The four seasons of Hurricane Irma

Dear editor,

Hurricane IRMA dealt a devastating blow to the Island of St.  Maarten on the 6th of September and ever since the catastrophic near death experience the Island of St. Maarten has been depressed and unable to recover due to the current situation between the St. Maarten government and the Dutch government. St. Maarten is now like the ground that suffers when two elephants fight and has been unable to recover because this fight doesn’t look like it is going to end anytime soon.

As much as I believe that it is rather unrealistic to expect full recovery from St. Maarten at this point, but baby steps towards the recovery of St. Maarten is expected.

St. Maarten went through four different seasons in less than a month and this so far has been a depressing and devastating experience!

St. Maarten does not need the stress that she is currently undergoing due to disagreements between government officials that supposedly have the interest of St. Maarten at heart. It is almost like watching your parents fight over how to feed you while holding the food in their hands and you sadly have to watch them fight in hunger! Politics has nothing to do with survival!  It would be nice if we saw hope rather than some sort of invisible “plan B” by the government. People have lost jobs and more are losing jobs while the government is busy arguing and fighting for nothing.

The four devastating and straining seasons that St. Maarten had to forcefully undergo within a short period of time has been analyzed below:

Season 1: This was when we all had our ears glued to the television, waiting to see if the hurricane would just disappear.

This is the “wait period” which is the period before the arrival of IRMA. This is when the Media controlled our thoughts and even messed with us a little bit. Media outlets at this point gave conflicting reports on the hurricane and location.  The European model of the Hurricane tracker said one thing and the American model said another. There were also gate keepers around you, like your neighbors and colleagues; they helped in your decisions making process concerning the hurricane. A pessimistic person would help you prepare better than an optimistic person at this point. Somehow you are able to make a decision based on all that you have gathered from around you and then you brace up for the moment of arrival.

Season 2: This was the “moment of truth” when IRMA finally arrived.  She was nothing like we expected and nobody described her the way she wanted to be described I guess. She was fierce!   This is when you realize whether the right decision was made or not and if you should make some changes or not. For some it was too late and for others there was an opportunity for change.

Season 3: Immediately after the hurricane: This was after St. Maarten survived the hurricane and we were just grateful to be alive.  For some, St. Maarten was finished, they were ready to loot whatever they could, for other they were ready to hop on the next flight and leave and never return. Some gave up at this point and others chose to heal.

Season 4: The healing season, this is where we are presently. At this point St. Maarten decided to brace up and start all over again no matter the cost. This doesn’t mean that we are not frustrated but we are trying to be optimistic even though we are afraid to start over. This is when you cover up your roof with a tarpaulin, cover your broken windows with wood and use nylon as your car window shield. You clean up with the hope to start over and look forward to support from the government. Is it fair that after this four devastating seasons that St. Maarten would be going through more troubles with no support from the government?

I decided to highlight these seasons to remind the government that we are all looking to them for hope and the current situation of the country does not require an imaginary plan B.

The fact that we now have an imaginary zoo and University does not mean that everything we do has to be imaginary. The people of St. Maarten are very strong and patient people but the government is taking advantage of that.

Ever wonder why people who are accustomed to living in a hot and sunny environment almost cannot cope in a very cold environment.  If you raise youth without a university how are they suppose to cope in one!  We have no zoo and university but we have kids and youths living amongst us. If this continues, poor St. Maarten would have a population filled with only the elderly.

There are enough funds to erect the zip line and a gigantic St. Maarten flag for the “selfie” loving tourist on a hill but there is not enough fund to keep alive two major educational institutions for the youth and even provide for  those in need after the hurricane. This is a very sad situation and I hope that by the end of the year, Santa would give us a zoo and a University rather than Christmas lights on the government building.

IRMA has since left the Island and St. Maarten is trying to heal, is it fair that St. Maarten has to go through more problems at this time?

Shola Blessing

Source: StMaartenNews