Living in a small island with circa 60k people you sometimes have to remember you are pretty much a pimple on the backside of the world.
However it is very easy to think that this reality is more pervasive than it really is.
At first I used to despair of young people leaving the island almost inevitably to never return. And it still is something of a concern.
But my concern is now more pragmatic.
Because of the nature of this island, like so many others, there is close to zero chance of a young man or woman, who isnt politically or class connected to make anything of their lives. Not that those circumstances even help them. It just gives them some breathing room.
Travelling and encountering a different reality gives young Dominicans a chance. And just a chance.
We are dealing with a situation where there is a poorly equipped public library, no cinema, a politically polarised media (and thats being generous to call them that), and almost no intellectual base for anyone to rely on. On top of that we do not have any sporting facilities of note. In 2011 we have young people trying to qualify for the Olympic Games on grass fields with chalk lines, and there is no indoor court for basketball or volleyball (or any other sport for that matter). When it rains, the sports stops.
Dont ask about entertainment.
You add in a party political system which is vindictive in punishing those who do not conform, and a hypocritical and yet strangely dogmatic interpretation of religion which is as literal as you could get in Medieval times, and well...we're screwed.
Well...unless you like that reality.
A couple of us are forming a small charity to try to build facilities to stimulate both mind and body locally.
We shall see if that will head off the storm of barbarism that threatens.
The flip side ? Its a beautiful Caribbean island and you can live naturally :-)