Beauty and Devastation in Dominica
Quickly after arriving in the anchorage in Roseau, Robin, who was acting as the 'Sailing Santa' from St Lucia, made contact on the VHF. The next day we went up into the hills, with Robin, Nicholas and Jacinta his crew and Kai from the Charity in Mahaut, to see at volcanic crater lake. We enjoyed welcome walk in the forest and saw the early evidence of the regrowth after hurricane damage from Irma and Maria in late 2017. Noonsite - Dominica Hurricanes. We then had a hot bath in the natural sulphur springs on the way to the Mission in Mahaut.
In Mahaut we met the charismatic Pastor and her daughter Deborah who are carrying out tireless and selfless work helping orphaned children and those still displaced in the aftermath of the hurricanes. Their work has been ongoing since the 1980's running a non-profit empowerment and outreach center in Mahaut which has been dedicated to serving youth and low-income community members. Community Dream Centre and FMS MGT. However, the events of the past year has put a massive strain on their time and resources. The forest and vegitation has started to regrow but the buildings, and particularly the cummunity, are still struggling to recover from the disaster. It has set the island back years, and possibly decades. Despite this, spirits are good and the people incredibly resiliant under the circumstances.
Robin had bought provisions, meat for the Centre, fishing lines, masks and fins for the boys and toiletries for the girls. We bought sweets, snacks, some caps, coloured pencils and drawing pads. It was a humbling day and a stark reminder of how communities continue to struggle and need help and support for months and sometimes many years afterwards to enable long term recovery for damaged individuals, communities and infrastructure.