"Whereas both countries were founded by very biblical minded and faith based founders, the good people of Eleuthera have kept the course - and we are often times off course."
Early in our Caribbean trip, we toured a rather small island which is part of the Bahama Chain. The island is called Eleuthera, which means “freedom” in their foreign language. The island has an odd shape – it is 110 miles long and only an average of 2 miles wide. On one side is the raging Atlantic Ocean. On the other side, is the calm and turquoise Caribbean Sea. With a population of only 11,000 people on that small isle, it was fascinating to say the least.
The island is so thin, it only has one dirt road going the length of it. That road is called “The Queens Highway” in honor of the Queen of England (It is after all, part of the Commonwealth). The speed limit? What speed limit. It is whatever you want. Our driver was very adept at going practically the speed of light down this dirt highway barely wider than our driveway at home.
Our two female tour guides were very good, and very informative. Although their island was small, they were extremely proud of it. Since just about everyone knew everyone on the island, folks were constantly honking and giving each other the “Bahama Wave” (kind of like a parade wave given with both hands.)
When we got to their government house, one of our tour guides explained that the Bahamas are a democracy, and very proud of it. In fact, they pointed out their democratic constitution was about 100 years older than ours. But here is where the interesting part really kicked in. Their system of government may have been democratic, but their social fabric is almost 100% halfway between socialism and communism.
In what way, you may ask? They share everything with each other. Actually, putting any politics aside, how they treat each other is very biblical. Nobody goes without. Everyone shares. Why? Besides being the right thing to do on this small isolated island, everybody knows everybody, and everybody likes everybody.
Not that I am sucked in by nirvana or Euphoria, I asked one tour guides what happens if there is a spat between two residents of the island. “You work it out”, she told me. "There is no other option. We all need each other and need to live with each other."
When we got back to the ship, I could not put that tour out of my mind. Why can’t our country be like that? In our country, sometimes it seems like just the opposite. We don’t know each other, and we certainly (at times) don’t like each other. Are we too big? Or just too divided?
One difference between the two counties (if I may add this), is faith. Whereas both countries were founded by very biblical minded and faith based founders, the good people of Eleuthera have kept the course - and we are often times off course. A very interesting point to ponder.
Well a day at sea and then on to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. I will be anxious to learn about their culture also. Until then, I am just going to soak in the sun, the sea breezes, and take the time to read, write and reflect.