Eruptions & Disruptions: A Journal

On Friday April 9th, 2020 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ La Soufriere erupted. Gary Bynoe, a young Vincentian shares a 5 day journal entry of his experience

April 12th, 2021: Day 5. Life goes on.

The days that followed were filled with an increasing volume of calls, messages and DMs, some checking in, but most fishing for updates on the situation. At this point I was emotionally and mentally drained just by being exposed to some of the situation first hand. The constant requests for updates, endless questions about the volcano and what she’s doing now- it all became too much. As an introvert, I needed space and solitude to recuperate. I needed time to pray, sleep and just relax and realign my thoughts with good vibes. To achieve this, I had to become selfish with my time and energy and prioritize for those who needed me most. Undoubtedly, I appreciated all who reached out, especially those who genuinely checked in. The others, I’ll have to hit you up some other time. 

The next couple of days were spent cleaning to prevent a build up of ash – an occurrence we were warned not to allow as the ash became dense and heavy when wet. This can cause house roofs to cave in – something that came to pass for an unfortunate few. There were more eruptions. At that point there were eruptions everyday. By day seven there were about 30 recorded eruptions. Satellite images had shown that the majority of the ash had moved east, to Barbados. Their experiences – by the images uploaded- was identical to ours when it came to the ashfall. Truth be told, I felt somewhat guilty when I saw that. I felt like they were also suffering for “our” problem. Little did I realize many were actually happy, as they recalled how the ash from the 1979 eruption had boosted the fertility of their lands. I’m glad that there’s an upside in all this for them.

Slowly, but surely the sun reappeared and so did the sky’s blue. We could hear birds chirping again and witness their envious maneuvers through the air. The greenery in the area was also making a come back, breaking the monotony of the ashy grey blanket. The still, active volcano was less ominous- at least to me at this point. But we are not out of the woods yet. One thing was clear however, the Vincentian people are nowhere near ready to throw in the towel on any dimension. We’ve made up our minds that life must go on – and that it did.

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