Ten Rules Of Engagement

humming bird

Edwin Martin

Release Date

Friday, September 2, 2011


Editor's Note: Edwin Martin submits a humorous take on how Caribbean nationals both at home and abroad should interact with each other.

See the ten rules of engagement for locals in the Caribbean below.

When you ask us to purchase something for you and bring down, with the understanding that it's not a gift, reimburse us.
Don't rationalize and figure that because we live abroad we are rich. Some of us are struggling more than you.< /p>

  • If we say we don't remember you, don't be offended.
    Do you think we really DO remember you but are just lying?
    Here's the caveat though: If the person is dismissive and doesn't ask questions in order to TRY to remember you, that's different.
  • Don't charge us more than you do locals for certain services because you figure we have money.
  • Don't feel we are obligated to give handouts because you used to "change my diaper"ÔøΩ when I was small.
  • Don't resent us for simply living abroad. Some of us left by choice and others by circumstance. But for the most part we carry with us the same values. We don't cease to be islanders when we leave the island.

  • This isn't the 1960's and 70's. Don't insult locals by sending them recycled gifts or hand-me-downs. Don't give something you would be offended to receive.
  • For those who have moved away and lost touch with the Caribbean, try to reconnect. The Caribbean is all we've got, and if worse comes to worse, we'd have to run back home to her.
  • Use the skills you have learned abroad to help the progress and promotion of your island. As John F. Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.''
  • When you return home, please resist the desire to be ostentatious. It's boorish and insulting. If you've been successful, that's great. But no need to rub it in everyone's face.
  • Don't be critical because your island might not have some of the amenities you enjoy abroad, such as air conditioning in all homes. Lighten up and enjoy.

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