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by Mary Soderstrom

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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Thanks to Laurie, Mik and the Turks and Caicos Islands: Glad the Latter Weren't Annexed 40 Years Ago

Apparently the door is still open for Canada to annex the Turks and Caicos Islands,  but it doesn't look all that likely.  The idea is just as intriguing as it was nearly 40 years ago when I first heard of it, and started my traveling.

At that time my brother-in-law Mik was working for a construction firm that was trying to get into the resort-building business.  The islands were virtuely undeveloped as a tourist destination, and his firm wanted him to go look aroud to see what the possiblities might be.  If the small Caribbean archipelago became part of Canada, his bosses thought Canadians would flock there, the way Americans go to Hawaii.

The only way to get to the islands then was through Port au Prince, Haiti, and Mik and Laurie's plan was to fly there, spend a few days bagging some rays and then Mik would go on to T&C.  Would I like to go along to keep Laurie company while Mik was working?

Sure, I said.  I'd never been off the North American continent, my husband had no desire to do that kind of traveling, and this sounded terrific.  So we went, and Laurie, who'd done Europe several times as well as Hawaii, was nevertheless appalled at seeing Third World poverty in Haiti.  Given her reaction, Mik decided it wasn't worth the aggravation, so we spent the whole 10 days on Haiti.

Which they didn't like at all.  They slept late, took a couple of tours, but spent most of their time poolside drinking exotic punches, pretending they were in a less exotic, more tourist-friendly place.  I, however, decided that I couldn't waste this opportunity to roam, so I got up at 5 a.m. when the bells chimed at the church near our hotel  to go out walking.  My thought was that bad guys would be sleeping it off at that hour, and I could go out on foot with minimum fuss and/or danger.  By 8:30 a.m. when they were up, I was back with stories.

It's a strategy that I used 30 years later when I began traveling in earnest on my own for my books.  It's served me very well, indeed, thanks to Laurie and Mik who got me moving.






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