Monday, December 29, 2008

Quote of the week: Chinese proverb

I've read so many Chinese proverbs that I am of the thinking that all they did was think of cute things to say and note them. Off course that is just a joke but the Chinese are a very intellectual people and have long showered the rest of the world with cute quotes to live by.

What astonishes me even more is that the original authors of the quotes are seldom noted. Almost like the quotes just fell from the sky to occupy the pages of a book or in their case, Chinese scrolls.

So here is the quote of the week; I don't know why I call it quote of the week, since it isn't really weekly but done randomly as quotes come my way. It is timely, so cliché eh... The quote speaks about going through tribulations in order to grow as a person and that all in all we should see those difficulties as making us better,stronger individuals.

"A gem is not polished without rubbing, nor a man made perfect without trials"

I have also seen it written as: "A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials"

I guess i should reflect on this quote whenever i am going through personal obstacles and see that the end might just justify the means...

Hats off to the Chinese for this one...


Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Year's (2009) Resolution

At the beginning of every year people make promises to themselves and these promises never see out the first month without being broken, well at least those that I made and know about.

This year i'm taking a different approach because not only do I not remember my last years' resolution, i'm sure I didnt keep it because of that mere fact.

According to Wikipedia:

A New Year's Resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day and remain until fulfilled or abandoned. More socio-centric examples include resolutions to donate to the poor more often, to become more assertive, or to become more economically or environmentally responsible. People may act similarly during the Christian fasting period of Lent, though the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility. The new year resolution is one example of the rolling forecast-method of planning. According to this method, plans are established at regular short or medium-term time intervals, when only a rough long-term plan exists.

So this year, there will be no new year's resolution, I will just promise to try my best in all my endeavours and strive to improve on my private and public life, but that does sound like a resolution of some sort, now I have managed to confuse myself, lol, well i guess I will just promise to live better, so there you have it, my resolution in 2009. It might be vague but that is how I want it because the achievement of my goal is left to my judgement call.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Christmas Message

It seems like everyone is writing a christmas message this year, well at least when I picked up the local paper (The New Chronicle), it was flooded with messages from pastors, priests, political leaders and even union leaders.
So I've decided to write my own Christmas Message this year although I am not too much of a fan of Christmas for various reasons which I will keep away from my blog. Okay, Okay, i will share a few of them: the commercialisation of the holiday (holy day) and the fact that i never got any gifts from Santa as a kid. Santa doesnt visit the Caribbean, well at least not where i live in Dominica.

Anyways, that's besides that point, I wrote a Christmas Message and although i didnt get a chance to send it to the newspaper houses (only two in Dominica, recently was three) I did manage to read it on Kairi FM radio during the National Youth Council radio program Know Your Country. But there were technical difficulties/upgrades so i didnt get to share it with all of Dominica neither did the internet users get to hear it. I guess they will try anything to get me from sending out my message, lol, just kidding.

So now here is my Christmas Message:

Dear All

This Christmas message isn't merely for the holiday season nor is it solely targeting one group in society but it is for every Dominican who cherishes our simple but proud way island lifestyle.

At a moment when we have spent almost a year celebrating our present journey there is still a long road ahead to travel if we are to reach the pinnacle of our development.

But there are obstacles that threaten the path we take and key among them is the increasing tensions, conflicts and violence among the population. Whilst people tend to cast blame at the youth, this is far more than just a youth issue. The current culture of violence is based on social distrust, suspicion, intolerance, injustice, hatred and our inability to interact constructively with our fellow man.

The youth constitute the richest wealth of this country and we should develop qualities of personal integrity, discipline, tolerance and open mindedness. Youth is characterized as a period of passions, emotions, activity and vigor but we must combine this enthusiasm with patience and tolerance.

The 2008 reunion year offered us a unique opportunity to reflect on our common destiny but understand that this destiny will only be achieved through a peaceful, tolerant society.

So this Christmas, in 2009 and beyond we should take a stand to collectively work toward peace and stamp out acts of violence in our country. We take this stand no only for ourselves but for thie present and future generations of Dominican citizens, of the young boys and girls yet to be born.

Peace be with you all.

The End

Well it's not the perfect Christmas message but then again I wasn't striving for perfection, I was only trying to get a point accross, the need for Dominicans to work towards a more tolerant society ready to work towards


Monday, December 22, 2008

my new favourite book

Every year (at least the last two years that I've been a member) the National Youth Council of Dominica holds a social activity around Christmas time and there is an exchange of gifts. Last year i got a peach dress shirt and a tie and although I like it alot I havent worn it yet, well havent had the occasion, saving it for something special and I hope it comes along before I leave the Earth.

So this year the social took place on Saturday past and I had spent the last few weeks trying to figure out what i would get the PRO (who shall remain nameless) and I finally got her something I know she would use being the eccentric, out-going person that she is.

Around the same time, a member kept asking me what I would buy for a man if I had gotten his name, she assured me that she only wanted advice and that she didnt have my name. Off course, I don't really know what I want so I could hard offer her much credible advice. I said the normal shirt, tie, watch but at the same time saying that I think that men recieve the same type of gifts all the time and that she should put more thought into her gift, that she did too.

So coming back to the gift exchange, this young lady stands up, pulls out a neatly wrapped gift and hands it to me, much to my surprise and says "I got you" and immediately I smile but think, I hope she didnt get me another shirt and tie, lol.

Actually, she got me a book my one of my favourite speakers, the most popular man in the world at this point in time, if you're a constant reader of my blog then you should know who he is (Check blog post: Yes, she got me a book by Barack Obama, in fact she got me his first book Dreams of My Father.

It's now my new favourite book, I was reading a self help book called The 17 Essential Qualities Of A Team Player by John C. Maxwell but I have now put it down to embrace Obama's book. I will pick it back up as soon as i am done with my new favourite book, which will not take me too long since I'm almost halfway done.

I am already scribbling notes in my notepad, I am an active reader, I can't just read for reading sake, I have to note the good quotes, things I think I can apply to myself but as soon as I am done, will give a review as only I can (i'm full of myself sometimes).

If this book is any good and from reading the first 50 pages, i can already see its promise then I will have no choice but add his other books (The Audacity of Hope, Change We Can Believe In and Barack Obama in his own Words) to my wishlist, I mainly read books from black authors and inspirational type books and looking forward to having a few more in my possession soon.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

How do you show remorse?

I ask this question not because I do not know the dictionary definition or because I am unsure of how to reccognize remorse if and when I see it but because this morning I woke up to a debate on Q95 FM radio in Dominica.

Eric "Zey" Joseph has been released after 27 years of incarceration for the murder of Ted Honeychurch. Many persons called debating whether Mr. Joseph deserved to be set free and his tone during this radio/television interview. Many said that they felt that his demeanour wasnt that or remorse or someone seeking forgiveness but rather of joy.

While I didnt see the television interview, I heard the one played on the radio about three or four times within the space of an hour and I have come to this conclusion. Remorse isn't something that you can depict just from the words of people, it is something that should be observed over time. I understand that Mr. Joseph seemed happy about his release and was concentrated more on that point but who wouldn't have after a lifetime (my lifetime, i'm 28) behind bars. I would surely have been happy to be back with my family and friends if I were in his shoes.

I am not trying to justify the murder but to understand the call and need for remorse we must also understand the situations surrounding the action as well. One must also consider the situation at the time during which the crime was committed; there was great social unrest, the dread act, murders on both sides, some justified but most uncalled for, especially that of Mr. Honeychurch who by all accounts had been a friend to the "rastas" of that period.

From my teen years I have been witness to calls from the "new" rastafarian society to free Zey and the numerous calls go unheard by members of the Government and Mercy Committee. After several years and demonstrative rallies, the man who has always been told he would one day be free, now stands at the crossroads. While he looks back, he should also be allowed to grasp the opportunity at hand, the chance to set things right with the Lord, the Honeychurch family, his family and then the rest of Dominica.

As usual Dominicans don't give people the opportunity to do things at their own will and time but feel the need to serve as a pressure group for everything. From my understanding of the interview, Zey wasn't questionned along the lines of remorse or asked about the murder, however he did point out that he was sorry for his actions and hope that he can positively contribute towards society.

I personally feel that the statement in itself showed some level of remorse and I wonder if the callers/listeners of the Matt in the Morning Program expected some fancy words, tears and more as a show of remorse. Mr. Joseph is not an actor, hasn't been in a classroom for over 40 years and isn't a master of "big" words. That is in no way to belittle him, but to let people understand that everyone isn't equal (not even in the sight of the law, despite what is said) and that we all convey feelings and express ourselves differently.

I say it is time to forgive and forget (for those who can) and allow the man to continue his life. He will forever live with his actions and continually be looked at to pay a debt to society, even if he served his time already. Dominicans claim to be a forgiving people, but forgetful we are not and I can already hear the whispers coming from the crowd when he makes his presence in Roseau or if Mr. Joseph steps on someone's toe, God forbid.

Live and Let live please. Judge lest ye be judged, true and just judgement lies in the hand of the creator. I don't expect everyone to share my views or agree with it but they are still my views...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's in my cd player right now?

Again I have to laugh because I do not have a cd player but that's not really the point. Lately I've been listening to a lot of conscious music, mainly reggae and a little rap. Yes, readers there is some level of consciousness in rap music just listen to Common, Talib Kweli, Lauryn Hill and some others. Even Tupac is on my list of conscious rappers.

Don't get me wrong, I find the time to listen to alot more but when I need that emotional, motivational spark, i just put my cellphone in my pocket attach it to my headphones and on i go, especially when I am writing poetry.

I have had Duane Stephenson's August Town Cd ever since it came out, by the way i downloaded it then i actually purchased the original cd, a very first for me, lol. I really only paid attention to a few songs on the cd, off course the more commercially played tracks like August Town, Ghetto Pain, Cottage in Negril and Fairy Tale. Lately another of his songs have caught my attention though, Mr. Babylon or Mr. B, as written in the track list.

The song speaks about the treatment of black people from slavery and present day and how the Massa are now unhappy with Black people. There is a point in the song where he says:

Mr. B you use to smile before,
we are no friend no more,
we use to cool when Mamma sweep de floor,
but all of a sudden we not idren (brethren) no more,
but then again i'm no longer poor

Another part in the song that I love speaks about the controversial marijauna and its use for "medicinal purposes" by persons of "higher" knowledge:

Mr B you fight we purple haze
while the whole world is in a herbal craze
you must be going through a bad mind phase
or u just hate we tru a rasta we praise
and your dirty babylon we a go blaze

But only Jah knows

If you run across the CD give it a listen, it will surely surprise you.


I am only One: Quote (poem) of the week

Responsibility is a funny thing, alot of people embrace it but even more shun or hide from it. Some say its because of fear of failure but I remember reading that it is mostly because of fear of success and even more added responsibility from that particular sucess.

I have never been one to hide from responsibility (except at my workplace, but that is a different story altogether, one of sour grapes, lol). Responsibility indicates a certain level of dependability; a responsible person is a dependable one. This brings me to a poem by Edward Everett Hale:

I am only one
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do

I think the poem illustrates that although we might seem little in number (one) there are still things that we are capable of and we must do these things to the best of our abilities. It also speaks of doing something even if you cant achieve everything, that is to say that every little bit of effort counts in the big picture. The poem speaks of taking responsibility and doing what we are capable and not holding back or refusing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dominican in Beijing

She's the sister of a good friend of mine. Her sister and I were on training in Japan for about a month so i know of her story, just want to share it with whoever reads my blog. It is always good to spread the word about the successes of fellow Dominicans all over the globe.

When Alix Honore stepped off the plane in Beijing she was completely overwhelmed, not so much by the 20-hour flight, the transfer and stop off, or the idea that she, at 19, was about to embrace a culture and education system so different from her own, but more so by the size of the airport.

But Honore arrived in 2005. Beijing International Airport's Terminal 3, like the Bird's Nest, was just a blue print and Athens rather than Beijing was still considered the Olympic city. Things have changed dramatically.

For more click here

Friday, December 12, 2008

You're gonna love me

So many times you go to competitions and shows and you always feel that one of the participants were robbed of a place among the winners or that the winner didnt deserve the accolade. Not so last night at the Arawak House of Culture for the first annual Secondary School lip synch competition.

The competition which was a joint initiative of the National Youth Council and the Mira Entertainment group (Miguel Labadie, Mara Frederick) was a return to the 1980' and 90's when lip synching was a popular activity among the youth of Dominica and by every movement on stage and the crowd reaction, lip synching still has a place within our entertainment needs.

The young persons shined brightly, mimicking their favourite international stars and the variety was really put out there for all to savour. Songs by Michael Jackson, Duane Stephenson, Leona Lewis, Dreamgirls' Jennifer Hudson among others.

Competition was tight but in the end Miss Mahelia Bunche of the Business Training Center walked off with the hearts of the crowd, judges and even her fellow participants as it was all around joy on the stage during the trophy presentation, something you seldom see these days. There was some tears but those were celebratory in nature, coming from the winner who prevailed despite a minor wig incident during her performance and personal struggles over the past year. Her "rendition" of "And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going Away" also popularly known as "You're Gonna Love Me" from the Dreamgirls soundtrack was just powerful and recieved a standing ovation from the crowd.

All in all, the efforts were well worth it and even though I didnt pay to get in the door, i got my monies worth and alot more. No one came out from the show feeling robbed by the participants, guest performances or judging panel. Well done by all.

There were a few glitches, like the late start, microphone trouble for the MC's and the electricity failure just after the start by the ever-reliable cadet corps musical band but after a delay of about 20 minutes the show never seemed to let down after that.

The only people who got robbed on that night were those absent and all indications point to future lip synch shows of even greater success. The only question that comes to mind, can the performances get any better?


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Most Beautifullest Poem in the World

The Most Beautifullest (don't worry I know it's grammatically wrong) Poem in the World is actually not a poem at all but the National Anthem of a Country. My Country, the Nature Isle of the Caribbean, DOMINICA.

The Dominica National Anthem, popularly referred to as “The Isle of Beauty” was retained on achieving Independence; during the period proceeding Associated Statehood with Britian, it was referred to as the National Song. The words were composed by the late Reverend W.O.M. Pond and put to music by L.M. Christian.

The National Anthem of Dominica

Isle of beauty, isle of splendour,
Isle to all so sweet and fair,
All must surely gaze in wonder
At thy gifts so rich and rare.
Rivers, valleys, hills and mountains,
All these gifts we do extol.
Healthy land, so like all fountains,
Giving cheer that warms the soul.

Dominica, God hath blest thee
With a clime benign and bright,
Pastures green and flowers of beauty
Filling all with pure delight,
And a people strong and healthy,
Full of godly, rev'rent fear.
May we ever seek to praise
Thee For these gifts so rich and rare.

Come ye forward, sons and daughters
Of this gem beyond compare.
Strive for honor, sons and daughters,
Do the right, be firm, be fair.
Toil with hearts and hands and voices.
We must prosper! Sound the call,
In which ev'ry one rejoices,
"All for Each and Each for All."

Note Bien: Dominica's national anthem was named one of the top ten (10) anthems among 205 countries competing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Read this article in The Guardian for more information. The instrumental version to the anthem can also be downloaded from this site

Monday, December 8, 2008

I am the student

I saw this poem and even before i could read it entirely i fell in love with it. It says alot and i think it is very well put together, it was under a thread in Takingitglobal called raw poetry.

It feels raw too, saying things that others may be too afraid to say. The author is madeleine meyers aka waterspirte. I am also a member of Takingitglobal and you can find my profile and some of my literary work there are well.

I Am the Student

I am the student
I am the learned deceived
The dreamer not permitted to achieve
I am the disciplined kept on a leash
The one biting my tongue not licensed to speak
I am the oppressed, the tyrannized, the victimized-wishing to be free
I wish behind gates where I’ve been penalized
My age is the crime for which I’ve been institutionalized
I am the pupil
The follower, the listener
The prisoner, analyzed, corrected, improved, then approved
The taught with a thousand censored thoughts
I am the listless puppet whose limbs move wherever they aught
I am the child, the adolescent, the youth
The pet taught to be passive
If I do not heed I will face rebuke
I see the way I am supposed to see
And speak the way I am supposed to speak
I assume my position and am where I am required to be
I must be discrete not to displease
I am the slave told I am free

Hike no. 7: Middleham and Fond England Falls

Some time ago I heard about the Fond England Falls from a Peace Corps volunteer who was assisting the Cockrane community. I was surprised that there was a waterfall in the Roseau Valley that I hadn’t visited as yet and was determined to hike to it, just one problem there was no track/trail to the falls and any hike had to be as an expedition-type activity.

So turning on my radio on Wednesday I was excited to hear Ibrahim Brohim “The Sign Man” talking about the last hike of the 7 Wonders of Hiking in Dominica to the Middleham and Fond England Falls. The hike was being organized by Dwivayez Hiking Club and the National Reunion Committee 2008. I immediately rushed to their office, paid my 30 dollars and signed up without even checking my schedule for that Saturday, although I later found out that it was clear.

Saturday morning, bright and early, I made my way to the Financial Center to meet up with some 40 – 50 other hikers. We took the bus up to Providence, Laudat and assembled at the Middleham Falls Welcome Center. After a quick welcome, prayer and some hiking hints we were on our way around 7:00am. It was still kind of dark in the forest; the sun hadn’t come up yet on that part of the island.

I remember our guide saying that the first past of the hike was easy and the second part to Fond England was challenging to difficult, I took that to mean that it was difficult for the older hikers but I was to be pleasantly surprised.

I don’t really like to hike in prepared trails with the walkways all laid out with logs and ferns (fwigé). I prefer to walk and jump in the mud, if I can’t get dirty then I don’t feel like I’m taking a hike but just a walk or stroll. So for the first 45 minutes I was just running thru the trail and having fun taking pictures and drinking from the numerous streams along the way.

Did I mention that I am a competitive hiker? Even if no one is consciously competing with me I race through with every intention of making it first to the destination. Okay, I wasn't the first to reach Middleham falls, I was fifth but still in the first cluster of hikers. No one seemed to want to descend to the fresh pools of the falls until myself and my college classmate, now police officer, made our way down. Then all of a sudden every one was in the water swimming in the water. Did I mention that the water is as cold as ice? The sun rays hardly ever strike the water of the falls in the forest because of the leaf cover. I didn’t take a bath at Middleham, I was saving myself for Fond England falls and I would regret that choice.

After about 30 minutes of watching hikers swim across the pond at the base of the falls and taking photos of the picturesque scenery we gathered our bags and made our way back up the trail then made our way to the Tou Santi (Stinking Hole). It is another area of interest along the trail; a volcanic vent frequented by bats and the mixtures of the fumes and bat manure make for a very “undesirable” stink.

We continued along the trail, still to the front of the pack and almost passed the entrance of the Fond England Falls trail because it was only marked with ribbons. And now the true challenge began. We (pack of 6) made ourselves thru the dense forest search out pink and red ribbons to direct our path. Along the way, we had to grab unto young trees, descend a cliff holding unto knotted rope and even drag our butts in the mud, all worth it and exactly what I wanted in a hike.

By the time we made it down the mountain we were at a small river which came from the falls so from there it was upstream over rocks and through the water. Sweaty, muddy and now wet, just the way I like my hike, well the only thing missing was a good Dominican rain shower. I was the first to make it to Fond England and at first I was a little disappointed upon approaching the falls but then I touched the cold water, took a dip and felt all my pores open up under the crystal clear water and it was all worth it.

I had remarked one thing though during the hike, that although the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, World Heritage Site was renowned for its wildlife I had only heard the songs of a few birds (Siffleur Montagne) and seen one cyrique (crab). I wanted to cross paths with some snakes, agouti or manicou but I guess it was not to be today, well maybe the next time I visit the falls because this definitely isn’t my last hike there. I will definitely be back.

After about an hour at Fond England, we made our way back, first downstream, then back up the mountain, although easier it was more tiring to go up the muddy mountain side. My legs trembled up the hillside after a moment but I refused to stop because I didn’t want to lose momentum. But finally, I made it through the track to find a welcoming site, a white bus. It picked us up, by that time I was in a pack of four (4) persons and we descended Cockrane to the school where we feasted on rabbit water, fig and codfish, grilled plantains and sugar cane, all Dominican favourites. It was all worth it.

All in a day of hiking, all in my day.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

two line rhyme

got these two-liners in an email, thought they would make someone laugh, cry or smile.


1. My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife:
Marrying you has screwed up my life.

2. I see your face when I am dreaming.
That's why I always wake up screaming.

3. Kind, intelligent, loving and hot;
This describes everything you are not.

4. Love may be beautiful, love may be bliss,
But I only slept with you 'cause I was pissed.

5. I thought that I could love no other
that is until I met your brother.

6. Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you.
But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead, the sugar bowl's empty and so is your head.

7. I want to feel your sweet embrace;
But don't take that paper bag off your face.

8. I love your smile, your face, and your eyes
Damn, I'm good at telling lies!

9. My love, you take my breath away.
What have you stepped in to smell this way?

10. My feelings for you no words can tell,
Except for maybe 'Go to hell.'

11. What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts vodka, one part lime.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Quote of the Week: Unknown Author

This week's quote comes from a writing on the walls of an office at the Youth Development Division of the Ministry of Education in Dominica. I frequent this building almost as much as any other place that i go to, sometimes three to four times a week. Every time and I do mean every time I'm there I tend to notice the poster on the wall, I guess I look out for it now.
What i take from the quote is that we must always be active and strive for self improving. It also speaks of sometimes going against the popular choice to choose what is right. We are all guilty of conforming to wrong because it is the popular thing to do at the time.
I do not know the author of the quote and my internet search on google didnt yield any sources so here it is:
"To reach the goal we must at times run with the wind, other times, against it -- but we must certainly run, not walk, nor stand still"
I am hoping that this quote can inspire the readers of this blog to be active and to contribute towards their self development and that of their peers as well, each one reach one.

New National Dish for Dominica?

If you are from Dominica or have heard of my island then you probably have heard a small fact that Dominica's national dish is the crapaud (frog). The frog is also a part of the Coat of Arms of Dominica also indicating its importance to Dominican culture, but what is not widely known is that this frog (Leptodactylus fallax) is under the threat of extinction.

Immediately one would think then why are Dominicans eating out their frogs but this extinction isn't the cause of human action, it is because of the action of a fungal disease (Chytridiomcosis) that infects the skins of frogs and other amphibians. It is only seen under a microscope and can cause skin sores, reddening and shedding of the skin.

But how was disease spotted?

It was noticed about ten years ago that over collection of the Crapaud (mainly to feed tourists) had started to lead to a declining population. Then, in 2002, the people of Galion started reporting to the Forestry and Wildlife department in Roseau that they were finding many sick and dead Crapaud. Scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), United Kingdom, were able to confirm that a deadly fungus was killing the Crapaud.

If left to fend for themselves, the Dominican Crapaud will almost certainly become extinct with time. At present, only a handful of them in a few isolated locations remain on the western side of the island. If future generations of Dominicans are to enjoy the Crapaud, the remaining population must be left alone. This animal is truly a national treasure, and it will be sad to see it disappear.

What are the consequences of losing the Crapaud forever?

Well, the Crapaud plays a very important role in Dominica’s rich and complex ecosystem. It eats a lot of things, and lots of things eat it. It is what ecologists refer to as a ‘keystone’ species. Remove a keystone from a building and the whole thing collapses. And the same may happen if the Crapaud disappears. Many of you will already have noticed the increase in insects in and around your home. Think about what used to eat these insects before! Dominica is known as the ‘Nature Island,’ and we don’t want that to change. Although hard to imagine, losing the Crapaud could have grave consequences for Dominican wildlife as a whole.

So what can you do to help?

Well, first of all, please do not eat the Crapaud! Also, please discourage your friends and neighbours from eating the Crapaud. Simply by touching the frogs could lead to the spread of the disease. Although it is now illegal to eat or even possess the Crapaud, we must all try to remember that the few remaining frogs will provide the offspring that can potentially be collected in the future. The goal isn’t to stop people enjoying the Crapaud forever, it is just a short term solution, until the populations can recover and grow. And every Dominican can play a part! That includes you!

If you come across a Crapaud, please help us by reporting it to the Forestry and Wildlife Division, Botanical Gardens, Roseau. Tel: 448 2401 ext 3416/3417 or Email: /

Excerpts taken from a Press Release by BY DR. IAN STEPHEN – ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, 28th November, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

National Youth Council gives out awards...

This story is about the 3rd Annual National Youth Awards held on November 28, 2008 at the Dominica State House where I was privileged to give an address as President of the National Youth Council. Read on please:

By EDONA JNO BAPTISTE, Dominica News Staff 01.DEC.08

In excess of 20 youths and groups were awarded at the 3rd annual National Youth Awards ceremony last Saturday for their contributions to achievements in various sectors of society.

In his address, President of the National Youth Council (NYC), Delroy Williams said although they cannot reward the contribution of all youths but is hopeful that they will continue the task of national development.

“These young people go out everyday despite difficult and trying circumstances, with little or no complaint and put their minds, hearts and efforts into their selective fields of service. In every sector within our country we can point out youths who are making their marks or have already made their marks...So this moment is as much theirs as it is ours, so our hearts go out to them, the unsung heroes of Dominica,” Williams stated.

He expressed confidence in the sustenance of the National Youth awards ceremony.

“While we reward present contributions, the 2007-2009 Executive is also cognizant of the fact that the National Youth Council would not exist without the contributions of a number of individuals who have given so much of themselves. We feel that now is an appropriate time to show appreciation for their contribution in youth development and more specifically their contribution to the development of the National Youth Council of Dominica,” Williams added.

Whilst recognising the contributions of the past presidents, he urged them to continue their work within the Council.

Williams said NYC promotes a culture of giving persons their flowers while they are alive.

“I would also like to thank the former Minister of Education, Human Resource Development, Sports and Youth Affairs, the Honourable Vince Henderson for his valuable assistance during his tenure. We do wish him within his new ministry. His contributions will be dearly missed although we are fully aware that his heart will always be with the youth of Dominica. His departure though, has given the Council the opportunity to work with an accomplished educator in the person of Honourable Senator Sonia Williams. On behalf of the thousands of Dominican youth, the Executive and staff of the National Youth Council we welcome the Senator to her new position and we pledge our fullest support as we jointly endeavour to provide young persons with the necessary resources and opportunities to contribute to national development,” he noted.

Minister of Youth affairs, Sonia Williams encouraged the youth to make positive contributions to society. She also asked them to recognise the potential that they possess.“I want to exhort you as well to understand that education is very, very important and it is becoming more and more important because of what is happening on the global front,” Williams added.

Three new segments were added this year for Faith Based group, Up and Coming Musical Band and Service Youth Group or Club.The awardees in the various areas are: Sanella Sanford (academic excellence), Denis Belle Jr. (athletic achievement) Pauline Williams (community involvement), Donavan Samuel (culture/heritage), Jodi Williams (exemplary leadership), Caribbean Vibes (up and coming musical band), Rotaract Club (service youth group or club), Faith in Action Group of Newtown (faith based group), Glenda Walters (beyond expectations), Mikael Ferrol (legacy award), Malcolm Wallace (agriculture), Frankie Phillip (entrepreneurship/business), Claudius Sanford (political involvement/activism), Shane White (excellence in spite of disability), Tsehai Grell (President's award).

Steve Joseph, Nash Mitchell and Kelver Darroux received the Past President's recognition award. Darroux did not serve his full tenure as NYC president following his resignation in September. The NYC executive presented a special gift to Delroy Williams for taking up the leadership role.

Titus Francis and Edward Registe were absent to receive the Past President’s awards.

The ceremony’s theme was ‘Recognizing the contribution of Dominican youth.’

World Aids Day 2008

I'm not gonna tell you what to do or anything of the sort, i think it is in everyone's personal choice about how they acknowledge World's Aids Day. However, i am going to point out that it is the 20th anniversary since World's Aids Day is being recognized universally and still some places in the world havent come to grips with the pandemic.
There are still milions in the world who have little or no access to treatment, being discriminated against on the daily and it's time we all take stock. Every little bit of advocacy helps but also showing care and concern for those who are affected is even greater because it could truly happen to anyone.

Although there are particular groups that are more vulnerable and it hurts my heart to know that Sub-saharan Africa and the Caribbean are the most affected geographical areas but HIV/AIDS has touched every region in the World and every group whether male, female, homosexual, heterosexual, black, white, yellow, jew, christian, muslim etc.

I dont want to sound like I am preaching but someone has to say something today. So let's all do the little that we can do today and remember tomorrow that the struggle and fight still continues. The global fight is a daily one.

Mentor youth from Dominica?

Message from Diane Corriette, Manager of Dominican.Diaspora website

You never know when inspiration will strike and while washing up yesterday I thought about all the expertise that is on this wonderful network and the best way to utilise that for free for the benefit of young adults.

So I thought about mentoring young people in Dominica aged 17-24.This would not be promising them anything - like money or a job - but just providing them with your expertise (for example if they wanted to run a business) or just to keep them motivated if they are working towards something.

As a member of the diaspora do you feel able to give your time and expertise to something like that?It would be run through a private site. Run by young people (with me overseeing it) and it would contain positive people from this DD network, living around the world making a difference to young people in Dominica.

Having said that there would be nothing wrong with making a difference to our young in the diaspora too.

Thoughts, suggestions, ideas are welcome. It seems a shame to have all this expertise on here and not to make the most of it!

For more information, to give suggestions and feedback click here

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Flowers

Every now and again I find myself reading poems and to my astonishment they are very similar to some that I have written, sometimes even too similar and I wonder how persons from different environments, different struggles, different inspirations etc can come so close to mirroring each other in thoughts and in this case words and rhyme. It is even more weird because this time I dont even know who the author of this poem is, however I will share the two; my poem and that of the unknown author and you be the judge.

Give me my flowers

Give me my flowers while I'm alive
because I cant appreciate it when I die,
For I can't see the beauty of the petals
or smell the sweet scents
while my soul is at rest.
If I don't know who they came from
How can I show my thanks now?
Give me my flowers today
so I can plant them in the gardens of my heart
having beautiful memories until this earth; I depart.
I will see them bloom everyday,
having them color my gloomy days,
even share them with the world,
putting smiles on faces of little boys and girls.

by Nest@

and now the unknown author's poem:

If with pleasure you are viewing
Any work a man is doing,
If you like him or you love him,
Tell him now
Don't withhold your approbation
Till the preacher makes oration
And he lies with snowy lilies on his brow.
For no matter how you shout it
He won't really care about it,
He won't know how many teardrops
You have shed.
If you think some praise is due him
Now's the time to slip it to him,
For he cannot read his tombstone
When he's dead.

Well I prefer my version but that is only because I wrote it but you are free to give you unbiased opinions.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

President Elect Obama speaks on Climate Change

President-elect Obama promises “new chapter” on climate change

More than 600 climate change leaders from across the country and around the world convened in Los Angeles today for the opening sessions of the Global Climate Summit, a 2-day event arranged by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to break gridlock on the issue ahead of next month's United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland.

In a short video addressed to the Summit's attendees, President-elect Obama emphasized his enthusiasm for the Poznan Conference and promised that his administration would mark a "new chapter in American leadership on climate change."

more here

Monday, November 24, 2008

Don't Find Fault

Another of my favourite poems. It is written by Vera Barker-Philip. The first time I remember reading it was in one of the offices where I work and I saw it posted on the walls and I now I have it posted up on the walls in my office as a constant reminder.
I think it speaks of the age old lesson of "judge lest ye be judged" and we should always try to understand what someone else is going thru before we cast judgement on them. It is always easy to say what we would do or what should be done in certain circumstances until we find ourselves in similar or worse situations and then our actions may surprise us. So I hope everyone enjoys the poem and take the lessons from it, yes there is more than one lesson here.

Pray don’t find fault with the man who limps
Or stumbles along the road,
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
Or struggled beneath his load
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt,
Though hidden away from view,
And the burden he bears, placed on your back,
May cause you to stumble too.

Don’t sneer at the man who is down today
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall, or felt the shame
That only the fallen know.
You may be strong, but still the blows
That were his, if dealt to you
At the self-same time in the self-same way,
May cause you to stagger too.

Don’t be too harsh with the man who sins
Or pelt him with words or stones
Unless you are sure, yea, doubly sure,
That you have no sins of your own.
For who knows, perhaps, if the tempter’s voice
Would whisper softly to you
As it did to him when he went astray
Would cause you to falter too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quote of the week: Cavett Roberts

It's not often that i read books, i just dont find the time to do it. But lately, i have found myself reading alot. i just finished reading Zoukland by Henderson and i have a book from Aurelius Gordon (Come Ye Forward Sons and Daughters, 2002) waiting on my bed for when i return to Dominica.

Currently though I am reading one of those self-help, self development books. While reading it i always remember this line by Billy Bob Thorton in this movie School for Scroundrels "How many of you have self-help books? Okay, that's your first problem. You can't help yourself, because your *self* sucks!", lol. (Don't worry that is not my quote for the week though)

I still find myself reading one by John C. Maxwell, America's expert on leadership, although im sure that is just a promotional tool. That is besides the point though, today's quote is taken from his book: The 17 Essential Qualities Of A Team Player.

In the book by Maxwell he quotes Cavett Roberts on page 15 in a text box as saying that "True Progress in any field is a relay race and not a single event." I think it clearly means that in everything you do thta you can't really do it alone, being human is about being dependent on someone for some help, assistance, cooperation, collaboration. That is why we are social beings, that is why we live in communities instead of being cooped up in the hills all alone, although some people do that but that is the exception and not the rule.

I also take it to mean that in everything you do, you shouldnt see yourself as the focus point but instead you should see the bigger picture, being the team. Striving to be a team player and improving the team should be one's objective and in so doing we also develop ourselves in the process. There's more that can be said about this quote but i've got work to do, so until next time...


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

GAIA's Essence

GAIA is the ancient goddess of mother earth. Gaia's Essence was founded to educate people on how their lifestyle choices affect their personal wellbeing, our community and the environment. We provide exotic, high quality, all natural and organic products from around the world, while incorporating fair trade and green practices in all aspects of our business. We believe that through education people will make sustainable decisions in their lives and enjoy a healthy life.

Our company values are:

Global Respect
Gaia's Essence has great respect for all people and cultures. We are committed to partnering with farmers to accomplish equality and balance in markets. With these relationships we are able to participate in fair trade and economic development in social communities around the world.

Natural Knowledge
Natural Knowledge is having the understanding of how systems such as the human body, natural resources and energy functions correlate to one another. We are focused in sharing, through education, the significance of life choices and their impact on our quality of existence.

Sustainability is a way of life that takes into account the interrelationships of different systems (industrial, ecological, societal) and how they can be developed to last continuously. We exclusively affiliate with companies that share our view in the importance of sustainability. All our packaging contains recycled, biodegradable and renewable components.

Check out the products here

The Long Road to Guyana

I've always been told to expect the unexpected when travelling but that is especially true when travelling through the Caribbean. Time and time again, i've learnt valuable lessons and time and time again, i fail to remember those lessons when i set off on a new journey.

This time i guess it was my fault, well kind of my fault. I left Dominica on Tuesday morning at 4:00 am, well actually i left my home for the airport at that time thinking that i had the first flight out of Dominica for Guyana taking connecting flights in Antigua and Barbados. When i arrived at the airport i was told that i was on a later flight at 10:50 but more to my surprise was the fact that my flight itinerary ended in Barbados and there was no continuation to Guyana, lol.

You can as well imagine the panic that overtook me, i started calling people all over the place in Barbados, Washington and Guyana. Well after about 45 minutes of calling and panic, they finally figured out that i had the wrong itinerary in hands and that i had to change airlines in Barbados from LIAT to Caribbean Airlines. Off course, with LIAT computer system down, they were unable to inform me of this, how convenient eh.

Anyways, that was the least of my experience. Now i find myself going from Dominica to St. Lucia, where i spent about 3 hours trying to catch up on some sleep on the most uncomfortable of chairs. Then on to Barbados, where the real twist occurs in this story. I had dinner with a traveling buddy (not a female). He is attending the same function in Guyana.

Our flight was at 7:50, so we had some time to kill so we walked around the airport admiring the workers, the females, etc. There was this particular hindi young lady who kept eyeing me, or i felt she kept eyeing me under all that facial covering. It was quickly approaching 7:00 pm so i cleared immigration to make it to the waiting area. After seating for about an hour and realizing that the plane was late, i decided to go online on my laptop to chat to a few friends to kill more time.
As soon as i put on the damn thing and started to chat here comes this announcement via the Public Announce System. Caribbean Airlines apologizies for the late arrival of flight ..... and we would appreciate it if all the passengers who are to board the flight approach the desk for more information, now you know that doesn't sound good.

We were informed that the airline was going to provide us with dinner and put us up in Golden Sands hotel until 3:00 a.m. But why 3:00 a.m., turns out that is when the next flight to Guyana is so we were whisked off to the hotel and before i could get any rest i was back at the airport in a long line waiting to get to Guyana. At least this time the flight departed and right now i can say i'm in Guyana (see view from hotel room).

Oh i will be returning to Dominica on Friday, i do hope the journey back is less taxing on me.


Monday, November 17, 2008

In search of Past Presidents

The current Executive Council is feverishly trying put a list of Past Presidents of the National Youth Council together. Especially needed is the list of Past President before the council was disbanded in 1980.If anyone knows of someone who has served in the post of President, whether interim, acting or full term, please make their name available through this discussion or call 1 767 448 6944 or email

We would also appreciate some information on that person i.e. whereabouts, contact info, family, place of employment, domicile, etc1

Delroy Williams
NYC Dominica

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Youth Council announces radio co-host vacancy

Know Your Country

The Know Your Country radio program is designed to empower persons, particularly young persons, about their world through the examination of various topic areas: Geography, Health, Politics, Agriculture, Environment, World Affairs etc.

The aim of the Know Your Country radio program is to actively engage Dominicans in research and dissemination of information about their world and to encourage their participation through the use of Radio as a communication tool.

The Program is designed for participants and listeners to embrace the tagline that “Knowledge is Power” but that knowledge needs to be shared to be effective in encouraging development, change and a brighter future especially with relations to Globalization and World Issues.

Applications for Program Co-host:

Ø Interest in radio programs and programming
Ø Between the ages of 16 – 35
Ø Strong communication skills
Ø Ability to conduct basic research
Ø Involvement in youth or community group is an asset

Send Application to:

National Youth Council
15 Bath Road
or call: 1 767 448 6944
or email:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can I?

I don't know how it happens or why it happens but these things just come to me, at the weirdest of times. I was in a meeting when these words just came to mind, i guess the fact that i was thinking about this gurl didnt help either, cant get her outta my head, no matter how hard i try too...

Can I have a talk with you
or even walk with you?
Got thoughts that I need to share,
and it's the perfect time with you right here.
No friends, definitely no cell phones
so our minds, collectively, are free to roam.

Can I seat next to you?
for the next hour or two,
don't be shy, act naturally
look me in the eyes; take me seriously.
When i see you i transform into this nervous but happy little boy
who has just unwrapped his birthday gift to find his favourite toy.

Can I look at you? i mean really look at you
into your mind, body and soul
don't get me wrong,
my feelings aren't infatuation.
I'm just love sprung
I can't say I fully know what love means,
but you possess the power to fulfill my love dreams.

So now can I hold your hand?
Oh woman, can i be your man?
for I'm thru with petty games
when I'm done we'll both have love names.
You can call me boo and I'll call you baby
or better yet, I'll call you my lady.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Nature's Isle Number 1 Web Community

Proud to be a Member

Zoukland...Creole Music's Secret

Nobody told me but i found out anyway. Zoukland by Gordon Henderson is a gateway into Creole Music's past as he and his band, Exile One, journeys through the music scene in the Caribbean, France, England, Africa and North America.

I recommend this book to any person who has an interest in creole culture, music or needs a book that speaks of perseverance despite great odds. It is written in both english and french (i am awaiting the creole version) and shows the progression from cadence, compas to zouk. The book not only speaks of Exile One but mentions groups such as Tambo Combo, Kassav, Grammacks, Les Vikings and individuals such as Ophelia, Franky Vincent.

What really touched me about this book is the way it was written, the language was easy to follow and it felt like i was having the experience along with Gordon and friends. I also like the fact that it was also written in french (my favourite language).

Thanks again to Gordon Henderson, the Exile One Band and all those who lived thru those times to make this story available to people like me who cant seem to put down a good book. I read that book in a few hours, surprised myself because i met the book on my friends bookshelf covered in cobwebs, treasures are usually found in weird places. I consider this book a literary and historic treasure for Dominica and the rest of the Caribbean creole community.

Good Work Creole Classics (publisher of the book)


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Love's Plea

I wrote this poem a while back but i only put the finishing touches, or what i think is the finishing touches, on it tonight. But with poetry you never know, i could return and change a few things around. Feedback has a way of doing that to me sometimes, i never really feel that a poem is perfect, well at least those that i write, i am always looking to change a word or two, a rhyme or three, a verse or more...

My Plea

I act
Like I could be satisfied
with being a mere friend; when
I want
to firmly hold your hand
along long walks, having insightful talks; because
I need
your love to complete my soul
I'm the clay, you're the potter; so mold
I will
be there for you through thick and thin
for with you at my side, I'll always win
I am
planting seeds hoping to see them grow
sowing friendship today to harvest your love tomorrow
and if you
can see past my wrong and flaws
together we can break down chained doors.
If you
can value this diamond in it's natural, blemished state
then me and you together, forever; that's fate.
If you
can see the sunshine through the rain; then you will
realize that i will love you past your pain


Monday, November 10, 2008

39 reasons to visit the Caribbean (Dominica takes two)

THIS has not been a great year so far for the Caribbean tourism industry. Seven named hurricanes have hit the region this fall, with Gustav and Omar wreaking the most damage. An earthquake registering 6.1 rocked parts of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. And, of course, the global financial meltdown has made Americans increasingly skittish about taking a vacation this winter.

What’s next, locusts?Well, things haven’t gotten that bad, and in fact, with new hotels continuing to open, high-end resorts raising the bar on amenities, family-oriented getaways expanding their offerings and talented chefs starting restaurants that are transforming the region’s culinary scene, there are plenty of reasons for vacationers to seek some solace in the sand and surf of the Caribbean this winter.

Thirty-nine of them, in fact.

Soufriere's PRODIGY

Saturday was the Launching of the PRODIGY Youth Group of Soufriere. The group, which has been together since January, now has 42 members. The National Youth Council, who has been supporting the group was very please to attend the activity which saw a number of energetic performances by group members and other youth of the Soufriere community .
It was my first official address as President of the National Youth Council of Dominica and I will always remember the moment. Despite the technical glitches and late start, it was an occasion to celebrate in the historic ruins/basketball court with the nearly hundred who attended. Although the crowd mainly gathered towards the end they enjoyed they afro-caribbean and hip hop dancing, singing and poetry.

For sure, there is much talent within the Soufriere bay and it is time that it was harnessed to showcase the positivity present in the Southern community. Hats off to Mr. Brown (group coordinator and mentor) and to Mr. Shandon Aubrey (group President). Looking to come back to Soufriere soon.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Not In Love

This poem was written by Lynn Registe and is a part of a collection called Love n' Pain. She is just a high school student aged 15 and I think she has a bright future ahead of her. She asked me to review a few of her poems because she read a few of my poems and was impressed. I wish her all the best in that and will continue to encourage her in developing her poetry.

This is my favourite piece from the collection she gave me.

Not In Love

I'm suppose to be happy but I feel so down and out,
I think I'm in love but don't know what it is about.
I tell you that I love you when i know it is a lie,
I pretend that I'm happy when I really want to cry.
You're in love with me but do not have a clue,
I'm just pretending I'm not in love with you.
I'm not proud of what I've done or what I am to gain,
My feelings for you are so different it's something I can't explain.
How could I be so selfish to play someone like you,
You're everything a girl could want but I'm not in love with you.
How could you love me and think that I'm the one,
When you have no idea what I'm doing wrong.
To keep me happy there is no limit to what you'll do
So how could I tell you I'm not in love with you.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Most Popular Man

I asked a friend this question, who was the most popular person at the time of walking the Earth. He answered Jesus, and i said a sharp no to his surprise. I told him it was Barack Obama. He was startled at my answer because of my Christian faith but soon understood my point of view.

I explained to him that although Jesus may be one of the most popular people to ever walk the Earth at the time he walked the Earth he was frowned upon by alot of people and at that particular time Christianity wasn't very widespread and a few people outside of Israel (Africa), the Promised Land, knew of Christ.

Then he said Mohamed, i said NO as well for the same reason that the Muslim faith was limited to certain African and middle east countries.

To my surprise his third answer was Michael Jackson, i could only laugh to that answer though, but he had some clout at his most popular time. But the popularity of Michael isnt what it used to be. To add to the list of close but no cigar personalities, we have:

Michael Jordan
Mathama Ghandi
Mother Theresa
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Bob Marley

All great men, some more popular posthumously though. None as popular as Barack Obama is right now. We could also say that maybe none more under threat of assassination than him also although Dr. King Jr. was assassinated.

To just understand the numbers; over 50 million Americans voted for him. We can estimate a fair number of Americans who didnt or couldnt vote also wanted him to be President. The entire population of Kenya (millions) and most of the African continent, the Caribbean archipelago, Europe, the Far East (especially in Obama, Japan) and off course the Middle East and Asian continent was hoping he would win, could anyone be as popular a leader as Obama. He popularity also comes from the fact that he could also be a hated individual by white supremacists, radicals, racists, etc.

I dont think a President-elect of the United States has ever been as celebrated as him. Persons hail him as a savoir but one thing is clear he is part of history. Persons will forever remember his name. Kenyans have already started naming their children after him and his wife, Michelle. I'm sure there are lots more where that came from too.

How important a person he is right now we know and we are now awaiting to see how successful he will be. One thing is for sure, if he fails then Black people all over the World will take a step back but right now, the future is so bright, impossible is finally possible for Black people.

Thanks again Obama.


IF by Rudyard Kipling

one of my favourite poems, i particularly like the second verse the best because i speaks to me. i love to dream of making things better but i want to be careful not to make these dreams take hold of me and forget reality. i also dont want to make thoughts my aim, i pride myself in being someone who can be described as a doer. I was told at a young age that as a leader is it important to promise little and deliver a lot.

But to get back to the poem, i hope it inspires you too. Special thanks to the author Joseph Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936):

was an English author and poet. Born in Bombay, British India (now Mumbai), he is best known for his works The Jungle Book (1894) and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (1902), his novel, Kim (1901); his poems, including Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), If— (1910); and his many short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King (1888). He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story"; his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works speak to a versatile and luminous narrative gift.

Kipling was one of the most popular writers in English, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The author Henry James said of him: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius (as distinct from fine intelligence) that I have ever known." In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English language writer to receive the prize, and he remains its youngest-ever recipient. Among other honours, he was sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, all of which he declined.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

Obama's Acceptance Speech

Just read it to yourself and others, they will listen:
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.
It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.
It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.
I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.
I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.
I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.
To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.
But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you.I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.
It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.
I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.
What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.
Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.
And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.
For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.
She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.
And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.
At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.
When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.
She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.
America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:
Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where were you when...?

There are times in life when certain things that happen to you or happen around you leave such a mark on your life and the lives of people around you that you will always remember the moment and remember exactly what you were doing at that point in time.

Example number 1: the not guilty verdict for OJ Simpson in the muder trial for his wife and her "friend." I can remember that moment like yesterday walking down King George V Street in Roseau next to Julian's Jewelry Store. All of a sudden, boom, there was an uproar and everyone ran to the streets, OJ was not guilty and we could have cared less about the facts in the case or anything else for that matter but a black man had beaten the court system in America and that was enough for me and the rest of the Black world.

Then there is 9-11, another moment that i can never forget. I remember it like yesterday too. I had returned to Dominica after a few years at a college in Guadeloupe and i was yet to find a job so i spent most of my mornings in bed until the hours of 11a.m. But that morning was different, i felt restless and was twisting and turning, feeling hot between the sheets. I guess it was the weather then i got a call asking me to turn on the news. Then it really hit me, I saw the first plane descending into the twin towers and at first i thought what is this really raw movie being shown on CNN and then i switched channels and there is was on NBC, ABC and FOX and the lives of Americans, Iraqis, Afghanis and the rest of the World citizens will never be the same.

Now yesterday was a similar event, i was coming from the Dominica Reunion/30th Independence celebrations and i must say it was really good. The independence climaxed with a nice "sewo" of little violence and to me that made it exceptional given the activities of the past years. I hurried home to watch CNN, not a big news fan too, but still the US Elections had everyone glued to the televisions. I am not sure if there was a more watched event around the world, only the olympics can even come close. I am so proud that the US found it within their hearts to vote for the better candidate, well at least to me and millions in the US and around the World. Up until today, i havent used my blog to discuss politics but hearts off to Mr. Barack Obama, President-elect of the United States of America.

I must also say hearts off to McCain too for his speech last night, showed he did indeed have some class to concede so gracefully too.

A new day is dawning? well we dont really know, we have to wait and see but its a good first few minutes in that day...