Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Gardens: Fete, Food, Fun and more

The Botanic Gardens of Dominica comes alive every year, over the past six (6) years, with Creole in the Park. This event is coordinated by the Cable and Wireless Telecommunications company and supported by a number of Public and Private Sector groupings.

This year is no different with a wonderful mix of performances, good creole food (my mouth agrees but sometimes my stomach is angry) and the chance to meet almost everyone on the Nature Isle.

This year is even more special as Dominicans at home and abroad have made their way back to the Nature Isle to celebrate thirty (30) years of independence from the colonial powers, Britain to be exact.

And that isn't all, because the once-renowned "Gardens" also forms the backdrop to this year's National Exposition, an activity of the Reunion 2008 Office. Highlighted is the best in everything of Dominica from craft, agricultural production, energy, agro-processed and manufactured good, wildlife, etc.

You have the chance to go from tasting the best foods, seeing the best products to actually kissing up to a boa constrictor all in the space of a couple of hours. Creole in the Park continues until thursday evening but the expo goes unto the weekend (Saturday). For those of you missed out, sorry, you will have to wait for the next reunion year to experience something like that again, tant pis pour vous...

So much going on, so much to talk about, so few letters of the alphabet and words in the english vocabulary. It's just an explosion of culture, colour, people and more to come soon...


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

plum, cherry, not sure what you are but love you still?

The Governor plum (Flacourtia indica) or Cerise (french for cherry) as it is known within the Caribbean is a lovely fruit that i have always loved from childhood. I remember the first time i ate one, i just put it in my mouth and bite it off and what an awful taste it left, it tied my tongue so to speak. I couldnt understand why so many persons seemed to love it so... until i was given the secret about it, you need to roll it under your fingers to soften the fruit and release the sugars within the fruit cells.

And then...the sweetest of fruits but there is another hindrance also to getting the fruits, its tree is laden with prickles/thorns and off course there is the dilemna of having a male tree, i.e. a tree which only gives off male flowers.

For years there was a tree next to the bath estate football field that i had my eye on, hoping that it would bear, it always gave off lots of flowers and those always fell to the ground. I was convinced the tree was cursed by a soucouyan (local term for witch) or something of that sort but now i understand that it only gave off male infloresence making it unable to bear fruit, similar to the pawpaw or papaya.

Just like week, i went to a farm in the heights of Fond Cole (Glasgow) and the farmer kept talking about how her Governor Plum tree was in full bloom and we should taste the fruit before we left. I was all to eager and dashed towards where she said the tree was located, only to find nothing at all. There were no strange trees or fruits within that vicinity but instead i found the cerise and did i bury myself in those fruits. i picked a small bag to take home for later in the day too.

So i was telling the farmer that i didnt find the plum but i found the cerise, thats when she told me they were the same fruit, so there u have it folks, how i came to know the cerise and the governor plum are two of the same. It's always good to know the local names of fruits but especially important to know the international names as well, especially when you work in the agricultural field like me. you're never too old to learn

Quote of the Week: Borrowing the Earth

Quote of the week:

sometimes i read these quotes and they touch me, give me a special message that i just want to share with everyone and this one does that to me. It speaks of the fact that we should take care of the Earth for future generations. That is just what i am involved in because of my involvement in environmental organizations and raising awareness about the need to address climate change, loss of biodiversity, global warming and the host of other issues that has been plaguing planet Earth. We all have our roles to play and i hoping that through my blog i can encourage persons to do a little bit for our environment, if everyone does a little that can surely add up to a lot.

So let's give back the Earth to our Children in better condition than we borrowed it from them, well based on the quote of the week:

"Treat the Earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children."

Native American Proverb

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sarah Palin Calypso

i'm not one to meddle in politics, especially that of another country but i must admit that i have been glued to CNN and FOX recently with the American Election between Barack and Mccain/Palin.

Now i've come across this song asking Palin to step down from the Vice President race and look after her family. I am not saying that i agree/disagree with the song's lyrics and i'm not even sure who the singer is but the song is hilarious, so here are the words:

Go home and mind baby

Palin girl, go home and mind baby
(what you say)
Palin girl, go home and mind baby
You looking nice
But take my advice
Think of your family
Go home and mind baby

People say you have no discretion
Driven only by your ambition
But if you want to make an impression
Be a mother first, not a politician

Palin girl, Go home and mind baby
(what you say)
Palin girl, go home and mind baby
You looking cool
But don't be a fool
Respect your family
Go home and mind baby

It is clear you have no experience
Mackie using you for expedience
You should practice a little patience
And convince de world that you have a conscience

The GOP call you maverick
Cause you wearing burgundy lipstick
But their actions are so erratic
Like a pit-bull they have you feeling frantic

As the governor of Alaska
There's no doubt you fit the criteria
But no way you could beat Obama
So take Dude and Bristol back to Wasilia

hope you enjoy it, to listen to the song go to my page (delroy) on the Domincan Diaspora website, and look for my music (scroll down on the left side of the page) those of you who know the original song should be able to sing alone to this Caribbean gem.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Reaching for the Sky: Giving Back

Reaching for the Sky is the motto for the The Bioche Young Achievers, last week, gave back to their community during a week of activities. A number of lectures were held covering various topics (health, education, history etc) but the highlight of the week was the Elderly Dinner held for the aged community members. Although the week of activities were disrupted by the passage of Hurricane Omar about twenty (20) elderly persons turned up for their night of eats, music, storytelling and dancing.
The week of activities ended with a beach clean up on the saturday and much of the debris left by Hurricane Omar was removed. Support for the week of activities came from the Parliarmentary Representative, the Youth Development Division, the Dominica Youth Environment Organization.

For a week i was apart of Bioche, becoming an honorary member (got a tshirt and was invited to the dinner) and i felt proud to be clothed in the purple tshirt too, although not one of my favourite colors. Again hats off to the Bioche Young Achievers and I look forward to future activities in Bioche especially next year's week of activities as well. I know they didnt get much promotion by the media during the week but I am hoping that my blog is well recieved...doing the little it can.


Quote of the week: President Roosevelt

This week's quote comes from President Roosevelt of the United States of America. He was the 26th President and affectionately known as teddy.

I take from the quote that we shouldnt bother with our critics because it is the person who acts/perseveres that really counts. I just wanted to share the quote which i read on an PSA for the new Dominica Freedom Party Political Leader on the New Chronicle newspaper.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man or woman who points out how the strong man or woman stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man or woman who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself or herself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he or she fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his or her place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt – American President

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day - Today

Blog Action Day is an annual non-profit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion.

Global issues like poverty are extremely complex. There is no simple, clear answer. By asking thousands of different people to give their viewpoints and opinions, Blog Action Day creates an extraordinary lens through which to view these issues. Each blogger brings their own perspective and ideas. Each blogger posts relating to their own blog topic. And each blogger engages their audience differently.

So today, i will join millions of other bloggers and address poverty from my point of view. I see poverty as a state of mind, quite different from that of hunger. Don't get me wrong, poverty can also be your economic and financial situation but poverty of the mind is a much more serious situation.

You can always change your economic situation through hard work, perseverance and the right moves in life through education, luck and so on. However, when one's mind is in a state of poverty he is void of any brilliance, inspiration, action and goes through life just as a ritual of meaningless actions and activities. There is no purpose to his living and that is even more depressing and hurtful than being born in economic poverty.

So my encouragement to everyone is to find something positive to contribute their life too, fight for a positive cause. Today being Blog Action Day against poverty, then off course it would be good if persons devote today and future actions to assisting persons through the many forms of poverty that exist in the world in which we live in.

Without a thought

As quick as it came, it left.

Wow, without much fanfare or personal celebration, i'm now 28. The day went by like all my other birthdays, a few calls from loved ones, one or two texts from friends and alot of sleeping.

Sleep is a usual activity for me on my birthday, to make the time pass by as quickly as possible. I dont know, i just dont like to be reminded of my age especially when i look and feel so much younger (usually tell people that im 21).

Well the day (oct 12) is now gone and i'm moving on.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

National Beach Clean up for Dominica

October 11 is the National Beach Clean up day for Dominica. Although this is part of the International Cleanup Campaign, it is not held in September like other countries but the Dominica Youth Environment Organization (DYEO Inc) has always chosen to organize the activity for the second weekend in October.

However, this year the beach enhancement activity is shaping up to big one of the biggest in years. Over 30 communities and groups have pledged their support to participate in this islandwide campaign to rid our beaches of debris. The campaign is being supported strongly by the Dominica Reunion 2008 Office, Dominica Solid Waste Commission, the Youth Development Division and a number of other public and private sector institutions and businesses.

If you are in Dominica for the weekend please feel free to participate. For additional information you can contact the President of the DYEO (Delroy Williams) at:

767 225 6367

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Recent Newspaper Article

The following is a recent newspaper article abour yours truly. It was written by Miss Edona Jno. Baptiste, a reporter with the New Chronicle Newspaper, just a few days after i was elected new President of the National Youth Council of Dominica. I replaced Kelver Darroux under strange circumstances and I must add that i had nothing to do with it, because everyone kept asking me what role i played in his resignation.

Anyways, the truth shall be revealed and the article is as follows:

Delroy Williams said he is focused on advancing the office of the National Youth Council (NYC) as the new President.

Williams has been involved in youth work since his high school days. He was dubbed ‘member of the month’ just a couple months after joining the Kiwanis Educating Youth Club at 13 years whilst attending the Dominica Grammar School.

Subsequently, he began partaking in more groups. He is a former President of the Bath Estate Youth group and was one of the volunteers for the Camp Rescue Londonderry Programme.

Williams who is presently the President of the Dominica Youth Environment Organisation (DYEO) Inc and the National Association of Youth in Agriculture (NAYA) said “I also love the environment so I try to tie the two of them. So right now a lot of my focus is on the environment, agriculture and youth work.”

Asked whether his two Presidential roles would be a conflict with his new position, he replied “I don’t see it as a conflict.”

“I see it as an opportunity to get the work done. These three agencies look at totally different things. The Youth Council is general; NAYA is more agriculture and DYEO is environment. DYEO and NAYA have more opportunities to collaborate [and] I have been trying that during my mandate, and my role in the NYC is to get those organisations even more active... If there’s conflict then conflict only brings about resolution and it is within my power and my grasp to ensure that everything goes well and that the organisations continue to develop as needs be,” he told The Chronicle in an exclusive interview.

Even so, Williams recognised it would be a challenge. But he is optimistic since he has dedicated persons supporting him on each of those organisations. “They have pledged their support,” he noted.

The NYC executive is not daunted by former President Kelver Darroux’s resignation, although Williams realised it has caused some instability amongst members. However, they are advancing with the planned agenda for the year.

“I am still a little in the dark although he told me that it was personal reasons. I’m awaiting his press conference as to his exact personal reason or reasons as to his departure from the NYC. We met [last Thursday) at the office of the Council and we had a nice discussion as to his reasons and [he said] now was the opportune time and he was not really stepping away but allowing somebody else to step up within the Council... he ruled that he will be giving as much support in his new line of work or line of focus... and of course the Council will be calling on Mr. Darroux because he’s still a person of a lot of contacts and a lot of resources,” the new NYC President stated.

Darroux sent his letter of resignation via e-mail last week to the Administrative Coordinator of the NYC.

According to Williams, the job of the President is to stabilise discouraged and de-motivated youths to strive for a universal goal. Within the NYC, that goal is youth development, according to him.

“My thing is that you should align yourself with positive activities as a young person. We all see what the negative can do and what it is doing to our nation. So as much as possible you align yourself with positive movements [and] ensure that you do not only develop in terms of education but in social development,” he said.

Williams called for support from Dominican youths as he endeavours to make NYC a positive agent for youth development.

His personal plan on the cards is the set up of a National Youth Credit Union. The NYC will also continue to revive the district youth councils and establish student councils since a number of them are dormant.

Quote of the Week: Miyazawa Kenji

Right now i am preparing for my departure from Japan back to my homeland Dominica, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea but i just want to share one of the quotes that i had the privilege to understand and discuss with my fellow participants of the Course that i attended.

It comes from a noted Japanese renaissance Man : Miyazawa Kenji, he did and dabbled in every and anything and assisted the farmers of the Iwate Prefecture (Hanamaki City) to increase agricultural production (rice) while instilling in them a sense of pride and commitment.

His quote: “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey” rings well with us because we could understand the genesis of it, the pain. Off course, all the participants of the course came from the Caribbean and most of our pain is rooted in the rememberance of slavery, slave revolts but we have somehow evolved into a very peaceful society with small bouts of violence though.

However i feel that the quote is asking us to embrace the pain, ensure that we remember it, not just for the sake of remembrance but that we also channel that pain to strive for greater good. I will always remember the lessons learnt here in Japan, a very humble, respectful and appreciative country.

Just wanted to share this quote.

Below is also a poem, "Not Losing In The Rain," (translated in English) of Kenji that also symbolizes what he stood for as an individual:

not losing to the rain

not losing to the wind

not losing to the snow or to the heat of the summer

with a strong body

unfettered by desire

never losing temper

cultivating a quiet joy

every day four bowls of brown rice

miso and some vegetables to eat

in everything

count yourself last and put others before you

watching and listening, and understanding

and never forgetting

in the shade of the woods of the pines of the fields

being in a little thatched hut

if there is a sick child to the east

going and nursing over them

if there is a tired mother to the west

going and shouldering her sheaf of rice

if there is someone near death to the south

going and saying there's no need to be afraid

if there is a quarrel or a suit to the north

telling them to leave off with such waste

when there's drought, shedding tears of sympathy

when the summer's cold, walk in concern and empathy

called a blockhead by everyone

without being praised

without being blamed

such a person

I want to become

The Great Words of the Humble Miyazawa Kenji