Rebuild yes – but don’t change beautiful Dominica

On September 18th, I spent that fateful night huddled by myself in my bedroom in Jimmit. Like so many Dominicans who went to bed that night, we were expecting a hurricane – not a brutal and cruel demon.

I had been working in on a twelve-month volunteer assignment with the Dominica Business Youth Trust (DYBT) with support from World University Services through Global Affairs Canada. September was my third month. Needless to say, that assignment is officially over.

There has never been a time that I have felt so disengaged and sad. Over that short period, I met so many friendly people in Dominica, made so many connections with – in the best way I can say it – really nice people.

One of the things that I relate to folks here in Canada is Dominican’s tendency to say “Good Morning” to everybody, no matter who. How many times was I startled as I made my way to work – by young people – who over and over again greeted me with that beautiful neighbourly gesture! That does not happen here.

You also have a knack to talk to anybody who begins to talk to you. Countless times after initiating a conversation with a stranger, it ended up being an enjoyable and interesting friendly banter as it would be between longtime friends. I have come to repeat to my friends: “There are no fake people in Dominica!”

So, I had to write just to say hi and thank you. I monitor “my” beautiful Dominica daily. Maria may have crushed your buildings, roads, systems, etc. But through your resolve, that will rise again I’m sure.

More importantly, you continue to have a soul and spirit that defines human interaction, community and daily life in a beautiful way. Especially in today’s world, that is unique and priceless. I know you will never let that be destroyed – nor should it ever be replaced.

Rebuild yes – but don’t change beautiful Dominica.

Patrick J Mullin lives in Canada.


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    November 23, 2017

    :?: I suppose you only had such so-called good experience because you’re coming from Canada :?: Were you to live on the island for a long time,you would have experienced the horrible behaviour of a naive, unenlightened people living in total ignorance! :?: If you are someone who is well mannered and disciplined, you’ll find these people horrible! Don’t get me wrong,there are good friendly people on the island, but the best days of the island has been long time gone! This generation now on island are a bunch of doped,alcoholic noisy people without respect!!!

  2. November 21, 2017

    That’s so true in Dominica ?? but with my experience lately. visiting Dominica, I do find the people were much friendlier 30 plus years ago when I was growing up in Dominica. I had experience really bad hospitality there on my trip back. I really don’t want to be negative but I was really hurt. Am still hoping to visit in future bc I love ❤️ Dominica ??

  3. November 21, 2017

    Thank you for your favorite comment.

  4. Emile Dominique
    November 21, 2017

    Thanks Mr Mullin. You have presented a view of Dominica that many of us thought was changing for the worst. Thanks DNO for printing it. For showing the world that the Dominican true spirit is not dead.

  5. Irma
    November 21, 2017

    Thank you Mr. Mullins. Your support and thoughts mean a lot to us. I hope you can come back some day soon to finish your assignment.

  6. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    November 21, 2017


    The idea should be to build a better and stronger infrastructure, and that includes the rebuilding of houses, so that when the next category five or higher hurricane winds arrive, the structures can withstand the power of the wind! Every outsider seems to know what is best for Dominica, except the Dominican born!

    Build it back as it was originally, will only result in history repeating itself ever so often, and our people will forever in a rebuilding cycle, always at the mercy of the world looking for handouts.

    Of the billions of dollars needed to rebuild the country how much of that the author is giving to the people who has the need? Simply rhetoric do not heal broken bones! 

  7. ephdora
    November 21, 2017

    … their duty to. I cannot believe for the life of me what has happened in my country. It’s like waking up to a bad dream and seeing that it was even worst or real. I had never felt so helpless in my dear life, trying to get in contact with relatives and friends, who I spoke to on a daily basis. It was just sad….praying, crying, pasting around, wondering. It was pure torture and the only song that was going thru our mind, my mind for my people, Ride out your storm. Sad sad sad…!!! I pray everyday for my prime minister because he is a man who is blessed and his minsters should follow his example. Dominica needs us! and we need to stand together!!

    • Looking
      November 21, 2017

      I appreciate the kind words from Patrick. You wouldn’t imagine how beautiful Dominica was in the 90’s even before. It was indeed more beautiful i hope it will return to its glory days. But one observation, scripture says who JAH bless no man curse, if our PM was blessed we would never have been devastated by first Erika now Mariah. Sadly we have learnt. I pray that God is merciful.

    • Paul Rossnof
      November 21, 2017

      Oh boy, here we go again: my Prime Minister. How foolish can one be??

  8. ephdora
    November 21, 2017

    May I be the first one to comment: Yes indeed, this is a true article.. I was not in Dominica for hurricane “Demonic” Maria, but I feel the sentiment of the writer, for the following paragraph:

    “One of the things that I relate to folks here in Canada is Dominican’s tendency to say “Good Morning” to everybody, no matter who. How many times was I startled as I made my way to work – by young people – who over and over again greeted me with that beautiful neighbourly gesture!

    I went back home after 3 years last year, spent my birthday and thanksgiving holiday there and what fascinated me was the fact that when I visited the business places, especially in Roseau, whenever a young person would come in they would say “Good Morning” or “Good afternoon”. This is all I will comment on. I couldn’t believe how polite my people had become. I want to say thanks to the young lady at Western Union who refused to take a tip from me when I offered for her kindness. She said it is not…

  9. Breathe
    November 21, 2017

    Thanks for taking the time to write. We took a beating but we are here and we will fight to become even stronger and forever beautiful.

  10. Michael
    November 21, 2017

    Thanks, Mr. Mullin. Your name rings a bell, as we say in Dominica. Were you the one who was interviewed on Canada television shortly after the passage of the Demon Maria?

    • Patrick J Mullin
      November 21, 2017

      Yes, Michael, that was me. Thank you. pjm

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