Today’s image is of a beach shack on the shores of Carlisle Bay, in Bridgetown – the capital of Barbados.
Our tour guide told us that this shack (and its previous incarnations) had been there since the 1600s, when Barbados was settled by Europeans – but I’m not sure of her veracity.
Certainly, St Michael parish, and nearby Holetown, were the first settled – but the suggestion that this house is 350 years old seems laughable.
Having said that, it is a stark reminder that while Barbados plays home to the rich and famous, and is the 53rd most prosperous country in the world, for many of its residents the wolf may not be at the door – but you can certainly hear him howling not far away.
Unemployment normally ranges at between 11 and 13 percent, and the sugar industry – which was the country’s main income-earner – has sustained a downturn.
The population of Barbados also sustained a major downturn – in fact, in the period from World War Two to 1980, fully one-third of the Barbadian population moved to the UK.
But even so, to be poor in a tropical paradise like Barbados would have to be better than being poor pretty much anywhere else in the world!