On September 18th, 2017, Hurricane Maria made an unexpected turn and struck the small Caribbean island of Dominica. With wind speeds of 170+, Maria is the second most powerful hurricane ever to be recorded. The category 5 hurricane stayed over on the 29 mile long 16 mile wide island for hours battering it and leaving behind a catastrophic amount of damage. The island was stripped of it’s lush greenery, every building was affected, roofs are missing from the majority of homes, streets have been washed away by massive flash floods, power lines and all means of communication are destroyed.
Kayla and Richard Rognlie made the move to Dominica in 2016, after falling in love with the island. Kayla has long had a passion for scuba diving, and Rich a passion for cooking. They moved to Dominica with plans to build their dream business and home (an eco-retreat, restaurant and dive shop). Now that dream must be put on hold as they begin the long process of rebuilding their home and community. They have put off fundraising for themselves to focus on fundraising for the overall needs of their community (you can help that cause here -> https://www.youcaring.com/glanvilliaportsmouthstjohndominica-966770 )
So now, as a friend of Kayla and Rich’s, I have started this fundraiser to support their own personal needs and make it possible for them to focus fully on the restoration and healing of their tiny paradise.
They made their home in the Glenvilla/Portsmouth area, located in the Northwestern portion of the island. This area sat under the eye of the storm for 7+ hours. They were forced to take shelter in a small bathroom with their two cats as winds & debris battered their home; blowing doors in and flooding a large portion of the house. They have lost every worldly item they brought with them. All their furniture is gone and a large portion of clothing, shoes and other personal items were sucked up by the storm and lost forever. As if this wasn’t enough, one of their cats (Dexter) sustained a gash to his leg and is in need of a vet.
The bulk of their stored food and water were distributed to their friends and neighbors in the immediate aftermath, leaving all in dire need of provisions (dry, cured, and canned goods) as well as water. Also needed are clothes (including work boots and protective eyewear), blankets, cat food (with all shipments at a stand still their quarterly deliveries of cat food are no longer possible and there is none on the island), tools and hardware to fix their house, and the homes in their community. With spotty power at best and most of the stores damaged; food, water, and other goods must be charter to Dominica by boat from the neighboring island of St. Lucia. It will cost $2,700 for 1 boat with supplies to make this trip.
Kayla and Rich’s livelihood and business are now up in the air, they have had to close their kitchen business (until they have consistent propane/power), and put the dive shop plans on hold. Having recently purchased and cleared land in the nearby village of Toucari, they must now start this $5,000 process over again from scratch. They will have to put breaking ground on building their eco-retreat and home on hold indefinite while they help rebuild the majority of existing buildings and homes already on the island. Besides the physical damage inflicted upon Domincia, the island will also see a major decrease in tourism impacting their kitchen and dive businesses for years to come. Dominica is a tiny island of 70,000 people who are all in dire need of help now! Any and all donations no matter how big or small will be greatly appreciated and treasured. Please help this tiny island and my friends heal.