I grew up in Nassau. Nassau is the capital city of the Bahamas and lies on the island of New Providence. 

The Bahamas is a small country constituting of multiple islands, and it is safe to say that for someone like me, who wanted to study interior design, it was much needed to step out of my home country.

But only a few weeks that I was here, in Canada, Hurricane Dorian hit the country that I call home.

It had been originally coming for my island, but it ended up changing paths and going to the northern islands which are still very close to home. Grand Bahama and Abaco were affected the most. 

I have been to Abaco countless times in my life. It is just a 40-minute boat ride away from Nassau. Our friend in Abaco maintains a key (a key is a small island) and we usually stay there whenever we visit. It is like having our own private island. 

Hope Town is one of my favourite places from home. It is a small village island located in Abaco. My cousin owns a house in Hope Town and it is like a second home to me.

There were times when we could go golf carting around Hope Town and we went to go see the lighthouse one time. That time, when we actually went on top of the island, looking at Abaco, looking at the boats, set out in the harbour, looking at Hope Town, it was so beautiful. I don’t know when I can do that again.

Hope Town is now completely destroyed. The docks were ripped apart, the buildings were ripped apart, and my cousin’s house was actually ripped apart, too. It is now a home without a porch, which is absolutely devastating. 

I was here when I found out, and I was heartbroken. Knowing that I can’t go back there for a while broke my heart. My parents were here too and they were originally supposed to fly home but because of the hurricane they could not. 

My friends and family were talking about it and it sucked because I felt helpless and I could not do anything about it. Even my sister and my brother were back home. Usually when a hurricane is coming we all board up the house together and we all sit and wait for it to pass by.

But now I’m in a completely different place where nothing is happening and I was constantly thinking about my family going through the aftermath all by themselves.

 And I am not even there to see what is happening. 

Because there are many Bahamian students going to school here, I found people talking about how drastic it was and people actually making efforts to raise funds to help people of my country. It was very heartwarming to see everybody trying to help people get back on their feet.

The islands are now recovering but many people are still homeless and most of them have moved to Nassau.

As told to Kajal Mangesh Pawar

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