If a week is long time in politics, then a year is a life time, and nothing could have prepared me for the rollercoaster ride that being a Member of Parliament really is. Every day brings a new challenge and opportunities to advocate for my constituents, there is always a new sense of urgency but also a sense of overwhelming privilege and responsibility.
"But after a year of firsts- my first election victory, first speech in parliament, first question to the Prime Minister- I feel more inspired, passionate and energized than ever about having this opportunity to represent my constituents as an Member of Parliament. One lesson of my first year has been to pick my battles carefully.I am truly humbled to be able to help those who are in vulnerable situation. Since November 2017, my office has handled various casework and correspondence, with concerns ranging from educational, drug addictions and agricultural cases. As such I learned to make the most of my privileged position and do as much as I possibly can both in my constituency and in parliament. This whole experience has been a steep learning curve for myself and family, but I won't change it for the world. What I enjoyed the most are those days when parliament reach a consensus, where different parties collaborate to hold the Government to account. I was recently asked what lesson a seasoned Parliament Members could learn from a first timer. In my opinion, I believe that they can benefit from being more transparent (straight-talking), and grounded in the understanding of the challenges faced by people of Aruba, In addition Parliament in it whole should address the subject of entitlement on our island.
If we are to make a different in our nations we have the responsibility to mentor and equipment our citizen for the future. As the Chinese proverb state: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime (The International Thesaurus of Quotations, ed.) This will only help us in our quest of sustainability. But we must be willing to position ourselves in the contextual reality and capacities of our nation's development. "One thing I know is there is never a dull day in Parliament." I actually think this makes it more fun but also scarier. Sometimes that pays off, sometimes it doesn't. At least I took the risks where others might not.