Last week when I visited Antigua for the first time, I had the pleasure of talking to Raymond, a water sports activity coordinator at the Jolly Beach Resort.
At first our initial conversations were limited to water sport activities. Two days later as I waited in line to sign-up for sailing, I overheard a conversation between Raymond and a hotel guest from the UK, and I took the opportunity to join in the discussion.
Over the next 30 minutes, I learned that Raymond’s contribution to the Jolly Beach Resort goes beyond water sports. It was obvious from the brief exchanges that took place between Raymond and the various guests that he was well known and liked by many.
As the conversation continued between the three of us, the hotel guest from the UK, recalled a situation that took place a few years ago. Raymond found and return a wad of cash to a guest who lost it while swimming. When I asked Raymond why he decided to returned the cash, he replied
“my mother taught me never to keep or take something that is not yours”.
The next day the conversation continued and Raymond shared more about his personal life. A dedicated Christian, Raymond has been married for more than 20 years. He was quick to offer advice on how to maintain a loving relationship.
For 7 of the 8 days that I stayed on the Jolly Beach strip, my many interactions with Raymond were positive and uplifting. For all the negativity about Caribbean people, people like Raymond is a breath of fresh air.
The belief that most Caribbean people are dishonest is not true. The belief that all Caribbean men are womanizers is also not true. Raymond, the water sports activity coordinator, the dedicated Christian, married for 20 years and an Antiguan, represents what’s great about the Caribbean.
Yes, there are a few bad mangoes but there are many Raymonds, and these are the people that we should recognize.