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As the volcano erupted on the island of Montserrat, it destroyed everything in its path. The Montserrat folk fled from the hot ash and exploding mountains, many as far as other countries, most notably England. Author Sharmen D. Greenaway, a native of the island, was one of many who sought refuge in England; however, most of the island’s inhabitants were not prepared for life in this new place. The winters were harsh, and the disaster had stripped them of their financial and emotional security. They were not considered refugees, and they didn’t qualify for the same type of jobs and statuses they previously held. Many faced a tough choice: remain in modern England or return to their devastated island home to face the furious volcano and serious economic deprivation. Another challenge they faced and still face today is that of preserving the Montserrat culture, something seemingly insignificant in multicultural England. Preserving the island’s language and customs seems an insurmountable task. What will become of the island’s national dish, its folk music, and dancing? Join Greenaway as she explores her own challenges and those of fellow Montserratians in Montserrat in England.

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