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Global Citizenship

It’s an election year. And if you haven’t been living under a rock, you are probably aware of this fact, since we’ve been hammered with political ads and debates for the past 12 months. The run-up to this year’s election has been massive in scope, and there are quite a few voters who have yet to make up their minds.

Pretty much everybody who knows us is aware that Kevin and I CLOSELY follow the issues here at home. We watch the debates. We vote early. But what a lot of people may not know is that we also follow global politics. We have issues that are near and dear to our hearts. Of course we’re concerned about what’s going on here in our own country: Katrina recovery, health-care, and the economy are three things that are definitely on my radar. Abroad, I pay close attention to the Darfur crisis (and the impact that China has on the genocide there), international adoption rights (and the impact of the Hague treaty), and the AIDS epidemic.

The ONE thing that continues to spark debate and conversation in our house, however, is the Great Guana Cay conflict. I think it’s easy to throw money at UNICEF or….after all, I haven’t actually been to Darfur, so maybe I am too far removed from that particular situation to really, truly connect with it. But we HAVE been to Guana. Several times. We’ve seen the Baker’s Bay development (aside: Kevin swears that the most recent pictures don’t look all that different than they did a year ago…we’ll see about that next month).

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering whether or not this is my fight. Then I got to thinking: I’ve made Darfur my fight. I’ve made international adoption rights my fight. And I’m WAY more removed from those two issues than I am Great Guana Cay. When we visit the island, we keep to ourselves. We’re quiet. We only go into the Settlement to go to Nipper’s (and even then, only once per trip) and to the grocery store. We’ve never really taken a whole lot of time to “meet” people. BUT. We feel like we know them. We listen to Cruiser’s Net every day. We certainly know every inch of that island. I remember snorkeling two years ago and marveling at the abundance of sea turtles. We didn’t see a single one last year. The systematic destruction of delicate ecosystems is tragic. The abuse of political power is worse.

We go to Guana because neither one of us can really stand big resorts. We’ve been on our fair share of tropical vacations, and you can keep Cabo (might as well go to LA). Playa Del Carmen may have been pretty once, but there is nothing left to see when you snorkel the reefs. St. John might be an exception, but then again, it’s a national park, and much of it is closely protected. Guana is unspoiled. It has everything you look for in the perfect vacation: solitude, beauty, stunning scenery, and friendly people (with no crowds). If you look beyond Guana as a destination, you’ll begin to see the power struggle between big government and tenacious locals. You’ll begin to see the importance of recognizing politics and policies that are different from those here at home. You’ll begin to understand global governments and the occasional corruption that drives different economies. And maybe you’ll have a greater appreciation of things that happen beyond our borders. You can start learning about all of this at Notes From The Road.

Isn’t it important to be a global citizen? Shouldn’t we be standing up for (and with) the people who are fighting for the right thing? So why shouldn’t it be my fight? Why shouldn’t it be yours?

One Response to “Global Citizenship”

  1. Kevin Donahue Says:

    I really do feel for the native residents and the expats. They’ve fought the good fight and gotten screwed at every turn.

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