Published On: Fri, Sep 22nd, 2017

The spirit of togetherness

We’ve seen help coming from all corners on the French side of the island. Firefighters from Marseille, Guadeloupe and Guyana, members of the French foreign Legion from Russia – an unprecedented outpouring of assistance. The same on the Dutch side where help came from Aruba and Curacao, from Nijmegen and Friesland, and of course from many other places too.

We’ve never seen so many damaged cars and shattered windshields in our life. And of course, we heard the stories about senseless looting – who needs a flatscreen TV when there is no electricity? – but we also heard Glen Carty and his daughter Jennifer sing five times in a row Happy Birthday on Laser 101 for callers who said in was their birthday.

Amidst all the misery that has befallen us we encountered many people who were ready to help – literally with anything. We have taken tourists to the airport, given rides to people who had no transportation, as we’re sure many others have done as well.

This is not the time to take credit for anything. You just do what you have to do, you help where help is needed and you share whatever it is you have.

The spirit of togetherness is what has touched us deeply, though it is easy to forget these things when reports about looting come over the airwaves.

When you are used to open a tap to get water for cooking or for your shower, it is rather humiliating to have to go somewhere with a bunch of plastic bottles to get your 30 to 40 liters of water every morning.

But at the end of the day, you are happy to be alive and all these discomforts become relatively irrelevant. If you want to survive, you will just have to bite the bullet.

Take action and support each other. The mess we are in right now is bad, but it won’t last forever.

This is a good time to ask yourself the following question: do I want to go down in history as someone who went out stealing after Hurricane Irma, or as someone who helped the community?