Mother Nature has not been too kind

Barbara
Gloudon

Friday, September 22, 2017

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QUESTIONS of the day (for me at least):. Will we demonstrate that we are worthy of high marks for responding to the urgent need of fellow Caribbean neighbours who are being battered and bruised by wind and rain which seem without end? Public appeals are being launched by churches and corporate Jamaica; will we try to help them according to their needs? These neighbours are not too far from here. We might not know them personally, but we have knowledge of the distress which comes with bad weather.

We have never had the experience before of hurricanes attacking this region not once, but twice, and more on the same spot in the space of two weeks. There have been some bizarre experiences, and even though some islanders have had much more difficulties than others, life goes on.

Mother Nature has not been kind to her children in this part of the globe, but we know how to survive. Jamaicans caught hell back in the days of Wild, Wild Gilbert. He didn't hesitate to mash us up, but thank heavens we were able to get back on our feet and get up, stand up, and fight again.

There have been some bad hurricane moments in the past. We have known some really tough times, but still we people of the Caribbean hold on for dear life. Consider the torment Dominica is suffering, even as we speak. Think of Puerto Rico, the British and US Virgin Islands, which are getting their share of the battering, too.

Mother Nature seems quite unmoved. Well, whatever she is up to now there is still fear of what more could come. We still hear reports of the continued battle with the elements. In the spirit of “Doctor Bud, the cunny bud,” we get back on our feet and start all over again.

Another question of the day: How are the victims of the storms managing? In the past, everybody got involved. We have been known, on occasion, to dispatch representatives of our defence force to assist. The prime minister, in Parliament on Tuesday, released the information that our security forces are ready to go into action. It is good to hear we will aid in restoring infrastructure and offer other assistance to the affected communities as they try to return to normal living. Nutten wrong wid dat, as we would say.

Why lack of interest In the Cockpit?

Meanwhile, the Cockpit Country campaign, where have we got with that one? The argument to protect and preserve the Cockpit Country needs more public interest. The talking at the moment is no more than that. I say, you say, they say, and so on and so, but what will be done to protect this special place — a watershed area which is home to plants and animal life that is found only here in Jamaica? Our children and their children should be able to know this part of their heritage.

The other day I was revisiting memories of a day when I spent time in one section of the Cockpit. A crystal-clear stream crossed a pathway used by taxis making their way to a community in the hills. It was a remarkable sight, not to see the taxis, but the variety of foliage and see the birds going about their business. I made a promise to myself to return and learn and explore more — that's still remains to be filled.

Shouldn't we be discussing what we really want to do with the Cockpit Country? We have to strike a balance between development and conservation.

There is much talk about making some areas of the Cockpit into a tourist attraction. No problem, so long as, for me, there will be sufficient monitoring to ensure it is appropriately protected from vandalism and other intrusions which are evident in the degradation of many of our public areas. I would hope also that while entertaining visitors from home and abroad, the original purpose of maintaining a nature preserve will not be allowed to drift.

Special big-up to the Rockland's Bird Sanctuary in St James, which is still going after the death of its founder, Lisa Salmon, “The Bird Lady”. Places like these continue to honour the treasures of our environment. This Jamaica belongs to di whole a wi. Care it!

More pain and suffering

Earlier this week headlines were coming in: '7.1 magnitude earthquake kills hundreds in Mexico'!

What now? Is the world falling apart? Whatever it is, it is terrifying. What we have heard about schoolchildren trapped in the rubble of a broken buildings is heart-rending. In heaven's name, what's next?

I am not looking to fight with US President Donald Trump, but were he to come this way, what I would like to know is, how could he continue to press Mexico to build and pay for “The Wall”? Could he really do that when the people of Mexico have been gobbled up by walls of death? O man! Dem times nuh easy at all. Pray for the children. That might be all we can do, but coming from the heart it can at least ease the pain.

The little coins story

What purpose will be served by the latest thing of making obsolete the small coins? Now that “small money” will not be available, what will be done now? Jack up the price of everything? Mister Big Time Bank Man, if we can't use lickle money again, then are we to accept that the cost of living will climb up like lizard on wall?

Barbara Gloudon is a journalist, playwright and commentator. Send comments to the Observer or gloudonb@yahoo.com.

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