Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
LINSTEAD, St Catherine:
IF YOU want to buy sweet oranges, sugar cane or a refreshing jelly, you can do so anywhere on the Linstead/Bog Walk bypass near the roundabout heading into the Bog Walk gorge.
In fact, there are a number of vendors with beautifully decorated stalls displaying a variety of fruit from which to choose.
Left with no options, some of these sellers, like 36-year-old Venice Davidson, built one-room dwellings at the back of these stalls.
Davidson had once lived in a more suitable dwelling, but was forced to return to the dilapidated structure after her partner's death three years ago. Now she and her baby and her 17-year-old son share the tattered facility, which was further battered by Hurricane Sandy.
"Wednesday night me haffi stay right in here so inna de dark wid the baby when Sandy a blow," she told The Gleaner on Thursday.
"Mi still haffi stay here - even though the house stay so bad - because mi nuh have nowhere else to go," she explained, pointing out that she could get a spot on her mother's plot of land to build a house, but needs assistance.
Thirty-six-year-old Beverley Nelson and her 59-year-old partner, Norman Forbes, tell a similar story. The couple, who hails from St Mary, said seven years ago, lack of employment forced them to build a stall near the Bog Walk roundabout, then a one-room structure, which is home to them and two daughters.
'EVERYTHING BLOW DUNG'
"Sandy lift off the zinc top, drop out the building, lick off the fence and everything blow dung," explained Forbes, as he tried to put the pieces back together on Thursday.
"When the breeze a blow and the rain a fall, wi haffi run go over di school. We leave wi goods - orange, jelly, cane and so forth - and dem tief dem," a dejected Nelson told The Gleaner.
While they indicated that they could return to St Mary, the couple said the move would rob them of a livelihood, as there is no opportunity for employment in St Mary.
Having to seek shelter at the Bog Walk High School, with the passage of the hurricane, the couple said they want to continue their business, but would like to relocate to a proper house that could be erected on lands that Norman owns in Berwick district.