J’cans stuck in Trinidad long to return home

July 07, 2020

What was meant to be a vacation in Trinidad and Tobago for three Jamaican females has turned into a five-month nightmare due to COVID-19.

The women said they are currently living in unsatisfactory conditions, and are pleading with the Government to make the necessary arrangements for them to return home soonest.

Patrice said that she has resorted to desperate means to survive.

"Sometimes mi all beg people and anno my style that. My customer service job pay me enough a Jamaica and to know say mi deh here a struggle like dog. All type a people a take step a me. Sometimes mi just have to block out certain tings outta mi, all when mi see people a show mi bad face. More time mi get a likkle money mi just have to pinch it and gwan bear the hungry," she said.

Two repatriation flights

Last month, two repatriation flights from the twin-island republic, and Barbados, arrived in Jamaica, but Patrice and the other women said they did not get approved on the JamCOVID app until the day the flight was scheduled to leave.

Shanice, a native of Clarendon, told THE STAR that she has been staying with a friend, but had to leave the location because the space was limited.

The store clerk said she left Jamaica in February to attend carnival and decided to stay a bit longer since immigration had given her the green light to remain until April. But she had no idea that she would be stuck.

"My friend's family had returned home because of the pandemic so I had to go by another friend. She started behaving bad and show me bad face after a few weeks, so a lady took me in. I am very appreciative of the gesture but things are really hard for me. I am struggling financially and I have to be sleeping in a sofa. I am barely surviving," she said.

She added, "Mr Andrew Holness, Sir, please hear my cry. I really want to come home so can you please organise another flight so myself and others can come home. I have a seven-year-old son and I really miss him. It is really depressing for me here, I really miss my country and loved ones," she added.

The other Jamaican, Tashanna, said she has even begun to adapt the Trinidadian accent.

"I am here from February and I have my son with me and I am not working. My family had to be supplying me wid food and dem kind a ting and I want to go home. I miss my family and my grandmother dead and all kind a ting," she said.

Jamaica closed its borders to incoming passengers on March 24 as part of measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

However, in May, the Government reopened the ports and hundreds of Jamaicans have been repatriated from sections of the Caribbean, USA, and United Kingdom.

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