I flew w over from Provo to Grand Turk to do some
research. Real early. And I met the fine lady
who does something for people and shares my
concern about AIDS. We talked for a few hours.
Met her three kids and enjoyed the oceanview
from the balcony when we fall quiet sometimes.
I certainly find myself wiser after this. I
have just about enough time to take a swift
tour with the oldest taxi-driver of Grand Turk.
And a quick lunch in an even older colonial-style
hotel. Then it's back to the airport to get
on the plane to Provo.
A slightly intoxicated old woman - at the airport
entrance - asks me if I have some change or
cigarettes. She is in a poor shape. Her eyes
are hollow, her skin is tight. She looks sixty
years old but might just be forty. I know this
look. A junky. I'm pretty sure she is got AIDS.
And most likely, since these islands are small,
I tell her I'll be back. And walk over to a
small snack-stand and ask the salesperson what
she has to sell from the little cooler in front
of her. She sez:
"Was she begging for money?"
And I reply:
"Why would you ask?"
She just sez:
"Don't give her any, she'll just get drugs".
"What kind of drugs?"
"Oh, you know
I'm not sure I do. This most certainly is not
about marijuana. It could be heroin. Even if
it was available, who can afford such an expensive
I buy two drinks, some cigarettes, and walk
back to the lady.
Give them to her and shake her hand.
After going inside, the check-in the process
turns out to be an event itself. Four trainee
ladies take forever to get me a seat in their
As I still have a few minutes. I go back outside
to finish my own drink.
There is a young couple right next to me. They
shine brightly in their Sunday best. Probably
straight out of church. Who knows. They stare
across from me. They look slightly angry, a
smile of contempt on their lips. They are looking
at the junk lady who - in her plastic seat of
misery - is now drinking and smoking
I don't know any god, but I can think about
a little prayer."Take
care of this island, couple. And take care of
the old junky lady. People, take care. There
is a problem here".
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