By Elesha George
Thirty-two-year old Cacy Christian and her two children flew from Antigua and Barbuda to Tortola on March 6 for what she thought would be her regular two-week vacation.
She said she went to visit her father as she normally does every year, but when it was time to return, Covid-19 began to spread in the Caribbean, forcing governments, including Antigua and Barbuda, to close their borders.
Since then, Christian and her nine-year-old son and three-year-old daughter have been living on a boat that her father owns, but things have become difficult since his working hours with the Tortola Port Authority have been reduced.
Due to limited resources, Christian said she desperately needs to return home.
“I am pleading that I need to get home back in Antigua; I’ve been here for four months now and I’ve reached out to the local authorities in Antigua to try and help me to get out but I have no luck,” she told Observer.
“I’m pleading to come home; it’s hard here. The locals here have to actually help me to get food and clothing because of the fact my dad’s salary has dropped and the hours have been reduced.”
Christian’s father only works two, sometimes three days each week if he is lucky, and so he has been unable to take care of all four of them. She said it’s also hard to bring in food for them to eat because they have to stay on the water in an effort to safeguard against contracting Covid-19.
And after not hearing from her boss for some time, Christian now fears that she has lost her job at a gas station after being away for so long.
“My coworkers who messaged me told me they have gotten new people to start working and they were saying that it’s too long that I’m down here and the work has to go on,” she shared.
She added that in the last few months she has been waiting for the airline in Tortola to get approval to fly to Antigua. But when Inter Caribbean finally received approval for a flight on June 20, Christian said she was told that the flight was full and that she would have to wait a month for another one.
“They’re telling me that I have to wait until the first and they’re telling me that I have to contact the person that I bought the ticket from,” she said.
When she contacted the company who sold her the ticket – EDreams – she was told that she couldn’t change the date on the ticket.
“Now I’m asking for a refund so that I can buy a ticket to come back home on a different airline, they’re telling me that I have to wait 90 days which is three months and that’s just ridiculous – I can’t wait here three months again,” the disappointed woman said.
The Jennings resident said she doesn’t know what else to do after months of attempting to reach authorities in Antigua, including her constituency representative MP Molywn Joseph, who she said she messaged via WhatsApp for assistance.
Observer made attempts to reach Joseph without success.
The mother-of-two also said she sent messages to Immigration Minister EP Chet Greene and Information Minister Melford Nicholas via Facebook.
Desperate to return home, Christian even tried reaching out to state media, in hopes that the government would hear her story and help her get back to Antigua, but to no avail.
“So I’m just pleading to the government or anyone in Antigua that can help me to get back home. It’s hard having two children in this situation,” she said, hoping that her cry for help will be answered sooner rather than later.