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