After the Wednesday run-in with the government official, we resumed our vacation with the knowledge we had gained about the social aspects of the history of this island. We understood a bit more how it had once been prosperous and how that prosperity had been eroding under the apathy of citizens and the tyranny of the oppressive government. And it is both tyrannical and oppressive. What sort of public servant would object volunteers who only want to hang a sign outside a library? What kind of citizen would accept meager rations so their family can subsist on rice and beans while their babies run around naked because diapers are too expensive in a Universal Basic Income economy?
The Bahamian government told the people that work was both demeaning and that work is only reserved for citizens and the people of Eleuthera failed to recognize the stupidity of those two concepts in the same setting.
Thursday: Spanish Wells
The next day we decided to explore one of the out islands. Eleuthera has the mainland, which is about 120 miles long, but under the same government are the islands of Harbor Island and Spanish Wells. Apparently Harbor Island is where a lot of American tourists go to because we saw very few of them on the main island. Spanish Wells was our destination for this day and we got there in a 10-minute ferry boat ride, along with a few locals who were going there to… work in meaningful employment.
You step on the boat on the mainland where so much of what you see is decaying infrastructure and you step off into Spanish Wells and the contrasts are stark and many. You see newer vehicles. You see completed homes with people maintaining their property. You see fleets of fishing vessels, as lobster is abundant in the seas. You see golf cart rentals. You see real restaurants. You see legitimate souvenir shops. You see modern grocery stores. It is like in the Wizard of Oz when the screen lights up in color.
Spanish Wells is under the same government as the mainland, with their own local representatives. But the people have made it clear that they will not be content to live in overgrown, unkempt, dirty, pothole infested, settlements. Instead, they will both work and they will employ workers to make their communities the kind of place where they actually want to reside. Spanish Wells felt more like a suburb of Miami than the mainland. There were fewer beaches for exploring that we could see, but the oppressive sense on the mainland was rejected by the people of this out island. If only enough mainland people were to visit there and get a sense of what is possible once they too reject the notion that work is to be avoided! If only they would embrace the cultural mandate of the gospel, to bring all of creation from chaos to order!
Friday: The Lunacy of the Grift
On Friday we returned to the library to finish what we had started. The sign was installed, we removed some damaged shelves and cleaned up a little bit. We found out that the “library supervisor” who had ejected us two days prior had opened a can of worms on herself. She had been collecting a paycheck as the library supervisor in a different settlement than the one we were in. That settlement is one that has never had a library. That’s right, this woman had been paid for an entire decade to serve as the supervisor of a NONEXISTENT library! And her actions had been harsh toward vacationers who had come to add money to the local economy and serve the people in a small way. I may never know what, if anything, happens to her, but by the sounds of it she will wish she could have looked the other way when we first showed up.
After that, we headed to a nearby town to be tested for COVID within 24 hours of our return flight home. That turned out to be the biggest joke I’ve seen yet in this entire scamdemic. We walked up to a small table on the edge of a park where a very bored girl sat without any mask or gloves or anything. Her sign told us what she was doing there and we each paid her $25 to pay the jizya tax to reenter the US. She opened a swab and tapped the underside of my nose, not even going into the nostril. She then set the swab to the side and immediately handed me a form saying that I had tested negative. There was no sample collection or even any test. I had paid her the money and she gave me the permission to return home the next day. I told my wife not to say or do anything until we both had our “results” and were out of the parking lot.
The next night we returned to the normalcy of our Iowa home, spending more time in the Atlanta airport than we did in the air. I enjoy going on vacation, but after about 4 days I start looking forward to being home, building things in my garage, checking on my bees, attending my church in person. America isn’t without our problems. But it’s home. For now. And as someone who seeks to be part of the solution, I see improvements that can be made even without the approval of some grifting library supervisor who doesn’t have a library but who won’t allow another location to fix the air conditioning or hang a sign. We can plant a garden. We can share the truth of the gospel in our community and explain how this gospel can set you free from the worst tyrant of all. The tyrant of the sin that permeates every aspect of our being.
John 8:34-36 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
This is why the government of the Bahamas told their people that working is slavery. This is why the government includes biblical instruction in their schools where they can reinterpret it for the people. This is why a Christian work ethic is resisted in their culture. Free people pose a threat to lifelong worthless bureaucrats. Free people are able to pursue their own happiness rather than the lie that the slavemaster of sin has sold to them.
Case in point: