Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Rain, Rain, Gov Away

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has been pretty lucky this hurricane season, the last Caribbean hurricane blew over as a tropical wave. What we have had has been noncyclonic thunderstorms. We don't have freezes, which lets them run water pipes on the surface, but we do have mudslides with volcanic rocks in them that take out the water pipes. I had to go out at dawn to fix the valve on the cistern (which gets filled by public water through a float valve like a toilet tank) so we could have a trickle to cook with. Showers will wait till they fix it!

The tropics aren't all marguerite's and beach chairs when you live here. At least this year I got the car checked and inspected and insured and relicensed before December. Usually that gets done on Christmas Week involving a four hour wait.

We are having election day shortly, so we'll stay out of Kingstown this week, not wanting to get caught up in the excitement. We are peaceful old folks, you know. My source tells me that the Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Ralph ("De Comrade") Gonzalves expects 14 wins in the legislature and is hoping for 15. I hope he stays in because he was a college roommate of Fidel Castro, and Fidel and Chavez of Venezuela are helping build an international airport just to thumb their noses at Uncle Sam. Most of the big airports down here were built by the US in World War II to protect the Panama Canal (Remember "Rum and Coco-Cola" "Workin' for the Yankee Dollar"?) and you remember the airport Castro built in Grenada and Reagan went to war for.
Little islands get tourist airports only as a result of international tension. It will turn Saint Vincent and the Grenadines into a tourist island, but the US has helped Chiquita and Dole kill the European banana market so the island has to have some source of income. But that's a couple of years away yet.

In the meantime it is interesting seeing the outside world penetrating this peaceful paradise. Not always wonderful, but interesting. If you want to visit a Caribbean Island that isn't completely touristified you have a couple of years. It is worth struggling a bit with transportation.