CARIFESTA Update - in the end

Well, we're back home. Those of us who travelled in the advance party returned on the charter, which was fine, one direct flight, then off the plane in Nassau. We flew through the turbulence of Tropical Storm Hannah, and though we had to wait for our luggage for some time at LPIA (there were only two men working the baggage carts -- no clue why that was, maybe Mondays are slow) we were home in less than six hours. Of course, given the fact that we had checked out of the hotel at 3:30 and arrived home at 2:30 that makes it 11 hours door-to-door, but that's part of the challenge of travelling with large groups.Back to work today. It's hard to imagine that I'll be sitting behind a desk in a couple of hours, fighting the usual fights of trying to get money released for cultural activities, trying to to get people paid for work they've done for the government, troubleshooting situations that are the result of half-assed jobs done by other people, wrapping up the CARIFESTA work and wrapping up other work I began.In government, projects almost never end. Even projects that have natural endings drag on longer than they should, largely because there are too many people involved in the process of executing them. Perhaps that's by design; perhaps it's because in The Bahamas (and, presumably, in most places, since politics and government are bedfellows) governments are places to house people who can't find work elsewhere, and so tasks are divided into tiny little pieces, all of which have to be completed before the task can be done, and most of which are shared among people of below-average competency, and so all the bits and pieces are almost never finished properly. And so wrapping up goes on forever, until budget years close, and the loose ends are either gathered or left to fray on their own.I'm pretty clear on one thing. For me, work is a series of projects to be completed, and to be completed well. Creative work is that: inspiration, design, creation, revision, polishing, presenting, ending. Beginnings and ends, like life itself, not infinite futile repetition, spirals that lose efficiency and quality as they turn.The Bahamas received the CARIFESTA Scroll for the second time. This time it wasn't Winston Saunders who accepted it on behalf of the Bahamian government, but the Minister of State himself, standing on the cricket field in the Providence Stadium, flanked by the contingent in full Junkanoo regalia, which probably means that we will actually host the event in 2010.It's a project that needs management, that needs design, polishing, and efficient, high-quality presentation.It's a project that could be mangled entirely by government.More on this later, when I've worked out how to express my reservations and hopes in ways that don't contravene General Orders. But for now, we're home again.