Your Viewpoint article of Tuesday, 31 May, 2016 applied the negative term “failing facility” to Cayman Turtle Farm. Can I ask you the two fundamental questions: What is your vision of true value? And, what is your definition of “failing”?
Is your ability to perceive value so constrained that you think only within the narrow little box of cash flow or one little row at the bottom of an 18-month P&L spreadsheet? Is your vision of success confined to a figure representing only the quantum of either the government’s equity injection or receipt of a dividend?
Don’t you value education because of its ongoing prospects for a better quality of life for our children?
And what does “failing” look like? Does it look like 362 more Caymanians not having meaningful employment? Does it look like a degradation in our offering of tourist attractions, in other words does “failing” look like disappointing more than a quarter million tourists per year because when they come to our island to visit they discover that what had been our country’s most popular land-based attraction, has slammed its doors shut? Does “failing” look like losing Cayman’s sea turtle population within a space of a couple of months?
Does “failing” look like over two thousand Caymanian schoolchildren each year no longer having a place where they can come face to face with endangered species in abundance, to see them, touch them, hold them, learn about them, and learn to care about their survival, in other words does “failing” look like Caymanian schoolchildren no longer getting a well-rounded experience and appreciation of Cayman’s special identity, culture, and unique wildlife?
Does “failing” look like the loss of uniquely Caymanian culinary traditions? Does it look like the extinction of a cultural icon that for over 500 years has been associated with our islands’ identity, so much so that it appeared on our coinage, our currency, our flag, our coat of arms, Government letterhead, and many of the islands’ prominent institutions?
Does “failing” maybe look a lot like the Dodo: once a real and wonderful living, moving, unique thing that now exists only in pictures and words? Does “failing” look like a bleak and dim vision in which key elements of what it means to be Caymanian are relegated to vestiges of history?
And do you understand how each of those bleak, dim images would likely emerge all too starkly if the Government’s equity injection line item supporting Cayman Turtle Farm, were to be rejected from the budget?
For anyone whose vision is not constrained by narrow boxes or clouded by ugly preconceptions, there is ample visible evidence to affirm that the institution and its crew which collectively we presently call the Cayman Turtle Farm, together comprise a durable repository of so many of the elements that go into the formula for the Cayman experience that so many people consider so valuable. And in our lexicon at least, the preservation of such value is at the very heart of what we understand by the word “success”.
Cayman Turtle Farm: Island Wildlife Encounter