Sense of Destiny

February 2nd, 2012

[private] v10-2-Our Islands As a young man I believed that every problem had a solution, that diligence and perseverance were all that was needed, and that time would see it through.

All these idealistic thoughts and ideas have long since vanished. Now I’m leaning towards the Doris Day philosophical prognostication brought to us in her 1950’s hit song “Que Sera Sera,” which translated to our vernacular means, “what will be, will be.”

From the time of their arrival on these islands, my people have had a sense of destiny. Because of this we were a people with a purpose and with the courage and pride it takes to build a nation. But we were not permitted to go that far; our fate was decided by nations looking out for their own interests and without a single thought as to the future of these islands.

With no help at all from the nations that delivered us to our fate or from the nation that took possession of our destiny, we were able to overcome the toil and hardship that survival demands; and we prospered.

In 1883 with a population of only about one hundred persons the island of Bonacco had a per capita income of eight hundred US dollars. We, on our own, built the first power boat ever built in this country and with it landed a contract to carry mail between the mainland and the islands.

We later kicked off the seafood industry when we bought the first boats that gleaned the riches from the gardens of the deep. Within a few years someone took notice and the little forgotten island of Bonacco became host to three mainland banks. With their coming we learned new words like collateral, mortgages and foreclosure. We also learned that these banks were taking millions out of the island and ne’er a cent was being put back into the island.

The banks are gone now because the gardens are bare, but the manual labor we brought over to process its fruits are still here and have slowly replaced our way of life with their own.

During the recent flood and the damming effect of the paved road that passes through the Mitch, some of the houses built on the low side of the road sat in four or five feet of water. As is the custom of the people who inhabit this area of Bonacco, calls went out to the Honduran government for help which included a request for food. The radio stations on the mainland announced that the GuanajeƱos were begging for food–something that no true Bonaccan would ever do. But like I said before, things have changed.

The heavy rains did cause a bit of a problem on the cay due to the poor engineering of the new sewerage system given to us by the government. Given that these were the first heavy rains since the system started operating, they are now equipped with the information needed to correct the situation.

Somewhere along the way we lost our sense of direction. We have lost our language, our customs, our unique cuisine and to some extent our manner of worship. We are now drifting about in a sea of despair not unlike tempest tossed flotsam. And like flotsam we are slowly being sucked into a whirlpool that can only end with the precipitation of a new struggle to survive. Otherwise, we will become just another marginal neighborhood that the government can mention when they go begging internationally.

No one person can be blamed for our fracas. Each one of us must carry a small piece of the guilt. In spite of Doris Day’s sentiments, I can’t help but wonder if, had we done things differently, what will be, would not have been. [/private]

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