Ripping a page out of the moustache of wisdom’s book, I will pass on revelations from the members of the public that I have real contact with. Of course, being in the Bahamas, most of the conversations I have had are with fellow travelers and the staff.

For the second time, I’ve been able to chat with longtime residents of the Bahamas who were working in staff positions, and what the governments here do to promote the interests of their own countrymen is encouraging. Former colonies, when these countries became free, the governments that came into power really set out to -romote their own citizens. In Jamaica and in Nassau, the places I’ve been for any length of time, there are wonderful assets for the cruise industry. However, those industries haven’t been ceded the residual rights to land they use, but have had leases granted.

In order to promote their own residents, the governments here have let their lands be used in return for real benefits in terms of jobs, monetary grants, and improvements, along with environmentally sound practices. The number of staff that come from the lands the cruise companies use is impressive. Incidentally, the food is another great beneficiary of those talents.

Educational benefits are also part of the total package, and the cruise lines provide training that residents of the ports can use to further their careers both inside the industry and alongside it. My cabdriver, oh, sorry, manicurist was able to put two sons through college with her earnings, in careers related to the industry. On Stirrup Cay I ran into a lifelong resident, too, who worked in the industry giving tours and who through his government’s responsible management of the lands, had been taught excellent language skills and environmental training in return for the use of the land he grew up on.

Health care is a given in countries that have a concerned, responsible government, of course. The staff I’ve gotten a chance to get into real conversation with are astonished and bewildered that we in the U.S. do not demand that in return for our tax dollars we are given the essentials for decent lives.

Perhaps as the U.S. also provides some great ports for cruise lines, we could start working on returning values to society as a condition for use of our lands.

Sadly, our government is more interested in exploiting its resident population. That would not be tolerated in the Bahamian societies where I’ve been visiting.

Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.