Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Donkey Wedding

Growing up I would hear stories of mock hangings. This fate would usually be reserved for men who had incestuous relationships with their daughters/stepdaughters and those guilty of bestiality. For weeks the community would organise a trial with several witnesses called to testify. My older relatives have said it was not uncommon for trial dates to be broadcast as Public Service Announcements on the radio. So mock hangings were assured of large numbers showing up to follow the proceedings.

Following the trial, the climax was the mock hanging where the effigy of the offender was hung. The village tribunal never wasted any time with appeals so cases were speedily disposed. It's been a while since I heard of any such hangings and I assumed that the tradition had quietly died. I equated the disappearance of such things(rightly or wrongly) as a signal of how apathetic we have become in the face of evil.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that over the weekend a "Donkey Wedding" was held in a North Leeward village. This time the groom was forced to make an honest"lady" of the buxom donkey with whom he allegedly had sexual relations. In the presence of a large audience vows which were preceded by a motorcade were exchanged. Alas there was to be no wedded bliss for the groom as he was dragged off to face court proceedings. He, inevitably was found guilty-perpetrators always are and the death sentence was pronounced and speedily carried out.

Some friends have scoffed at it calling it village silliness.I beg to disagree as it is really society's way of heaping scorn on persons who had committed distasteful acts. By publicly shaming and ridiculing them the villagers are sending a message that some things are just not acceptable. Call me silly but I like the mixture of the ridiculous and the serious. Bring on the mock hangings and preserve a little more of who we are.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Farine anyone

Sometime last week I tweeted that Farine is another food of Champions. Somehow I assumed that farine was a well known staple throughout the Caribbean. However a fellow blogger shot off a tweet asking what was farine. Since then I have asked asked some other Jamaican friends if they are familiar with farine but none seem to know what I 'm talking about.

For the record Farine is a by product of cassava. Cassava is harvested when it is mature and and scraped to remove the skin. It is then washed thoroughly before it is ground by the cassava mill. Aloma Williams writing for says The ground cassava is then removed or “bailed out with calabashes” - small bowls made from the hollowed-out shell of the fruit from the calabash tree -and transferred in manageable portions into a sack, in which the liquid is wrung out. This drier material is called meal and this is what is used to eventually make farine.

The liquid which is squeezed out is caught in buckets and later put to evaporate in the sun.It's now time to get down to the real farine production. While much attention was being paid to the cassava, other essential tasks were taking place in the background. The copper in which the meal is baked had to be made ready and this included getting it hot. A wood fire was lit under the copper itself and wood fed into it at intervals to ensure that the copper maintains the right temperature to bake the meal into farine.For the salt or original farine, the meal is dished into the hot copper with a bit of salt and stirred vigorously for about half an hour, until it forms into minute, hard grains.For the sweet farine the ingredients make the difference; with a bit of sugar and various spices replacing the salt.

So any Jamaicans know what I'm talking about?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


And the rains came

Yesterday the skies opened and rain fell all over the land triggering rejoicing akin to win West Indies won something really big. Like most Vincentians the sound of rain on the roof had me in a daze until it registered that rain was really here. I ran outisde looked up to the heavens and let out my version of the war cry. Okay, I jumped up and down like a little kid getting her favourite toy. I wanted to run into the rain the way I did when I was a child and feel the drops in my face and all over my body. However, reason set in since I didn't relish dealing with my hair after the rain escapade. Somethings never change.

Everybody seems a little bit happier as our water woes have been temporarily assuaged. Even the parched earth seems relieved and my plants have perked up a teeny bit. Here's to the rain and may you continue to grace us with your presence.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Innocence lost

Sometime ago, a friend asked my why so many of my postings were centred on violence against women and girls. Left unsaid was that I was wasting time over situations in which women were not as "innocent" as I thought. Instead, I was given a range of topics that I should consider exploring. How can I be expected to keep quiet when on no less a day that International Women's Day a 10 year old girl child was sodomised by a 26 year old animal and left bleeding on the floor of her school's bathroom. If the reports are true the child was held at knifepoint for close to two hours by her abuser until she was rescued by some some adults. This should really put the issue of school security into sharp focus especially as it seems the teacher was less than responsible in ascertaining the child's whereabouts when she failed to return to the classroom.

"I'm hurting". Haunting words attributed to the victim as recorded by The News nespaper. And hurt she will. Long after the physical scars are healed the emotional pain and confusion will continue. I suspect her life from hereon will be divided into pre and post rape. It shouldn't have to be this hard being a female. Far too many of us are violently introduced to sex and then discarded like yesterday's trash. Something is wrong when adults who should know better use these innocents to act out their sick fancies. Parents should not have to fear evils like this could befall their children and children's innocence should not be so brutally stolen from them. And like Minister Baptiste I fear that advocacy is dead. Maybe it is that violence is so commonplace that our senses have become dulled since lately we have seen it all.I know I can never forget 12 yr old Lokisha Nanton raped and hung by her own clothing or Stacey Wilson decpitated at the bus terminal and now this unnamed little child.

This is a blog post I wish I didn't have to write. However,I am mindful of The Hon Rene Baptiste's words as she delivered a feature address to commemorate Women's Day. So speak I must in the hope that we are shaken from our complacency and know that violence against females is a clear and present danger. If only we could put some of our political energies into addressing these ills then SVG may yet recover her soul.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


No cricket holiday

Tomorrow,the West Indies cricket team plays the first of three One day International matches scheduled for Arnos Vale. According to Parnel Campbell this is a record since based on his research no other country has hosted three consecutive games versus the same opposition. This record gives me mixed feelings given how abysmal the West Indies performances have become. Hands up to all who anticipated the trouncing Zimbabwe handed down in the Twenty20 and that Windies would lose the first ODI. In a heartbeat I'd trade two of these matches for a semi decent team. I suppose I should be happy for Arnos Vale-one of the most beautiful grounds in the world and a happy hunting ground for the West Indies team. Let's hope for Windies the sake the ground goes back to its winning ways as losing the series to Zimbabwe is unforgivable.

Contrary to popular views I find it quite pleasing that the Govt has not seen it fit to give the customary public holiday whenever the West Indies cricket show comes to Arnos Vale. The one exception I am prepared to make was when the first ever ODI was held here. Other than that I have long argued that that granting a public holiday should be abolished. For one it is not a common feature in other islands even those with smaller populations than others. So why should a struggling economy like ours close down the country for cricket? We really making sport. Most of us don't even go to the ground preferring to relax at home or find other entertainment that excludes Arnos vale.

Let those who really want to go take a vacation day or work out some arrangement with their employers. For those who argue that the ground will be empty I say the empty grounds around the Caribbean are simply a reflection of the product. Maybe if the product improves then you will see more people going through the gates. PS: Good luck West Indies and judging by the performances thus far a little luck could turn out to be quite handy.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?