After losing everything, two workers displaced by Hurricane Dorian yesterday expressed optimism about their future as they make steps to put the storm’s devastation behind them.
Franklyn Anestin, 37, was relieved to finally be able to support his family again as he began his first day on the job for Quality Business Center (QBC) Electronics.
Anestin spent his day repairing and selling cell phones at the store’s Mall at Marathon location, and said he’s adjusting quickly.
“I had to try [to] find something to do because I have a wife and a kid,” he said.
“What I came here with was not enough to sustain us. We actually only came here with clothes and our documents. Nothing else.”
Anestin lived in Murphy Town, Abaco, where he made a living as a sales representative for an electronics business named Parts City.
He also owned a small business called “Franklyn’s Unlock”, where he repaired and unlocked smartphones for residents in his community.
He said that he and his family are adjusting to life in New Providence just fine.
At this point, Anestin said, he is focused on purchasing a car and possibly a piece of property in the future.
He said: “You have to have money to be in Nassau because [the bus fare for] morning and afternoon is like $5 a day.”
He also expressed that his family would like to return to Abaco, as that is where his wife prefers.
However, they intend to wait until communities rebuild before making the move.
Anestin recalled Dorian’s powerful sea surges rushing through his Murphy Town home, forcing him to take action.
“The water came into the house, and it was up to my neck,” said Anestin, who stands six feet tall.
“Quick thinking, I emptied the fridge, flipped it over and I put my wife and son in it. So, you know, the fridge could float.”
After saving his family, Anestin said he assisted his neighbors with finding shelter.
“I heard a man crying out [for] help, about 50 yard from us. So, I swam out to them, and I helped him and his daughter,” he said.
“When I asked where his son was, they pointed to a green sheet, and I swam over to the sheet and when I got there; he was dead already. When I flipped him over, he was gone already.”
He claims the little boy was Lachino McIntosh, an eight-year-old boy that was among the first confirmed deaths on that island.
He said: “That was the first time I held death in my hands.”
“I try not to think about home much because it happened. It already happened. Ain’t nothing I could do about it. I cannot turn back the time.
“So, the only thing you can do from here is move forward.”
Anestin intends to start his phone repair business when he gets back on his feet, but for now he is just happy to be able to provide for is wife and son.
Sapriya McIntosh, 21, left her home in High Rock, Grand Bahama, on August 30 unaware that she would return to a structure with just one wall standing.
“When I saw the images of my home and settlement, I was in shock and awe. Had I known it would have been that serious, I would’ve probably got more things,” she said.
“My mom died in 2015. So, I would’ve gotten the images of her. Any [memory] left of her that was a part of that house is now gone. The house is completely destroyed. There’s literally only one wall standing up, and it looks like someone just robbed the entire house.
“So, it was just a crazy experience.”
McIntosh was advised by her newborn baby’s father to evacuate the island and come to New Providence.
She said that she initially brushed off his advice because she thought the storm wasn’t going to be serious.
After watching the videos and photos circulating on social media, the young mother said that she was in disbelief.
She said: “I can’t imagine how a storm could cause that much damage to the island.”
Back in Grand Bahama she worked at a call center named Itelbpo, where she answered calls for a number of companies.
The company has since reopened, but McIntosh said she couldn’t return because of the condition of her home.
She secured a job at Eagle Electric as a marketing agent a month ago in an attempt to restore some normalcy in her life.
“It’s great that I have a source of income in [New Providence]. This opportunity definitely came quick,” she said.
“So, I’m definitely indebted to Mr. Stuart and the family at Eagle Electric because had it not been for them, I wouldn’t have had a place to work. Finding jobs in Nassau where it’s so overpopulated is definitely already a challenge.
“So, it’s good that it came in a timely manner; and it’s good that I have something to provide for my family back home as well as take care of my daughter here.”
McIntosh plans to enroll in the Media Journalism program at the University of The Bahamas in January.
She said eventually wants to pursue a career in broadcast journalism.