Friday, 1 August 2008

Trials and tribulations.

Poor TBH is most definitely under the weather. The perils of modern day air travel I suspect. He has a nasty head cold, temperature and all the associated symptoms...not at all pleasant in this tropical climate with temperatures in the mid 90's and humidity hovers around 90%. I am taking all the vitamin supplements I can find to try and avoid catching it too.

I was wondering what to write about this morning, my rate of blogging seems to have become a little erratic since we left for our cruise to Cuba. It's not so much that I am searching for a subject but rather that there have been so many ideas that my mind just seizes up when it comes to the decision making process. It was ever thus!

So I thought that maybe I could kick start the old writing muscle by just listing some of the, usually unconnected, thoughts that are spilling around my brain these days.

So I think I will start by getting some stuff off my chest...

Some months ago TBH helped a cruiser on a boat here in the marina, R-X-ta-Sea (!), do a running repair on his engine as the guy, Sterling Huff, was eager to get out sailing. TBH being the kind and thoughtful soul that he is, scrabbled around in the bowels of this guy's engine to replace the seals on his raw water pump. Getting the thing going although he did recommend that the engine looked in need of a service... Sterling then asked if we had another spare set of seals that he could borrow... TBH being the trusting and helpful sort(not at all like me) gave him another set, declining payment but asking that Mr Huff replaced them when he was next in the USA.

Well guess what,more than six months later and we are still waiting. Sterling has been back to the USA at least a couple of times in that period. God that makes me mad... It's not the cost of the parts but the principles involved. Out here, cruising, needing repairs made we all try and help one another along but when you get cretins like this guy it shakes your belief in the philosophy of mutual aid...

On a different note we were shopping in Pottery Barn, Orlando. One of my favourite home accessories stores and got in to conversation with the sales assistant as she packaged the new mattress topper we had just selected. On hearing that we were currently living in Guatemala on a boat she launched in to a tale of how some friend's of her's had adopted a Guatemalan infant 16 years ago. The lad was now furious at having been taken from what he saw as his homeland, his culture and inheritance. her friends are stunned and appalled that he is having such a reaction and have arranged for him to come here and work on a coffee plantation to see what his life would have been like if they hadn't invested all their time and money into raising him...

I didn't know what to say or how to react. Those of you who have read my previous rants will know that I have been pretty vocal in my condemnation of this kind of adoption. It was one of those moments when life becomes stranger than fiction. In truth I love them but sometimes it is difficult to react fast enough in the moment to take a god given opportunity for a valuable response. TBH and I exchanged looks above the cash register and told her to go read my blog.

But doesn't that just underline my view that this cultural dislocation has far reaching effects that are not explored deeply enough? Why should the kid feel grateful? It wasn't his decision. And who is to say that the materialistic culture of mainland USA is superior to life on the coffee farm in Guatemala. Is a fitted carpet intrinsically superior to a beaten earth floor? What price can be put on a sense of belonging?

As a side note we saw far fewer infants in the hotel in the city this visit. Just one or two as compared to the dozens last visit. I wonder if it's a seasonal thing or has the message finally got through that this is a disgusting trade in human life?

And finally we have power back at the marina. It's a relief but makes me feel that maybe I have begun to lose sight of the self-sufficiency aspect of my cruising lifestyle. I used to be proud of the savings of electricity and our ability to generate enough for our own needs. I seem to be back sliding into the consumer driven world again... It has to stop!

1 comment:

Kent said...

The cigars are tremondous, I can't thank you enough. Hope all is going well and that we run into you again while cruising the Islands.

Kent & Faye