Thanks to the insistence of my wife, this past week was spent in the luxury of a Caribbean resort in Jamaica. But credit to a day long excursion to an inland coffee plantation I returned home with more than a tan. In our high quality of life society it is sometimes easy to overlook that we are the worlds wealthy and the vast majority of people in this world can only dream of the lifestyles Canada's lowest paid get to live. The farmers I saw didn't get the option to own their land, or even the crop, but make a living from caring for the plants and the environment to gain income from the manual harvest of a wealthy mans plantation. A people who keep the weeds back with a machete, and hand pick and process coffee beans. Despite living in homes that are less substantial than a crumbling out building in Ontario, they were smiling and singing while going about there lives. They work so that they may live to work yet another day, no mansion by the sea or Lexus in yard will ever cross these peoples lives. By comparison, the Canadian farmer has it easy, but the difference is so significant a true comparison is just not possible. I respectfully wish those farmers well, and though wealth is unlikely in their future, I hope the continued happiness from their labours will give them the deserved sense of accomplishment and success.
Aside from reinforcing my belief that I live in the greatest country on earth and am truly fortunate, it was my first trip abroad were Canadians outnumbered everyone, even the locals it seemed. Introductions went from "So where are you from?" to "Where in Canada do you live?" - seriously. So close to 3000km from home someone notices my Hyland seed cap and asks "are you a farmer?". Well so where they, from London maybe 150km from my home. A great conversation ensued with Chris and Ruth, where I gained a lot of insight into the dairy industry in Canada. My opinion - Over regulated. When was common sense completely lost in agricultural bureaucracy? All one can do is shake your head. But it was nice to chat with another fellow farmer from home, not a large operation and dependent on family and neighbours. When I think about other industry, you would never hear about the CEO of Ford taking care of GM so the other guy could go on vacation, but on a farm, I find all the neighbours want to see each other succeed. Sure there are always some who can't get along, but its more the exception.
It was also great to talk with fellow countrymen from Newfoundland to BC, and if those good folks from Regina do end up checking out my blog, big hello to Ross and Dianne.
As aside note, I hope to keep this blog interesting and thank everyone who has been reading and I truly appreciate your feedback and comments, it makes it fun to take the time to right.