Caymanians must pull together

My name is Annette. I’m 23 years of age. I listen to Cayman Cross Talk every morning on my way to work. It is a gateway for Caymanians to speak freely of what they feel.

I just want to say before you start reading my letter, thank you for taking the time to do so. My goal is to have as many people as possible read this. It is just a little piece of what comes from my heart. I just feel that a lot more young people should stand up and say more about what they see or feel about what is going on around us today.

I have been listening since then to a gentleman that has gone on the air and spoken very strongly about dolphins being kept in captivity.

He is right when he said that government is already destroying our land; now they want to go to the ocean. It’s bad enough that we are running out of trees, but are we now going to kill our beautiful ocean life too?

Some nights I’m up until midnight and on 105.3FM our national anthem is played to represent the start of a new day in the Cayman Islands.

As I sit and listen to it, I think to myself that we are not being at all truthful in some of the words we sing.

For instance, ‘Oh land of soft fresh breezes’- what brings breeze to our island? Trees. Do we have many of them left? No.

Therefore where cool, refreshing breeze should be we are suffering with heat every day. If you think about it where do most of our visitors go when they are here? Either in George Town, when on cruise ships or on the West Bay Road and neither of these places is cool enough to enjoy a nice walk.

Then they want to talk about going east? What are they trying to do to us? Kill us? What about those less fortunate ones who don’t yet have a car and have to walk everywhere they go? There is no shelter from the sun as it is. I know this because my kids and I walk everywhere. My little six-year-old daughter is afraid to go places because she gets really bad headaches from the sun. We can’t win. If we had a car I would still have to worry about finding the money for gas, high insurance and servicing the car. Now I’m not saying that that’s not a part of our responsibilities, but things are not as easy as they use to be. Money is always a problem no matter what you make at a job.

‘With thine creators glory reflected everywhere.’ Where?

Everywhere I look I see a man-made creation. A new building going up that’s going to be a plaza or new apartments. Places that we as Caymanians will neither be able to get a chance to work at nor live. How fair is that? I remember as a little girl, on my way to church on a Sunday morning, I would see along Crew Road beautiful trees that shaded for at least half a mile. Now I see commercials on TV telling us we need to be careful where we plant the trees in our yard. Why? So that they do not cause the electricity lines to falter.

Why are we replacing our naturally beautiful island for the disaster creations of man? For the love of money? I tell you now; it will not be worth it in the end.

The visitors that come here do so to see and be in places that look different then what they see all year long; not to leave the city only to come to another one. I wish Caymanians would open their mouths as well as their eyes and see that we are the ones that live here. We are the ones that will have to tell the stories to our kids and grandkids of how our Island used to look. I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t want to have to do that. I want that when my grandkids come to me and want to go to the beach that we can gladly go.

I was living in Bodden Town recently and every day I see iguanas being killed trying to cross the street. We are driving them out of their homes; out of their protective environment by doing something that we don’t have to do – cutting down more trees.

‘Satisfy with the wonders of what God gave us.’

Everyone can have a dream, but there comes a point when a dream can become an obsession. We are one more hurricane away from extinction. Are we worried? No we are not. Instead we consume our time with trying to run other nationalities off the island. Like I have said before on my phone calls into the radio show, there is bad everywhere you go. You will find it in the biggest to the smallest of places.

I’m not saying that there are not some people that come here and mean us harm, but why bicker about it after we have already allowed it?

We must all think before we do things. We must think of how it will effect us as well as or community. Think of what will happen to our children. What will be left if we allow things to happen, just because it seems right at the time? Some things in life are unavoidable I agree, but we are too small of an island to not have a plan B.

It’s all good to have our voices heard on the radio, but where do we go from there? Let’s all come together and make a plan.

I notice the only time we Caymanians pull together as one is when something bad happens or when we want to pull others down.

That’s not a good way to be. It’s not a good reflection we leave in the mirror for our children.

If it is so easy to come together in times of pain, why not in times of joy and support?

We are a very small nation. We are all that we have left. Right here, right now, we are all we have left.

I pray every day that I don’t have to move away just because it is too hard to live where my children and I were born and raised.

I pray that it is not too late to pull together and do something about our environment.

My plea is to the people of the Cayman Islands to wake up and save what we have left of everything; of what little culture we have, of our people. Save it all for my children, for your children, for the next generation of footprints in the white sands on our beaches.

Annette Ebanks