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Re: Here's a different look at Iris! #12182
10/12/01 08:21 AM
10/12/01 08:21 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6
Sarasota, fl
jena Offline
jena  Offline
Well said Belizean Woman and Ann - met Ann briefly at the Cyber Cafe last year. Belizean Woman probably.

Yes, no info on the Toledo Maya. I am met with blank faces and oh well attitudes. I feel as if it is a dream where I am trying to explain a catastrophe and everyone is sipping their coffee looking bored. I just might pack up and come down to help.

Get with it NPR, this is the real world, half of the population of Toledo village are children - they need national coverage.

Re: Here's a different look at Iris! #12183
10/12/01 02:49 PM
10/12/01 02:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 40
Austin, TX USA
pacwoman Offline
pacwoman  Offline
See Marty's post from AP
"Belize Indian towns devastated by Hurricane Iris"

at least it's a start... have sent letters and reports to AP, UPI, Reuters, and NPR. NPR response noted that audience letters to "All Things Considered" read on Thursdays...

To all: keep those channels of communication flowing to the press, so that Belize remains visible on the radar!

Pepper A. Chastain
Austin, TX USA
Re: Here's a different look at Iris! #12184
10/12/01 08:13 PM
10/12/01 08:13 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 288
Seattle, WA USA
trina Offline
trina  Offline
I am a avid listener and contributor to NPR. But am disappointed on this one. The alternative media needs to be more with it and probe more beneath the surface. "How it affects rich Americans" is not always the most important nor pressing story of any particular newsworthy event. Get with the program NPR! If we wanted CNN style coverage, we'd watch CNN!

Re: Here's a different look at Iris! #12185
10/13/01 04:55 PM
10/13/01 04:55 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 32
Bobsorel Offline
Bobsorel  Offline
At the risk of being politically or socially incorrect I feel I must comment here.
The people on the Wave Dancer are dead. They have no chance to rebuild their homes or restore their lives. Just becase they CAN afford $2000.00 wet suits, and they were mostly Americans, that doesn't make their loss less, especially to those that loved them.
They apparently did not have a choice in where they ended up, but were brought to the location by the captain and crew. There was no way for them to know what was safe or dangerous. That is the job of the people that they entrusted their lives to and from what I've read from people in the business, the area that they were in was a good choice, as many other boats in the same area were fine.
Perhaps they should have been shipped home days before, hindsite is perfect site. An investigation to follow should reveal the truth.
NPR is headquartered in D.C. and is an American network. It's only natural that they would go to nearby Virginia to interview the club members as there was very little accurate news available as to the state of the villages at the time of the report. Every country, including Belize, is always going to be most concerned about their own citizens, for better or worse.
The U.S. is VERY sensitive right now, after 9/11, and is somewhat more introverted than normal at the moment. The story of Iris might have made headlines on all media were it not for the "war" in progress.
The villages in the south are in a terrible state, from every report that I've read. I've seen some of these villages in normal times and in many people's view they certainly may appear to be impoverished. However, many of the Mayan people that I've spoken with have little or no desire to accumulate "things" such as we do and were quite happy with their situation. They live a mostly traditional lifestyle and cherish family, community, and their culture. Part of this culture are the thatched houses that they live in. Unfortunately, these are not able to withstand great forces of nature, such as hurricanes, but in general they have the advantage of being rapidly replaceable from local materials. If food and supplies can be brought to them I feel certain that they will rapidly manage their own recovery, with a little help from friends and with the possible exception of those that rely on outside employment rather than traditional milpas farming. From the admittedly little I've seen of Aid work, mostly in the south, there seem to be Americans involved in all kinds of projects to improve the circumstances of the people. I've met many, mostly young folks, dedicated to improving people's lives in Belize.
To be sure, I've been around Americans (and Europeans) that made me feel ashamed, the way
local people were treated.
However, Belizeans, as they almost always do, never said a word and reacted in that wonderful, allowing way, so unique to the country.
I've moved far off of my original point which is; The story was normal for the time it was aired, with little info available and with so many American deaths.
What is also appropriate and is the course that I intend to follow is to request a separate story about the state of the villages. There is no doubt that it should be aired.
Now if we can only address the criminal neglect by the GOB of the entire south that exacerbates these tragedies.
P.S. I believe that Monkey River Town and Placencia are considered Creole rather than Garifuna.

Re: Here's a different look at Iris! #12186
10/13/01 09:59 PM
10/13/01 09:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6
las vegas, nv
RadioRay Offline
RadioRay  Offline
Excellant Post Bob...I have been wanting to post a reply for the last 3 days, but was trying to be polite and could not find the words. You did it for me.

Also for those that dont want the CNN angle on the news, maybe you should check them out today. They did a long and very good article on the storm and the problems it has caused.

My heart is with all the people that have lost so much in the tragic times we are seeing every where in the world.


Re: Here's a different look at Iris! #12187
10/14/01 10:12 AM
10/14/01 10:12 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 52
belizeanblue Offline OP
belizeanblue  Offline OP
When this NPR post was posted NOTHING but a cursory mention had yet been said about the devastation of the Belizean communities in the mass media and not enough on this message board. It was not until Thursday night UK time did this the first post concerning Belizeans was made.

The Hurricane was Monday night.

We only evened it up a bit.

[This message has been edited by belizeanblue (edited 10-14-2001).]

Re: Here's a different look at Iris! #12188
10/14/01 06:32 PM
10/14/01 06:32 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1
Hackensack, NJ US
galgal Offline
galgal  Offline
Those divers lost thir lives! What could be a worse loss than that. So what if they can afford expensive diving equipment. It is equally as awful to die wheather you are a Mayan peasant or a rich scuba diver or anywhere in between.
What a stupid thing to say otherwise.

Re: Here's a different look at Iris! #12189
10/14/01 09:50 PM
10/14/01 09:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 40
Austin, TX USA
pacwoman Offline
pacwoman  Offline
Thank you Radio Ray - you got the point exactly in that any criticism that was generated was the very insular nature of the NPR report - not a dismissal of the tragic diving deaths. Unfortunately, there is nothing that we, or at least I, can do about that very horrible, heartbraking situation. But what we can do is try to keep a voice in the international community and keep a light on about things that can be done for those in need at this hour (in Belize, in America, everywhere). As BobS. pointed out, these are trying times for all and I think those that spoke out were just trying to get a small acknowledgment in what seems an overwhelming world at present.

I sincerely apologize to any and all if my posts in any way diminished or demeaned the loss of those people on the Wave Dancer. I plan to continue to help all the victims of Iris in whatever way I can and trust that this is the common goal of most of us out there.

Pepper Chastain

Pepper A. Chastain
Austin, TX USA
Re: Here's a different look at Iris! #12190
10/14/01 11:50 PM
10/14/01 11:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,976
bedford tx usa
rickcheri Offline
rickcheri  Offline
Don't forget the "PLEASE FOR PLACENCIA" benefit held on Nov.3rd At the Hideaway hotel ...FOOD< HAircuts, games for kids and adults!!! POOL PARTY!!!!!Donations accepted for food.....are golf cart races alowed on AC?? LOL It' a thought??? Did i say LIVE MUSIC??????

Re: Here's a different look at Iris! #12191
10/14/01 11:53 PM
10/14/01 11:53 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 713
Fremont, CA, USA
susangg Offline
susangg  Offline
To the outraged lady who thinks its awful to complain about the focus of the news being only (or primarily) or even FIRST on the Wave Dancer tourists (we won't even talk about the lack of interest in the dead crew...)

This board is supposed to be about BELIZE. And whaddya' know? There are even some BELIZEANS and others on this bb...who think that the primary focus on the news relating to this hurricane should not be ONE ACCIDENT (if we are going to be charitable and call it an "accident"), even though 17 people died, which is a horrid tragedy -- but rather the devastating impact of this hurricane on an ENTIRE NATION.

Things, for example, like the fact that approximately 5% of the country's population (roughly) is now HOMELESS -- that way more than half of the homeless are CHILDREN. That those homeless people not only lost their homes but their schools, and their clinics and their churches.

That those homeless people not only lack homes, but also lack food, drinkable water, health care and clothing. Some of them are naked babies sleeping on cement.

That 90 % roughly of the nation's #1 (or maybe its #2) agriculture export is RUINED.
That 20% of its tourist hotels NO LONGER EXIST (1st or 2nd greatest source of income).

The word is PERSPECTIVE. We want the news to have some PERSPECTIVE on what is MOST SIGNIFICANT, on a global scale.

Get it?

And if we are going to talk about DEATHS, which are horrible however they occur, and yes, we grieve for all of the dead, maybe we should talk about MALARIA.

How many Belizeans will die of MALARIA this year? Do you want to bet it will be MORE than the number of people who died on the Wave Dancer? How many people died of MALARIA last year in Belize? Did you see that in the news?

And how many MORE PEOPLE will die of MALARIA in Belize...especially that part of Belize hit worst by the hurricane, because they have to SLEEP OUTSIDE where the mosquitos are and they can't spray their house because they have no house.

With polluted water and sewage systems destroyed, how many Belizean babies will die from diarrhea? I will bet you it will be more than died on the Wave Dancer.

You see...its not about the deaths of people from the US not being important. All deaths are important. It's a matter of PERSPECTIVE... and what is considered NEWS and what is not.

Think about it. All things are not equally newsworthy.

Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: [email protected]
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