This past week has been difficult for so many and on so many levels.
It began Sunday night when the families of five people who had taken a 26-foot canoe into treacherous waters became concerned when the party didn’t return home.
By Monday hundreds were frantically searching for 36-year-olds Raynel Wood and Astor Range, 28-year-old Josh Gilman, 19-year-old Jeamie Avila and 13-year-old Michelle Wood.
As the week wore on we learned their cell phones stopped working Sunday morning, a couple of hours after they had left the dock.
The capsized boat was found, but there still wasn’t any indication that the boaters had survived.
As the week wore on, family members seemed to accept what had been heavy on their hearts all week – that it is very doubtful any of the five survived. A memorial service and a candlelight vigil were scheduled.
As day two of the intense search for the five in the waters of Grand Cayman came to a close on Tuesday, disaster struck one of our Caribbean neighbours when a massive earthquake struck Haiti.
That meant even more people wringing their hands in worry on Grand Cayman because there are Haitians among us with family and friends still in their home country.
Many still haven’t heard whether their family members are alive. Some will try to make it back to their homeland in the course of the next few days to find out what they can. We wish them Godspeed and God’s favour.
We hope that the death and destruction for 2010 is over, but we’re only in the second full week of our new year.
Kudos to those who turned out to help the five missing boaters. Most were family and friends, but many were strangers.
The efforts of the many volunteers show again the true spirit of the Cayman Islands. We can and do still rally around each other when tragedy strikes.
We also have a chance to rally around our fellow neighbours from Haiti who live among us and who are frustrated with the inability to talk to their families back home and who are worried and scared.
For all those who experienced tragedy this week, you are in our thoughts and prayers.