When you can’t go home

31Mar11

I’ve been thinking a lot about home lately. Maybe it’s all the crisis happening all over the world – Japan, LIbya, Egypt…Maybe it’s that excitement about 5 teams from my home state making it the March Madness Dance and one looking like a Cinderella…..Maybe it’s family illness making me want to be there just to hold a hand.

Plymouth Montserrat
Plymouth, Montserrat Photo by Mike Schinkel

A show last night got me thinking about what happens when you can’t go home. I was watching an episode of Globe Trekker in which the host was traveling in the Caribbean islands. The last island she visited was Montserrat. The island has an active volcano that erupted in the late 1990s.

Montserrat map
Montserrat map By Turquoise Interactive

Half the island is now an exclusion zone – no one lives there. There is a line which you have to request a permit to cross. The site of the village there was shocking. Houses had over 10 feet of ash and lava that had come down the mountain. Furniture, papers, belongings were just left in place as people evacuated the village.

Unlike New Orleans after Katrina or even Japan after the recent earthquake, where residents hope to return home, in the southern half of Montserrat, people cannot live there because of the active volcano. For most of us, if we choose to leave “home,” we can choose to return.

How would you feel if you couldn’t return home? What happens to community when people are uprooted permanently from a place? Can that community be maintained?



3 Responses to “When you can’t go home”

  1. the most beautiful places in this world is home
    I would be very frustrated if i can not return home
    I hope everyone can return to his home and enjoys life with his family

  2. the most beautiful places in this world is home
    I would be very frustrated if i can not return home
    I hope everyone can return to his home and enjoys life with his family

  3. the most beautiful places in this world is home
    I would be very frustrated if i can not return home
    I hope everyone can return to his home and enjoys life with his family