Confessions of an Island Ostrich

Confessions of an Island Ostrich

I have a bad habit of burying my head in the sand.  When the going gets touch, I don't face it, I simply ram my head down into the sand, close my eyes and hope for the best.  It's not a good trait.

My favourite example was when we were on our tiny boat in Bequia.  We had my whole family on the boat for Christmas.  Too many people in too small a space.  We were trying to find a spot to anchor in an already full anchorage.  There was one spot with boats far enough away to please my introvert husband.  He was up the front of the boat, getting ready to drop the anchor as I steered the boat into the position.  The depth sounder showed 2 foot under the keel, we kept inching forward.  1 foot under the keel, still I inched her forward.  6 inches under the keel and my mum pipes up and says "Kim, you better say something!!!!".  I think I actually had my eyes closed.  I meekly confessed to my husband, he calmly moved us away and we scraped the bottom of the keel across the sand.  Lucky escape, cleaned the barnacles off the bottom.  Somehow we avoided the husband / wife screaming session that is so common when anchoring, probably because we had visitors on board.  Here I am around that time... so young !


Fast forward 15 years and here comes Hurricane Irma.  Getting over the fear of my own close call with Irma in Florida, and feeling sick at the losses some of my very dear friends are facing, I boarded the plane back to Australia.  Back home to my husband, kids, family, my little safe zone of my nearly finished home in my lush green valley near the beach in Australia.  Here we are last week on my birthday...

 I have continued to scroll social media, feeling sick with the increasing images of devastation, burying my head... I need to do something.... what can I do?.... how can I help? ...How can I possibly do anything?

 I contacted a friend in St.Maarten who I know every Christmas delivers gifts and food packages to the poor communities on the island.  She has been evacuated from the island with her 2 kids, her husband left behind to pick up the pieces of their own lives, whilst borrowing a generator from a friend who's house was blown away, to get their pizza store back up and running to feed the masses.  Free food for volunteers.  Amazing what people do!   I need to do something.... what can I do?.... how can I help? ...How can I possibly do anything?

I suggested to her that I want to donate a bunch of clothing to be shipped down there and perhaps some of my island followers might like to send some too.  Perhaps she could organise distribution to those who have lost everything I said.  She loved the idea but suggested they do it as a "designer sale" even if they charge $1 a piece for example.  Moral is as important as a roof she said.  So wise ! BUT we have to wait she said.  The island is under Dutch Military control and it can't be done for a while she said.  OK, but I need to do something.... what can I do?.... how can I help? ...How can I possibly do anything?


Yesterday I woke up to this email from Denise in Boca Raton....

My husband and I were vacation in Virgin Gorda, BVIs when Irma decided to visit.  We were unable to secure a flight out of San Juan on any airline to anyplace for several days prior to the storm - Puerto Ricans were leaving the island in mass.  We live in Boca Raton have been thru several hurricanes and knew what Cat 5 hurricane damage could look like having volunteered in South Dade County after Andrew.  We hunkered down in a very secure building on the south end of the island near the Baths.   With the exception of a few solar panels ripped from the roof and some gutter damage, the building was intact.  However as we soon saw and the world now knows, the damage is massive and devastating.  The Guavaberry Spring Bay cottage we had stayed for 10 days prior to the storm was reduced to just some interior walls.  We became workers, and five days after the storm we were evacuated via helicopter to San Juan and returned to our home which was without power but thankfully undamaged from Irma here in Florida.
I know that your clothing is sold at Dive BVI on Virgin Gorda as friends had gone to the marina store the week before and bought some tops between their time on the beach.  I am not a social media person, but I have been following Facebooks for Dive BVI and the public page for Virgin may want to check them out for updates.
I know your heart is breaking, just as ours, for these massive disasters to have hit the Caribbean.  
We look forward to returning when they are ready to accept visitors again.
I went through 2 hurricanes while I was living in St.Maarten, little category 3's (> 129mph) that made a mess, but NOTHING like this.... Irma was steady 185mph, there is no Category 6 on the scale, but if there was, surely Irma was there!  St.Maarten was last flattened by Hurricane Louis 22 years ago, and was rebuilt fairly hurricane proof.  This hurricane was "next level".
WOW - its time to do something !  It is time to be positive.  
This week we start a HURRICANE PROMO.  Every couple of days I will email you with a positive hurricane story and let you know which style is the HURRICANE style of the day.  If you purchase that style, you will receive a FREE GIFT Caribbean Dream sarong (worth $25), and I will donate 20% of your purchase of that style to one of the island hurricane charities.  I will share the proceeds around several of the affected islands.
If you are a boutique owner and have a SALE rack you are sick of looking at, perhaps you want to think about contributing some items for the "designer sale" I was talking about previously?  Stay tuned for that info.
One love to my beloved islands xx
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1 comment

Wonderful idea Kim…I’m all in…you may wish to include an option for us to give more while you are charging our cards…I’m sure others would pitch in more if that easy!


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