CARIFESTA Update: Thursday

So the container was definitely in Freeport, and we were faced with the issue of getting its contents here somehow. The call was made in Nassau, between the Minister and my Under Secretary. DHL was contacted and they agreed to fly the contents to Guyana by cargo plane. No explanation was given for the delay of the container, beyond the report that the cargo boat on which it was to go was full, and so the container didn't make it on (we also heard, though, that the boat was not expected to arrive in Guyana until August 28th, so that was in itself a problem). No apology was given either, and no refund yet.That was by the way. The contingent was scheduled to board the charter jet and fly out to Guyana at 3:15 and the Minister and party were to be on that. At the Guyana end we put the last things in place -- buying basic foodstuffs for the houses and arranging food at the apartments, and setting up room numbers and pre-checking in the guests at the hotel.There was a press conference in the morning to which I was invited -- there seems to be high demand for Bahamian participation in things, perhaps because we were the failed hosts, perhaps because we are the next hosts, who knows? and so I sat behind the table with the Minister and other officials. All went smoothly, the press conference took place, and then back I went to the hotel.And in the evening, a group of is -- myself, Ronald, Vola, and Luther, our liaison officer -- went out to the airport to meet the plane and get the contingent moving.We ran into a few small hitches. Though the transportation for the people was arranged without too much problem, it was overorganized on paper, and didn't take into account the reality of a press of 140 passengers plus luggage. There were too many people with too much to say, each of them responsible for a different aspect of things, and the result of course was confusion. But by 8:30 the first set of people -- the passengers for the hotel -- were on their bus and ready to go, and their luggage had been loaded on a truck for transport. And then we saw the problem. There was only one truck! We had asked for two, and we needed two, but there was only one, and the luggage was still piled up on the kerb. So as we debated and argued and tried to convince the people who'd worked out their plans on paper that the luggage left behind could NOT fit onto the buses they were sending, and that we needed a second truck, the passengers loaded on to the first two buses waited. And waited. The night was close and hot, and they waited on close, hot buses.Finally, after the paper plans didn't work as they had been designed, flexibility and pragmatism took over. The passengers drove off, all except for a few who were left to deal with the remaining luggage, waiting for the truck. And we waited. And waited. And waited. And made phone calls. And reminded the various people at the airport who had responsibilities but no real authority that we had requested two trucks, not one. And waited. And watched the rain fall, and waited.And finally we got the second truck, around 10:00, got it loaded, loaded ourselves onto the bus, and drove off towards the apartments.On the way there I got a phonecall. Just a headsup, said Philip. The Junkanoo fellas have gone to the apartments and they don't like them. They are refusing to stay there.Crisis.I won't go into details here or now, or maybe ever. All I'll say is that they didn't like the apartments, which were too small and too downscale for them, and they made their case to the Minister, and they eventually moved themselves into the hotel, which is where they are now and where they'll remain.I am a servant, not always civil, so I live to serve.