September 19, 2019

The Islands I Call Home

“As a native Bahamian, I know what to do when a hurricane is approaching. I know it’s important to stock up on water, get supplies, call my friends and family, listen to the panicked yet comedic voice of Bahamian radio personality Darold Miller for weather updates, and then wait.

Wait for the stiflingly still air to rise up before making room in my home for the inevitable visitors who have fled theirs.

I know where to buy kerosene for gas lamps. I know which way to park the car in the driveway to ensure it’s safe. I know the evacuation routes and the nearest shelters. These are things I am primed for and ready to do.

What I don’t know how to do is watch a historic storm hit the island I call home from more than 2,000 miles away.

I’ve spent the past few months in Canada, where I’ve been working on my writing. As I watch the news about Hurricane Dorian, I am left sending helpless text messages to friends and family on the ground, pleading that they stay safe. As videos emerge of the flooding in the Abaco Islands, waiting in a country that is not my own feels like the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

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