Saturday, December 10, 2016

Travel Blogging XVII

At sea enroute to St. Vincent and the Grenadines: The ship spent the day in the harbor at Scarborough, Tobago. We did a shore excursion that was ho-hum, it did drive us around the island and we saw a lot of hillside homes. They are more substantial here than in Barbados.

The Brits built a fort atop a mountain overlooking Scarborough. This was smart inasmuch as the location gets a very nice sea breeze which ameliorates the humid heat. It would keep the mosquitos at bay too, particularly important in those days of yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria.

Just for fun I looked to see if I could spot a pharmacy ... no luck. I saw paint stores, hardware stores, building supply places, and markets, even a car dealership ... no pharmacies. I'm not sure I ever saw a service station selling gas, maybe one. It was an odd mix, perhaps coincidental.

Our guide mentioned that the ancestors of the African people who are the local majority were brought here as slaves to work the sugar cane. I have the normal modern person's aversion to slavery so my first thought was "ugh".

However my second thought was that the people now live better than if they had been left at home in Africa. These islands are healthier and better governed than wherever home was. And the people are proud and, for tropics dwellers, reasonably industrious and it's their island, they run it via elected officials.

In fact, a new "senior secretary" (think "island governor) will be elected in January. Together with Trinidad, the two islands constitute an independent nation. Each island has a senor secretary whereas the nation is headed by a prime minister.