Hurricane Irma in Cuba – A Personal Experience

I think that is it very important to talk about Hurricane Irma and what it did to the Caribbeans as well, and not only to Florida. We have been bombarded with news about the measures taken in Florida, how many people were evacuated, the worries about the yachts and boats anchored in the ports of Miami and the nearby cities. The travel groups on Facebook were full of people worried that the highways would be too full to evacuate or that the flights out of Florida won’t be enough.

But I didn’t see anyone taking about the poor islands in the Caribbean on which the people had nowhere to evacuate or think about highways or flights. The only thing they could do was to prepare. Nobody heard anything about them until Irma passed by and left paradise islands like Barbuda or St Maarten completely destroyed. I was reading today how for the first time in history, the island of Barbuda is empty, there is no human soul living there anymore because 95% of the houses were destroyed. Where did those people evacuate to?

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We have all watched videos of the famous St Maarten airport with its landing runway so close to the sea. Some of us were lucky to even witness the planes landing from the tiny beach in front of it. Now? It’s gone! 95% of the French part of the island has been destroyed.

Yesterday, while I was going through the magazines from last year’s World Travel Market I stumbled upon a notebook from Antigua and Barbuda, with an idyllic beach on its cover and I remembered the lovely people I met at their stand. It saddened me thinking that probably they won’t be there anymore this year because their island has been completely wiped out!

My friend Bethan has moved to Cuba about a month ago to teach English and to be with her love, Danny. I remember how Saturday night, trying to fall asleep, I left the TV on and when the news came, they showed how the South of Cuba was just being hit by the hurricane and how Baracoa was underwater. The images were horrendous! I felt a lump in my throat and thought about my friends… were they ok? I texted them but I got no answer back.

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Cuba has a special place in my heart because it thought me about the kindness of people. My trip there started on the wrong foot, with the airline loosing my bag, another airline denying me boarding because they overbooked the flight and when I finally arrived, the casa couldn’t find my reservation. Towards the end of my trip I got stung by a bee and I had to go to the hospital because I got an allergic reaction. However, because of the people in Cuba who didn’t hesitate to help with with what they could, my trip was perfect and I enjoyed every single moment of it. Seeing the island being hit by the hurricane and reading afterwords that 10 people died (the highest death toll in a hurricane in Cuba since 1963), made me really sad.

I was reading this morning that the US will be helping all the countries in the Caribbean except for Cuba. And instantly I asked myself… what do people’s lives have to do with politics?

 

I have asked my friend Bethan to tell me how she experienced hurricane Irma, from her new home in Havana:


By Bethan James


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Travel-loving teacher currently learning to live in Havana, Cuba. A keen runner, an amateur baker and a bit of a bookworm, with an ever growing list of places that I need to visit!


“I am learning to live in Cuba. The experience is exhilarating, surprising, occasionally frustrating, often humbling. Never more so than when we watched Hurricane Irma build in the Atlantic and head our way.

First, the threat of Irma began dominate conversations, exacerbated by the hysteria of American news channels for those of us with cable TV. For three days, I was sent numerous emails on how to prepare – water, tinned food, taping windows. Colleagues organised important-sounding trips to the supermarket to stock up on bottled water, and food supplies. Someone quizzed me on how many litres I had in my house: I didn’t know the exact number and felt like I was dicing with death. And all the while, our local colleagues and friends listened and watched with a wry smile, and murmured reassurances during staff meetings. They seemed to have lived through this so many times; hurricanes are part of life here. At home, the love of my life/provider of general ‘how-to-survive-here’ advice wasn’t remotely worried, and so neither was I.

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A lively breeze was picking up as we gathered a few supplies on Saturday morning, and the first few droplets of rain began to fall as we finally found some cola. Cuba libres in hand (what else?!) we settled in for a windy night. And it was windy. And dark. The power went very quickly and I moved restlessly between the strange (for me) sensation of the dark, hot, damp air inside the apartment, and the vicious, howling hot wind outside. Images that I had only ever seen on TV were suddenly happening three feet away from our balcony, and below in our street. Palm trees were strained beyond what should have been breaking point, their leaves looking like wet hair, whipped to one side. Huge branches of the ancient trees crashed downwards, pulling overheard cables with them. The strength of the wind was frightening, and awesome in the truest sense of the word. It went on for several hours. We slept a little, stuffy and uncomfortable but grateful for our concrete walls and secure roof.

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The next day was still breezy but nothing compared to the night before. After checking in with the family in Camagüey (safe and sound, although with a battered garden and no power either) we wandered outside. Luckily, the rain had not been too heavy, although houses on the street nearest the ocean had water covering their ground floors. Towering giants of foam and white water leapt at the shoreline and spread more sludgy water into the flooded road. One or two trees had toppled, exposing their twisted, shallow roots, and occasionally leaning precariously against a half-collapsed building or wall. By now, most if not all of Havana, and many of the neighbouring provinces, were without power. It was with slight guilt that we heard the roar of the generator in our building, which kept the lights on and the hot water coming, at least for a few hours a day.

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Irma had made her way through Florida by the time we made it, on our bikes, into Vedado, then old Havana. We carefully pedalled past scenes of flooding, branches, lifted tarmac and closed roads. A large number of uniformed officers stood impassively watching as people picked their way around the debris. The Malecón was shut to all traffic. We caught glimpses through the buildings on the adjacent street and saw huge waves breaking over the sea wall in front of an incongruously vibrant, turquoise sea. People were shovelling debris into piles in the street which would be collected later – soaked and ruined furniture, wood, rubble. Items you wouldn’t expect to see had been thrown up and lay abandoned – what someone was doing with a single ice-skate in Cuba is beyond me. The atmosphere was oddly neutral. There was no hand-wringing, staring with horror into the wreckage or visible signs of distress from people whose homes had been badly affected. Nor was there the cheerful bonhomie that often prevails during a disaster in the UK – that ‘we’re all in this so let’s jolly through’ sort of attitude. It was resignation, without self-pity. Slow, stoic and calm.

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Back at work four days after the storm, the tension was palpable. A chasm had opened between those who had been struggling without water, power and in flooded homes, and those who had been experiencing a few days off in comparable comfort. It was possible tell by facial expression alone who had had no sleep due to their stifling homes.  I overheard quiet conversations about those who had found it difficult coming to work through closed streets with limited transport. I’m sure that my colleagues with families would have preferred to be at home organising some way to do the laundry and clean up the kitchen and bathroom with the water supply turned off. Offers of accommodation, hot showers and meals were doing the rounds but seemed to be rarely taken up, at least not openly. The people who had given most reassurance before the storm, who seemed least worried before it approached, were now the people who had been most affected by it. And still, I heard no fuss or complaining.

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As each day goes by, things are getting closer and closer to normal. There are still houses without any power at all, branches in the street, no Wi-Fi to be found and limited stock in the shops… even less than usual. The TV channels have gone back to their usual coverage, the waves are subsiding and last night there wasn’t even a breath of wind. The storm has passed but it has exposed some of the interesting things lurking under the surface here, in more ways than one.”

 

How can we help?

The Caribbean islands affected by hurricane Irma have given us so much beautiful moments, they made us feel like we are in paradise and their people made us feel welcomed in their homes. Now it is out turn to return their kindness. We are not just travellers, we are citizens of the world and we need to take care of each other! And we can help by donating to the NGOs that are directly involved into helping the Caribbean islands:

Unicef is focusing on distributing aid to vulnerable families and children. You can donate by clicking on this link.

Oxfam is focusing on helping people from Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. You can donate by clicking on this link.

The British Government has pledged to double the public donations to the British Red Cross for the victims of Hurricane Irma, including Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos. You can donate by clicking on this link.

The High Commission for Antigua and Barbuda have set up an appeal relief fund, with a bank account where you can donate to rebuild the island and a warehouse where you can donate their request of most needed items. You can see the press release together with the accounts and addresses by clicking on this link.

Traveler. Dreamer. Cat lover. Wondering around the world with my backpack and my camera. Contributing to make the world a better place.

102 Comments

  1. It’s so nice to read something from a first-hand experience.
    I was really looking forward on going to Cuba in November, however I believe it’s better to postpone it. Unfortunately, Cuba is in a very delicate political situation, compared to the other islands on the Caribbean, and I really hope they’d recover fast.
    Thanks for the share

  2. Thank you for sharing this post and bringing it back to our memory. I am shocked that 95% of St. Marteen is destroyed. Where have all these people gone? And why don’t we have more helping initiatives in Europe?

  3. I still can’t believe how dreadful this all is. Did any of your friends ever get back to you? The before and after pictures really show the damage that was done, and I can’t even imagine how long it will take to repair all of that. I am glad that things are slowly returning to normal though!

  4. The tears have swelled in my throat again due to this! I have continually thought these same thoughts. I live in Florida and it’s sad, but we will be restored quickly. What about those in the islands. We hunkered down with a Bahamian during this storm and he said “we 100% rely on Florida.” So, if they need us, we need to be restored quickly.
    But the people of Cuba have been high on my bucket list to travel to. These scenes make me want to get down there faster. We are possibly going with a relief team with IsleGo to help with some of their efforts. Let’s not forget those who seem abandoned.

  5. Thank you so much for drawing attention to the plight of the Caribbean people and those devastated by this horrible storm.
    I cannot believe Barbuda has no one on it because it has been destroyed. I also agree that politics should be put aside to help the needy in Cuba. Thanks for reminding me and putting a face and a name to the devastation.

  6. I find it so sad. There have been so many tragedies that occurred simultaneously. The media was mainly focused on America and what problems they were facing. I wish it were different but I guess that’s the way the world is today.

  7. We were part of the Cub trip Joanna referenced. The close relationship that ensued amongst our group was a major factor in what made the trip so memorable; an experience that will be with us forever. Apart from our group, the warmth of the Cuban people was extraordinary. This was expressed in every interaction and deeply in the music that we encountered where ever we went. Thank you Joanna for “spreading the word” and to Bethan for your deeply personal experience of hurricane Irma

  8. Thank you for sharing this. I was there in July and thought about the entire city and its conditions. I appreciate how detailed you are and that you provide some insight to what is going on. I stayed near the Malecón and can’t imagine that street being shut down!

  9. Thank you so much for putting together this informative post. I think it’s super important to share how these natural disasters have affected countries other than America, because the media definitely isn’t doing enough. I hope all continues to go well for your friend and everyone else affected by Irma and the other hurricanes that formed this season.

  10. Heart warming to read the story from the other side of hurricane. Kudos to you for writing for Cuba. I always we always fall in love with the people we visit – your post is a perfect example of that.

  11. Thanks for sharing this. It’s so sad to see and hear how much devastation its caused. Living in the UK, I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to have to deal with this – I’m glad your friend is OK.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this here. It is interesting and very sad to read it. I am shocked how little we hear overseas about what Irma destroyed in Cuba – most of the media focus on the US only. I hope that the people can return back to their homes or get help as soon as possible!

  13. What a horrible situation, for everyone affected by the hurricane… I’m glad your friend is ok!

    It’s hard to look at it that way, but most of us humans aren’t doing anything about climate change etc, so we don’t really have a right to complain. We’re all eating cheap meat, buying clothes from Asia, driving to the bakery that’s only 5mins away and flying all the time. Those are consequences of our behavior. Of course it’s really hard for everyone affected though and I sincerely wish they will get enough support so they can rebuild their houses etc. And people in the Carribbean are certainly not the ones affecting the environment the most, that’s the US, Asia and Europe. Anyways… Good blog!

  14. This was a really good read. I watched some of the live feeds from home in Canada and it was awful- but there’s absolutely something different about seeing than experiencing. My heart goes out to all those effected and I’m glad you spoke up for the ‘smaller’ countries as America has taken a lot of the attention with this one.

  15. Thank you Joanna and Bethan. And hello to you both!
    I’m glad to learn more about Irma’s impact on Havana – crickets only on American radio – and my heart goes out to the Cuban people.
    I’m thrilled to know about the after-flow of our little Cuban adventure tour and how it upended your lives in such fabulous ways! Hugs to both of you, and Danny, too!

  16. Living on the other side of the world you can sometimes feel so removed from it all. But reading your personal experience kind of makes it more real. It is horrific to think of this and that it is happening. My thoughts go out to all affected by the hurricane.

  17. Goodness- the news on it here in the UK has died down slightly but this really brings it home again. We heard a lot about Florida and also the Caribbean; it is absolutely awful that the islands don’t have the infrastructure to cope with hurricanes, it’s not fair. Thanks for putting those donation links in, I think people are often so clueless as to how to help they don’t do anything. I hope all your family and friends are ok.

  18. Gosh this is just heartbreaking isn’t it? I hadn’t seen it mentioned much of late and I suppose I kind of assumed that it was all over in a lot of ways, how wrong I was. You write so well from a personal experience of Cuba, this has really hit home. xx

  19. It is so so important for people to be sharing their experiences with this. You are part of the history, we can know what it’s truly like through your words. Thank you for this!

  20. It brings it that bit closer to home to hear a first hand experience. It’s such and awful thing to have happened and I really do feel for those that lost their lives as well as those that have lost their homes.

  21. I only heard about the hurricane in the news, but I didn’t know the damage was this massive! Thinking about it already frightens me, what more when you’re the one experiencing it? I really hope everyone gets back to their feet soonest. xx

  22. Wow! I have never read a first person’s account of such a terrible devastation. I’m sure it aroused mixed feelings in you. Seeing the devastation is gut wrenching, but Cubans are nothing if not resilient! I’m sure you agree!

  23. So interesting to read a story from someone who experienced Irma first hand, and to think that Cuba was spared a direct hit. I know what you mean about American t.v., although when one looks at the destruction on some of the Caribbean islands and the sheer size (and strength) of Irma, it’s hard to blame them for sounding the alarm like they did. If they’d have downplayed the hurricane and had it go the other way, more lives would have surely been lost. x

  24. Glad your friend is safe and wasn’t affected too badly.And yeah,the American media is really good at rabble rousing…but after what Harvey did to Texas,they were sort of justified this time…Maria is now on its way,stay safe.

  25. What has happened to Barbuda is really tragic. The natural calamity turned a bustling town turned into a ghost city. St Maarten airport is quite famous. Sad that it’s gone. Hope the people find strength and rebuild.

  26. This is so great you’re highlighting this subject. I think as travellers, it’s easy to forget about the people left behind in these tropical places, but not the rich and glamourous people, just the poor residents. My heart really goes out to them, and your photos really show the devastation in the aftermath of Irma. I visited Antigua 6 years ago, and was so welcomed by the local people. I’ll definitely be donating!

  27. It was good to read this, the experiences from both sides, those poor people from Bermuda with no help and such devastation. It must be such a terrible thing to have to live with the threat of hurricanes.

  28. You’re right there was little to no coverage for the Caribbean Islands instead Florida dominated the media here in Toronto too. The media has an agenda that’s for sure. Every country and Island should be given media coverage so we can act accordingly. I believe in the good in people. They want to help. Thank you for creating awareness and showing the damage created by the hurricane in Cuba also.

  29. This is so important. I love the info in this post, and your visual story telling – I feel like I was there. Your photos are incredible as well, makes a bad thing appear really beautiful. Thanks for sharing, we need to hear and see this.

  30. It amazes me that we have heard very little about the other places Irma hit, I’ve seen awful pictures of Texas as well yet it has hardly been mentioned. There has been so much devisation left behind by it 🙁 it’s just so sad.

  31. What a touching post. Thanks so much for shining a light on those that are often overlooked, especially in the news and media coverage. I am from Puerto Rico, and currently live in Miami. Luckily my parents in PR are safe, and the storm narrowly missed them. But I visited Cuba last year, and noticed that their infrastructure is lacking and the streets flood just on any given day when the waves crash on Havana’s Malecon. Glad to read the passage from your friend Bethan. Thoughts are with them.

  32. Oh my Gosh, the devastation is bad there as well! It is very important to talk about everyone affected by this kind of natural disasters and good for you to write about it!

  33. It is so devastating how the weather can totally destroy places and makes you realise how something can be there one day and gone the next. Thank you for sharing your experience I bet it was very scary at the time.

  34. You’re right, the media don’t share enough about the smaller places – it’s all very mainstream, which is awful! Thanks for sharing!

    Kayleigh x

  35. I must say its refreshing to hear about how other islands fared in this dreadful hurricane because almost everything has been about Florida and little about the islands that encountered it first.

  36. It must have been an absolutely terrifying experience and nothing could prepare you I guess. It’s a shame the media doesn’t cover the “smaller” islands more as they need the help more so than a country like the us which has an economy to support those affected better.

  37. I am French and we have been bombarded too with news from St Martin and St Barts as they are French territories, and were very badly damaged. It’s amazing to read the story of someone who was directly touched by this hurricane. The news are very quick to forget about all the other islands that are “less important” in their eyes. St Martin and St Barts, just like Florida, belong to very rich countries and reconstruction will take place. They will recover from the shock. But who will take care of Barbuda, Haiti? Cuba’s recovery will probably be longer too, given their political isolation… very sad.

  38. While it is sad to hear about how Florida is affected I agree that the media need to do more to highlight the plight of the Carribean islands like Barbuda. Its truly shocking that 95 % of homes were wiped out and it saddens me that it is unknown what has happened to its residents. I hope they are safe wherever they are x

    1. Isn’t it horrible? That the media chooses to highlight the plight of one country/place over another. How can we create a hierarchy out of suffering, it seems so unfair!

  39. It was truly devastating to see the extent of damage on the Caribbean Islands. And I agree with you, it is saddening that most of the focus is on Florida. There are far more less capable islands to deal with such devastation that they need more help from the outside. It is also sickening to know that US denied Cuba of help! This is a humanitarian time and not for politics!

  40. Absolutely devastating. It’s time to acknowledge and act! Global warming is happening, it’s already effecting our lives. Ask ourselves: what will be the world look like when our children are grown ups???

  41. Really sad to see that devastation, and more sad if US makes a choice not to help Cubans. Atleast in such an hour of pain, whole world should stand together leave apart their Enmity and Politics. Did you connect to your Cuban friends? Are they safe?

  42. What a beautiful post! and the pictures speak by themselves! I have a friend who got evacuate from St Bart where she works – And I was also following the news just like you. I live in a small island in the Indian ocean, I cannot even start to imagine what would happen here if we were hit by such a monster. It is so scary. We have been lucky the past few years with the cyclones staying far enough – the last did cut through Madagascar last year with winds up to 280km/h.

  43. This is such a wonderful post shedding light on a society that can be left forgotten in the media. I visited Cuba in September two years ago and I find it hard to imagine the chaos the island must be facing now. Such a beautiful place and I hope they get all the help and support they need.

  44. Like others, I think I lived in ignorant bliss. I certainly had forgotten about the efforts now being made to rebuild homes, communities and lives. I would like to think that help will be offered to Cuba regardless of the political situation.

  45. Thank you for writing this. I live on the East Coast of the US and we have been reasonably aware of what’s been happening, not just in Florida, but I wonder if that’s because I am friends with people who seek out information rather than relying solely on mainstream media! Florida did get the majority of the coverage, and I do have several friends with family there. The images of Barbuda are heartbreaking, and I feel awful that I had never heard of this island until Irma destroyed it.

  46. I really feel for all the people that lost their homes and just were shaking up badly after Irma’s, unfortunately it sucks when politics play a role in helping another human being 🙁

  47. Thank you very much for this, you are right, there are no info or very little about the other countries hit by Irma apart from Florida.. It is very scary thinking about these natural disasters, also very disappointing knowing that if you are born in the “wrong” side of the world, you have no escape. 🙁

  48. This really frightens and sadden me to see how a beautiful city had gone thru this disaster. It can happen with anyone . it’s happy to hear that your friends are all fine . Sending lots of prayers and love from California.

  49. Gosh, I cannot even begin to comprehend. Yes, it may be relatively “normal” for locals, but frightening if you’re not. Hope that everyone is able to access power and water soon!

  50. It’s shocking that there are countries stories that haven’t been told or reported on. It must have been terrifying to live through and devastating to see the damage afterwards. I’m so pleased Bethan was ok and really hope Cuba manages to rebuild and get back up and running soon.

  51. I have been wondering how things were in places like Cuba. The TV was spammed with Florida but the smaller countries and islands were barely mentioned.. I was disappointed with how the UK news covered the disaster. I was also disappointed with the UK governments response to the British Virgin Islands. They were so slow at responding and originally only sent 1 navy boat and 3 environmental specialist – how exactly is that supposed to make a difference? :/

    I hope everyone can recover from this, and my thoughts are with those who have lost their homes, livelihoods, pets, family members etc. It’s such an awful thing what happened and its awful how little coverage cuba etc got.

  52. Wow such a moving post! It is sad that countries can’t differentiate between human lives and politics. It’s important that travelers and bloggers like us inform the world about what’s happening in under-represented places like the caribbeans and cuba.

  53. First of all, I am happy you’re safe! Second, I am completely disappointed about the lack of coverage that the Islands have been getting in wake of Irma. I appreciate this feature! I pray Cuba will back to her vibrant self in no time!

  54. I am glad that you had an amazing trip to Cuba and that everything went so well while you were there, aside from some baggage issues to begin with. Every person seems to have very different reactions to Cuba and what’s going on down there aside from the devastation of the Hurricane. I do agree that our humanity should be of bigger concern than politics. Unfortunately, I think political actors on both ends to not believe this. They see everything as a game of political chess, including the loss of human lives. With the recent events of having to pull out of our Cuban embassy because all of our people there having simultaneously developed severe head trauma, I can understand about the American government not cooperating with Cuba because they do not trust it’s intentions. And the bad thing is that no one seems to see the cost of human lives and suffering that occurs as a result of the games politicians play. This makes me truly sad.

  55. I didn’t hear anything about Cuba during Irma, so it’s interesting to hear a first hand experience. I agree politics should not get in the way and Cuba should be supported as any other nation it. Like you say, they could not evacuate. It’s good to see that life carrys on afterwards though.

  56. Were you the news coverage in the UK or elsewhere? I ask, as I watched a huge amount of coverage relating to the Caribbean before, during and after Irma hit – in fact, I saw just as much on this area than coverage on Florida. Perhaps it seemed like the focus was more on Florida because they had a longer period of time before the hurricane hit, therefore there was more time for journalists to travel there, embed themselves, and start reporting back to the news channels? What I’m more worried about is that the coverage will stop too soon, before the issues of rebuilding and rehoming have been tackled, and the world will ‘forget’ about the victims and the fact they will need ongoing support for some time yet. x

  57. This is devastating to read. I wonder why people were not taking up offers of food and shelter openly though. Going back to work 4 days after the storm must have been terrible I agree, I would have felt the same too. This is a traumatic experience and it will take a while for everyone to get the pieces back together but I wish you and your family well and hope the support continues even after all the publicity has died down.

  58. This points out how much power is in the government. It’s a shame that because of politics and island full of people won’t be able to get as much help due to politics. As if those affected care where the help comes from. I’m sure they just want help to return to as much normalcy as possible.

  59. I find it so sad. This is a traumatic experience. It will take days for everyone to get it back together. I hope you and your family in good condition.

  60. I like your post. My country has just experienced great storms and the damage it left is really huge. How can we resist the terrible disaster?

  61. The number of hurricanes that have wracked the Caribbean and the U.S. is horrendous. And my heart goes out particularly to the islands that received the worst end of it in the Caribbean. As you said, there was nowhere for their inhabitants to go and it is heart wrenching to see how devastated some of these islands are. Although there have been some news reports, I feel like the Caribbean hurricane survivors will be left in the shadows, as the U.S. has its own clean-up to do. This breaks my heart, as I know the kindness of the Caribbean people you mentioned, and the fact that their homes are destroyed and lives were lost is so devastating. I hope their island homes can be rebuilt quickly and that no more hurricanes come through this year.

  62. My heart goes out to everyone who suffered in anyway from this natural disaster… My heart breaks for all who were hurt, injured, displaced…. I can’t imagine the pain of trying to pick up the pieces of their lives… covering all in prayer…

  63. Wow. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I saw the news about how bad it was. I still can’t believed this happened. My heart aches for all those people who have lost their homes and lost loved ones. All i can do is pray and hope things will return back to normal soon enough.

  64. This is so so sad. Hurricane Irma literally shook the entire world. We sitting in other parts of world are praying continuously for the people affected by the hurricane. I think it’s nice that you’ve highlighted the ways we can collaborate with UNICEF to help those states.

  65. Good that you’re discussing this! I live in the Netherlands, and here it’s a bit different. We hear even more about St Maarten than about Florida. Florida is also in the news a lot. But there’s really a lot of attention for St. Maarten here because a part of St Maarten is a constituent country of the Netherlands. I’m so sad to read that the US isn’t helping Cuba. I agree with you, it should be about peoples lives. Not about politics. But it often plays a part. NL is also focussing on St Maarten becayse it is a constituant country. But it’s hard for everyone involved, It’so hard for all the people who have to cope with this! Thanks for pointing out how everyone can help. That’s so important! I’m glad a lot of organizations are doing lots of good work.

  66. It really is sad that politics will decide who we help and who we don’t. I am incredibly blessed to live in Minnesota where hurricanes aren’t a concern of mine but I know people who are on or close to the coast. Wr have been praying for them and doing whatever we can to help. Thank you for sharing this – more people need to hear it.

  67. I am not even close to you people, but I really feel sorry for every single human being affected by the hurricane. I feel sorry for all those who lost their beloved ones, their pets, their homes or anything else. I hope Cuba, Carribean Islands, and all other parts will recover soon, and if we – small countries in the world, can do something to help those in need, then we should all stand up and help. I know my country will do as much as it can. 🙂

  68. It’s amazing that we see these events happen as headlines, but everyone involved has a personal story. The frequency of these events is humbling too. I hope people who can help are using their talents to provide meaningful support. The rest of us can donate a little to the hurricane funds at our local grocery stores.

  69. What an incredible read, part of me can see how the day to day activities must continue but another part of me thinks it is incredible. Cuba is a beautiful country one in which i hope to visit one day, I just hope they can rebuild and recover.

  70. I hate when stuff like this gets political. Choosing to help every other country in that region except Cuba. I mean I am not surprised considering who our president is and all. But it just makes me sad. I hope the people there get the help that they need. I like how you listed organizations who are helping so that people know who they can donate to.

  71. Wow! I didn’t hear about Cuba during Irma in the media 🙁 what a great read. I don’t understand why it gets so political when it comes to Cuba. If we’re going to help other countries we should include Cuba as well

  72. That is truly horrific. I’m so sorry for all the devastation experienced by you and so many others. I wish people knew more about this. Thanks for highlighting those who are helping; saying a prayer of thanks for them, and praying for all who have been affected.

  73. Wow. I’m at a loss for words. Thank you for sharing this. I will be in Cuba with some friends the first week of October. Is there anyway you could get us in contact with your friend? We would love to know how we can help while we are there ❤️

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