Sobering reminders

A drive around the south of post-hurricane Dominica is a sobering reminder that ‘bouncing back’ is a phrase born in an office and not on the ground. Pichelin, Pointe Michel, Soufriere, and Scotts Head tell a story that is not yet over by a long stretch.

It was pure coincidence that my trip should coincide with that of Bill Clinton, who was driven at great speed in a seemingly endless convoy of black government vehicles, accompanied by armed police and a bus load of excited paperazzi. I understand the talk was of sustainable, climate resilient rebuilding. I wonder what the old men gutting balou on Cachacrou rocks would have made of it, or the men and women standing patiently in line for water in a rock strewn Scotts Head, or all the people, young and old, sitting on the stoops of broken homes, gazing into vacant seas. Did they feel like they were bouncing back, I wonder?

The ruins of homes, the destroyed Kubuli brewery, the landslides, the mess – all are stark reminders of what happened that September night and how the storm affected real island people in very different, yet equally devastating ways. Thanks to Anna’s generator, I drank a cold Kubuli at Scotts Head, sadly not made here any more, and people-watched for a while, wishing the spin doctors were here with me, instead of in an office or chasing Bill.
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