The coffee shop and Museum have gained in popularity since our opening two years ago February. Several Facebook pages mentioned us and the cruisers net started promoting us all on their own! But word of mouth has been our most effective advertising. So many nice comments by customers and by far our most popular seller is our cinnamon roll. Ohhhed and awwwed over by young and old, and bakery owners too! Yes, we had a bakery owner from the UK, try one and he said it was the best he has ever had! We will take that comment any day!! We were also mentioned on the World Wide Web, as one of the 10 best Museums in the country. It’s a small mention, but hey, we were mentioned!! https://theculturetrip.com/caribbean/articles/the-top-10-museums-in-the-bahamas/.
The coffee shop has been fully embraced by the locals. We have hosted a couple of events and it is now a popular meeting spot, which was the plan all along. As one resident said, “it’s an important place where everyone can go to relax, meet friends, or just try to to regain a sense or normalcy”. and right now MOW is anything but normal. In fact everyone is trying to re-invent normal, and honestly it has been a challenge.
After the history making storm turned our lives quite literally upside down, we have been shown so much love, kindnesses and generosity from the entire world. Far too many NGO’s and private groups to mention, for fear of leaving anyone out, but the one that can not go un-noticed is Samaritans Purse. They swooped in saved the day. What an amazing organization. I shutter to think where we would be today without them. I’m sure everyone has seen photos of the destruction we sustained, but now we want to focus on the rebuilding and reorganizing. Things are improving everyday. Bahamas Power and Light is installing power lines and transformers and, most businesses are up and running. Maybe a little differently than before September 1st, but at least they are operational. Unfortunately we lost quite a few historical landmarks. Church corner is gone. The former home of the Museum, the old Methodist church are gone, well as the home across the street which originally belonged to Fleetie and Eddie, are all gone, and that is a huge loss to our visual history.
But, we are standing tall! The shed that was less than two feet away is no where to be seen, but the Museum is still here! In fact Ann got in there a few weeks after the storm and cleaned it top to bottom. No nook or cranny left un touched. She did a remarkable job. Then she opened up and served coffee, tea and breakfast for free to anyone who came in. The Heritage Center really was the center of activity and a welcome spot to sit and rest, or plan the days work ahead. She did an amazing job and had many helpers and volunteers to whom we are all extremely grateful. We lost part of our roof and our storage shed with our bathroom is just gone. No sign of it or most of the things inside, including a large chest freezer! Poof, disappeared! At some point, when we can raise the money, we will build the storage shed, bathroom, and boat shed which was already in the planning stages before the storm. We feel now, more than ever, it is so important to restore and preserve our heritage, and the boat shed is a very important piece of our historical puzzle. Our lovely garden is slowly coming back, there is lots of greenery and many flowers are blooming in spite of the continuous wind, and that goes for most of the island.
Dorian left a scar but the healing has begun. It’s going to take a while, but we are all well on our way. If you have a friend or loved one on the island, give them a call, text, or write an encouraging message. We can all use a little love kindness these days. It’s always nice to know someone is thinking of you.
Thank you to our many supporters and friends. If you would like to make a donation to the museum and our upcoming project, please do so here. ://www.percabaco.org/how-to-donate/. There is also a website to make donations for infrastructure on the island and several personal gofundme pages. I also believe there will be another fund set up to specifically help the people of MOW in the near future.
Having said all of that, we need YOU to come back to Man-O-War. Come back to help our economy get back on track. Come back to the place you have always loved. Come back to vacation, or fix up your family’s second home, or help fix a residents home. Come for the summer and eat ice cream, rent a boat and enjoy our beautiful pristine beaches, visit friends made long ago, or make new ones! The possibilities are endless! Just make sure you are healthy 😉, and the Corona virus is long gone. We thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and the help so many have already given. Hope to see ya soon!