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One month on, shelter residents face growing uncertainty

A month after Hurricane Dorian ruined parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama, many shelter residents remain unsure of their future.

Eliza Albury, a mother of six and grandmother of 15, has been at the Fox Hill Community Centre for a month and just wants to be able to return home to Abaco.

She said that while the shelter conditions are “okay”, she has given up on finding a job and building a life on New Providence.

“I can’t work here,” she said.

“I want to go home. The pay isn’t worth it.”

Albury said she will return to Abaco as soon as she can, and would gladly make use of temporary housing.

“I’m going home,” she said.

“Even if I have to go in a shelter home, I want to go home.”

She added, “It wouldn’t be for long, but I’d be home.”

Albury is living in the shelter with three of her children and six of her grandchildren.

Her daughter, Christina Hield, graduated from high school earlier this year and had planned to attend the University of The Bahamas in Grand Bahama, but she said her life has been uncertain since the storm.

The campus was badly damaged.

“I don’t know how to feel,” she said.

“I basically had my life planned out after high school, and everything is just messed up now. So, I basically just have to go day by day without knowing what’s going to happen, how it will happen, if I will go to school or if I won’t go to school.”

Hield said she is waiting for her family to get settled before she can decide for certain when she will begin her studies.

“For now, I’m looking to get a job, and then in January to go to school,” she said.

“If not, I’ll go to school in August.”

Luc Thervil, Albury’s 16-year-old grandson, is set to begin school at C.C. Sweeting Senior High on Monday.

He said that after the devastation he and his family faced on Abaco, he is looking forward to resuming his studies.

“I was kind of scared, but I messaged one of my other friends, and he gave me two people’s numbers who go to the school, so I’ll be with them this week so I can get comfortable and settle in.”

Thervil said he knows that it’s his only option right now.

“If I could go back to Abaco, I’d go back, but we have to stay here,” he said.

“It isn’t a choice.”

 

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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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