Friday, May 29, 2009

Poem: life's education

My sister wanted a poem about school and I wrote one for her, not the kind of school she had in mind but everything that happens throughout our lifetime teaches us something so I took that as my inspiration for the poem. The poem may seem dark to you but I actually draw alot of hope from it.

Life’s Education
By Delroy "Nesta" Williams

There are no walls or blackboards here
And the lesson is taught after the class,
Though the teacher is omni-present
He’s still invisible to the carefree student.

This is a time of personal battles,
Where it seems the world determines the rules,
And just when you think you’ve earned the grades
With graduation on the horizon,
A new lesson from the teacher emerges.

A glimmer of your hope quickly erased in an instant
For two steps forward can lead to a hike from miles away.
There’s no room for petty games in this classroom
As the school is life long
And coronation comes after the grave.

Only death hands over the certificate
As a passage to true liberty,
This depends on personal choices
To a newness that can’t be enslaved.

Only achievable by the path trodden,
To and from the school of life,
But beware of the eternal detention
If you don’t heed life’s lesson.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

garbage bin scandal

I'm not one to meddle in politics or to even promote political issues but I can't escape this one, I don't think anyone in Dominica can. The present government, led by the Honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Roosevelt Skerrit has come under hot water for the procurement of garbage bins. Who would have ever thought that garbage bins would become such an important pre-election issue, lol.

Facts (got the facts from an email, not sure if that makes them irrelevant) as presented about the garbage bin scandal:

  1. Invoice for 2,700 residential garbage bins at US$102.19 sent by Dopwell to Skerrit on April 22, 2008.

  2. nvoiced price is said to be good through June 05, 2008

  3. The retail price of the bins eventually supplied (Roughneck 32Gal Non-Wheeled Refuse Bin from Rubbermaid) is as low as US$14.67 at Home Depot locations

  4. Item is not provided for in the 2007/2008 budget

  5. Members of the Roseau City Council are not aware of any decision to have government source garbage bins on behalf of the council

  6. Payments for the US equivalent of EC$275,909.98 and EC$473,887.74 (total of EC$749,797.72) made to Dopwell/Logistical Supply Solution by wire transfer from the National Bank of Dominica (NBD) on May 09, 2008

  7. Dopwell places on on May 13, 2008 request quotations for the supply of bins CIF Dominica

  8. Bins arrive in Dominica on September 24, 2008

  9. Government grants itself concessions to import the bins duty free on September 26, 2008.

  10. Concession scheduled to expire on February 26, 2009

  11. Skerrit presents supplementary budgetary appropriation to Parliament on October 06, 2009 and says that EC$764,541.00 was paid to Logistical Supply Solution for the bins that should have cost no more than EC$200,000.

  12. Bins are cleared from customs on April 16, 2009 after a VAT payment of EC$112,400 - six and a half months after they arrived in Dominica WHERE DE MONEY GONE?Do the math.

You be the judge, I'm waiting for the final verdict. Is there corruption or not???

Voix Dominique - Poetry Publication

The Dominican Diaspora ning group, through the esteemed leadership of Dominican Diane Corriette, has compiled a poetry publication, amply entitled Voix Dominique - An Anthology of Dominican Poetry.

The call for submissions was made a few months ago and I, along with other members of the online network, submitted two of my poems:

My Dominica (page 13 of 48)
Stuck (page 45 of 58)

There are also a number of other Dominican poets who have contributed to the anthology including:

Susan Edgar
Albert Williams
Ceasarina Paul

Voix Dominique is a collection of poetry put together by 27 members of the Dominican Diaspora Social Network. The book also contains artwork (including the front cover) created by Dominican Diaspora member Ronald "Baba" Deschamps.

Please feel free to send this book to friends and family or send them the link to this page
To join the Dominican Diaspora Social Network visit


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

quote of the week: life

Quote of the week for this week comes via the msn messenger sign-in name of a friend of mine. It speaks about life and it simply says:

"In three words I can sum up everything that i have learnt about life: it goes on"

thanks Diana for this one...

I guess it speaks to not taking things too seriously and even in the worst of situations we always have to be mindful that life will continue with or without us. It also makes me want to live for the moment and cherish the time that i have already spent on earth. Love the people i should love while i can love them because tomorrow is definitely not my own.

So to anyone who reads my blog, tell your loved ones how you feel before it's too late.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Hot or Cold Water???

Well we've been called the land of the largest variety of greenery, or shades of green, the land of beautiful women (without a doubt) but we are also the land of many waters. The land of many waters plus towering peaks and deep valleys equals the land of many waterfalls. I have been to so many but there are still a lot on my list that I need to visit while i'm still physically capable.

Just this weekend (sunday) I visited the Trafalgar falls with the friends. I have been there a number of times over the years and I didnt really want to go this time around but this was the easiest hike we could have done with the limited daylight we had (we left home around 3 in the afternoon). Off course, the deal was sweetened when they mentioned they wanted to go to Screw's Natural Hot Water Pools at Wotten Waven. I was just there about a week and a half ago but I can never resist a trip to Wotten Waven when hot water is involved.

This time around we were greeted by a wonderful rainbow at the mother falls. There are three falls (mother, father and obviously the baby). We climbed to the base and had a nice half an hour swim. Anything more than that would be pure torture since the water is as cold or even colder than ice. I am still shivering while typing up this post, lol. But after a little torture one must always pleasure oneself. No, no, no, i wasnt talking about masturbation, well at least not this time, lol. I'm still talking about the hot water bath at Screw's. We paid for an hour's bath (just a small fee of EC$10/local) but stayed almost two hours (Screw's never pays any attention). I wanted to spend the rest of the night but felt that I was slowly been cooked.

For the first time at Screw's I actually went into the cool pool, I was convinced, well actually forced against my will, but it was really good but they should rename it the cold pool because after an hour or so in the hot pools even lukewarm water feels cold to the skin. A visit at Screw's is never complete without a complimentary platter of fruits (pineapple, banana, watermelon and sugarcane or as my friend say sugar sugar.

This ten dollar day at Screw's is really worth much more but I hope he doesn't change the price as I make it a healthy part of my lifestyle to soak in the sulphur waters.

Thanks be to JAH for this Dominican blessing, truly the Nature Island. The Island after God's own heart. Apres Bondie C'est La Ter...

Razzard or Everlasts?

What I remember most about my childhood was going to the river, riding my bike, eating mangoes and off course playing cricket and football in the streets. Most of these took place during the summer when we were free to do as we place and every summer I get the feeling to just stop work for a few days and get back to my old routine.

Football has always been my favourite sport/activity although I don't play it as much these days. As a young boy we didnt have football boots, unless you call the black and yellow razzards as boots, but they looked more like constructions shoes than anything else. So we were reduced to playing with our draggers or ni pied (barefoot) with our everlasts. We referred to the souls of our feet as Everlasts since they last until death.

Saturday took me back, a bit of nostalgia, to those childhood days. I was playing football with my cousins, well not ni pied, but with slippers (draggers) on my feet. They had to be thrown away after the match though, lol. We played two rounds, well actually I was overmatched in both rounds but I managed to outscore my oppenents (a nine year old and seven year old) in the first match, I was tired by the second one (different and older opponents this time).

Many thanks to my cousin Nester Phillip for the pics...


Friday, May 22, 2009

My fave five of the week

Another week; another list of my five favourite things of that week:
  1. the 4D Ag Centre Bath Estate team are back to back national football (soccer) champions. Blue Blue, Estate For True; going for a three-peat;

  2. Got some donuts and banana bread from my friend Michelle; a peace corps volunteer at the National Youth Council of Dominica; you can check out her donut story on her blog. She always have some wonderful baked goods, keep em coming Michelle, I want to put on some weight, lord knows 140 aint much, lol;

  3. Had a wonderful night on Monday; Walked through Roseau up to Goodwill and spent some time in the middle of the Lindo Park football field looking at the "stars" for about an hour or so;

  4. My farmers treated my supervisor, karen (my friend) and I to lunch; we had a one pot brath and some wine, Johnny Walker Red Label Scotch. My farmers really know how to treat me well, lol, except when they arguing for seeds and fertilizer, then it is a verbal onslaught. But at the end of the day it's all good.

  5. Hosted the environmental program (Environment and Sustainable Development) last night on Kairi FM radio. We discussed Invasive Alien Species as the theme for International Day for Biodiversity (today) as well as Access and Benefit Sharing for Genetic Resources.


Soucouyant story

The Soucouyant or Soucriant in Caribbean and specifically Dominican folklore is a creature that lives by day as an old woman in a village. By night, however, she strips off her wrinkled skin, puts it in a mortar and flies in the shape of a fireball through the darkness, looking for a victim to suck the life-blood out of.

To get rid of her, you must put coarse salt in the mortar containing her skin, then she cannot put it back on and must perish among other practices. The Soucouyant practices witchcraft, voodoo, and black magic. Belief in Soucoyants is still preserved to some extent in Trinidad. (

I've always heard stories of soucouyant as a little boy growing up, but it has been a while since i've heard them until this morning.

I usually reserve fridays for office days or to have meetings and while waiting on a few individuals I overheard this conversation, I can't remember how it started or when I started to pay attention to it, but this is somewhat how it went:

Lady One: I've slept with two soucouyants when i was a child

Lady Two: what, how you manage dat nah?

Lady One: as a child, i wasen afraid of anything nah but is my fada dat force me to go

Lady Two: so you never tell your fada dat den?

Lady One: my fada never believe me den

Lady Two: so how you find out they was witch?

Lady One: my broda (Mahway) tie up one with pied poule (fowl's grass)

Lady Two: how he do dat dere?

Lady One: one night de lady leave me sleeping and leave de house around 2 in de morning so i get up and call my broda nah. he had already prepare de pied poule so he put it infront of de door and around de house so when she come back in de morning she couldnt enter, he really tie her wii. all she could do was make noise. He ask her question about where she come out but she doh answer, de whole village come out and see her wii.

Lady Two: so if she was a witch, how come she never suck you or put u in deep sleep

Lady One: chile i blessed, she could never put her thing on me nah for me to fall asleep, even de other one not even talking to me up to today, she does pass me straight in de street and sending words for me. I tell her once she have to die alone and miserable

Lady Two: so what happen to the first witch? what dem ppl do her?

Lady One: nothing nah but people get to know she is a witch, she die a few years ago...

Around that time I had to leave to go into the other room so I missed the rest of the conversation. These type of stories are a part of every Dominican family and is passed from generation to generation with a little more added on every time. But you know where there is smoke, there must be some form of fire, don't be alarmed but there is some truth to the soucouyant...


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Poem: words of the nomad

Wrote this one yesterday, well I pieced it together from two small works I had and I must say i'm pleased with the final product, hope the readers like it:

"Words of the nomad"

Influenced by the many
but still my own man,
lots of people may speculate
but only I know who I am.
Those who feel that I can't
will soon find out that I can,
for no walls will stop me
no hurdles impede my progress.
I'm steadfast in my thinking
moving forward; always giving my best.

Don't think I am afraid,
or scared of anything at all.
Yes, I know that I may stumble
or even take a fall,
but i'm not walking alone
for my steps are guided
and my vision is clear
for when you think i'm in isolation,
I'll tell you plain; My Lord lingers near.

I know of the naysayers,
those who whisper when I walk pass.
Those who pretend to give advice,
at the same time predict my demise.
Tell them I am strong!
and as the breeze blows,
the sun shines and the rain pours
so my will to carry on.
My burden is mine alone to bear
but I'll carry it with pride.
I have smelled the aroma
and had a taste of life's coffee too,
I live my life for me:
for to myself alone can I be true...

by Nesta

Monday, May 18, 2009

We are the Champions!!!

Yes, we have done it again, we are back to back champions of the Mr. Ping Doors and Windows Premier League of the Dominica Football Association (DFA).

4D Ag Centre Bath Estate has made good on its promises to its community and sponsors to secure the national championship for a second straight year. There was never any doubt though since from the first round the team was leading the standing with only a periodic lapse due to regional duty during the CFA Caribbean Champions Cup.

Although the champions have been crowned since last week, the team took on Southeast yesterday and was on their way to giving the team a beating before the game was called off by the always controversial referee Carlisle Jno. Baptiste.

Bath Estate was already leading the match by 3 goals to 2 with Kurlson "Maxi" Benjamin scoring two and Mitchell "Baggio@ Joseph scoring the other goals for the Blue Blue squadiee.

Now it's off to Newtown for the offseason league where we intend to bit every single team even rivals Cessame Street.

Blue, Blue, Estate for True
You done know...

Big up to the entire team: Kurlson "Maxi" Benjamin, Mitchell "Baggio" Joseph, Michael "Big Joe" Joseph, Imran "Boxhead" Gage, Charles "Charlie" Hypolite, Ezra "Bang Bang" Richards, Angus "headless" Pinard and the rest of the crew


Free Expressions coming your way

I've taken another step in ensuring that my company Free Expressions Poetry Company actually sees the light of day. The company logo has been developed and all is in place for a successful 2009 and beyond.

Our first project, the joint venture with the National Youth Council (NYCD), is going on smoothly. The love poem competition and Many Moods of Love show was a huge success in February and the second phase of the activity; the collection of love poems is in development with the final book expected to be launched at the General Assembly of the NYCD in Castle Bruce during the summer.

Free Expressions is currently working on its first play which should be out before the end of the year. The writers are feverishly perfecting the storyline and main plot and the aptly titled "Beff Stop" should be a smash hit with much talk of dvd production for distribution outside of Dominica.

A second play which targets youth and HIV/AIDS; with members of Dramatic Expressions is also expected to be completed in 2009.


Friday, May 15, 2009

my weekly five

This is my second fave five posting. I have had a mixed week but overall it was good. There are a few things that happened this week that I didn't count on that made it special enough to be remembered way down the line of my future. But before I bore you with my chatter, here is my five:

  1. I had strap bread or as I like to call it sweet bread this week, I had two pieces. I didn't feel to share so i stayed in my room and ate both loaves. Okay, okay, I know I am greedy but hey it's strap bread and it isnt every day I get to eat it, can't in indulge alone without you looking at me like that, lol...

  2. Did a few farm visits in the Wotten Waven area on wednesday. I had a very good time doing that, but what I most enjoyed was the hot water bath at Screw's Sulphur Spa. It isn't my first experience there but I had good company this time around;

  3. Always have a smile when I run into a plantation or a crop of the "holy" herb. This time it was just a plant, but it looked so majestic around the other herbs (basil, thyme, mint, etc). I don't smoke and I wouldn't encourage anyone to do so, but why can't I BAKE IT, BREW IT, STEW IT or just CHEW IT... It is truly for the healing of the nation, bet you never know, oh ho;

  4. Sunday was Mother's day and i spent it at home with my aunts and uncles, they actually planned a meal and gift exchange. I had a full plate towering with meat, boy dat go down good eh;

  5. Stayed up all night Wednesday (on purpose), well actually I was in and out of sleep. It's been a while since I've done that. I enjoyed every minute of it. I just couldnt fall asleep but things seemed so right with the world, I just sat up and listened to my heart beat and the sound of my breathing and watched myself smiling int he mirror, a happy moment indeed.


Scratch me please!

Just got a photo that I need to share:

This is Scratch, a young manicou, that has been separated from its mother because it got run over by a car. Scratch made his/her way to the Botanic Gardens because Jeff (a friend of mine)found him and took the young oppusom to the Forestry Division.

A coworker decided to "adopt" the few-weeks old manicou and gave it a name. Manicou's are protected in Dominica under the Wildlife act so legal adoption is not practiced however many persons do have them caged in their back yards and do some form of rearing as a meat source. It makes a delicous soup, trust me I know...

The opossum or "manicou" is popular and can only be hunted during certain times of the year owing to overhunting (usually between October and December) which is also a major festive season; the meat is traditionally prepared by smoking then stewing.

The meat is light and fine-grained, but the musk glands must be removed as part of preparation. The meat can be used in place of rabbit and chicken in recipes. Historically, hunters in the would place a barrel with fresh or rotten fruit to attract opossums who would feed on the fruit or insects.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

quote of the week?

The quote of the week comes from an Irish kid who played a hoax on the entire world, well at least those who use the internet as a research source, especially those who use wikipedia (free internet encyclopedia) as a source. He said he was testing how our globalized, increasingly Internet-dependent media was upholding accuracy and accountability in an age of instant news. He added the quote to Maurice's Jarre Wikipedia page. And the fake quote reads:

"One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack, Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head that only I can hear."

I guess we can now attribute the cute quote to Fitzgerald.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Quote of the Week: friendship

This week's quote is based on friendships. I've read a number of friendship quotes and always here people say that true friends last a lifetime and so forth. The quote for this week comes from Fr. Jerome Cummings:

A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway

I guess that it really speaks about the person knowing your shortcomings, deficiencies, bad habit and so forth but being able to see beyond that and appreciate you for who you are as an individual. These are the friends we mustn't let go from our lives and these are the kinds of relationships we should try to develop with our friends too.


My five (5)

Well ever so often I get this idea to add something new to my blog. In the past i've added quote of the week, what's in my music player and now i'm starting a new one, called my five.

It's kind of a tribute to myFaves by Tmobile and inspired because i'm a big basketball fan (go Celtics) and i'm always tuned into TNT basketball show where the different starts always give their five favourites based on various topics.

There is also a popular song in Dominica call Five by 2 Greedi which speaks of the different women he wants as his favourite five. I definitely appreciate his Five but mine speaks of something else, my five is dedicated to the things I may take for granted that happens to me during any particular week. Some people may have experience these things but alot of the time we take it for granted that we are able to do, see or even observe them.

So here is my Five for the week:

  1. Sleeping all day sunday; actually only left the bed to have something to eat;

  2. Going to the Purple Turtle for a day on the beach with a few friends; got to play beach football and chill for a change on May Day;

  3. My friend Michelle brought me some oatmeal cookies; delicious. I shared them at work with some colleagues and even lied about baking them. I told the truth later in the day though, can't take my friend's praise. What kinda person would that make me;
  4. Met with a new friend (Karen) who is actually visiting Dominica for the next three or four months. She came to experience the Nature Island and spent the past week and the International Eco-Festival at Rosalie. Well on Thursday she came to work with me and while visiting the farmers in my district, she had her first guava. She has had the juice but it was her first bite into the fruit, her facial expression said it all, she devoured it;

  5. Last night I walked home in the rain, all alone, well except for the young lady who kept me company on the phone. It was a nice night, with the moon almost fall and the light drizzle hitting against my face. All that was missing was some jazz or reggae music in the background.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Experimenting with the Rasta

Rasta this and rasta that, lol. I've got nothing against rasta or rastafarian, I've just come across a rasta caterpillar so i'm in a rasta mood.

Yes, there is such a thing as a rasta caterpillar, well actually it's called the frangipani caterpillar. Okay, for those people who are not into biology, forestry or the environment, let me break it down for you.

The rasta caterpillar or rasta chini as it is known in Dominica is a black and yellow caterpillar, with a pink, reddish face. It gets its local name from its colour scheme but its more common name is the frangipani caterpillar. It's name is derived from the frangipani plant because of the fact that it feeds off two groups of flowering plants (the frangipanis and the allamandas).

There are some peculiarities about the caterpillar:
  1. papae develops in the ground and not on plant
  2. caterpillar only feeds on frangipanis and allamandas
  3. birds dont feed on the caterpillar; because it feeds on plants that are highly toxic
The rasta chini is often seen at a particular time of the year, which is about now, april - june, and because of that you may often find the plants are left without leaves and flowers during that period. It often resembles a skeleton.

I remember capturing the caterpillar as a little boy and keeping it in a box just to see what would happen. Nothing ever came out of it, but now i've been told that the caterpillar hardly ever molts from the papae into the hawkmoth in captivity but no one can give me a real reason though.

So I've decided to try it again, this time with a little more knowledge about the insect. I will trap two or three of them and observe them over the next few months, I will try to give updates here and provide photos. Don't worry I only want to observe the molting process into the hawk moth. I'm no scientist so don't expect any weird experiments, lol.

Will keep updated information on this blog...


N.B. Dominica has one native frangipani (plumeria alba) or bwa rasta (rasta wood/rasta plant). It is called bwa rasta because the rasta caterpillar feeds on it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

40 by 40

This is my list of 40 things I want to accomplish before I am 40. I took the list from a 101 magazine website and although they were looking for 101 things I wanted to be more realistic with my list. Some of the things I have already done and some are really farfetched, but it never hurts to dream because you never know where life leads you from day to day. It is an incomplete list so i'm looking for suggestions and those I have already accomplished are highlighted and i also added some comments for the fun of it

40 by 40

01. Run with the bulls in Spain (I've ran with the dogs of Dominica)
02. Skydive
03. Climb a mountain. Any mountain! (too many, but Mont Blanc was memorable)
04. Fly-fish within the Rockies
05. Visit the Pyramids of Giza
06. Scuba Dive at the Great Barrier Reef
07. Learn to play an instrument
08. Swim with Sharks or Dolphins (can't it just be any fish, lol)
09. Sing the National Anthem at a sporting event/ sing in public- Karaoke counts (can't sing)
10. Ride a Motorcycle (will definitely do this)
11. Write a novel or a screenplay (already started this one)
12. Snowboard in the Alps (well I did visit Mont Blanc and skied so that counts, right?)
13. Swim across/in a lake (Fresh Water Lake in Laudat)
14. Unplug your television for a week (does it count if i'm out of the country at the time)
15. Learn another language (parlez-vous francais)
16. Kiss a complete stranger (ladies only)
17. Run a marathon
18. Help someone in another country
19. Learn how to Tango or any other spanish/latin/cultural dance
20. Bungee jump (might have to reconsider this on)
21. Ride a dog sled
22. Create a piece of Art (working on that)
23. Volunteer for a humanitarian organization (yep, do that often)
24. Audition for a role in a play at the community theatre (got the part but the play never happened, writing my own though)
25. Stand up to a bully even if you are not the one being bullied (are you crazy, have you seen my size, I would get crushed, lol)
26. Cook and/or Eat sushi (got pictures to prove it, in my pink apron, lol) pink is a manly colour okay...
27. Publish my book of poetry or two
28. Launch my production company and start on my plays
29. Get married (how could i forget that one) with kids too

suggestions needed please


Friday, May 1, 2009

swine flu

This blog post is not intended to hurt anyone, especially those who have lost someone to the H1N1 (swine flu) virus.

It is merely intended to bring some humour to the world, Caribbean style...

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb

Please continue to be vigilant and follow the instructions of the health authorities, there is no need to panic, well not yet anyways...