We are only here overnight and have a lot to do in the morning.
Since we arrived in the afternoon, it was too late to get into offices to do OceansWatch work so we decided to dinghy to the dock and independently go for walks to feel out the town and do “research and development”. During this time I overheard a speech and went in to listen to a Kawanna’s club having a high school debate/speaking competition with the speakers subject to be: "Making our school go Green." I found the young people passionate and inspiring as they talked about the trash problem and acknowledged that they come from a culture that drops things on the ground instead of searching out a trash bin. They pleaded for public awareness and discipline in this area in their speeches. I determined there was an office of the environmental in town..and notice a radio station. This will be enough to fill my morning.
Next stop was trying to find the Government building the may house the Ministry of Environment. After a very long walk, I found it and was able to talk to the director himself who had several contacts that he wanted to set me up with. However, we were anchoring up at 1pm and it was 12:30 so I spoke to one contact on the phone in his office and got some other names to follow up with when we get internet. He said that his personal opinion of concerns for Dominica are 1. Reef destruction, 2. Overfishing, 3. Oil in the water.
This makes three Directors of the Ministry of Environment that I have met with: Grenada, St. Lucia and Dominica. Funny, I just never imagined myself doing this kind of work but it feels good.
"These people own their land. They own their houses and lead a simple life. They fish or work in the area and make a life for themselves. You may look at these houses and feel sorry for them but don't. They are probably richer than many Americans. They have no debt and are happy," he said.
I silently wondered how long that would last. THIS island has captured my heart. There is something very special about it. I had the same feeling when I visited rural Alaska for the first time. It was a last frontier. It was raw and real, undisturbed by modern development. Dominica is this way...but it is evolving. KFC is already in the capital city. But for now, I soaked it up.
Turned out, HE was the government of Dominica's international liaison to government affairs. Good grief. The lyrics: "They paved paradise, put up a parking lot..." starting ringing in my ears and then I could not get it out of my head. Within two hours, when we returned to walk past, everything was cleared...INCLUDING THE SIGN!
The next day we were not scheduled to leave until noon so we three of us decided to go on a river tour down the Indian River. Ah, time off! Dominica prides itself with it's 365 rivers: "One for everyday of the year," they tell us.
Choosing a guide in itself can be comical. Many approach the sailboat pitching their abilities.We chose "Spaghetti" over "Lawrence of Arabia" but in the morning found out that due to a street party, he had not been to bed yet. No problem mon.
|After Hollywood moved out|