Bajans Abroad Have the Best Eyes and Ears
Submitted by Andrew Nehaul
Many write about tourism being on the way out but few provide any solid ideas or concepts that can be used as an economic substitute. With your permission I would like to change the subject.
I may be wrong but I get the impression that many who visit this site live abroad. Be it the USA, Canada, the UK or other place, they live in what is commonly referred to as a first world country. It does not matter where they live, I am of the opinion that they see and experience technology daily that can help improve the situation in Barbados.
With your permission I will digress. Many years ago when I lived in Barbados, I went to a small company in Rendezvous to get my muffler repaired. While standing there waiting for my car to be fixed, I overheard a conversation with two young men that I remember to this day.
One man said “I was in Miami last week and you would never guess what I saw”
“No. Tell me” the other replied.
“I saw a white waiter” the first one said.
I could not understand what they were talking about as I had recently returned from working in Banff, Alberta, Canada as part of my hotel education course in Vancouver. At the Banff Springs Hotel I worked as a waiter with Canadians of all colours and from all parts of the world. So, to see a white waiter was not new. Later, I understood that for a person who had never left the island and saw only black waiters, seeing a white person working as a waiter must be unique.
A few weeks ago I read that Bizzy Williams and his Company had developed an electric bus which he probably wanted to sell to the Government. I thought to myself that this is not the future for Barbados as we still import fossil fuel to create electricity. Any electric vehicles in most part only increases the import cost and is a drain on foreign exchange. What Bizzy should have done was to develop a garbage truck run on biogas and get the Government to encourage separation of garbage where the organic material is used to create bio gas. Alternatively, use sugar cane for bio energy.
In Europe this is a part of our daily living. We separate garbage and the organic waste is transformed to bio gas that runs the buses and other Government vehicles.
On the other hand, even though Sweden has many lakes and a great deal of water, it is a vital commodity and regarded with a high priority.
In my small community we have a system of water pipes that are over 70 years old. I am not an engineer and suspect that the pipes are galvanize or iron based. When they leak, the water authority sources the leak and then instead of replacing the pipes which means digging up the road, they run a plastic sleeve in the pipe, blow hot air through to seal and fasten the plastic to the wall of the pipe and use them for many more years. It is proven technology and should be adopted in Barbados.
These are only 2 things that I see here in Sweden that can help Barbados. I am positive that other Bajans living abroad have seen technology around them and can share their thoughts and experiences with BU which may help Barbados solve a few of its problems.