It’s been a month since I’ve had hot water, and I don’t miss it one bit……
I am writing this now under the one and only lamp that survived Dorian. The wind is howling and the rain is pouring here while tropical storm Eta is battering Elbow Cay and the Abacos. 60-70 mph winds and 5-15 inches of rain is forecasted and judging by the conditions outside I think the weatherman is right! For once! LOL!
We were supposed to return to the states Tuesday but that ain’t gonna happen. With only two flights in and out every week I think Friday might be our best bet….. And if not the following Tuesday hopefully will.
They call the Bahamian corned beef ” Fire Engine” here…… Its red and good going down…….And red and not so good coming out! I think that” fire engine” is a good honest description of this cultural culinary anomaly! We on our crew have given it a new name. ” The red death!” Here in the islands we are living like the locals, with the locals and making lifelong connections and friends to boot! Yes, they have pizza and burgers here, but wherever I go I eat like the locals so I can experience their culture. When you eat like the locals you can live like the locals!
Work has been steadily progressing with our Haitian co workers….They have coined a new term from us…..” Fukin da sh*t up mon…” Our saying for getting a lot of work done! It’s truly hilarious when I hear them tell me “hey boss, I’m a gon go an fuk da sh*t up mon!”
I’ve been repairing the siding on the house with my boys Clover, my good man Watson and Jeff David, the man with two first names……
I’m the “cut slut,” the cut man. Because at 50 there’s no way I’m climbing my ass up on the sketchy scaffold we erected. It’s not the fall that scares me, it’s the landing!
I never thought of the Bahamas as a third world country . Second world yes, but not third world. Yesterday we had a day off…..And myself and the boys decided to go on an excursion to look for lobster and conch. Our local friend Christopher told us he would be our tour guide and take us to some secret spots to dive and find some……..
We went down to the “Haitian Village” to dive and swim in the clear blue Bahamian waters.. The village sits on the site of an abandoned resort that was never rebuilt after a hurricane in the 90’s and sits right next to the present day Hopetown dump…… Squatting beachfront! The local Haitians call it home now but it was once called “The Elbow Cay Club” in it’s heyday. Christopher told us his parents used to go party there back in the day. Now, it’s just well, what it is, A DUMP! It was just bought by a developer and after 20 or so years as a squatters camp these folks will soon be displaced . The fences are going up as I write this and the signs are already posted on the fences. “Trespassing in the Bahamas is a Felony!” I guess the writing is literally on the wall (or the fence)
for these people and I found myself wondering where they would go?
When we arrived the boys bought a six pack of Heineken from one of the Haitian ladies there ( 5 bucks a beer!) and I realized that this was where most of our local co-workers were currently living. Needless to say that their living conditions are less than desirable and it gave me a new found appreciation of my living space…… I will not and did not take pictures out of respect for my co workers, you’ll have to picture it in your own mind but it was straight out of a Sally Struthers “For the Children” commercial….Remember the one where she says ” For as little as .30 cents a day you can make a difference?’ Almost apocalyptic how these 50 or so folks were living. It made me think just how entitled people are in my home country. Our nation truly has NO CLUE what real poverty is, and what blows my mind even more is never in my wildest dreams would I have thought this village existed hidden in the jungle surrounded by multi million dollar homes. The division between the filthy rich and the very poor here in the islands is astounding! What blows my mind more is my co workers never even mentioned it, it’s just life in the islands.
And 99.9% of the tourists that come here never would know about these people and their lives. Nor would they even care if they did. But I am an empath and I am proud to call these hard working men my lifelong friends…….
Life in the islands is good, but not easy. Be thankful for what you have and not envious of what you don’t……Think about it……. And think about how truly blessed you are, no matter what your situation may be……..