Daily Archives: August 12, 2012

Let’s play ‘Drunk or Sober?’ – Your vote counts!

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Filed under Barbados, Politics

Barbados visitor stats arrive: Should we panic now, Mr. Prime Minister?

A few days ago Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (above) was telling Bajans there is “no need to panic” about our economy having “the worst downturn in nearly 100 years”.

Today as we read Adrian Loveridge’s latest article (below), we’d like to know what the PM is doing – not ‘considering’ but actually doing – about the crisis in tourism and the trickle-down impact throughout the other sectors of our economy. Failing to note any real activity on the part of Mr. Stuart and the DLP, we’d like to ask, “Should we panic now, Mr. Prime Minister?”

“Frankly, I’d like to hear that the PM is panicking. It would be an improvement over his current laid-back demeanor.”

Take it away, Adrian…

What exactly is going so wrong?

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation has now posted the Barbados long stay visitor arrival numbers for the second quarter of this year, and sadly they do not show a pretty picture.

Across all markets – April: down 6.7 per cent (47,979), May: down 9 per cent (37,935) and June: down 4.8 per cent (36, 656). The figures in brackets are actual numbers of landed people and it is compared with the same period last year.

Overall, it equates to nearly 8,400 less visitors and totally negates any benefits from the small gains made in the first three months of 2012.

Based again on CTO statistics, the last average intended length of stay I could find was for 2010 and indicated 9.8 nights. Unless this has dramatically changed, it translates to a loss of over 41,000 occupied room nights based on double occupancy.

While initially these numbers may not seem vast, its the equivalent of filling every seat in more than 56 Boeing 737’s aircraft, or over 4.36 planes per week during the given period. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

In memory of Darlens

N’ap Degaje Nou…

This roughly translates to, “We are making due with what we have.”

We’ve followed the work of Licia, Enoch, Charles, Lori, Anna and their fellow angels at the Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Center since the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake. Two and a half years later and the nurses are still sleeping with the little ones so they aren’t alone when they die of malnutrition – too far gone to be saved when they arrive at the clinic.

Barbados, and to be fair the rest of the Caribbean, did little to nothing for Haiti before or since the earthquake. In the first few months afterwards when so many lives could have been saved, Health Minister Donville Inniss and Foreign Affairs Minister Maxine McClean basically said, “No stinkin’ Haitians aboard the good ship Barbados. Not a one. Let ‘em die.

And so the Haitian children continue to die, while the angels at the Rescue Center make do with what they have…

Darlens

I was lying in bed late at night, with one of the kids in my care sleeping next to me, as his crib and the extra child’s mattress in my room had two kids on IV and oxygen sleeping in them.  I had just come back from preparing a little girl for burial, and wanted to try to sleep for a couple hours.  It’s not often that I find myself getting emotional about sick or dying kids anymore, but this night was overwhelmingly tough.  I found myself closing my eyes trying to hold back the tears, praying that these kids’ suffering would just end.  I felt small hands grab onto my neck and shoulders as a child pulled his body closer to mine.  He put his hands on my cheeks and touched his nose to mine, holding himself there until we dozed off.  This is one of many memories that I have of an amazing little boy named Darlens…

… continue reading about Darlens at the Real Hope for Haiti blog

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Filed under Disaster, Haiti, Human Rights