I have come here for a working vacation, but also to get my mind straight…… I think I’ve come to the right place to do this. They say that idle hands are the devil’s playground and since the pandemic hit I’ve had a lot of idle time.You can only sit on the beach and read a book for so long! The duplex I bought on St. Simons Island is fixed up and we have already received an offer on it and have it under contract…… I was bored and needed something to do, so when I was contacted by an old friend about this adventure I jumped at the opportunity. I received a phone call from him one morning. He said “Chris, do you have a passport? I think your head might be in the right place to go with me to the Bahamas to help me rebuild a house that was damaged in the hurricane.”
Travel, lodging and expenses paid while I was there? Hell yes I’m going!
When we arrived at the house I surveyed the damage. Almost every house in the Abaco chain was damaged to some degree. Some completely gone, some not too bad, most somewhere in between. The island is a flurry of activity with construction crews everywhere rebuilding. It is a monumental undertaking and I think it will probably be 5-10 years before it is all done., and after 13 months there is still NO electricity here. Everyone is running generators for power.
All the windows in the house were blown out with the 200 mph winds. A lot of the siding was sandblasted off the house. Doors blown in, pool full of sand and decks and handrails destroyed. The damage is pretty extensive……. So we got to work. We are going to “camping out” in the house while doing the work, so we have to at least get the water going so we can shower and cook, refrigeration so we can keep food from spoiling, and set up some sort of sleeping quarters. First things first.
Then we got to work tearing out the nonexistent windows so we could install the new one which are sitting in a shipping container in the front yard.
Even in October it’s still in the mid 80’s here during the day, but the Tradewinds blow almost constantly so it doesn’t really feel that hot unless you can’t get the breeze to knock the sweat off of you. Luckily for us we are beachfront on the eastern side of the island and get a good breeze all day!
Five of us came down here, they are good guys and I honestly think I will have lifelong friends after this trip. I’m going to be here at least a month, but I don’t see any way in hell we will get all the work done in that time………. I think it’s going to be at least two months, possibly three!
There are only three restaurants open here now. The Abaco Inn where I’m staying until our “camp spot” is livable. (which is today) The Firefly Resort, and the local Bahamian hangout Willie’s. Groceries are slim pickings also. The islands are still reeling from Dorian. It will be a LONG time before life returns to normal here, but I am amazed at the Bahamians people resilience and ability to always smile. The Carribean is a special place, with very special people!
Well, like I always say…… Life is a journey, not a destination…… And this journey has been one hell of an adventure, and I have a strong suspicion the journey has just begun!