With fervent gratitude, and a strong sense of survivor’s guilt, we report that all is well at Hermitage. Nevis was spared two of the most catastrophic hurricanes, Irma and Maria. The news is bittersweet in contrast to the devastation on other islands.
The Hermitage has survived hurricanes for 350 years, partly because of its unique construction, partly because of its location sheltered by the mountain, and partly by the grace of Mother Nature. Our many royal palm trees, standing like sentinels around the property, lost some of their fronds but endured the storm. It is truly amazing to see how they have grown to withstand even the worst conditions. Now, they are a symbol of our resilience.
Nevis was very fortunate, we suffered minimal damage. The ancient saman tree in the town square was blown over, a few other trees have been lost and our beaches have been strangely rearranged but it is nothing that can’t be repaired with time and tide. With village names like Hardtimes and Burden Pasture, Nevis has known many challenges.We are not strangers to the storm. It was the first people of the Caribbean who named the hurricane and knew it as the fury of the goddess Guabancex.
Now we are busy helping each other clean up. The sea is tranquil and turquoise again, the ferry boats are running. We are gathering supplies and relief and arranging transport to our island neighbors; we are truly saddened to hear of what that has occurred elsewhere.
The Caribbean is many islands, all connected by family and friends, some have felt the winds of the hurricanes, some have not, but we have all been affected. The Caribbean relies so heavily on tourism and it might be quite some time before some islands are able to welcome visitors again but we ask you to know and remember that there are many islands that are still wonderful places to visit. Collectively, we are still here and we are still #CaribbeanStrong.
The ancient saman tree, Charlestown, Nevis