Greetings from Toronto. Went to the Shahid Ali Khan tsunami benefit concert last night. It was a rousing success, due to the exciting performance of Mr. Khan and to the magnificent organizing job by Ms. Farah Ally. The photos of Sri Lanka by Richard Erlac were also quite popular at the event; we’re trying to set up a special photo exhibit of pics of Sri Lanka before and after the tsunami, featuring Mr. Erlac’s marvelous work, at galleries in Ottawa and Toronto. If anyone out there knows of a space that is willing to donate time to us –remember, all proceeds go to charity– please let me know.
While our efforts have been focused on sending relief to tsunami-stricken regions in South Asia, a region close to me for personal reasons, another natural diaster has befallen yet another place in the world of personal importance: the nation of Guyana, land of my birth, is completely flooded. As yet only one person has lost his life, but entire villages are underwater, domestic animals (which constitute a major component of the local economy) have drowned and much property destroyed. The nation is beset with incompetence and corruption and I fear this disaster will not rally the people or their leaders to rise above petty desires and bickerings; rather this will seen as an opportunity to take criminal advantage. Am I too cynical? Perhaps. But my experience with the petty attitudes of my own people does not fill me with confidence.
The Guyanese consulate has been contacting us expatriates to see how we can help. Not sure what I can do, as the brunt of my relief energies have been expended on South Asia. So, so tired….