I'm sure some of you have heard the phrase "This Is Africa (TIA)" to describe African culture and society in all of its glory--and chaos. As we begin Day 2 of our field visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I am reminded of people who grin when I say that I'm going to do nonprofit work in the Caribbean. It is so easy to be a tourist in this country and miss out on the very real problems. I am struck by the many varying sides of Vincentian culture--and in many ways, Eastern Caribbean culture as a whole.
We all have pictures in our head of the beautiful Caribbean beaches, and those are here, for sure. But THIS is also the Caribbean I know.
This is Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown, St. Vincent's capital. My oldest son Trajan and I spent the day there yesterday. Trajan was NOT impressed. Kingstown is run-down and rough--very few things have changed since I served in the Peace Corps there, and I believe it looks much worse since the years have passed. You might not be able to tell from the photo, but there was a woman carrying her newborn baby home from the hospital and waiting for one of the island's vans to take them home. When one thinks of the Caribbean, one doesn't usually picture this hard day-to-day life, the struggle of local Vinentians to make a living and raise a family. This country continues to struggle to utilize its scant resourcs to make long-term improvements.
Today, I will visit with Denniston's family--more updates to come.
Thank you for caring--and for checking in,