this is your world.
shape it, or someone else will.
Photo Credit – Scully Photography
Every day it seems we wake up to hear about lawlessness and corruption and greed and how it’s destroying our country. The actions of the selfish seem to be on proud display in every direction and I think we’ve all found ourselves questioning whether we’re stupid for not jumping on the “Me First” bandwagon.
I think in times like these it’s important to remind ourselves not to judge the many by the actions of the few.
And it’s situations like last week’s floods in West Trinidad that demonstrate that there is still goodness all around us.
If you will bear with me, I’d love to tell you a story.
In the wee hours of Friday 13th Sep, Diego Martin and Petit Valley experienced intense thunderstorm activity. It was very localized – over the hills on both sides folks in Maraval and Glencoe (along with much of North Trinidad) saw only flashes of lightning and heard the thunder…. and wondered where the rain was.
The rain was in our little valley. It was intense – I’ve said that already but it deserves repeating. Not only was there an abundance of forked lightning (am I the only one who grew up experiencing only sheet lightning in T&T?) but this lightning touched down.
In the midst of blinding rain, Trinis can sleep. Pull the covers closer and cozy up.
I doubt anyone was sleeping that Friday morning. The lightning hit cars, hit homes. There was no flash and then delayed gentle roll of thunder. This lightning was close.
At one point as I sat wondering whether to attempt to go back to sleep, I heard a humming in the air that didn’t come from any particular direction but, in an instant, was just present everywhere. It couldn’t have lasted more than a second before the flash came. I have no idea where it hit, but I know it was close.
And so we waited and watched, hoping that the river would not again burst its banks.
By 2am the pictures started hitting Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. And while the flooding was much less widespread than August 2012, it was clear the floods had come again.
And again some families lost everything.
The Hinds/Francois family with their 5 little girls lost everything except the clothes on their backs. Two different assessment teams visited their house. They confirmed – this family lost everything.
When the word went out about this family in temporary residence at the Central Diego Martin Community Center, and another family who spent Friday night in a guard booth, an amazing thing happened.
You brought clothing, food, water, diapers, formula, toiletries. Emergency supplies.
You brought meals, you brought books, you brought stuffed animals. You helped ease the shock of displacement for these little ones.
And celebrated a 5th birthday.
You provided stationery, vouchers for school books, school uniforms. You helped the girls to get back to school.
When emergency approval came for an HDC home, you shared your own possessions to help them make a new start – bedding and towels and dishes and more!
This is the true heart of a Trini.
This is who we are as a people. We recognize that we lose nothing in helping others to stand again. We band together in times of need.
We still understand the value of Community.
So, thank you to the good Samaritans. Thank you to those who literally welcomed a family without shelter into your home.
Thank you to the Central Diego Martin Community Center and the amazing Renata Guiseppi! You rallied and you mothered and you mobilized a community.
To the members of REACT and Lions and the ODPM and everyone who worked together to return some sense of normalcy as soon as possible to as many as possible. I thank you!
Far away and beyond the material possessions, I think was the giving of time and heart. And I think that is the message that was well received by all involved. We are still a compassionate people. We still care. And we will act in support of each other.
And that’s reason enough to keep hope alive.
I would like to express an extra special personal thank you to Jacqueline and Tonya and D and N who (as usual) went beyond the call of duty. May you be truly and richly blessed.
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Outspoken, a mother of 3 and a bit of a creative nerd. Nicole is passionate about family and social good, and blogs from Trinidad & Tobago. Download her mobile app
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