CODRINGTON, Barbuda — Two Foot Bay Road’s vibrant homes first grab your attention with their canary yellows, mint greens and salmon pinks. The next thing you notice are the sounds: passing bicycles, hee-hawing donkeys and blaring reggae music.
These are the sounds of everyday life in a place that relies on fishing and farming. Most Barbudans live here in Codrington, the island’s only town. The rest of its 62 square miles are mostly mangroves and scrubland.
But nearby Madison Square looks more like a checkerboard. Just inches from homes or shops with fresh coats of paint and shiny new roofs are blue tarpaulins fastened over the gaping holes of damaged homes, large piles of debris from what were once bustling small businesses, empty fields where produce once grew, shuttered museums. Many families are still sleeping in dilapidated white tents where they’ve been since Hurricane Irma devastated the island in September 2017.
“The hurricane blew my house top right off. It took everything,” said George Jeffrey, 67, as he tugged at the makeshift closure of his tattered tent. “This is my third tent. I’ve stayed in each one until it disintegrated.”
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