Everybody in Barbados knows that if you want a tasty meal in a clean restaurant for a good price, you can always go to one of the 13 Chefette Restaurants on the island. Chefette will never be the cheapest, and it will never be “haute cuisine”, but it is always tasty with good portions.
As much as we might sometimes refer to Chefette Restaurants as the “Bajan McDonald’s”, it really does not deserve to be associated with the “M” word. (Shona says that Chefette owner Mr. Haloute goes bananas when somebody says the “M” word… and Shona should know because she worked at Chefette back in school. “Didn’t everybody?” she comments.)
But there is another side to Chefette, and that is the story of the Haloute family who have owned the business since it started some thirty-five years ago in the early 70’s. The Haloutes arrived from Trinidad, and built their business through a combination of hard work and smart moves. They have done well, and now have nice houses, boats and race-horses, but they have not just taken from Barbados – they have given much back in some of the best of ways.
While there is always something in the newspapers or on the radio about Chefette donating to this or that cause, most of what kindness the Haloute family does never makes it to the papers – because Mr. Haloute (senior) likes to do good things in a quiet manner. There are so many Bajans who have been helped by the Haloute family that one could not count them all. Whether it is providing a job to someone who really needs it, or giving a smaller supplier a chance, or maybe a single mother a second or third chance when she misses work because of an ill child, nobody could accuse the Haloute’s of not being of warm heart.
Now, the Haloutes (especially Mr. H Senior who is a “tough bird”) are also no push-overs – but they don’t hesitate to give a hand-up; not a hand-out. Without getting too specific, there are more than a few young Bajans who obtained their university degrees and professional careers with some encouragement and kindness from Mr. Haloute.
Shona heard that Mr. Haloute (Senior) was feeling unfairly last month, but is now feeling better. We all hope that he continues to feel better.
posted by Robert.
The writers of the Barbados Free Press often cruise over to Barbados Forum to engage in some lively chats with Bajans from around the world. Nothing like some spirited talk at 2am on a Saturday morning! Here are a few comments from the forum about our recent article “Barbados Government Cash Flow Problem – Tip of the Iceberg?” …
Marcus, Barbados may not yet be bankrupt, but I was sure about two years ago that it was not for from it. Just look at the way the government has been going. How it lets COW overrun the island with gated enclaves for the rich and famous, how it lets these same people block the beaches so the natives have no access, how the roads to the exclusive developments on the West Coast and from the Airport to these are always in good repair, and finally, Owen Arthur’s own admission when he moved the sod at the Apes Hill Development.
What did he say in his economic statement – that the road for him and his government was to bring more foreigners to the island and building more villas, golf courses and polo fields. Why? Barbados needs the foreign exchange to build up its reserves.
What he fails to realize is that this is near sighted and short term. There is only so much land and only so much beach front. When that runs out and the dollars stop flowing, what then? Is this the only way to acquire foreign currency? Selling off the country and depending on tourists? Barbados is so expensive the tourists are flocking to cheaper destinations. When they come in package deals, they do very little spending on the island. I cringe to think of where the island is going. Something has to give and I am afraid the bubble may burst sooner rather than later.
And from “Beep Beep” …
Barbados is far from bankrupt. But come the end of 2007 we surely will be, and at that same time this island will see a substantial increase in the number of residents joining the status of Millionaires, maybe even before then.
Barbados Free Press Comments…
The issue of COW (C.O. Williams Construction company) running over the island is a good point that we haven’t mentioned here at Barbados Free Press. COW (as it called on the island… think “cash cow”) seems to have fingers everywhere, and the obvious love affair between COW and the government reeks of cheap perfume and too much makeup to be legitimate. (That line was from Shona… thanks honey!)
With zero accountability coming from this government, it is no wonder that Bajans are becoming cynical about government ministers who came from nothing – and now drive Mercedes automobiles or live in seaside villas only a few years after being elected.