Soooooooo…what do we think bout this picture???? It certainly does make a bold statement. I’m gonna guess the Minister wanted to convey that illegal cutting/transportation/selling of rosewood will not be tolerated. On the other hand, this idea that the wood had to be burned because nobody could be trusted to store it properly kinda STANDS OUT MORE. There must be some policy already in place to deal with confiscated goods, yes???? And if there is to be an investigation, why burn the evidence? And why not turn around and use this wood for some other purpose?? Furniture in a museum….material for some artist????
I have watched as a nation’s emotions kept building, anxiety reaching a fever pitch. Cries for justice rang loud and a demand for good police work, the utmost importance. We all held our breath as we waited for Bert Vasquez to be charged, fearing that he would walk away “as usual” prompting protest marches sending a clear message of “No! Not this time!” And the police came through. He was charged.
But that wasn’t the end, rather it is the beginning. Just like the public feared he wouldn’t even be charged, now it fears he won’t be convicted. But instead of putting pressure on the police by standing together and making the effort to ensure that he is convicted, instead of helping the police and participating in the process of justice, we have people allowing their fear and lack of faith to derail justice in a most egregious way. Having convinced themselves that because of his family name and influence he will not be convicted, they are calling for vigilantism. One of these people is my own partner, Aria Lightfoot. Yes, Aria. I am calling you out. So sue me.
Take a look at her Facebook status posted a few days ago:
“All you people of waiting for civility and the justice system to condemn this monster among us, question: how do you convict a well connected criminal in a society that doesn’t prosecute well connected criminals? Do we wait for the system to become fair as our children continue to fall victim? Do we wait until personally affected to become angry? All you proponents of fair play how do you get rid of a unprosecutable monster from your midst?”
At first, I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, so I simply asked: “What are you inciting here?” She responded with a pretty mild answer saying she was just looking for solutions but as the conversation became more involved and other people put their two cents in, it became clear what was being said. We should kill Bert Vasquez and not bother with the process of justice, after all it is a “joke” as one person said. So I sarcastically said: “Well let’s just kill him and get it over with! Goddammit! Screw the justice system. Let’s just be as evil as he is! Who needs rules?” Unfortunately, some people thought I was serious and concurred. No biggie. Next time, I’ll be more clear and put *sarcasm next to a statement intended as such.
Further down Aria makes her point very clear, much to my concern and disappointment: ” I guess people don’t realize that he was in the “allegedly” in process of violently sexually violating another child when he was caught. Do I need a jury to assure me he is guilty. Probably not! And victims are really afraid to come forward in this case because of who he is. So I ask all the proponents of fair play. Give me a solution Please because I feel this monster will walk and he will be one of several that continue to plague our country until the justice system catches up or people take matters in their own hands. What does a society do to protect itself?” Having a jury convict a person accused of anything is NOT for the assurance of his guilt but rather an exercise in justice, you know, that process we need to make sure INNOCENT people don’t go to jail?
I get it. You don’t believe that it will happen. It hasn’t many times. And many murderers and rapists walked free of consequences because of their status in society; bribes paid to key players; intimidation of witnesses; lost evidence because of incompetence and gross mishandling. I GET IT! As other people challenged Aria to clarify her position, she kept saying she was only asking for a solution but when given them, she was adamant that families of victims couldn’t wait for the system to change and asked basically what are we to do in the meantime? She suggested that these “monsters” will walk and plague us if we don’t take matters into our own hands. What does that mean Aria? Kill everybody we “know” is guilty? Remember the poor taxi guy everybody “knew” was the murderer? HE WAS INNOCENT. What would have happened if society had decided to “take matters into their own hands”? How would you have felt if society had killed this man and come to find out it was someone else? How is that a “solution”?
Let’s make something clear hear. Your statement on Facebook was insulting and condescending. Just because everyone isn’t out there screaming about justice or waving a noose around, doesn’t mean they are not as passionate as you, or as concerned or as “affected”. We just choose to do it in a different way and there is no reason we as a society can’t do both. Protests serve a purpose. It is a time to vent. It is a time to feel connected with others. It is a time to bring attention to an issue of great concern. BUT it is merely the beginning of anything. Protests in and of themselves do little to change anything. They can prompt change but the change will be brought about people who take the time to write proposals, present them and have others vote them into policy, law etc. So, killing Bert Vasquez takes care of one person and “a” situation for just a brief moment. The system will still be broken and others will then continue to “get away”. You will basically have NOT affected change and you most certainly will NOT have come up with a solution. Rather, what about the other issues you have now created? Liiiiiiiiike: WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN? Where the hell are your beliefs in god now? What kind of god is he/she who allows YOU to kill but not others? Have you thought of what kind of reputation this will give to Belize? How does that kind of behaviour influence investors? TOURISTS??? And lastly, since we seem to have forgotten her: what the hell does this do for Jasmine’s memory? She was a Girl Scout. She worked with her father in her community. Everyone who knew her, liked her. DO YOU HONESTLY THINK THIS IS WHAT SHE WOULD HAVE WANTED? I can emphatically tell you “No!” She was about helping people, not turning them into hateful, demonic beasts seeking vengeance in her name.
So you asked for solutions. You are not going to like the answer but tough. You will help undo the damage by advocating for new legislation and abolishment of defunct, unjust old ones. You will inspire others to seek education in areas critical to justice system. You will demand that proper funding is allocated to fighting crime so that we will get better equipment and facilities aimed at proper gathering and storing of evidence. You will show your support for the hard working officers who put their lives on the line by participating in fund raising efforts and cooperating wherever needed. That means calling the police when a crime is committed, appearing in court when you are called as a witness and teaching yourself and your kids the law and ABIDING THOSE LAWS. You will demand that investigations are made into allegations of misconduct, police brutality and corruption. You will exercise patience and serve as an example of calm, well thought out convictions. You will be a symbol of hope in yourself and Belizeans, that we know the right thing to do and that we will do the right thing. And you will start by reining in your rhetoric and realizing that you have to stop being irresponsible with your words. You need to realize your power. When you do, maybe you can start being the change you keep demanding everyone else makes.
*FYI: “Incitement” comes under “Effecting a Public Mischief” which comes under ‘Perverting the Course of Justice” which comes under “OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE” punishable by up to life imprisonment…. yeah…I would say getting people to murder Bert Vasquez falls right under all that………
We just started our blog a mere 5 months ago and so much has happened! To Aria and me…to Belize…none of it could have anticipated. BUT Aria seems to have assessed the political climate accurately at least. Check out one of her first pieces: Tell me what you think!
by Aria Lightfoot
“If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.”
In the ad lib words of President Lincoln, to get to where we are going, we must know where we are. 2011 is fading; 2012 is approaching fast and Belize faces municipal, city council and general elections. The implications are for a positive financial outlook for the Belize voter. The money for votes exchange is off to a head start and the political warriors are gearing up for battle. At this juncture it is difficult to determine what the future leadership of Belize will look like, I have my own speculations, however in politics, the only certainty is uncertainty. Voters are fickle and needy; political parties’ popularity fluctuates between love and hate. Hate while in government and love while in opposition.
I predict in 2012 that it really doesn’t matter which party holds the majority in the House and municipal elections. Crime, poverty, corruption, inefficiency, apathy of leadership, politics of patronage, special interest politics, the growing divide between rich and poor will remain constant. Are the major political parties reluctant, stubborn and arrogant? Or are politicians merely a reflection of our corrupted society? The voting patterns in Belize suggests a yearn for change; however the inability to articulate it has resulted in major changes at the polls with little changes to much else. What does corruption even mean to the average citizen? Does the average citizen know that hustling on the side, hooking up family members and friends, pushing friends to the front line, erasing the professional and personal line, selective enforcement, turning a blind eye, paying tax paid government officials to complete work, accepting money for votes, buying anything on the black market, inflating contracts to benefit friends and family, hiring and promoting due to relationship rather than skill; educating friends and family and supporters, denying access to qualified citizens, special favors of any kind…equals corruption? Lets us begin the arduous journey of reflection on the impact we make on the society.
We have yet to hit or beat the number 317 which was our highest umber of views in a single day for the article on Kim Simplis 02-04-12 and it was a SATURDAY!!!! LOL We have come very close but just can’t beat it! We want to thank everyone who keeps following and spreading the birdflew by sharing our articles on your walls and tagging your friends. We are well on our way to hitting 15,000 hits in the next week and that is all YOU!!!!!
THANK YOU 🙂
We continue to work on spreading awareness about cancer in our country and highlight ways we can all chip in to help. Some articles to check out and pass around: Please contribute to the cancer fund we are collaborating on with Kim Black and support Raquel in getting BEAT Cancer up and running. She has dedicated quite a lot of time and resources to help those in need.
When Aria posted her “ramblings” I was like nahuh….I’m not doin’ daaaaat! But birthdays have a funny way of making you reflect and so here we are.
I couldn’t have anticipated much of what has occurred in my life…it vaguely resembles what I had planned, more like a Monet or a van Gogh…you know they are flowers but you nevah saw no flowers that looked like that! LOL
As I moved through life, from child to teen, to young adult and now what I consider my “conquering the world” adult years, the way I tell my story has changed. As a child, my life was points on a line: first this, then this, then that. And in relaying it to others, there was a sort of unspoken competition as to who had the worst, or most interesting thing happen to them. So, it was about being born in one place, moving a bunch of times, catholic school, getting stitches, ruined birthdays, Santa Claus, caye trips, death, car accidents, visits to family in faraway places, mean teachers and strict parents. I knew that much of my experience was traumatic and as such had an impact on my attitudes, beliefs and decisions I made. I was aware of that much at least. So, I acted from a place of “I’m not going to do anything that will get me into trouble and make my life more complicated”.
That sounded like a good plan but it didn’t work. Emphatic FAIL. I became an over achiever, a perfectionist, succeeding pretty much at every challenge I undertook which sounds awesome but I was an anxious worry wort, always waiting for the next bad thing to happen. And while it is prudent and wise to be cautious, it is crippling to the soul to be in the grips of fear. That was what I truly was, in the grips of fear. I told myself that I was being smart, being prepared, avoiding mistakes with dire consequences. But the truth was, I was hiding from life. I had to come to believe, not all by myself, of course, in a devastating untruth. You know the one: if you work hard, great will be your reward? And so I did. I avoided the pitfalls such as experimenting with drugs, breaking the law, getting pregnant, failing out of school. But along with that was a great avoidance of many other things and before you know it, I had backed myself into a dark little corner. So afraid was I of being vulnerable and failing that I rejected new adventures, developing my talents, even friendships and I demanded utmost integrity and loyalty from those I did let in.
This behaviour created great dissonance. See, that is not me. Inherently, I am a dare devil. I am a fighter at heart and this role I was trying to embody was too safe, too perfect and absolutely unattainable, at least, by me. I was trying to be Brie Van de Camp and while I have some similar qualities, there is so much to me that is in direct opposition to Brie. And thank god cause seriously, she is one messed up chick 🙂 and uhm she lives on tv. LOL To get beyond this self imposed prison of Briedom, there was something I had to do first. I had to accept I was not Brie. Ok, now what? ARGHHHHHH! Ruuuuuuuuun! My real self is tooooooo much! She is loud! She is foul mouthed! She loves Kathy Griffin! She doesn’t care about being thin! (WTH?) She likes pizza! And sex! And wild children! And gay people! And COLOURS: Burnt orange and teal! O yeah, and she doesn’t believe in god…hmmmm. And she just might be a democrat… o gosh!
It took years and years of lots of painful reflection, stop-starts, denial- confrontation, to get here. It was not easy at all and there were moments when I wondered if all this was really worth it. I mean, couldn’t I just go on with life, prescribed and just put one foot in front of the other, miserable but knowing where I was going? But, my inner fighter demanded more. She knew I could do better and I knew that if I listened and tried again and again, I just might be happy for the first time in my life. Besides, having two girls made it impossible to give up because I wanted better for them and the only way I could do that was if I started being/doing better myself.
See…acceptance is way bigger than what we think it is. Sure, we know what it means. It means to surrender, acknowledging a reality and not attempting to change it. Hmmmmmmm….I have said many, many, many, many, many (you get my point) times that I accept something but then found out I really hadn’t. I would find myself rehashing things in my mind, thinking of what I could do different or how I could get the other person to “see” my point, hoping against hopes of hopes that magically everything would be ok and these people would say sorry and spend the rest of their lives making it up to me… LMAO…buwhahahaha….I can laugh boisterously now but for so long, it was definitely NOT funny.
Part of it was just lack of experience…I was just not old enough to know that some things just are and they stay that way. Some of it was a need to have everyone I love, love me back. And then there was the impossible standard I set for myself that I could get anyone to at least respect my views, feelings etc even if they didn’t agree. I never really took into account that others are not like me, that they have different values and gifts and levels of understanding, compassion etc….I “knew” it intellectually but I didn’t ACCEPT it. And as such, I set up myself for a lot of repeated scenes in the same act of the same play, never really moving to the next phase…Today, I think I am there.
This is truly the best gift I could have ever given myself: the gift of self acceptance. It takes a lot to accept. It is rejecting ideas passed on to you; societal expectations; familial pressures; history. It is admitting that those, who taught you the rules of life, were wrong. It is saying goodbye to old things that no longer apply, those things that can not be relevant if one is to embrace the future and the promise of things being different. You can’t hold on to the pain of the past, if you want to truly feel the pleasure of the present. You can’t fret about the mishaps and mistakes of the past if you hope to achieve true fulfillment in the future.
It felt risky. It was very scary for me to let go of all that I knew and to go searching for that which was unknown to me. There was no guide, no older, wiser leader showing me the way. I had to stumble and fall, stumble and fall some more till I thought I would just lay there and give up. I broke down all that had made me feel like me before, brick by brick, till there was nothing left and then brick by brick I rebuilt, not a wall around me, but a giant stage for me to stand on 🙂
I have come a long way and I know there are still more things to find out and accept and it will be difficult at times. As a matter of fact, I was challenged just a few days ago and I was knocked sprawling to the ground. I slipped into old patterns of responding by internalizing and acting angry and hateful, playing the nasty words over and over in my head till they became my words. Then I gave myself a stern talking to and reminded myself that that was not me anymore. And I had to accept yet something else, that I still will not always be prepared and I will do the wrong thing; but, now I’m not so scared and I am not worried about laughing at myself when I take things too seriously and end up failing spectacularly. I accept and forgive and accept and forgive myself some more. And the more I do it, the freer I become and happier I feel. I am not going to be a famous doctor or actress or whatever the hell else society considers success and I accept it. I have a different definition and I accept it. I am good enough, today. And I accept that.
May Day has its origins thousands of years back to the days when it was celebrated as the Festival of Flora or the Roman goddess of flowers. Bonfires were lit to signify the end of winter and the coming of summer. As Christianity spread, many pagan celebrations such as this morphed into other religious holidays such as Easter, Christmas etc. May became known as the Month of Mary and all over the world, statues of Mary are adorned with crowns of flowers, offerings of fruits are made. More secular celebrations involved crowning the Queen of the May and Maypole dancing.
In Belize, it is Labour Day and is usually incorporated into a long weekend of “Agric” where all produce that is grown and animals that are reared are featured as part education/part celebration. There are 80 countries around the world engaging in similar celebrations on this day borne out of tragedy. In the late 19th Century, tensions rose between workers and capitalists resulting in the May Riots of 1894. In response, socialist organisations all over the world formed labour unions in an effort to create better working conditions for workers. May 1st became a day for many to continue to bring attention the conditions of the labour force and as such has become known as Internation Worker’s Day. Many countries decided to make it a public holiday in recognition of importance of workers.
In the US, despite failed attempts to make today its official labour day, it is still observed as a day to protest and send a message to corporate America. This year the Occupy Wall Street, OWS, is staging a general day of protest asking people all across the nation to just do nothing for one whole day in an effort to highlight the impact of the labour force on the economy: No Work – No School – No Housework – No Shopping
So, what began as a pagan ritual celebrating the end of winter, has now morphed into a day of protest and dissent, a day to send out a “mayday” to anyone who will listen to the cries of distress of the labour force. http://occupywallst.org/
How will you celebrate today? May Day or sending out a mayday?
Me na feel like be vex tudeh…dah Holy Thursday. Ah membah back home, shop open till half day and den da he dat! Gawn da caye!!!! For me it was South Water Caye, CocoPlum or Tobacco. Some Easters fell on either my brother Henry’s birthday or on Teres’ so more than once we had salty chocolate cake because my mom would make it in Dangriga but rough weather would bounce it all over the place and spray it with salt water 🙂
Now tell di truth and shame di devil: how much a uno nevah jus love go da caye cause it was the ONLY time you could disappear from the prying eyes of your parents?! And teachers?! That could mean that you end up kissing a cousin or two, or wait, was that just me? LOL
Favourite memory seriously? Waking up at 4:00 am to go fishing when the moon was low and the tide was swinging :0 BREAKFAST! One time I caught an eel. O Lord! That was scary!
I wish I could be rollin up my foam and packing my clothes and hiding my doritos and cheese balls from my brothers, today 🙂 Yes people. Down south, we dont gats no shop da caye.
Love what you have and love those who put up with yo miserable ass!
(Aria) I landed in Belize on March 6, 2012 and I was confronted with the political season from the get go. People were coming in to vote; there is was no doubting that. I saw political agents picking people up from the airport. My friend who is an avid UDP supporter and I met up in Miami. Her dad gave me a ride from the airport and the funniest thing he said was “Aria, I am not sure who you are coming here to vote for…should I just drive you in the woods somewhere and leave you there until the day after elections…” I laughed, maybe he was serious.
I had the opportunity to speak to several people regarding voting and I was a bit surprised at what people were telling me. I spoke to several people in Freetown who abstained from voting because they were not going to vote for no chineyman and not going to vote PUP. I even tried to reason with people about the importance of voting and people were adamant. I also spoke to well- known PUP (never voted Red) supporting family who told me they voted UDP because they don’t want Obama money encouraging homosexuality and Lisa M Shoman was going to change the laws. I met people who thought Dean Barrow wanted to take over Belize forever and were afraid of him…and all I thought was “how did we become so ignorant with the burst of information sources in Belize?” It seems to me that people were making choices based on fear and misinformation. I concluded that we are such a lazy society that we just sit and depend on other people to bring information to us without demanding sources, facts or evidence. So, it seems that politicians were playing on the fears and ignorance of people this election season and they played a dangerous game encouraging fear, spreading misinformation. It is really should not be just about winning, because fear and ignorance have been the biggest contributors to some of the worst atrocities in the world.
During my trip, I did meet some intelligent young people: kids who were savvy and open minded and were clear on the issues and mistrusted the information of the politicians, kids with no affinity for any party; kids who will represent the new swing voters in 5 years. I also met Andre Alamina, our winner of the twocanview essay contest. He was impressive in person, an intelligent humble young man who already knows what and where he wants to go in life. I see a light of hope for these youths since I met so many negative, fanatical older people who have accepted fear and hate were crucial voting factors.
I also noticed that some friends were so entrenched in the political game, that they avoided me, the ones who thought that politics were more important than friendship. It made me reflect. Why are we so divided in our society over something that really doesn’t impact us as much as we think it does? Of the 300,000 people voting, I bet 299,900 people lifestyle remains the same regardless of political party empowered, so it is truly a phenomenon and psychology that should be examined.
The highlight of my trip was meeting Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow. She was elegant and beautiful and very accommodating. She openly shared her struggles and pain and I see a fighter and a woman who will triumph. She transcends the political divide. She is something special. She has already touched the lives of many families who suffered in silence and took the shame away from the debilitating effects of cancer treatment.
We (Faye and I) also met the Prime Minster, the Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow. He was very charming and accommodating and we met him in the midst of a crisis…dealing with the incident at Chetumal that “didn’t really happen.” I see why PUP hate him too…He is a formidable opponent and when juxtaposed against their leaders, there really is no comparison.
After that meeting, Faye and I met Glenn Tillett , who took us to Chaps in Buttonwood Bay. (Best tacos and margaritas I have had in Belize). To our surprise, Joe Coye was also there and after hours of conversation, drinks and tacos, I must say Joe was quite the charmer, story teller and philosopher. I am still waiting for the “rat in the cellar” analogy. A story he teased us with all night but never quite told.
Just before the night was over, the Hon. Said Musa (former Prime Minister of Belize) walked in. He also came over and exchanged pleasantries and took pictures with us. I was left with a favorable personal impression of all the politicians for that day. It is definitely a different picture from the thieving lying scoundrels that I have passively come to accept.
I realize, politicians are intoxicating individuals, I see why people enjoy being around them, why people become fanatical followers and also why people are many times disappointed when they fail to deliver. When I met Justice Clarence Thomas in the DC, I got the same impression about him. The sense of power and confidence exuded from him. He was a powerful Supreme Court judge and his essence was electric. However, if you don’t step back from their flattery and charm, you too may get caught up in the hypnotic gaze and fanatically follow them.
I guess I am most disappointed after the elections were over; it was quite disheartening to read Belizeans advocating and waiting on the sidelines for the Prime Minister to fail. I think that people think that supporting a political party is like supporting a basketball team or football team. They fail to see that if any Belize government fails, then we all fail. If you are celebrating crime increases, or price increases or devaluation, then you fail to see the big picture. What affects Belize will affect you, regardless of your political color or affiliation. It will affect you regardless of your race or ethnicity. We need to stop with the herd mentality when it comes to politics. Just because PUP or UDP says something doesn’t make it true. Investigate and ask questions. If a policy is good, it doesn’t matter if you are PUP or UDP, we should be encouraging good policies and discouraging bad ones. Opposition does not mean that we oppose everything. Opposition is there to act as a check and balance of the government of the day, not to criticize everything and find a way to dismantle every good idea.
So my ultimate thoughts on the elections: It was an election where bribery, racism, offshore drilling, immigration, corruption and every conceivable underhanded commercial or tactic was used by two parties. PUP crying foul because they lost by a razor thin margin is as hypocritical as any party can be. So my cynical side asks: if both parties cheat, is the contest really unfair?
(Faye) Well Aria, I had some similar experiences. When I landed in Belize on February 24, 2012, obviously it was not for the same purpose. I was here for my brother’s funeral. But of course, politics was bubbling frantically. I had to travel up and down the Hummingbird Highway, the Southern Highway and the Western Highway, not to mention I was staying at the Pelican Beach Resort, so I was right next to the airstrip and I saw politicians come and go. The PUP machine was out in full force. Everywhere I looked in the South and West, gigantic blue and white flags covered trees and buildings. They were so large, that some voters jokingly said that instead of flags, the PUP should have made them into blankets for the homeless. On every lamp post was smaller, but no less distinct and impactful, blue and white posters. Sometimes, as I drove along, trucks carrying supporters to and from rallies almost ran me off the road in their zeal to get where they were going. Oh yeah, y’all need to NOT do that. It doesn’t speak well of your leadership qualities. The impression left is that of bullies. It wouldn’t do for you to get into accidents with people being flung out of the back of your trucks. Bad press, no bueno.
Along the way, I heard speeches being given; rallying cries shouted over bullhorns and secret support being whispered in the ear of politicians. I heard one PUP campaign manager definitively claim victory, reassuring whoever was on the other end of the phone that all the effort was not for naught. And he was working tirelessly, driving all over the countryside from morning till night, even going to immigration several times to ensure that certain supporters received their nationality. As for UDP, I heard a lot of complaints in the south. From the Rosewood issue to the bloody annoying as hell pedestrian bumps all along the flippin Placencia road. Seriously, that stretch added an hour to my drive time instead of the 20 minutes it should have taken to drive from Placencia to Maya Beach. I call them the “check if you left your wreck behind” bumps. I have to agree, they got to go. And the irony? Not a pedestrian in sight for flippin miles. And yes, that is a jab at my Uncle Melvin. Madafish!
My specific gut stabbing moment though, was driving through Dangriga. I know we are poor. I grew up there, but what I saw was just overwhelming. I don’t mind unpaved roads, ok? I understand that garbage barrels can and will get full to over running. I know that wooden houses sag and roofs rust BUT my goodness! It’s like as a collective people, the whole town is just depressed, so depressed, that noticing things like garbage on their steps is too much. Or noticing that the school is falling apart is too much. Or noticing that the grass is taller than I am is too much. It was seriously distressing. People walked slowly as if in unison, they all decided, it’s too much to even walk with purpose. And the only businesses that seem to have business were the Chinese grocery stores, and there were plenty of those. I am glad that the Chinese are finding success, but where are my Garinagu?
On a more positive note, there were many things that one could say is progress. Some will disagree I am sure but one cannot please everyone. The Kendall Bridge is being built…the road to Placencia is a flippin blessing! There is so much money to be made alllllll along the way: Hopkins, Silk Grass, Seine Bight…I am so happy that we have a highway finally! I remember it taking 8 long hours to get to PG one time because it had rained and our bus got stuck twice in the mud. Despite the poverty in some places, there is obvious development all over: Belize City; Belmopan; San Ignacio, Placencia, Caye Caulker, even some parts of Dangriga.
My old school Ecumenical looks bona fide with benches, a cafe and nice little flowering bushes and trees dotting the landscape. Did I mention all the damn vehicles everywhere? And laptops and cell phones! SO…we do have access to information. I don’t want to hear that “we didn’t know” cas u damn well know what your neighbour is doin’ the minute she does it. So start paying attention to your political/socio-economical world.
Oh! And Prince Harry was a cutie-pie! Definitely worth the long hot wait! It was so much fun…made me feel like a little school girl again, I swear. I saw so many friends and family out there. And who could forget the two foot cow with no tail? He just walked up to my dad and said, “Awnisin?” like old times 🙂
This is a sentiment I heard toooooo many times: “me nah wah mess wid politics! me nah gat time” or “why bother? nobody nuh wah give me nuttin?” SMH my answer to that? “You better!” It is just so irresponsible not to be involved in our community in some way, shape or form. When our neighbour succeeds, so do we all. So the flip of that is: when our neighbour fails, so do we all. We can’t say crime is the police’s problem. That criminal is our damn son, our uncle, our mother, our aunt. We can’t say the school is the government’s problem because it is our children sitting in dank classrooms, bellies hungry while they swat at flies and struggle to read what is written on termite eaten black boards. We can’t say that the cancer victims and diabetics need to just go to the hospital to die because they deserve to be treated with dignity and their families need them to survive. We can’t just shake our heads and pump our fists when yet another little girl is raped, scarred for life. We need to take care of her and let her know we love her. Don’t shun her and pity her like she is a whimpering dog. She is strong and can overcome.
I heard desperation, I felt depression and I saw helplessness. Belize can be better but you gotta believe my people, in YOURSELVES. You’ve been downtrodden for too long but your voices ring in the night and your hopes shine on for all to see. Grab your life by the balls and take control of it. Stop waiting for that knight on the white horse. He ain’t coming. You have been your own hero all along.
(Aria) Our trip ended on a high note. Faye and I spent the last two nights in Belize at the beautiful Caye Caulker which was illuminated with the full moon. Caye Caulker still offers the laid back rustic life for travelers who are weary of the rat race. It is a place where I can see myself running to time and time again for mental relief and visual ambience. (visit the split and look for our www.twocanview.com logo written on the railing).
Belize is our homeland and like every Belizean home or abroad, we all want the best for our country. I believe in dissent as an important part of democracy but let’s elevate the debate to a professional and civil level. Passionate should not mean rude or personal. Disagreeing should not be diminished to mean and disagreeable. And my Belizeans start demanding verifiable information and stop accepting gossip and propaganda when making crucial voting decisions. We must elevate ourselves first and everything else will naturally follow. I love my blue friends and I love my red friends and I love my color blinded friends. But most of all I love Belize and I anticipate each government job is to create a better future for ourselves and children; to ensure the safety and security of its citizens; to provide a means for success we can take advantage of; and to ensure we remain a jewel. Let’s strive for utopia and let’s climb out of the gutters of politics in Belize.