Destiny Interlude: a Summer Cruise - Cover

Destiny Interlude: a Summer Cruise

Copyright© 2021 by Lumpy

Chapter 4

Charlie had been dying to confront me with all the questions he had built up.

“I don’t buy that whole ‘I got lucky’ thing. How did you overpower those guys and free us? And when we get here, you call your lawyer in the US, tell him to get you a helicopter or a plane to come get us and take us to the next port. Then had him convince the guy to book us a last minute reservation here just so we could wait by a phone. What are you, some trust fund kid?”

I had to laugh. He had been letting that build up for a while. He actually looked a little relieved once he was able to get that out of his system.

“Sorry I kept you holding that in for so long. I know it was killing you,” I told him. “I guess I will take first things first. I have been training with an ex-Israeli soldier for a couple of years in personal defense, and I have gotten very good at it.”

I had decided to play up my training, in hopes that it would deflect suspicion from my physical abilities beyond what I could learn as an average person.

“It was actually quite a bit more than just self-defense. But the big reason I was able to get you out, was that they really were asleep at the wheel. Until the guy on the couch, no one even knew I was there. I made a mistake though and he saw my reflection in the TV. I was able to get him in a choke hold, but he fired a shot randomly into the ceiling.”

“I just pointed the gun at them and kept pulling the trigger. It really was all luck.”

“Ok,” Charlie said, “I get that. You got lucky saving us. But what about the rest?”

“Well, that is an area where I never really explained things. Yes, I am in high school, like I told you; but I also own a company that sold some patents for a good deal of money. What you heard, was me calling my friend ... who also happens to be an attorney ... to get some help for us. I have no idea how to actually arrange any of that stuff, so thank God I have some friends I can call.”

“So, you’re rich?” Sandy asked, sounding both amazed and a little disgusted.

“You could say that,” I said with a shrug.

I could see a look pass between them, and I let out a sigh.

“Let me make a few guesses,” I said, not letting them get in a word edgewise. “You guys really came out here with a plan on helping the poor and downtrodden, right? You’re both going for degrees that will allow you to help people or the environment. Eddie, too, come to think of it. You are idealists, and I bet you don’t think well of the rich.”

“Not really,” Sandy said, with a shrug that acknowledged my points. “The rich are all about getting richer, and are willing to do whatever it takes to get that way. Look at Exxon in Alaska.”

“You know not everyone who has money is like that, right? Bill Gates has his foundation, and so does Warren Buffet. These guys give a lot of money to try and help people. I will grant you this isn’t universal. There are those who abuse their wealth and take advantage of people. But, ideals and good intentions aren’t the way to fix the world. You need power and money to make real changes.”

“Being rich, you would say that,” Sandy snapped.

Charlie laid a hand on her arm to keep her from saying more.

“I can appreciate that it looks like that. I guess first I should say, my money is a recent thing that all came from the sons of several rich businessmen shooting me. I would argue I paid a high price for the money I got! It does allow me to do the things I think you two want to do, but aren’t equipped for, though.”

“What do you mean that we’re not equipped for?” Charlie asked.

He didn’t seem upset but genuinely curious. Sandy still seemed a little peeved to find out I had money, however.

“Let me ask you some questions,” I said, in response to his question. “What was your plan when you went into the village?”

“We were going to find out what was the worst thing in the city, and figure out a way to help them with that,” Sandy said defensively.

“Ok, that is a good first step. And how were you going to do that?”

“You know ... wander around. Talk to people,” she responded.

“Who were you going to talk to?”

“Just, people,” Sandy replied, getting annoyed.

“That was your first mistake. People have a bias towards what they deal with every day. In a place like this, which is held down by abject poverty; there is also the issue of only being able to see what is around them every day.”

“Which is why you were asking the priest questions?” Charlie asked.

“Yes. People in the priest’s kind of position, or running non-profits and community organizations back in the US, look at the community as a whole. Sure, they may have a bias based on their point of view or politics, but they are going to have better view of what the real problems of a community are.”

“You don’t think the people living in a place know what their problems are,” Sandy asked, still defiant.

“Sometimes they do, but a lot of times they don’t. They might tell you one thing is a problem, but not realize it’s another thing that’s causing the problem. Look at this village. One of the biggest problems people have is the gang problem, right?”

Both of them nodded they acceptance of my premise without saying anything.

“But how do you deal with that? Get rid of the gang, and more crime just flows back into fill the void. To fix it you need an overwhelming police force stationed in the area at all times. Which isn’t practical. But the crime isn’t the actual problem. The crime is a symptom of the bigger problem the village faces.”

“What is that,” Sandy asked, sounding less annoyed than before.

“Poverty and lack of opportunities. Those two things are the ingredients that go into setting up street crime. People don’t have money, and don’t have the opportunities or skills to make money, so they fall back on the only things they can do, which is take money from others who have just a little bit more.”

“Let me ask you another question,” I went on. “If you would have been told that, during your tour of the city, what would you have done next?”

The pair looked at each other, back and me, then back to each other, trying to come up with an answer.

“And that was the second problem in your plan. Your intentions were good, and the fact that you were ready to dive in head first, really says a lot about you guys. But solving problems like this takes planning and resources. Do you know what is the biggest problem with small, well meaning charities going into disaster areas and trying to help to rebuild?”

“No,” Charlie said.

“They more often than not start working on some big project. Building a hospital, a school, housing, and never finish it because their funding gets used up before the project is finished. Because they aren’t equipped to deal with the issues that kind of environment brings. They tend to be made up of volunteers who have the most noble of intentions but not the actual skills to execute their lofty goals. They also don’t know how to get around the problems the community itself creates.”

When this story gets more text, you will need to Log In to read it