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Dominica Hurricane Relief Fund
Dominica Hurricane Relief Trip

Dominica IMG_5465 webOn the 28th of September 2017 BodyHoliday Saint Lucia deployed its first disaster relief mission to our fellow Caribbean nation of Dominica. I (James W.B Ward) was onboard the motored vessel “TINY” along with 3 other BodyHoliday team members (Daniel, Vincent and Miguel) and a gentleman by the name of Martin. Onboard our boat were the donations made by many of our co-workers, compatriots and BodyHoliday guests.  Charging across the ocean at 18 to 20 knots, we were well on our way to help our brothers and sisters in need. The island of St Lucia had been spared the full force of Maria, Jose and Irma, and so our resort and homes remained perfectly in tact. This good fortune only spurred us on, determined to help those to whom hurricane season had been less kind.

Rewinding time, the lead-up days to this relief-mission were greeted by the caring and giving hearts of many who gathered what they could to help make a difference. From the favorite books donated by a kind young boy, to the masses and masses of dried and non-perishable goods from many other humble individuals, a true group effort was pushed forward, shining with the spirit that is the caring St. Lucian culture. Amongst all this amazing effort were the gentle guiding hands of Jasmine Baksh making all these gestures come together seamlessly.

Dominica IMG_5324 webBack to the present and we find ourselves passing the lush west coast shoreline of Martinique some 23 miles from St. Lucia. Little did we know the contrast that would dawn on the horizon as we approached our destination. From what was a lush, forest-filled island, rose the aftermath of the impact of hurricane Maria, battered and bruised by the 160 mph winds and torrential rainfalls, we travelled along the leeward coast of Dominica, eyes wide and saddened souls – bearing witness to a nation that had been brought to her knees. No picture can truly do justice to what we witnessed.

 Arriving at the main dock in Roseau our team were amazed to be Dominica IMG_5147 webgreeted by many willing hands to assist in the offloading process of “TINY” and other officials to help with organizing for the relief-goods to be taken to distribution centers and into to the hands of persons in need. Stepping back for a moment, the number of vessels hailing from ports all over the Caribbean, gave a sense of Dominica IMG_5441 weba “One Caribbean” and made our hearts swell with pride. Helicopters, vehicles, motorcycles, you name it, were all thereto help with the efforts. With a nation pushed to its limits, the smile of a gentleman andthe words “How are you?” were the last things I’d have expected, but this simple notion gave a welcome glimmer of hope (At least to me) that the will of the Dominican people is strong and they are ready to do what is necessary to see their home rise from adversity.

Efforts like these are just the beginning. The road ahead will be long Dominica IMG_5289 weband difficult for Dominica but if we can all come together, donate and give what we can, be that fishing tackle, dried or non-perishable goods, a monetary donation to assist in buying further supplies or even some time at a center organizing relief supplies, it will all go towards the goal of a recovered Dominica. For now, our relief mission is complete and we will look to the drawing-boards to plan further assistance.

We would like to thank every person who helped by donating towards our BodyHoliday relief effort, your contributions will surely make a difference to someone in need today.

James Ward for BodyHoliday, its guests and team members.


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