I couldn’t help myself and took a ride in the excavator’s claw to catch the view at my own risk! Why? To check out the view of the soon-to-be health center. Guess where? Next to my family home.
Today, I witnessed a building I grew up living next to get demolished.
My father moved to Lambert Street back in the late 1970s and met this building there. At the time it was the community supermarket which sold everything and was owned by Mr. Masfred Royer and family.
I was born a few years later and remember as a child playing hide and go-seek behind the building. When I was three, my father took over that business running a bar and grocery store. The shop was shut down after an incident there, placed in him the hospital with stab wounds across his back, chest and the number seven scar underneath his left eye. This building has stood in ruins since.
There was also a huge mango tree which grew next to the building called “Mango Roseau,” the only known tree in Vieille Case. Imagine a Roseau mango tree in Itassi City - only a Dominican would understand.
It was emotional for me to witness the structure excavated to reveal a new view that included the mountain, but that is just for a short time as the construction of the new health center will begin in a few weeks.
A few neighbours came out to witness, what I call historic, some with the camera phones recording while the excavator dug out the mango tree that survived Hurricane Maria, and the remaining of the dilapidated building.
My mother worked in the community of Vieille Case as the district nurse before she died, and I remember her being on call, leaving at nights to head over to the health center, a short walk from our house to attend to patients. The new health center will now be less than 10 feet away from the house I grew up in.