Blog

← Back to all posts
  • Closure Ceremony

    On Sunday August 7th, a group of Las Olas friends, and our psychologist Marie-France, accompanied us to the location of our former apartment, to do a closure ceremony. It was the first time that Laurie-Ann and I we're returning to the site where our life changed nearly 4 months before.

    Marie-France, Laurie-Ann and I, each spoke a few minutes to share some souvenirs of Arthur and Jennifer. We brought their ashes with us, and it was the first time I was holding the urns in my hands. It was quite an emotive moment.

    The goal of this ceremony was to try to find peace by returning where our trauma occurred and try to express our feelings, our sadness, etc.  Experiencing an earthquake is by itself a traumatizing experience. Losing your wife, your son and your dog at the same time because of a poorly built building, that's even worse.

    As you can see on the picture below, our neighbors also lost their homes, as our building was right next to theirs and damaged it even more when it felt. Many families are now living in tents on the sidewalk, hoping they will be able to have some sort of indemnities to rebuilt their homes.

    For those who haven't seen it, please find below a picture of our building before and after the earthquake:

    Each time I see this picture, I can only think of hell... 

    Since we also lost our dog Zara, we went to Las Olas where our friends buried her under the wonderful tree at the back of the 12th green of the Ceibo Valley golf course. It was a special moment to go there with our other dog, Lily, who was adopted only one month before the earthquake. Lily is a survivor, and she was happy to be there with us under Zara's tree.

    A few days after, we returned to Bahia de Caraquez again, to visit the rest of the city, see our friends and my colleagues at Las Olas administrative office. It's, of course, difficult to see Bahia in this state, but at the same time, I'm also seeing resilient people who are proud of their magnificent city and are willing to work hard to make her shine again. Bahia is located in a peninsula and surrounded by the ocean on one side, and by the Chone River on the other side. It's the best of both worlds. Add a fantastic year-round weather and you have all the ingredients to develop it in a top tourism destination.  I'm sure Las Olas will heavily contribute to the growth and revitalization of Bahia during the next few years. ¡Fuerza bahia!