The preparation before a hurricane is a bittersweet moment. The cupboards overflow with food, board games are dusted off and taken down to play with once the electricity goes off. However, amidst this preparation, the thought lingers in our mind of whether or not we’ll actually survive. When the hurricane finally hits, the sky loses its color. It is no longer baby blue, but the depressing colors of grey slowly begin to impose its sign of rain upon us. Torrential rains beat down, while the wind gusts around us. Visibility is weak and we forget how a clear, sunny day looks like. When hurricane Irma and Maria suddenly hit some of the Caribbean islands, the citizens longed for the break of day. We have seen pictures and videos giving an account as to what happened during these dreaded hours. Despite our unified approach, we can only imagine what our neighbors must have bee
Hurricane Irma struck the Caribbean with winds going at 185 miles per hour. It was the strongest hurricane observed in the Atlantic since hurricane Wilma in 2005. Irma surprised us as the first category-five hurricane to hit the Leeward Islands, causing about 134 fatalities. As if we weren’t already struggling to cope with the damage that Hurricane Irma had done, Hurricane Maria barreled down toward countries like Puerto Rico and our Caribbean counterpart, Dominica. By all means, Dominica was not expecting to be hit by the 10th most intense hurricane in the Atlantic. Their houses were boarded, still, yet the hurricane left them battered. During Maria’s ferocious winds, the citizens were sheltered, but after Maria departed she left her victims homeless. Maria caused catastrophic damage to Dominica and a major humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. However, did this destruction damage the hearts of our Caribbean friends or were they able to brave the storm?
In an interview with Jean Neal Lima, a second-year Theology major here at USC, he stated that the approaching Hurricane Irma did not spark fear in him. Although from St. Lucia, Jean Neal’s mother is currently on the island of St. Croix, which was one of the islands affected by Hurricane Irma. During the hurricane, Jean Neal stated that he was still not afraid. However, he was concerned. Although the damages of the hurricane did not affect him financially, he was led to understand that life is not as certain as we may think it is. In the midst of it all, Jean Neal’s relationship with God grew much stronger. His encouragement for those who may come from islands that were affected by the hurricane is to look on the bright side and view this experience as one that God has a reason for doing.
How does an individual brave a storm that they didn’t physically go through, you may ask. Well, when those we are close to facing difficult times, we feel their pain no matter the distance. One may have their own physical, spiritual or mental battles to face already and taking on the storms of the ones we’re close to doesn’t help. Take heart, my friends, your family members braved the hurricane, be strong in God and continue to brave your storms.