First or Final thoughts? Not sure
It was a challenging experience for us, each and every one of us… from the organizers to the very last performer, but we pulled off something that we can all be proud off… we didn’t do all that we had planned and that was for various reasons, one of which was the late start… totally out of our control as we were stranded at the Arawak for hours waiting on a few people… but that didn’t damper our spirits, it merely fueled our fire.
I must thank the team, who despite numerous challenges, some self-inflicted ones as well, stood by and completed the task at hand.
I’ve heard some complaints about the length of the show but honestly, can you blame us for taking everybody on board to showcase their talents and skills? How often does an opportunity like this come to showcase to a full house and even more via online media and traditional media for our young persons. I must admit that some of the acts did stray with regards to the allotted time and for that I must apologize and it can be painful to go very long acts, but still I must commend each and every performer for gracing the stage and doing what they did. It takes a special courage and I know for a fact that this was the first attempt at performing for some of these young people. So hats off to them once more.
I must say in the immediate aftermath of the show that I was really tired, and upon proper reflection now that I have taken a few hours of rest, that MY young people did me proud. I put MY in CAPITAL LETTERS because I feel that over the past few months I have come to know some of them very closely: from the consultations, camps/workshops, the practices, the videos, the interactive street performances and the final showcase. These have given me the opportunity to once again experience a talent that’s just waiting to be developed and marketed to the rest of the world. The world is missing out on the great talent and skills of our Dominican youth;, we need to find ways to harness that talent. If through the YTTA, we've managed to influence one young person to embrace the creative arts or to showcase their already budding talent, then I think we've started a trail that they will someday blaze.
And to my team, I know I am maybe not the easiest person to get along with at all, but you believed in me, believed in the vision of the YTTA and stuck through it all to ensure that we had a showcase that we can all be proud of… and we may never get the flowers we deserve but I’m hoping through this whole experience that we’ve been able to grow individually and as a team… I will call on you all again, as I always find myself involved in various activities and I hope that when I call, that you will answer in the affirmative, just like you’ve done in the past. The team grew from strength to strength both in numbers and in activity, so from deep down in my heart, I want to thank each and every one of you… the entire process isn’t over as yet, we still have minor things to mop up soon.
Thanks to all those who've supported the venture… those who came to the Arawak, those who saw the show online via Comeseetv and Dominica News Online… I may never get be able to thank everybody individually but rest assured you contribution was noted and appreciated.
As we move forward, I want to urge you all – the organizing team, the facilitators, the volunteers, performers to continue to use your talents and skills for your development and that of you country…
There’s more to say and I will probably say a lot more soon, as this entire project has touched me immensely, so rest assured that this isn’t the last that you will hear or see from the YTTA.
I must also thank the United Nations Development Programme through the Youth-IN project for giving me this opportunity to impact the many young people that I came in contact with through my stint as Caribbean Youth Think Tank representative for Dominica and through the YTTA Project as well.
I must also thank my regional colleagues, the one who started the process... the trailblazer Shari Pollard from Barbados. To Dillon Webbe from St. Kitts and Nevis, who worked with myself and Shari to ensure that we projectized the activity to suit the Youth-IN Project. To Tevin who hit the ground running with the project in St. Lucia, your drive inspired me, as well as your encouraging words. I must also mention Teocah Dove from Trinidad and Tobago, who gave her unwavering support through difficult times and situations... and although she didn't get a chance to come to Dominica as was planned... I still appreciate everything that you've done for me.
To the other Think Tank members, please embrace this opportunity. It will leave a mark on your youthful days, trust me!
Thanks again to ALL
Delroy Nesta Williams