Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rasta Man say...

When Ken and Leeann were here, Ken noticed that he was getting the evil eye
every once and a while. I had not noticed this so much, but maybe it was
just that I was so happy to be here that I project goodwill onto everyone I

There has been a lot of goodwill, like when we made landfall on St Kitts and
I was greeted by the captain of Erie (sp?) Lime, a local booze cruise
catamaran. Antonio, who I now refer to as Ambassador Antonio, agreed to move
his boat forward a little so that we could fit on the dock. He said "That is
what we are here for, to help!" When we pulled in to the dock, he and his
crew took our lines and helped tie up, then the Ambassador came over and
presented us with a six pack of beer, a big bag of ice, and a hug!

But consistent with the history of all of these islands, there is an
undercurrent of resentment that shows through from time to time. When you
consider the history and the present, it is remarkable that it is not
in-your-face. I have been reading a couple of books on the islands, and the
history is not a happy one. I think the warmth and openness must be a result
of all of the churches here, and a conscious effort to protect the tourist
trade. Don't get me wrong, I think most of the expressions of warmth are
absolutely genuine. But I am told by Nevisians that St Kitts and Nevis (an
independent country) have the highest per capita nationwide murder rate in
the world. That is a lot of anger and acting out, but the murders stay
confined to the local population, never the tourists. Our experience there
was good.

Take the Rasta Man for example. Maybe everyone but me knew this, but The
Babylon that must fall is the United States, and according to Michener's
"Caribbean", local police are very wary of them because the Police are
Babylon too, and must fall. I always thought that the Rasta were a very
peaceful group, but apparently they raise quite a lot of trouble, especially
in Jamaica. I knew that they felt Salaise was the second coming, but every
religion has some beliefs that are difficult to explain. Bob Marley was
Rasta; they must have had a laugh about all the records selling in Babylon.
The local rasta could not be nicer to you when you stop to see what they are

In the finacial heyday of the islands in the 1700s, large fortunes were
being made in England and France issuing from the sugar plantations here.
But the ratio of whites to slaves was about 1 to 10. Slave uprisings were
frequent and quelled in the most violent ways with truly barbaric
punishments. It is a wonder that the locals share their islands at all. If I
were one of the poor here and had to watch the big ego boats like the
Maltese Falcon parade around, I don't think I could supress or mask my
resentment that well. Even the smaller ego boats like ours would be hard to

I met the local kiting instructors and made tentative plans to kite with
them, more on that later. For now the winds are dying until late in the
week, and I have more enforced R&R for the injured ribs