Wednesday, 16 November 2011

WE THE PEOPLE! Have YOU heard?

After a long and busy past couple of weeks, I debated going to the We the People AGM.  I went expecting something of what has become the norm here in Nassau.  Another disorganized, poorly attended little meeting.  As I pulled into the parking lot behind another car that was also turning into the Dundas I saw so many more cars than I expected.   There were tents in the courtyard, professionally made poster boards and a big buffet awaiting the end.  There were proper video cameras and people greeting you in We the People T-shirts with very professional brochures that they handed out.  Immediately I was energized and so pleased with the decision that I had made the effort to attend. 
I walked through the doors and there was the registration table to either become a new member or renew.  As I signed up last November when the group was founded, I renewed for a very affordable $10.  You can be a member for 5 years for the low cost of $25. 
Into the main theatre section I went, where I saw a surprising turnout along with familiar faces of the community.  The stage was set with a projector and banners! Completely unexpected. 
Phil Simon opened up and then Dr. Nicolette Bethel gave an empowering talk on democracy.  I won’t even try to quote what she said but it was so well put together and thought provoking.  The gist of it was democracy is an experiment of which we are a part, and that we are all members of this democracy and we have a duty to actively be involved in our democratic country or else it will fail. 
Phil then introduced the short video and glimpse of a show that will soon air on T.V. called WE TV.  Again I was blown away by the quality of the production of the show.  We did not watch the entire show as it is 30 minutes long so I cannot wait to see it all. 
After our sneak peak at WE TV there was a video interview of a lady Mamphela Ramphele a very famous African lady who explained that the problems in Africa were that people are simply sitting and waiting, still as subjects of the past rulers, and not acting as the citizens that they are.  Waiting for someone else to come to them, to provide opportunity, rather than taking ownership of their country.  Of course it was much more eloquently put than this but here is the link -

This is the problem that we have in The Bahamas.  Most people want to pass on the responsibility and accountability of a problem.  It’s always the mysterious ‘they’.  ‘They’ should really do this, that wasn’t me, that was ‘them’, or the simple ‘I don’t know’.  I guess ‘They’ according to most Bahamians refers to the Government.  Well the Government is US! WE ARE THE PEOPLE of this little country and change is my responsibility and your responsibility.  
Ed Fields presenting
After the video concluded Ed Fields came out and presented the impressive accomplishments that We the People has achieved in just one short year.  And anyone involved in a group or organization understands just how quick one year goes! 
The six projects that have begun are: (please visit for more information) 
  1. Bahamas Police Athletic League (PAL) which is all about training and engaging youth in an afterschool program in conjunction with the police force. 
  2. Government House Renovation and Beautification - Tim Bethel is the landscape architect on this project and the idea is to start to restore our national treasures for Bahamians and Tourists to enjoy, beginning with Government House.  The plan is impressive! It will be a centerpiece of downtown Nassau and attract cruise passengers.  We will finally have places to be proud of! The forts and other historic sights will follow. 
  3. Six Seconds (Emotional Intelligence Program) - Again another after school program that will be rolled out in every school once the pilot program has been completed. 
  4. Derelict Vehicle Removal Campaign - sounds simple enough but definitely takes some changes to policies and a fair amount of effort. 
  5. Tree Planting & Community Day - this took place on July 9th and it was great to see the photos 
  6. Traffic Flow and Thoroughfare Improvements - In the area of Potter’s Cay they had an evaluation done and worked with the residents of the area to come up with a solution.  
It was so interesting to hear all this progress, see photos and hear it from Ed.  
Heather thrilled about her new Membership!! 
The meeting ended with all of us standing and listening to our beautiful National Anthem. Oh and a big buffet of free food, wine, beer and soft drinks! That alone was worth your $10 annual membership! 


Let’s face it, not being involved in politics makes projects much more achievable and efficient.  This is what makes We the People so exciting - it is NON PARTISAN! Yes, imagine that, projects that are done for the good of the country.  Party politics is destroying this country but thats a whole other topic... The amount of red tape that the MP’s and every ministry’s office face are just so absurd that our country will never make strides if we sit around and wait for the Government to handle it.  I’ve discovered after just a short amount of time involved in charity you can get much more done working as a private citizen than trying to get something done through the Government.  And you know what?Maybe, just maybe when whichever party is in power in the next election and they watch We the People make strides and accomplish projects, maybe the red-tape will start to shed some layers.  One can only wish. 

Andrew & Ryan
But the bottom line is you cannot sit around and wait for THEY - if you love your Bahamas then join We the People and get involved in one of their programs. If you don’t, don’t complain to me about the state of our country, I don’t have time to hear you whine anymore. 
Lift up your head to the rising sun, Bahamaland;
March on to glory, your bright banners waving high.
See how the world marks the manner of your bearing!
Pledge to excel through love and unity.
Pressing onward, march together to a common loftier goal;
Steady sunward, though the weather hide the wide and treach'rous shoal.
Lift up your head to the rising sun, Bahamaland;
'Til the road you've trod
Lead unto your God,
March on, Bahamaland!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Eleuthera! Paradise Found?

In my humble opinion yes! Just a quick 20 minute flight on Southern Air  on Friday morning at 7am took us into Governor’s Harbour at 7.30am.

It was a perfect day, the sky was crisp blue and due to our generous rainy season this year, the greens were vibrant.  The best part of the landscape was the glass calm water. 

Driving south to Tarpum Bay

Eleuthera is the ideal balance of escaping the hustle and bustle of city life, but where there is still enough going on that when you do want to socialize and have some fun, there is lots to be had.  There are quite a few restaurants, settlements and beaches to explore.  And nothing is that far away – we landed in Governor’s and drove down to Tarpum bay within 40 minutes.  It took me longer to get through town in Nassau when I returned!

Being there, I thought to myself, I could live here.  Property is still very affordable in the central parts of Eleuthera such as Tarpum Bay.  Check out Cool Brease subdivision that is almost completed.
Cool Brease - Lots starting at $17,500
View of the Barn

After meeting with our surveyor and our road contractor on site in Tarpum Bay, we headed back up North.  My close friend is also going to be starting trail riding along the beach and the barn and house is under construction so we stopped in to say hello, see the progress and admire the breathtaking views from the cottage. 

Just across the street from their property is Tippy’s restaurant which serves excellent food and has a great ambiance.  The Beach House Restaurant is also close by along with the Bank’s Road Deli who make fresh bread daily and scrumptious sandwiches.  The main town of Governor’s Harbour has everything you need.  The best part is everyone has a smile and will know your name after a couple of days. 

We headed to the airport with sandwiches to go, Southern Air’s plane was there and departed early and by 12.30pm we were back on the ground at Nassau Airport.  Not a bad morning at the office!

Eleuthera = Paradise Found!

Beach at Tippy's