Olympics in Jamaica
This post chronicles the story of how close Jamaica came to hosting the Olympics.
So I was just nominated to be Member of Parliament representing the constituency of South Saint Catherine, Jamaica. This was my first time since being voted in that I was attending parliament. I had just put myself forward because I had accepted a dare from my sister and lo and behold the people voted me in.!Let me tell you, I do not have one political bone in my body. As a matter of fact, I have always hated politics, and especially the squabbling part and the political tensions just seem to always permeate the air.
But the people thought I was a very giving person so they voted me in. Anyway I was sitting there in parliament and joking around with Natasha who was also having her first experience in parliament. You must have pity on us; it gets pretty boring in there. I don’t know how some of you watch ‘Parliament Live’ and political debates on TV!
Anyway I don’t remember what she said but it touched my funny bone bad and I was just about to holler and howl with laughter when I saw the camera just passing by my way. That jolted me back to reality so I sat up, fixed my skirt and pretended to pay careful attention. The charade didn’t last long at all! I was trying my hardest to focus on the boredom when Natasha passed me a sheet of paper that she had scribbled on. I quickly read it. OMG! I had to hold my nose and excuse myself pretending to have a runny nose. I went to the toilet and read the note properly. It read: ‘What are you going to propose as your first thing in parliament cause I’m gonna propose that Jamaica hosts the next Olympics’.
This girl is madder than I thought! But at the same time all sorts of funny thoughts started coming into my mind about Jamaica hosting the Olympics. So I thought: it’s on! I took a wad of paper from the printer down the hall, composed myself and walked back in. I sat in my seat and edged a little bit closer to Natasha. Natasha and I started something I’ve often seen my daughter and nephew do in church. They would write notes to each other on a carefully folded sheet of paper so that the sheet was not too big and obvious. When my sister and I got a chance after church to read it we would usually be howling with laughter. Anyway, Natasha and I were doing the same thing, just that this time, we are in parliament!
The gist of the discussion went like this:
Me: first of all Jamaica doesn’t have the space to accommodate all the people from all over the world who would want to attend the Olympics.
Natasha: We can man! Have faith. We could borrow more money from IMF and build lots of self-catering facilities near to the beaches. Jamaica would be rich!
Me: And where would you put all the shacks that are already by the beach?
Natasha: Just convince the people that they can live in the new facilities after the ‘tourists’ go home. So then they will move and live temporarily with a friend or relative.
Me: You must be mad! Can you imagine the swarm of people who would suddenly decide to make their own quick shack so they can make claim to the new building? And anyway, poor little Jamaica would sink if so many people were to step on to the island!
Natasha: True about others wanting to make their own shacks but we would put proper systems in place to prevent this. But the country can’t sink with a couple hundred chalets.
Me: Get real! It wouldn’t be hundreds; it would have to be thousands. And you’re have not even considering all the facilities for hosting the various events like swimming, diving, athletics, that cycle track thing, gymnastics, kayaking, judo, wrestling, boxing and all that.
Natasha: you know what I didn’t think of too? All those workers and others who volunteer at the Games. Where would we get such a workforce from?
Me: all who live and work in Jamaica would have to give up their job to work for the Olympics. Whether they are sick or healthy, young or old, rich or poor they would have to join the happy band of workers! That’s how many people they would need…
I was just about to shove the paper back to Natasha when I was jolted back to reality as my name was being bellowed! I was being asked if I had any proposal for the people. OMG! What should I do? As you know I had not given serious thought at all to these matters. So what did I do? I grabbed the sheet of paper on which Natasha and I were scribbling, unfolded it and stood up. I could feel sweat flooding my face and I was weak at the knees. Although my mouth was open, my voice refused to obey by beckoning.
‘Mom, mom! Aren’t you going to work?’
Flipping heck! I’m a teacher! I’ve overslept! It’s the first day of the school year! How did this happen, and what’s all this malarkey about Jamaica hosting the Olympics? Phew! Me! A parliamentarian! I’m so glad that was just a dream!
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