Monday, November 29, 2004


Violence against women

Black up they eye
Swell up they face
And they love you more.

Those I think are some lines from a Sparrow calypso(subject to correction) and apparently lots of men and women think it is gospel judging from the number of cases that occur daily.Finally,some body has decided that its time the silence be broken.

This problem,I believe will not go away until women understand what empowerment means.By empowerment I do not mean reversing existing power hierarchies but rather empowering women to make their own choices,to speak out on their own behalf and to control their own lives.Failing that lessening the incidences of violence will just be that much harder.

Saturday, November 27, 2004



Seeing that my friend is hospitalised I have been a stand in mommy for the week.It has been quite challenging and has served to drive home even more the kind of attention that children need.Being a parent has got to be one of the hardest jobs in this world as you are expected to be so many different persons at the same time.

Your life really changes.Whereas I used to roll out of bed and not bother about making any breakfast I must get up now and make breakfast for her.I have to make sure she bathe properly,comb hair etc all in time to meet the deadline for leaving home.

Don't talk about the numerous questions I have had to answer.I had to explain why 6 year olds not allowed to visit the wards at the General Hospital as well as the use of a tampon.Talk about diversity eh!

The amazing thing is how children expect their needs to be met.Little Miss announces that I have to give her popcorn for Yellow House next week i.e if I can't do cup cakes.Mind you,this was after giving me a list of things that she "needed" like new socks,raincoat etc.

And to top it all off am being told that she won't be sleeping at her mother's when she comes home because she does not want to get sick.So,it looks as if am stuck,right?

Truth be told despite all the changes in routine she is good to have around.If nothing else it forces you to be not selfish and see the world through the eyes of children.And they have this knack of saying the funniest things that you just can't help laughing at.It is a hard job rearing children but one with many joys especially if at the end of the day the children turn out to be decent citizens.

Thursday, November 25, 2004


Happy Thanksgiving

It is not a Caribbean tradition but Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends who are part of my blogging experience.Nahmix and others have a great one.And those of us who live in the Caribbean can take some time to reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for.

For one thing we don't live in a region that is torn apart by war.Give thanks.We have stable governments for the most part.Give thanks.We are surrounded by beautiful scenery,high green mountains,miles and miles of sea.Give thanks.We still have a sense of community where you can walk down the road and it is not impersonal as in the bigger countries.Give thanks.

And for all the personal things in your life,just give thanks.Many times we take so many things for granted.But,if they are not there then we suddenly see the importance.So today thank God for families,for life,for health and for strength,for jobs and for the blessing of good friends.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004



According to a news bulletin today SVG will be receiving 33 deportess from Washington-32 of them criminal aliens.As if the crime rate is not ridiculously high enough (far too many homicides)here comes 32 more to make an increasingly bad situation even worse.

Now,is it really fair to send these deportees back to the land of their birth?Bear in mind that many of these deportees would have never set foot back on these islands before now.Some of them would have left the island as babies or toddlers and learnt their criminal ways in their adopted homeland.Then quite a number of them do not have any immediate relatives to come home to and if they do they are not willing to accomodate them. What then? Well,they become burdens of the State and bring their sophisticated criminal ways to the islands.

An investigation conducted by the Associated Press released in November,2003 found that these deportees are responsible for the rising crime waves in the region which threaten to overwhelm police and security forces.

Is it that the Caribbean govts are helpless in the face of this dumping of criminal immigrants by the US? Or have they not sought to have it addressed? Cuba does not take deportees so there is precedence there.someone once told me that Haiti has adopted an innovative method of dealing with their deportees.Couple days after their arrival you find them dead in canefields.Not sure about the accuracy but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


All for a better life

About 2 weeks ago some young men were charged with the drive by murder of another young man.One of the guys,who is 25 years old is known to me. His mother migrated to the US when he was probably about 9 nine years old leaving him with his paternal grandfather and his older brother with his maternal grandmother.Well,the older brother is serving time in a foreign jail for drug trafficking.So there goes two young lives down the drain.

Closer to home,my neighbour also went to the US leaving behind 4 children.The eldest one had been living with his grandfather while she kept the younger three.Now,these three went through a series of caregivers and in the case of the daughter several homes.Now,each of these four children have done jail time.The daughter is now thinking about going to a neigbouring Caribbean island to work and is thinking of who is she going to leave her children with.

It begs the question what then is a better life or for whom is life better.Yes,the parents say economic conditions force them to migrate to make a life for themselves and their children.Sadly,too often the children are the ones who suffer.Am not necessarily saying that if the parents were there the children would not have had problems.But,when you look at the sort of care some of these children get then you cannot be surprised at how they turn out.

It is a vicious cycle because as long as people feel the better life entails migration then countless children will be left exposed to too many dangers.Also,children and parents become strangers and the clothes or the barrels cannot compensate for lost relationships.I think the price paid is just too high.So it begs another question:A better life at what cost?

Monday, November 22, 2004


Time flies

It is 4 years to the day since my grandmother died.And even though it still hurts,the pain is different.Initially it was like an open wound that would be extremely painful.Now,the wound not gaping but you know if you press on it that it will hurt.But most times you can go about your daily life not conscious of the sore.Time really does heal pain and memories do live on.

My friend is still in the same condition i.e no better,no worse.Still can't get a diagnosis.But I believe it is meningitis based on a prosedure they did last night at the Hospital.Since she has no blood relatives of such here it is difficult getting information and she is not responsive enough to tell any one anything.Totally frustrating and helpless feeling.

Sunday, November 21, 2004


Sad Sunday

Came home from church to hear Dominica was hit by an earthquake measuring 6 on the richter scale.Considerable damage was done to the north of the island but the other areas seem to be fine.For the past week or so Dominica has been having heavy rains which have resulted in floods and landslides.Thankfully no one died but in nearby Guadeloupe a 7 year old died after being hit by a beam.To look at damage done in Dominica go here.

Closer to home one my close friends is seriously ill and according to the news from the hospital she may not make it.Am praying that she makes it because 28 is just too young to die.Get better girl,get better.

Saturday, November 20, 2004



Got this by email and thought I'd share.

The term "single" according to the dictionary definition encompasses a number of meanings, but for our purpose we will hone in on a few relevant terms:-
-one only
-not double or multiple

So how does singleness come about? Singleness may be the result of

(a) choice -- not everyone desires the marriage bond
(b) chance or design -- rejection of unsuitable liaisons
(c) divorce or abandonment-- there may be children of that union
(d) bereavement -- leaving widows with dependent children
(e) circumstance -- total caring for elderly/disabled relatives, leaving no opportunity for self-realisation
(f0 being jilted

The single person has to deal with the desires and the quips of their parents, peers, relatives, pastors, who constantly demand grandchildren, the peers, some of whom may be married-- "when are you going to take the plunge?" "aren't you married yet?" "someday, you'll make a man a good wife" and such-like statements bombard the ear of the single.

But singleness does not mean barrenness either in ideas or in having offspring- there are options available such as fostering and adoption, or finding a cause to which one can devote oneself in love.

Marriage has never been, and never will be a cure for loneliness, nor a recipe for happiness. There is a vast difference between loneliness and aloneness: this difference is well-defined. Loneliness expresses deprivation whereas aloneness celebrates productive power. Loneliness thrives on the depressing, whereas aloneness has, and uses its potential to make life happy and fulfilling. A good marriage relationship is a state of ecstasy, but unfortunately, within a marriage, both loneliness and a lack of happiness often co-exist.

Societal mores which exalt the status of marriage, and not without good reasons: after all, marriage was ordained by God, often denigrates the state of singleness, but in these times when many singles are forging their careers, societal mores still shout "on the shelf" "old maid", "barren", and other derogatory words which it would be denigrating to use in this context.

Let's dispense with societal labels! We are aware of them, but let them not dictate our thinking!

Friday, November 19, 2004


It is that time of year

Yes,Christmas is almost upon us.Yesterday while driving to work the radio was playing some sweet parang music.Scrunter,you are the man.

I love Christmas,minus the hard work of course.So this year am taking a break with tradition which means no feverish house cleaning i.e cleaning every item in the house,washing every single window, and doing all the things left undone for the prior 11 months.Most definitely no new curtains,rugs,carpets or any such thing.I refuse to let them drag me into spending and spending.

Christmas Day lunch is usually a family get together held at a different relative's house each year.So thankfully I won't have to cook. Am not really a cake lover but I must have a piece of black cake.I am not really a fan of traditional Christmas food because I don't like green peas either and am not a huge fan of sorrel..My gift list has gotten smaller (thank God for migration:) so it's all good.

What I really like though is Nine Mornings.Now Nine Mornings is the Vincy way of celebrating Christmas.Here's how it works.It is basically a 9 day countdown to Christmas Day marked by fetes,parties,church services,beach going,bike riding,carolling etc. Now all these activities begin in the wee hours of the morning starting from around 2am .There is no activity on Sundays,day of worship and all.You should see the sleepy eyed persons turning up to work later in the mornings.

The last few years though the festival has seen organized events spearheaded by the Ministry of Culture.There is now competition for the best Nine Morning activity in a village and in Kingstown they showcase different acts daily.Of course the fetes, cook outs, beach activities still take place.But the organised event is mainly geared towards visitors and probably ensuring that the tradition is kept alive.

This year the Festival will run from Dec 16 to the 24th under the theme "Celebrating a unique Vincentian tradition".Prior to that on Dec 4th (I think) the National Christmas tree will be lit in Kingstown

Thankfully it will be vacation time so I can be in the midst of the activities and sleep during the day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004



I got this challenge via a fellow blogger so here goes

10 Random things about me

1.I don't wear a watch

2.I love to write

3.Tv addict

4.Net addict

5.Love to read

6.Love soca and reggae

7.Never sure how long I should keep my hair

8.Get sick often

9.I don't like jewellery

10.I love sports esp track and cricket

7 ways to win my heart

1.Chocolate and more chocolate


3.listen to me

4.Lend a shoulder when things bad

5.Call for no reason but to say hi

6.Be prepared to do as I say:)

7.Agree with me all the time:)

4 favourite things in my bedroom





5 things I fear


2 Bats

3 Frogs

4 Worms

5 mice

6 things I believe in

1 God

2 Love

3 Do unto others as you would have them do to you

4 There is a heaven

5 What you sow you will reap

6 Live long enough and you would have seen it all

Person I miss the most

My grandmother

Person I would most like to strangle


Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Sunday night tv

Just got really boring with the season finale of Dead like me.Dead like me is a brilliant show focusing on a group of "undeads" whose job is to reap souls.Each of these undeads has a lot of unresolved life issues that they still have to deal with in their new state.That makes it quite poignant at time( okay am a softie).My Sunday night tv viewing consisted of HBO's Six Feet under,Sex and the City,Showtime's Queer as folk in that order.Sex and the City is finished and Queer as and Six Feet new seasons are yet to begin.So what is a girl to do now? I discovered Cold Case on CBS which is not too bad but Six feet under it is not.

Speaking of tv I was looking at the American Music Awards and I must admit to not feeling sorry for Kobe when he got a few boos.Lately I find Kobe quite irritating and his "attack" on Shaq has not endeared him any further.Usher was the big winner(Yeah :)...well deserving I would think considering Confessions was a huge seller .Speaking of which is he dating Alicia Keys?Am not too current on entertainment trivia,so cut a girl some slack.Since then I heard Kanye West was not too pleased about not being named best new artist and was not shy about letting it be known.

Thanks to the AMA for filling the gap.But what about next Sunday?

Monday, November 15, 2004


The healing power of bush medicines

If you grew up in the Caribbean you would most certainly be acquainted with bush medicines.Our grandparents/older folk would swear by the healing properties of herbs,leaves,roots and seeds that cured diseases which they contracted from time to time.Bush medicines have been used to 'cure' a variety of ailments ranging from high blood pressure to boils on the skin.Here,they swear that corilla,young breadfruit bush and young paw paw can temporarily reduce high blood pressure.

Some types of bush can be used to treat several diseases,for example corilla,while others such as vomit bush are used for only one disease. They use it to induce vomiting when a child is suffering from a bad cold.Two leaves are boiled with a large cup of water with a little sugar and given to the child who would vomit up all the contents of the stomach within a few minutes.

The white of an egg beaten and mixed with aloes was and is still used for people who have sustained falls and other accidents and who suspect they have "bruised blood" in their body.This treatment it is said would get rid of the condition.

There is never any proportion of water to bush,well not from what I observed.But,I recall being fed all types especially to deal with colds.Somehow,all the baby bush,trumpet bush,shine bush,buddy-me-eye,corilla and seed under leaf seemed to serve the purpose for which it was intended.

When it was fevers,it was hot green tea with lime or lemon grass.Rain bush was put on your skin to draw out the fever. And the list goes on,guinea pepper,aniseed and ginger for gas in the stomach,arrowroot,green tea and lime to stop diarrhoea.

Some of these things horribly bitter(part of a man life comes to mind) but when your family decide it is time for you to have a wash out you better be prepared to drink up.Just in case you wondering why am writing all this -the thing is I have this recurring stomach problem and am wondering which bush is a quick fire cure:)

Sunday, November 14, 2004


I hate Saturdays

I just hate Saturdays! Why? Because it is time to clean house,wash(handwash i.e) and all the other related house hold chores.First,I have to get out of my bed earlier than I would like because I have (or ought to) to wash my clothes early enough for them to get the sun.Of course,I always find a reason to delay the washing until it all piles up.Then my job is triple hard..sigh!

Then yesterday I had another unplanned chore.Apparently the freezer door was not closed properly so the freezer started to melt down.That meant it had to be cleaned..another 2 hr job as I had to do the entire thing.You know I was not a happy camper.Then by the time I finished cleaning the kitchen down came the rain.So the clothes still here waiting for some attention.

So I decided to do some ironing.Now ironing is just slightly below washing on the hate list.But because image is everything the outfits for the work week must look crisp.While am ironing am wondering when will disposable clothes come into being.I know am going to be the first in line.No way am I going to miss the opportunity of getting rid of one chore or possibly two for ever.

The only redeeming thing about Saturdays is I get to go on the tennis court and sometimes the beach i.e if the chores have not taken all of my energy.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Unsung Heroes

These are the ones behind the scenes that are responsible for extraordinary things.They have not fought wars,written books,been great sporstmen or academics but have touched hearts and changed lives forever.They never make it to the honours lists,neither are they featured among the movers and shakers of their communities.These people often perform their acts of love at great personal cost,yet in most cases do not see it as praiseworthy.To them it is just a matter of doing what needs to be done.

Am sure we can identify many unsung heroes in our communities if we took the time to reflect on it.There are the grandmothers who look after their grandchildren who may have been abandoned by their parents or maybe just act as the primary caregivers.The childless woman who raises several children with out getting any governmental help.Or the mother who takes in neglected children and nurtures them and the list goes on.

So I was quite happy to learn about the award programme for the Caribbean's unsung heroes.Each island chose their hero(who was recognised nationally and given a monetary award)and from the lists some one was crowned the Caribbean's number 1 unsung hero.Maybe now we will acknowledge and further appreciate the contributions of the unseen people who quietly transform the lives of others.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


If the Internet were sex

I'd be a nymphomaniac.Yup,addicted I am.My friend,a fellow addict tells me there are worse addictions.I can testify to that,so amen brother.

Seriously though we really do spend a lot of time online don't we? Funny thing is even though the Internet is the gateway to unlimited information we find ourselves concentrating mainly on a few sites.I find myself gravitating to at least five sites on a regular basis that is without counting the blogs I check regularly.And of course there is Instant Messaging where you can shoot the breeze with net buddies as well as real life friends.IM took on real importance in the years I was away from my group.We used to have some mad conferencing all hours of the night discussing every tiny detail.Those were the days.

Basically,I check other sites only if am doing some research for school,want to settle an argument or just for general knowledge.I remember having assignments to hand it and asking this friend to find the info for me.He would give me the lecture about my laziness but would still help me out.In short I don't like the Internet when it takes on the form of work.

By the way am happily addicted.When the children start coming then it will be detox time.If the Internet were'd be? Your turn to finish the sentence now.

Saturday, November 06, 2004


Skin lightening creams

I saw this feature on BBC World this morning where large numbers of women in Tanzania are using these creams.Well,they went into the societal reasons why women feel pressured to use them i.e lighter you are the better.Sometime back I read a report from Kenya where this 19 year old said she had abused lightening creams because the boys hardly ever paid attention to darker skinned girls.Now I don't intend to go into the beauty debate and all it embodies.That is a whole different blog.

My concern is the safety of these creams that women use.Looking at the news feature there were quite a lot of women who were treated by doctors for problems arising from abuse of these creams.Apparently one can get problems ranging from possible types of skin cancer to bad acne.I never thought of it before but mercury based products can not be safe(I hope my chemistry teachers not reading this.

More to the point do Caribbean Govts allow these type of products to come in? And how educated are women about the dangers of using these creams. After all,for most people it is simply a matter of walking into a store and buying what you need over the counter.Added to that,the before and after pictures on the boxes look so good that people not going to think twice about splashing it on liberally.So the next time I go into a store am going to pay some attention to what is written on these creams and I need to see if there are any warnings on them.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Mock Hangings

In St Vincent and the Grenadines like most other islands social irregularities are handled by the courts. However,as part of Vincentian tradition the people take it upon themselves to handle such irregularities and one way is by mock hanging. The popular hangings are those involving sexual molestation of persons by relatives and of animals. Naturally,the offender is then subjected to much ridicule.

Prior to the hangings the crime is reported to a committee and investigations carried out. The "police" then file a case and the offender is given a name. For example a man accused of molesting his daughter or stepdaughter may be called "Father Habit".The case is then taken to the court which is usually a Community Centre.Preliminary hearing in the manner a normal court and High Court is heard here,Of course judges, magistrates,witnesses and policemen are all present with names intended to amuse.

Following preliminary hearings the case moves to the high Court. Sometimes the first hearing can go on for a few days.Actually the entire trial may span a few weeks.In High Court, there is a 12 member jury and an admission fee is collected. Questioning is very detailed as the objective is to ensure that the evidence is strong enough to guarantee a guilty verdict.In all cases the accused is found guilty and sentenced to be hanged.There is no Privy Court to appeal to.

Hanging is always done on a moonlight light.Two bodies are made-one representing the condemned and the other the victim.The body of the condemned is made in such a way that whenthe rope is tugged, the head would be instantly detached from the body. After,the hanging the body is burnt to ash and then it is party time until the wee hours of the morning.

While this is largely a humourous event it is also a way of society showing disapproval of the actions of its citizens.However,like most indigenous things the practice seems to be dying. Lots of older folks claimed it acted as a restraint to those who were inclined to be deviant.The jury is yet to return a verdict on this claim.

Monday, November 01, 2004


In memory of Grandmother

Today Is All Saints'Day when we light candles in memory of our deceased.So, inevitably my thoughts today are with my grandmother who I often wish was around for me to talk to. When I was small she had the warmest, most comfortable lap and no matter what the problem was, ranging from a scrape to some boy trouble,I always felt she could solve it.I learnt so many things from my grandmother.It was from her lips I learnt about the God with whom she walked,how to forgive(can't say I have mastered it)how to write as did all the grandchildren who grew up within her home.It was from her biblical discipline was administered and although at the time of its administration,nothing seemed fair,today we reap the benefits of that upbringing.

She was the best storyteller ever with an amazingly ability to relate the tales of Anansi the spiderman as well as bring to life the stories of the Bible. Did I mention she was an excellent cook? Now,I was always the picky eater and my Mom never had the patience to get me to eat.Gran would make me the things I liked and then feed them to me.

She was a survivor,having lost her mother at a tender age.Perhaps,it was this loss and need that fed her tender,strong and compassionate care for her children of three generations and indeed of the neighbourhood.My grandmother told me she never earned a salary after quitting teaching when she got married.But she believed she was her own currency as she said she was wealthy in friendships and resources.

Her sense of order and concern for all of us was great.So much so that when she was dying she summoned us all and accordingly we came.And she blessed us all,gave sound and helpful counsel and said goodbyes to those of us who had to return abroad.And in her words we were not to cry because All was well.

I have no doubt all is well with her.But my selfish side wishes sometimes wishes she had not left. But questioning God is futile as I well know and besides her life was rich and full.All I can say is I hope when she looks down on me I would cause her to smile more than frown.

Rest In Peace.

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