Sunday, April 26, 2009

NYC brings gospel fever to homeless

What was organized as a talent show turned out into a gospel festival for the folks at the Grotto Home for the Homeless, as members of the National Youth Council and others from the Catholic Youth Christian Club, engaged the inmates in a spiritual encounter.

For almost two hours, the walls of the building trembled from the voices of the youth and homeless (mostly elderly/abandoned persons). Poetry and singing took centre stage but the highlight of the activity occured when the young persons engaged in a sing off with their audience. For about forty five (45) minutes gospel favourite after favourite was chanted out by the crowd and performers.

In the true Dominican spirit, calypso was also given a "brief" moment to shine as calypsonian Yolie shared her tune as well as that of Singining Sandy. Two (2) tunes from local favourite Tarina also made its way unto the impromptu program.

I also had an opportunity to perform my latest poem: I'm stuck.

A wonderful moment for all, both performers and those in the crowd.

Although the Council had planned to have a Walk for Youth 2K9 for that date, because of poor private sector support among other logistical issues it had to be posponed, but still it was time well spent on Global Youth Service Day.
The Youth Council is already putting plans in place to have a big fundraiser with the Home for the Homeless to raise funds for their activities including setting up of a Chapel.
Look out for that one.

Quote of the week: Albert Einstein

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices, but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thought in clear form."

Albert Einstein

Friday, April 24, 2009

Minister lashes out after my comments

Story about my comments at the recently held public pre-budget discussion forum at the Public Service Training Centre on Tuesday of this week.

Public servant criticises; minister lashes out

President of the National Association of Youth in Agriculture (NAYA) and field officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Delroy Wiliams has laid blame on the Government for poor working conditions in his department and inadequate provisions in the agricultural sector.
“From my personal working environment at the Division of Agriculture, the general environment at the Division of Agriculture is really one that is not conducive to delivering a quality service to agricultural farmers,” Williams said.

For more on the story and for comments of Dominicans click the following link

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

World Earth Day 2009

It's APRIL 22nd
Nest@ wishes

Happy Earth Day to all!

We do not inherit the earth from our fathers, we borrow it from our children!

Make the conscious choice to live for tomorrow not just for today

Delroy "Nesta" Williams

I'm Stuck: Crossroads

Ever been stuck doing something and you couldn't figure out why and there was no reason in your mind. Well what started out as a situation where I couldnt understand my mental block ended up in my newest of poems. Although the reason I got stuck isn't really the theme of the poem but it addresses difficult, mental and physical "crossroads".


I’m stuck
Between this rock and a hard place
I’m stuck
Which direction do I take?
I’m stuck
Left or right, back or forth
I’m stuck
East, west, north or south
I’m stuck
Running out of time, running out of luck
I’m stuck
This seems so right though I know it’s wrong
I’m stuck
Should I tell or just remain mute?
I’m stuck
Maintain the lie or tell the truth
I’m stuck
Because what I need is not what I want
I’m stuck
Now I refuse to choose, refuse to move
I’m stuck
Oh help me for I’m still confused
I’m stuck
Asking for, but refusing the help
I’m stuck
I; my own worst enemy, still my own best friend
I’m stuck
My insecurities will ruin my strength
I’m stuck, yes I’m stuck
Delroy "Nesta" Williams
I'm performing this one at the NYC talent show for Global Youth Service Day at the Community Hostels Inc (Grotto Home for the Homeless) on Saturday

Kiera's Book Club: Flying with Knowledge

I'm not sure if many persons would remember but sometime last year there was a call from Sandra Valentine, on the behalf of her nine year old daughter, to the members of Dominican Diaspora to donate books to a book club that would make the reading material available to primary schools on the island.

Well the book club has seen the light of day and yesterday the National Youth Council of Dominica launched the program which now targets five primary schools (Massacre, Roseau, Trafalgar, Concord and Castle Bruce). There was also a logo design competition launched as a means of promotion of the book club and to raise awareness about literacy in Dominica. The Pioneer Prepatory school emerged winners of the contest (see logo below).

We do hope that the contributions of new and used books and reading material will continue as the National Youth Council hopes to increase the number of schools benefiting from the program to ten. It is also hoped that ICT tools that be introduced to the kids through the program.

Anyone willing to assist can contact Sandra, myself on DD or the National Youth Council:

15 Bath Road
Commonwealth of Dominica
1 (767) 448 6944

Thanks again to all who contributed and a special hats off to Sandra and Christina "Kiera" Valentine.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Youth Council to put on talent show for homeless

It's April and what we normally look forward to is April's Fool Day on the first of the month, however there is also another reason to appreciate that month: Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). GYSD is held during a weekend every April in over 100 countries in every region of the world.
Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is a time in the year when we come together to focus the world’s attention on what young people are contributing every single day.

GYSD is organized by Youth Service America with the National Youth Leadership Council, the Global Youth Action Network, and with thousands of partners in the U.S. and across the world.
During Global Youth Service Day, millions of youth around the world organize community service projects to address the needs of their local communities through service, to be recognized for their contributions, and to be a part of a global youth service movement.

This year the National Youth Council of Dominica is hosting a talent show at the Community Hostels Inc (Grotto Home for the Homeless) on Saturday May 25, 2009 from 10:30 a.m. The Youth Council members and other youth will portray their different talents dancing, singing, poetry, etc.
Upstart calypsonian and singer Yolie is expected to perform at the show also.

Invitation is opened for other young talented persons to also showcase their talents at the activity.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

what's in my cd player right now

Everytime I write this post, I must mention that I do not have a cd player, I actually listen to music on my phone or on my laptop, even the radio at times.

But these past few days, I haven't had much time to listen to music however the little time that I get, I usually devote it to conscious music aka reggae, some rap, gospel and even a little of our local music, bouyon (okay, okay, that is not exactly conscious music but it depends on your interpretation of it).

Lately I have gone back to my earliest of musical influences (remember I am still a young person, lol), this is the first album that I could recite par cœur ( by heart). Well I could be talking about Robert Nesta Marley (my father named me Nesta after him) but i am not, I am talking about Buju Banton. His earliest albums are a far cry from conscious reggae, it dealt with more dancehall topics but from his re-awakening, Buju has been a force to reckon with in the reggae music genre.

Although I am currently listening to his 'Til Shiloh album by favourite Buju ensemble is 'Inna Heights'. My favourite songs on his 'Til Shiloh album include:

"'Til I'm Laid to Rest"
"Untold Stories"
"Not an Easy Road"
"Complaint" (with Garnett Silk)
"Wanna Be Loved"
"It's All Over"
"Hush, Baby, Hush"
"What Ya Gonna Do?" (with Wayne Wonder)

But my favourite line any of his songs come from Untold Stories:

What is to stop the youths from get out of control
Full up of education yet no own no payroll
The clothes on my back have countless eyehole.
I could go on and on the full has never been told

and off course I could go on and on but I will end here

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Management or Leadership? quote of the week

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing"

Peter F. Drucker

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lucky 7: HELL NO

Seven might be a lucky number to some but yesterday it was pure hell. I've been to the Boiling Lake six times, well seven now since i made the journey yesterday as NAYA organized a hike to the second largest lake of its kind in the world. I think the largest is found in New Zealand or so my 11 year old niece told me.

Well the lake is found in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which is also a recognized World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We set off from Roseau around 7:40 and took about one hour to get to the start of the trail (they really need to finish the road improvement works, it takes forever to get to Laudat). We started the hike at 8:42 after a quick group photo and prayer.

Everything was routine and just the way I remembered it from 5 years ago, the last time I hiked to the lake. Although alot had changed since the last time I saw it, it was even recorded to have dried up a few ago but not the Lake was back to its usual business, boiling up chalky water.

I stopped every other moment to take photos (one of my hobbies) and wait on the people behind me (a good way to catch your breath when you're tired). My mother and niece also made the trip so I had to make sure they were okay from time to time. Our first major stop was at Breakfast river, there I filled my bottle with the purest of water anywhere in the world. That water is sweet, no lie.

From there it was uphill. Again that was expected, but what I had forgot was how long it took from there to the viewpoint, which some people say is also the half way point between the start and the lake. It wasn't hard just long. Once we got there we took another pause for the cause and took photos, shared a few jokes and had some snacks pass around. No complaints or comments yet, but that was soon too come.

Everybody was all smiles through the Valley of Desolation and nobody took notice that we actually had to climb back up that steep incline. To be honest, I only went back to the lake to take a photo of my hand in the water, because i had lost the one I took out some time aback and I was glad to get the opportunity to do it but did i ever pay the price.

We arrived at the lake at about 11:30 and again had snacks, took photos and chit chatted. Nobody dared go down to the bottom (at the edge of the lake) but I made it there to get my photo, by any means necessary. The climb is always scary when you do it alone and I had my close moment when I second guessed my decision but I made it, else I wouldnt be here typing this blog.

We left a few minutes after, some people couldnt wait to go back when they realized how long the walk to the bus would really take. Off course, we had to take a dip in the hot pools before making our way through the Valley. If you are going to subject yourself to that painful climb you might at least enjoy the treats before you do so.

It felt like we were walking for day before we made it back to Titou Gorge, It actually just took me over 2 and a half hours. I felt bad for my niece though, she had cried on her way back to the Laudad and said she would never return there. I don't blame her, if I was at her age I probably would have said the same thing.

Oh before I end my blog, I want to say how proud I am of my mother for attempting the hike, at least she made it passed the Valley of Desolation, a lot of people haven't even made it that far before turning back.


Next on my hiking list:

Morne Diablotin
Morne Trois Pitons
Perdu Temps (Lost Time)

Any takers??????

I'm a Proud Father

Yes, it’s true I’m a father, a dad; got myself a young one after months of trying and after a difficult process, my baby is here. I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want to jinx the birth. I didn’t want what happened the first time to occur again, death during delivery. That was so much to bear the last time.

Let me be clear before I lead people down the wrong road, because I get the feeling that this might just happen. I am a dad but not to a baby boy or girl, actually one of the fish in my aquarium gave birth to a young one. It isn’t the first birth in the aquarium but it is the first to survive the first week, so I am hoping all goes well.

I have always loved fish and as a young boy I had a lot of guppies in a big bowl but they always seemed to die or disappear (thieves) after a while. But about a year ago, I decided to buy myself an aquarium (at Pet Land, in Roseau), as a gift for something I did (can’t remember what it was) and I filled it with a variety of fish. I think I overpopulated it and pretty soon the fish started to die. I did manage to save a few of them (2 black widows and a small shark) only to have them killed later by a mishap.

They say that when you want a job done right you should do it yourself, well that pertains to cleaning of aquariums too. I gave my cousin a small job to clean my aquarium, nothing to difficult, and nothing that a 14-year old boy couldn’t handle, right. Well wrong, turned out he used bleach to clean the bowl and didn’t even rinse out the bowl before adding the fish. A few hours after, I came back home to meet my fish floating in the bowl, well I learned my lesson.

Today no one touches my fish or aquarium because that could spell your death, lol. I only have six fish in there now, well actually seven, almost forgot the newborn baby fish. I have given them all names; well actually they all have the same name, snookums. Don’t ask where that came from. Snookums 7 is doing fine, almost can’t see him/her most of the time because of the marbles, shells and other stuff in the bowl but I make sure I locate him/her before I go to bed at nights and first thing in the morning. I have even increased my feed regime just to ensure that he/she receives the fair share of food and grows up strong.

So as you can see I’m a proud dad, proud father and will post more photos soon. Will try to get a close up photo but bear with me I’m working with a normal digital camera, need to get myself an underwater one soon.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

the joy of ludo

My family isn’t like any other but in many ways it probably is like yours. we have our fights but we have our good times too. Some of the fights turn violent too, with even a show of blood shed on accasions.

But all that changes from time to time, when we get across from each other on the Ludo board. Ludo has been a part of our family for over twenty years, I remember learning to play around the age of five.

On any given day, if you take a walk on my street in Bath Estate, you can hear screams, it may even be described as howling, but don't be afraid it may just be me, my aunt or one of my cousins celebrating kicking out a player from the board or winning the game. And the beauty of it is that we play in front of our house, in the open for all our neighbours and friends to hear. Some of our neighbours have even been known to join us.

Oh how we have graduated from ludo being just a causal game, to the competitive spirit that now arises every time the board, die and markers are taken out from its hiding place. It has to be hidden else the kids would probably lose the markers and that would surely cause a catastrophy. And according to my aunts, he who spares the rod, spoils the child...

But in ludo, it's actually an eye for an eye... you kick me out, watch out because I will be back to kick you out of the game.