Former Mudd residents want to return to Abaco

Richy James, 18, who has been staying at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium after evacuating Abaco in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, said yesterday that he feels like a burden in Nassau.

“It is a burden because people are treating us as a burden already,” James said outside the gymnasium.

“Just the other night when I was in the center, my mummy was supposed to go to the hospital and an officer told me he don’t care what happened to me in Abaco and all type of things. He said, ‘Whatever happened in Abaco, that stays in Abaco. You in Nassau now.’

“So basically, he was trying to show me he don’t care about what happened to me. I could have died, you know. I saved my mummy.”

The government set up 10 shelters on New Providence in the wake of Dorian. Around 1,900 people are being housed in them, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

James lived in the Haitian shantytown The Mudd with his mother.

Dorian destroyed The Mudd and Pigeon Peas and left thousands, like James, homeless.

“I could tell you the truth, I really miss home,” he said.

“I ain’t used to this kind of thing. Home is the place I want to be.”

He added, “I could have found a job at home. I could have been working right now, but here you can’t find no job like that. If you come looking for a job, it’s like you basically breaking the people’s hustle who in Nassau. You struggling with them too.

“I just want to go back home.”

James said he is looking forward to the tent cities proposed by the government because at least he would be back home and hopefully able to work.

He said the crime in Nassau is especially concerning to him.

“That’s something I don’t want to get myself involved with,” he said.

Dorian tore through Abaco and Grand Bahama two weeks ago, leaving at least 51 dead.

Ricardo Prince, 19, another former resident of The Mudd, said yesterday that he is eager to return to Abaco despite his terrifying experience during Hurricane Dorian.

“The roof broke on us,” he said.

“We almost died. The water was everywhere, everyone drowning. I watched everyone drowning and I couldn’t save them.”

Asked if he would return to Abaco, Prince, who had been working as a carpenter in Hope Town, said he would in a heartbeat.

“That’s my biggest plan,” he said.

“If the boat could come right now, I’d go right now as we speak to go back to work.”

Prince, who said he had been in jail twice, was unhappy with the conditions at the gym.

“They don’t treat everybody the same,” he said.

He added, “I was living in jail and I was living in better conditions than I’m living in here.”

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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