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Don’t take anything for granted…

A month ago, I was on the island of Tortola in awe of the weather and lifestyle. Tortola is one of several gorgeous British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. I stayed in Frenchman’s Cay, overlooking the Virgin Islands National Park in St. John and Little Thatch Island (owned by the owners of OtterBox). The views were breathtaking. On the weekend, I saw Larry Page and his wife parked next to the boat from which I was snorkeling. I never saw a boat with so many high-powered engines covering the entire back side, so it was quite a spectacle.

Tortola was lovely. My only complaints were food was very expensive (ex. $9 for a gallon of milk) and there were too many bugs. It must have been the time of year, but the sand fleas and mosquitoes all went to town on my skin. I had bites everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE! I didn’t want to leave, but it was the only way to stop using bug repellent and stop itching after two weeks. I thought I’d be going back again soon—little did I know the island would be struck by Irma, a category 5 hurricane, less than a month after I left.

Luckily I had a chance to visit the Bitter End Yacht Club before it was destroyed and go snorkeling with their crew. It was a lovely place. I had lunch in the restaurant onsite…

The Bitter End before Irma (a month prior)

Also before Irma

After Irma, from CNBC post

This is a stark reminder of how much things can change in a day, and how we should appreciate every moment and everyone in our lives all the time. I’m saddened by this horrible event that left so many people homeless and devastated. Tortola is a disaster zone now. If you’d like to help, you can give a gift through Virgin Unite or the BVI Recovery Fund. Soldiers have arrived and set up a small cell tower in the center of town. It will be a long time before things get back to normal again. It seems that all beautiful places come with great risk, but it’s so much better to live life fully than live to avoid risk.

I had the opportunity to see other areas of the BVI also. Here are some more random pics…

Prayers to everyone who was impacted. May God be with you and fill you with hope. Plants will grow again, homes will get fixed, and there will come many more beautiful days to enjoy…

Wendy Williamson

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