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Thursday, September 14, 2017

WOMAN IN ACTION SHANAM CLARKE JUGGLES TWO JOBS!



This is my latest “Woman in Action” article that appears in “The Punch” on page 15 today about Shanam "Keisha" Clarke, who juggles two busy jobs, one at “Dunkin Donuts” and the other at “Club One Fitness Centre”. The Punch features an outstanding local woman in their “Woman in Action” column every Thursday, with my articles usually appearing every other Thursday.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

HURRICANE IRMA GONE!

Roof repaired after Hurricane Matthew has some shingles
missing after lesser winds from Hurricane Irma (not a good roof job!)

I’ve marked myself “safe during Hurricane Irma” on Facebook, a great facility that they offer!

Thankfully, Hurricane Irma took a western path away from New Providence, so we had quite moderate winds last night (perhaps 25 – 35 m.p.h.) and just light rain. We went to sleep around midnight and when we awoke everything was quiet. We are experiencing wind gusts from time to time, but Hurricane Irma has gone!

Unfortunately, the Southeastern Bahamas received the full brunt of Hurricane Irma. It has been reported on ZNS news that there are downed power lines, shingles blown off and sadly some homes lost, but there have been no injuries or loss of life. The "All Clear" has been given for those islands.

Long Island in the Central Bahamas has reported that their electricity is being restored throughout the island already!

The “All Clear” has now been given for New Providence, Abaco, Eleuthera and The Berry Islands, but “Hurricane Warnings” are still in effect for Andros, Bimini and Grand Bahama. Our power where we live in Nassau didn’t go off at all during the threat of Irma.

The Lynden Pindling International Airport reports no damage and that they will resume operations tomorrow.

Hurricane Irma is now pounding Cuba and forecast to head for Florida. We pray that the U.S. will be spared like most of The Bahamas has been.

Friday, September 8, 2017

HURRICANE BETSY VERSUS HURRICANE IRMA!



We are ready for Hurricane Irma! Our shutters are installed and we have stocked up with water and food to last us a few days.

Around this time fifty-two years’ ago Hurricane Betsy pounded Nassau. I had just arrived here on my journey “around the world”!

As a young woman, sharing an apartment with three other girls above the Verdant Gardens Coffee Shop, Dowdeswell Street, it was all very exciting to me! Our landlord had battened up the apartment, but left the bathroom window so we could see out of it. I remember balancing on the bathtub during the storm and watching a large roof flap on a tall building at the top of Collins Avenue!

Two guys the girls and I knew offered to camp out in our front room and “protect” us. Instead, they consumed a whole bottle of rum and passed out on the living room floor!

I believe Hurricane Betsy passed over Nassau on Tuesday, September 6th, 1965 (at 135 m.p.h. according to an online source). I met Erskine a week and a half later on Friday, September 17th, when a friend of his brought him to our apartment to meet us. We started dating the next day and he introduced me to his parents and some of his sisters about a week later on his birthday.

Hurricane Irma is a much more dangerous hurricane than Betsy was, but fortunately, it is travelling WNW of Nassau and we should only get tropical storm force winds here. Those in the South Eastern Bahamas have not been so lucky. We are waiting for news from those Family Islands and pray that they have not had any injuries or deaths. Most of the residents were evacuated to Nassau from those islands a couple of days ago, because Hurricane Irma was a Cat 5, said to be the largest hurricane to ever affect the Atlantic region.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

HURRICANE IRMA A POTENTIAL THREAT TO THE BAHAMAS

A gas station in Nassau, Bahamas, after Hurricane Matthew

We’re praying we won’t get Hurricane Irma which could possibly affect us within a week. If we do, Erskine says we’ll check into a hotel this time to ride out the storm! I don’t know if we really will, but we did stay in the Nassau Beach Hotel once during a hurricane. We parked our car in the hotel parking lot and when we emerged after the storm, our car had almost been crushed by a fallen light pole! It was stuck there for a while until the pole was moved.

Here's a recent article in The Tribune about Hurricane Irma: Hurricane Irma is a Potential Threat to The Bahamas

This is what I wrote at the time of Hurricane Matthew, which hit The Bahamas in October, 2016. My article was published in the Tribune, Nassau, and Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser, England.

HURRICANE MATTHEW GOES DOWN IN HISTORY

It was like an evil force determined to get through our walls and blow us and everything inside our Nassau home out into the elements. Hurricane Matthew pounded at our southern house wall and tore around the other sides of the building like a mad thing. The steel panels over our windows flexed frantically with the constant beating by the heavy rain and winds.

The first leak in the ceiling started in a weak spot, where there had been a leak in a previous storm. We rushed to get a bucket. Then, one by one, more leaks spurted from above us. We used up all of our pots to catch the streams of water and then started pulling out baking dishes.

The night before, I’d grabbed some of our family photos, memorabilia of nostalgic value, passports and important documents, and stuffed them into three small suitcases. I’d heard too many tales of families losing irreplaceable items in a natural disaster. I wanted to be ready if we had to evacuate. I’d also covered electronics, boxes we had in storage, and other objects with large plastic garbage bags. We still moved some of the items out of the way in case of a possible ceiling collapse.

We listened to a local radio station, but advisories didn’t seem to be up to date. Later it was reported in local newspapers that Nassau’s Meteorology department had problems with their radar equipment in the storm and they also had to be evacuated.

I attempted to follow the path of Matthew on my phone, having added a week’s data, but the internet was slow and online reports often conflicted with each other. Our sons in a nearby location kept us informed whenever they found a reliable advisory.

Our power company exercised a controlled shut down across the island. The city water supply went off from time to time, but we had saved water in the bathtub. With an electric stove, we couldn’t cook anything, so we ate leftovers, bread, fruit and cereal. Later, the ice that we had made in freezer bags to preserve the refrigerated food melted and we had to throw away the remainder of the perishables.

After Hurricane Matthew stormed away from here, looking for more victims to wreak havoc on, we ventured out of our apartment. We were not surprised to see the trail of destruction Matthew left behind. Many of our roof tiles had blown off, which had caused the leaks, but some people actually lost their roofs.

Now we are waiting until the long lines at the gas pumps die down, so we can top up our gas. There are also scores of residents anxiously queuing for cooked food at fast food restaurants and ice is currently a precious commodity. Empty shelves in food stores await fresh supplies. All of this can be tolerated though. Of paramount importance is that we have had no loss of lives here due to Hurricane Matthew, except sadly when a man died from a heart attack while he was securing his home.

Our electric supply was restored yesterday afternoon after fifty-six hours of being without power. Then it went off again for a few more hours today. However, we are very fortunate. There are many residents across the island whose power is not on yet, due to downed power lines or flooding. And some homes are still flooded in low lying areas. Others are badly damaged by the storm surge, which raged in from the ocean.

The Bahamas and its people are resilient though. They will rebuild their lives and in decades to come old Bahamians will tell their grandchildren about Hurricane Matthew, the devastating hurricane of October 2016.

(Written October, 2016)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A CONTRACT LIKE NO OTHER!



If you picked up a Tribune in Nassau today, you may have noticed best-selling Bahamian author Tanya R. Taylor's photo top right on the front page and a bar at the top saying "WOMAN: BESTSELLING AUTHOR READY TO RELEASE 18TH NOVEL"! Then over a half page spread in The Tribune’s “Woman” section (back page) is my article titled “A ‘Contract’ like no other”.

I believe the upcoming release on September 4th of Tanya R. Taylor’s new book “The Contract (Book 5 of ‘the Cornelius Saga’) - Murder in The Bahamas” will really be a phenomenal one! Click below to read the article.