How Do We Get 5-Star Ready Here in Possie? We Have A Little Time To Do So, If We Intend To!

Observing these three main hotels being rapidly constructed in the Town of Portsmouth, Dominica, makes me wonder; are we as a community and by extension as a nation truly ready for them? Mind you, these are not the only hotels being constructed in the island; thus, the pressure on our population to cater to their demands is expected to increase rapidly.

It is clear that if we do not act now, we will be caught unprepared, and will suffer a huge deficit in our productivity and ability to take full advantage of the opportunities that such developmental infrastructures have the potential to present.

Looking around the town, I see some level of preparation, though in my view these are quite slim. For example, the bit of work done to open the Indian River entrance thereby making it more sightly, the cleaning of the beach front just adjacent of that area, the setting up of drainage system toward the Cabrits Resorts and Spa Kempinsky, and maybe even the new housing project toward Cotton Hill area which just may assist with moving those not-too-good-looking buildings from the beach front along Lagoon. These are my assumptions of course, so I am subject to correction.

As relates to us as locals being able to fully capitalize on these hotels in our town, I wonder about that. For example, the volume of agricultural products including fresh vegetables, fresh well packaged and presented fish all properly filleted, well packaged fresh meat, other fringe services like entertainment for guests, night-events, water sporting opportunities, classy live bands and or performances within the town, and other such activities are amiss or if they exist are neither quite fully organized nor professionally branded for that scale or expected quality.

Are we actually getting ready for the demands of the 5 Star level hotels? Or, is it that we are not expected to be; because most of the necessities can be sought from outside? Worst yet, the hotels will probably be self-sufficient?

I am strongly convinced that, if we do not prepare ourselves and our people, we will be on the losing end. The point is that, we are expected to be the first ones to benefit, but there is a process to everything. Our small farmers, micro and small enterprises, cultural organizations, artists of all sorts and our people in general need to become ready for these.

The announcement of vacancies are great, and I hope us locals can fill in most if not all of these vacant posts. Still, there should be more that we as a people can do to be 5-Star ready. We have a long way to go if you ask me. I mean, really it feels as if we are no where ready for this.

  1. We need to clean our community. Our gutters, drains and home environments need a serious facelift.
  2. Our mindsets need an over haul. A change in attitude toward our local environment, business, foreigners and locals themselves.
  3. The need to develop a warmer and professional customer service culture not just among entrepreneurs and proprietors and their staff, but even among our students within schools, and the lay man on the street.
  4. We need to develop these for and toward ourselves first, and then we can look toward foreigners. Too often we cater toward the stranger, forgetting that the daily patrons, customers and clients are our fellow locals. If we culture ourselves to relate better to each other, then relating to the foreigner appropriately will just be second nature.
  5. Trainings in fish filleting, packaging, presentation, and means to break the cycle of seasonal cropping are imperative. As a matter of fact, we can extend that to the need for more industrialized approach toward food preservation, and agroprocessing.
  6. The cleaning and maintenance of our beaches for us first and then them. Taking pride in making our beaches fun-spots, but also safe spots.
  7. The need to beef up police patrols in the town, and addressing misdemeanors in their buds before they get out of hand to embarrass us later.
  8. The urgency of addressing the street or road situation in the town cannot be ignored. Who is going to deal with this matter and how soon? How do we get Bay Street to be a main street with some level of order as far as parking is concerned? Well then, that means parking in the town on business days at certain hours must be addressed immediately.
  9. The fragility of the town as pertains to heavy downpours. The susceptibility toward flooding, and the need to truly unblock those storm drains are key factors. I am no engineer, but to me these are things that must be seen as priority matters. The worst thing would be to have such influx of high level visitors to whom five star hotels cater walking our town on a rainy day on dangerously flooded streets.
  10. More organized souvenir shops. Kudos to Dee’s for having a small one set up along Bay Street, but we need a sort of village that will attract these tourists to patronize and acquire locally crafted memorabilia from their visits.
  11. Selling our artistry by showcasing aspects of our culture to the visitors, earning spots in the entertainment slots of those hotels.
  12. The upkeep and upgrading of our local museum, and establishment of other such facilities which can showcase the history of our town and nation.
  13. Being Disaster ready since we are so vulnerable to Tsunami, Volcanic Activity, Earthquakes, Hurricanes and other such events. We need those road signs, an early warning system which is well organized, rehearsed and upgraded as required.
  14. I bet there are more recommendations you can think of. Your thoughts are welcome here.

Personally, I do not have all the answers, but I believe the dialogue is necessary, and more so the action toward achieving a more ready community to embrace the opportunities that are possibly going to be available to us as a people.

I commend the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development for the work being done having begun the dialogue, planning and awareness of key stake holders toward that quest. As per the implementations of recommendations being made, and the plans being drawn, I do not quite know if, how, when these will be done. In that vein, I await as a citizen and resident, but truly anticipate urgent action to ready ourselves for a 5-Star Environment.

Regardless of who leads the movement, and when these will be happening, our town will need all hands and heads on deck to make this work. We have what it takes I firmly believe. What I struggle with is how they will truly happen. May the powers that be do the necessary to facilitate the readiness of our constituencies to harness the opportunities. The fact is, ready or not these expectations are going to be knocking on our doors.

With the number of learned people in the Town of Portsmouth, I am certain many will have some recommendations as well. So, how can we be 5-Star ready? And what does it all mean? Your views are vital to the quest! Are you 5 Star ready? Do we even know what it all means to be a 5-Star Ready Community?

All photos complements Google Images. Aerial view of Portsmouth (at the top) from Dominica News Online as featured, but taken by Chad Ambo of Ambo Visuals displayed as Photo of the Day (September 29th, 2016.)

Something about Self-Confidence and the Effects of Self-Consciousness!

Something about self confidence! You walk into a room, all eyes are on you. The palm of your hands begin to sweat, you begin to bite your lips, your head drops and the self-conscious meter in you rises rapidly. That is being on the spot!

Your name is called, the green light is given, you walk up to podium sorta wobbly because the thousands of eyes in the room are now affixed in your direction. You set your notes down on the very podium, which you hope will hide your shaking feet, you throw a quick glance at the microphone, then look up at the curious audience, and your self-conscious meter exponentially rises. You are on the spot! There is no running away now. Either you put on a brave face, and trample the nerves, or you cower and expose the internal battle you have been fighting.

When you find yourself on the spot, in the spotlight, ahead of a huge crowd, what do you do? Where do you find the tools needed to endure the inescapable public’s scrutiny at that point? I have always wondered how those of us who are public speakers do it. Those of us who are singers, how do we rise above the pains of doing our jobs with an un-requested audience? Mark you, without that audience, we have no act, no work; no use speaking, singing, or performing. So that which we fear is still our asset.

All these physical reactions are natural to the individual who desires to excel at their act. These are almost inescapable. In light of that inevitability, one must develop strategies to cope. In my book, one thing stands the tallest in such tensed environments; Self-Confidence! Now, while this may not be th]pe only strategy needed to thrive in such situations, I think it plays a huge role in the success of one’s delivery, and the ability to repeat and even better the acts.

So, what is self-confidence? In my mind, Self confidence is the deep seated personal conviction that nothing can disrupt nor eradicate one’s internal strength and belief in his or her ability, and character. It is beyond physical attributes, surpasses what is visible to the human eyes and constantly serves as fuel to one’s locust of control. It derives from the process of growth, experiences, affirmations over time from both self and close acquaintances who believe in the individual, and very importantly, one’s own spiritual convictions.

For me, self-confidence keeps me composed even in pressure situations; and I have found myself in such occurrences when called upon to speak and or sing. Do I feel nervous, Oh yes I do. Over time, I have found ways to redirect the nerves, and placed the adrenaline unto the tasks at hand; thereby, always trying to give my utmost to any task. Some folks accuse me of being a perfectionist. Maybe I am, but when you find yourself in, or before crowds constantly, you must learn to channel those emotions into quality presentations more times than none.

While, self-confidence, which according to an online dictionary, is “a feeling of trust in one’s ability, qualities and judgement,” self consciousness can be destructive. Being too concerned about, how I look at that point, what are they thinking about me, and destructive thoughts such as these, can be detrimental to one’s self-confidence in moments when it is most needed.

A few suggestions to anyone who finds his or herself in a pressure public situation are:

  1. Dig within yourself to find the internal strength awaiting to be tapped.
  2. Focus on positive thoughts about yourself
  3. Remind yourself that everyone in the audience is not hoping you will mess up, some folks are actually rooting for you.
  4. Know your abilities and trust them. Preparation feeds awareness and knowledge. So, take time to prepare.
  5. Inhale deeply, and exhale slowly for as many times as possible before facing the crowd.
  6. Pray, pray and pray before, and on your way.
  7. Clad yourself so that your personal presentation will not be a distraction to you and the audience. That will cause you to focus solely on the task at hand, and reaching your audience with your performance, or message. Imagine having to fix you clothes while you are performing, or walking in front of the crowd. Ladies, we have a more difficult task in that department than our brothers.
  8. Be Confident! Believe in Yourself!

How do you cope with pressure situations? How do you build your confidence? What strategies do you engage? Your thoughts are always welcome.

“Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable” HealthyPlace.com

Maybe my hands placement are not the best. The podium was slightly too high lol…
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Family is Everything!

It has been a while since I connected with you all, and there is no pride in that shame. Actually, this silence of mine has been with good reasons; nonetheless, no excuses. I could definitely have done better by you my kind and ardent readers. Thank you for reading.

I thought I’d update you on one of the main reasons for my absence here. After seven years, – yes 7, I was able to see my maternal sister. Two of my three maternal brothers, and a sister in law along with some friends who accompanied my sister, also graced our home. So by now you should realize we had a really full house, and a lot of traffic in a short time. It undoubtedly was a wonderful time spent with Family over the past month and a half. – jee how time flies man.

As short as the time was, I had a fabulous experience hosting everyone. Was I scared as to how it would play out? You bet! It turned out successfully, and thankfully it was incident free. Months of planning resulted in happy people all around.

The most amazing part of all this gathering, and the actual reason for making the effort, was the fact that our mom celebrated her 70th year and she received treatment of royalty. Not that she doesn’t get wonderful treatment otherwise; but her children went over and above to ensure she understood how much she means to us. We are grateful for her life on earth and spared no detail in ensuring there was no cause for doubt or ambiguity.

Though our first maternal brother was away, he connected with us on the day of the celebration through social media, while his children fully represented with their presence and commitment to the event.

Her brothers, one sister, friends of our family, and my mom’s good and longtime colleagues and neighbors all graced her special celebration with their presence. This was so deeply meaningful. To watch my siblings openly express their joys, and appreciation for our mom, welled up tears in many eyes. Meanwhile, our mom was so happy, she felt special and knew without a doubt that she is loved by us.

You can well imagine there was some lessons learned from this experience. Clearly, there is nothing like family time, nothing as precious as reminiscing on the things which contributed to who we are today; how much we care for each other, and support each other’s dreams and aspirations. The small things we did to make the other feel and know he or she is appreciated, linger in my mind.

For example, my brother Michael actually fell into the mode of nurturing my home potted plants to the extent where, the yard smiled while he was there. His hands are blessed. Like some of you would say, he has a “GreenThumb” (like my best friend KB ūüôā ). Everything he plants grows, and I was so happy to have him work on them. Today, the chive has grown bigger than it ever did, and the fruit trees on the neglected lot next door are literally shining. Who knows, maybe these will bear fruits soon enough.

Living far apart is very painful sometimes you know. I actually miss my family, I miss my siblings, and being the last they kind of always look out for me and or take care of me regardless of my age. Truthfully, I appreciate them all, and wish we were all living closer, but life happens – it sets us geographically distant. Thank God for social media and the internet though. We are definitely making use of this.

All that I have right now is heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity given me to spend with them. The joy of having family is precious, and I would not like to ever take that for granted. Sadly though, I left home before they made their departures. Duty called, and I traveled to another island for ministry, which took me back home days after they returned to their destinations – places they now call home. This was a difficult decision for me, but I respect and honor God more than anything, and would give it all up for His business; thus.

It is my hope that our being together again will not take this long to occur. Life moves fast you know, and people leave quickly – too fast really. With that said, allow me to encourage you to take care of your family members, cherish them, love them and show them that you are really committed to them. Nothing can replace these moments. Do it today if you can.

How do you show your family members that they matter to you? Had a reunion of some sort lately? It would be sweet reading about your own experience. Bless you!

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When the Singer Flops; Does Anyone Remember the Sweetly Sung Notes Previously Belched Out?

Have you ever witnessed a singer blunder while performing or drawing people in to praise and worship or maybe during an entertainment session?   When this happens, the crowd gets disappointed, might jeer at the singer, or just get completely turned off.  РOh the fate of the singer Рso near, so easily vanishes in the error within a few lines.

The other night I struggled, my voice cracked, my ability to key a song was difficult, and the musicians who would usually support me were absent.  Amidst the praise and worship session, I found myself stopping in the middle of a song, totally embarrassed.

I thought to myself, what are they (the congregation) thinking now?  Some kept on singing, others smiled and others stared at me.  Undoubtedly, sometimes those stares are hard and can unnerve me Рif but for a moment.

When such situations occur, the audience’s / congregation’s puzzled look can also force you to hustle the presentation.¬† In the case of a praise and worship session, one has to complete the task at hand.¬† After all, you cannot leave the people hanging in mid-air.¬† So you complete the task and you return to your seat, sulk away or just brush it off and hope to do better next time.

That evening, I pondered deeply about how easily it is for a singer to be jeered at for a single error.   Some audiences can be so very tough and unforgiving.   At church, the element of sympathy is expected, but may not always be manifested Рor if it does, it may not necessarily be immediate at that moment when the singer actually needs it.

Is it easy to stand before a crowd of hundreds or for that matter even thousands of people, and sing knowing sometimes your voice can crack or you can start the song too high or too low?  For singers out there, we all know this is always a challenge.  Still we return to the visual firing squad to deliver within the world of vocal and audible uncertainty.   Do we have a choice? Probably the only other choice would be to quit singing completely.  The latter might actually be more painful; since it would be like losing a limb to the ardent singer.

Have you ever thought about how you would relate or actually have reacted in a situation like this as a member of the crowd?¬† Do you empathize with the performer, or join the “boos” that are hurled at him or her?¬†¬† We do not have to look to far.¬† Just think about those carnival shows (pageants, calypso, etc).¬† Oh sometimes, those audiences are really heartless, especially when the performer in question is not their favorite?¬† Any error would please the opponent.

I suppose the point I am getting at, is that we can often offer a more caring disposition to those who brave the discomfort of leaving their seats to assist us in entertainment, education, or any other public service.  The public figure  in what ever capacity shows inner strength with the ability to defy fears, doubts, insecurities and even the hard-eyes that seek to scare and or obtrusively intimidate them.  They demonstrate confidence even while fighting nerves, and display determination against all odds.

Going forward, I would like to suggest that we offer those who serve us in the public sphere, some encouragement and emotional support overall, but especially when they falter.  Service is painful, and energy draining.  Granted, the public figures also must prepare, practice and exercise discipline to get better at their craft as well.

I wonder whether you share this perspective.¬† Are you more the audience than the performer or public figure?¬† Sometimes I am both, but mainly, I find myself in the public’s eyes, often more than I desire.¬†¬† Feel free to express what you think about this with me.

Blessings! Ceez Paul

 

 

Special Olympian Claudius Shipley is notably a star. Portsmouth and the rest of Dominica must be proud of him and his peers. He Medals Again!

Claudius Shipley is our Special Olympian medalist who earned himself a Gold medal in 2015 at the world games held in Los Angeles, USA.   He is a 100M and 200M runner who is currently in Abu Dabi in Dubai representing our Dominica in Athletics along with another six (6).   He earned himself a second Special Olympics medal; Рthis year a Silver medalist.  This guy called Moo-moo (a derogatory term given to people with the inability to speak) is both hearing-impaired and unable to speak, yet is very high spirited.  I have known him for most of his life and have seen him move from a boy to a man.

Claudius, who grew up with people like Roosevelt Williams (The Calypsonian РMighty Mico), and Josephat Williams (Dayfar now deceased), was generally empowered to be independent.  Claudius could go to the shop like any other child and return home with the correct items.   One lady exclaimed that she always wondered how he did it.  His adopted family genuinely cared for him even if they were not blood related.  The late Mrs. Justin Williams, Р(mother to both Mico and Dayfar) would have been so very proud of Claudius, and what he is doing today.   She would be awestruck at the countries he has been able to travel to, and the strength of the young man he has turned out to be.  I believe Claudius would dedicate his medals to this simple woman who sacrificed much for him.

The point is, one must not ignore the background of the successful stories around us.   The woman was not his mother, but she cared for him and loved him like he was her own blood.   She further taught her own children to love, protect and care for Claudius, that even after her passing, they continued doing so at best.

I do recall that Dayfar before passing from this life, made efforts to ensure that Claudius had a safe and comfortable place to live.   This is commendable and testament to how much they valued him when they lived.

Apart from his obvious prowess at his sport, which is what launched him into the Special Olympics, he is truly a warm and friendly young man.¬† He hugs, shakes hands and always seeks to engage people he knows when he encounters them.¬† ¬†He is very helpful too, and seems to believe in himself a whole lot.¬† In other words, I think Claudius’ confidence is quite high and contributes to the remarkable person he is today.

Another wonderful characteristic of Claudius is that he is very strong physically.  I mean seriously strong.  I have watched him hoist heavy pews at our local church with other men, and lift cargo down at longhouse especially post Hurricane Maria.  He is always ready to give a hand when it is needed.   This is why I am not even surprised that he is so successful in his special Olympics events.

He is a winner on and off the world-stage, and we are thrilled to have him belonging to us in these parts.  On that note, we extend heartfelt love and encouragement to Claudius Shipley and the other Special Olympians and extend a warm welcome back home to them when they return.

We have special achievements laden in the differently-abled citizens like our Claudius.¬† We are proud of his achievement in yesterday’s (Tuesday 19th March, 2019), 100 meters race in Dubai.

We also of course must extend kudos to the Dominica Special Olympics team and administrators, and the work they continue to do with their clientele.

Hopefully, further investments will be made into the lives of our specially and differently -abled individuals of our nation.  They deserve all the opportunities that the rest of us have and can embrace, and they lift the status of our nation whenever they go abroad.  The rest of us must also be more accommodating of them in various walks of life when we encounter them.  They are people too and deserve the best of it all, like all of us.   Thumbs Up to the SO Dominica!

special-olympics-group

Claudius-Shipley2-642x856

The above photos are not owned by me.  They were acquired at google image and Dominica News Online.

DOM Special Olympics 330X254pxClaudius received special recognition from Digicel after returning from Special Olympics 2015 as a Gold Medalist.¬† On the extreme left of the photo is Josephat “Dayfar” Williams the late, who was like a big brother to Claudius.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Quick, Easy and Valuable Thoughts To consider During the Remainder of Carnival Season 2019.

With all the fun and frolic unfolding even as I write this entry, I cannot help but wonder, who wants to read a blog post right now.    Not withstanding this fact, I think it is imperative that I quickly share with you who will read Five quick, easy, and valuable thoughts To consider during the rest of the Carnival Season.  These are actually ten easy concepts you can take with you to wherever your feet may lead during the rest of today Carnival Monday, up to Tuesday last-lap.  So, here goes!

Don’t Pappyshow Yourself! Well simply put, don’t make a fool of yourself as if you have nothing to live for after the fun is over.¬† Remember, you are more than the temptations that you may face while trying to ‘sewo’ (have a good time), so do not let all your guards down.

Doh do margee – (foolishness) with yourself! Well this is very colloquial similarly to number one.¬† To reiterate the point, do NOT take yourself for some joker on the street.¬† Do not allow yourself to do anything that you will be shameful about after the fact.¬† Your self deserves the best, so treat it that way.¬† Remember, your body is the Temple of God’s Holy Spirit, so treat it no less.¬† Skimpy, revealing outfits only serve to demean your worth sisters and brothers.¬† Leave some of you to the imagination of others.¬† You are precious alright, so – no margee.

Alcohol is a Spirit, do not give it Control over you!  Certainly you can take a drink or two if your body can tolerate that.  By now you should know your limit, or whether you can even carry strong drinks in your blood stream without getting intoxicated.  If you have no such prowess like other people who are able to consume liquor, then leave that spirit alone.  As a matter of fact whether you are a capable of tolerating many drinks before drunkenness sets in, or whether you cannot, it would be sensible to avoid the strong stuff while trying to party.  Besides, alcohol by nature is a depressant despite the fact that it makes some folks feel like superman / superwoman.  It will only serve to slow you down.  Leave that stuff alone.

Do Not Drink and Drive!  Do Not Drive While Consuming Alcohol or other substances that are capable of altering your judgement.    Many people think this will never happen to them, so they continue trying to function as if they are normal while consuming these potent substances.  That could be Alcohol, Marijuana, Crack / Cocaine or some other unnamed substance.  Save a life and yours, get a designated driver who is committed to remaining sober.  Your life is precious as much as that of the other.  

Parents, Do Not Neglect Your Responsibilities To Your Children during Carnival!¬† ¬†Many parents seem to forget to warn, instruct, guide and even set an example for their children during such days.¬† With the desire to “take their Foot”, they often neglect that responsibility to guide, protect and even monitor their children.¬† That can result in detrimental and long term effects.¬† Remember, you are a parent today, and will most likely remain on by Ash Wednesday.¬† Be exemplary, and protect your sons and daughters even on carnival day.

Finally, a quick bonus:  Be Vigilant!  Secure your self and property!  Do note that not everyone in the band intends to just have fun and enjoy the fete.  Some could be there with malicious intentions to pick your pockets, steal your wallet / purse / phone, or even to thief a whine.  If you do not want all of these, then be vigilant, respect your self, choose your location wisely in the bands, and know when to walk out if necessary.

All in all, enjoy your self in a responsible and exemplary manner, that on Ash Wednesday, you would be carrying no guilt and shame.  Hope you consider these simple but pertinent suggestions during the rest of the season.

All the Best, Stay Safe and Stay Well!  Dominica needs you Post Carnival 2019 :).

Your thoughts are always welcome here.

 

 

 

Five Quick, Easy and Valuable Thoughts To consider During the Remainder of Carnival Season 2019.

With all the fun and frolic unfolding even as I write this entry, I cannot help but wonder, who wants to read a blog post right now.    Not withstanding this fact, I think it is imperative that I quickly share with you who will read Five quick, easy, and valuable thoughts To consider during the rest of the Carnival Season.  These are actually ten easy concepts you can take with you to wherever your feet may lead during the rest of today Carnival Monday, up to Tuesday last-lap.  So, here goes!

Don’t Pappyshow Yourself! Well simply put, don’t make a fool of yourself as if you have nothing to live for after the fun is over.¬† Remember, you are more than the temptations that you may face while trying to ‘sewo’ (have a good time), so do not let all your guards down.

Doh do margee – (foolishness) with yourself! Well this is very colloquial similarly to number one.¬† To reiterate the point, do NOT take yourself for some joker on the street.¬† Do not allow yourself to do anything that you will be shameful about after the fact.¬† Your self deserves the best, so treat it that way.¬† Remember, your body is the Temple of God’s Holy Spirit, so treat it no less.¬† Skimpy, revealing outfits only serve to demean your worth sisters and brothers.¬† Leave some of you to the imagination of others.¬† You are precious alright, so – no margee.

Alcohol is a Spirit, do not give it Control over you!  Certainly you can take a drink or two if your body can tolerate that.  By now you should know your limit, or whether you can even carry strong drinks in your blood stream without getting intoxicated.  If you have no such prowess like other people who are able to consume liquor, then leave that spirit alone.  As a matter of fact whether you are a capable of tolerating many drinks before drunkenness sets in, or whether you cannot, it would be sensible to avoid the strong stuff while trying to party.  Besides, alcohol by nature is a depressant despite the fact that it makes some folks feel like superman / superwoman.  It will only serve to slow you down.  Leave that stuff alone.

Do Not Drink and Drive!  Do Not Drive While Consuming Alcohol or other substances that are capable of altering your judgement.    Many people think this will never happen to them, so they continue trying to function as if they are normal while consuming these potent substances.  That could be Alcohol, Marijuana, Crack / Cocaine or some other unnamed substance.  Save a life and yours, get a designated driver who is committed to remaining sober.  Your life is precious as much as that of the other.  

Parents, Do Not Neglect Your Responsibilities To Your Children during Carnival!¬† ¬†Many parents seem to forget to warn, instruct, guide and even set an example for their children during such days.¬† With the desire to “take their Foot”, they often neglect that responsibility to guide, protect and even monitor their children.¬† That can result in detrimental and long term effects.¬† Remember, you are a parent today, and will most likely remain on by Ash Wednesday.¬† Be exemplary, and protect your sons and daughters even on carnival day.

Finally, a quick bonus:  Be Vigilant!  Secure your self and property!  Do note that not everyone in the band intends to just have fun and enjoy the fete.  Some could be there with malicious intentions to pick your pockets, steal your wallet / purse / phone, or even to thief a whine.  If you do not want all of these, then be vigilant, respect your self, choose your location wisely in the bands, and know when to walk out if necessary.

All in all, enjoy your self in a responsible and exemplary manner, that on Ash Wednesday, you would be carrying no guilt and shame.  Hope you consider these simple but pertinent suggestions during the rest of the season.

All the Best, Stay Safe and Stay Well!  Dominica needs you Post Carnival 2019 :).

Your thoughts are always welcome here.

 

 

 

Irish Kid is A Star. His Confidence, Growth and Positive Attitude Are Commendable!

Exactly one week ago, the Calypso Semi-Finals competition hosted by the Dominica Calypso Association was held.¬† Portsmouth’s youngster Lemar Irish whose calypso name – The Irish Kid, competed against some seasoned calypsonians.¬† ¬† He was unsuccessful, and unfortunately will not compete in the biggest show of the Carnival Season, and arguably the biggest show to be held in Dominica on an annual basis.¬† This was his first time participating in the Senior National competition ever; most likely this served as the initiation and transition into the big leagues.

Many of us who support the young singer, strongly believe that he¬†performed exceptionally well enough to warrant him a space among the final nine who are heading onward to meet the defending monarch.¬† Notwithstanding this setback, we must all come to terms with a spirit of acceptance, that “the judges’ decision is final”.¬† As cliche as it sounds, this is the rule that always stands at the end of such contests where others are often disgruntled or disappointed by the results.

This post will not dwell on Lemar’s misfortune; rather, it will highlight his growth, level of maturity he displayed on stage, and even despite the loss, it will highlight his ability to still smile, and participate in the Junior Monarch Competition held on Friday 22nd February, as a guest performer.

You see, Lemar – The Irish Kid, was a boss competitor during his days as a Junior Calypsonian.¬† He has won four junior monarch competitions on the national stage, and this is something no one can ever take away from him.¬† These titles The Irish Kid will forever own.¬† When he guest-performed at this year’s junior monarch competition, he was able to make light of his unfortunate fate in the national senior monarch competition, and still managed to wow the youthful crowd with his stellar performance.

Those of us who witnessed and or listened to him on Saturday 16th February, as he conquered the late night’s dew which can hurt any singer’s vocal folds, undoubtedly fought nerves, maintained his confidence amidst and among the big-wigs, and gave his utmost at that semi-finals, were awed by his abilities.¬† He showed much maturity, prowess and comfort on that¬† big stage.¬† I have no doubt Lemar could easily hit the biggest stage of the Calypso Finals, and still pull off a masterful performance.¬† While he may not be a “big-man”, I strongly believe he out-performed some of those who made it to the “big-man-thing”.

Interestingly, his song penned by Father Branker John (Former Calypsonian – De Brakes), encourages its listeners to ‘fight on’ in pursuit of their dreams.¬† To quote from The Sun online article dated February 1st, 2019,¬† “My song speaks about a positive message to the youths and Dominica and worldwide telling them don’t give up and always remain committed in what they do and have a positive mind set,” Lemor said.

“I am not threatened by being in the big league you must have confidence in yourself; my intention is move to the Semis and then to the Finals and I know that I am capable of so doing,” De Irish Kid said.

His message to the youth is simple: “Calypso is a good avenue to enter into to express yourself in song, so join it and have some good fun.”

His message to his peers is “be positive; in life you have to be committed, manage your time put your education first because without education you go nowhere; do some dancing, singing and play sports and have some good fun and the rest will fall in line.”¬†¬†

Today, as I ponder on these inspiring expressions from Lemar, it is my desire to encourage him to remain positive, to take his own message and allow it to propel him to greater positivism.    I wish to remind him that he is still a role model to his peers, that they are looking at him as a star, so he ought to keep shining.  Lemar must be encouraged to keep singing with his youthful voice, about the things that can enhance society, and transform the mindset of our young people.   He must be urged to keep building on his confidence while continuing to utilize his skills, and talents in singing, football, and even enhancing his ability to comfortably handle our cultural and traditional dances.

As a resident from this blessed town of Portsmouth, and an ardent supporter of our young people, I commend Lemar Irish – De Irish Kid, and stand proud of him.¬† Lemar’s song is one of a very few of this year’s calypsos which can actually cross the channel and make any sense to its listeners anywhere in the world.

In conclusion, I would like to remind the young man to keep singing songs which promote positive and wholesome messages, while being sensible and nationally conscious.¬† ¬†Using your own song’s lyrics to spur you on, I say:¬†¬†“Fight On To Your Dreams Brother, Fight On.¬† It won’t come to you on a platter.¬† When Life tells you “no”, think Yes, think Yes”.¬†¬†

Below are some random photos of Lemar.  I hold no rights to these photos and respectfully display them for the sake of commending the youngster.

The below links can take you to two of his songs which won him the Junior Monarchy.  This event is usually organized by the renown and consistent Leo Club of Dominica.  Commendations to this club for shaping our young talented children.  They create champions like Lemar Irish.

Endangered Species              I Choosing Calypso

5 Considerations LA Bombers FC and Fans Should Urgently Employ Before, During and After Every Football Match.

By now most of us are aware that the clash of the giants left the Portsmouth L Bombers FC and their fans heartbroken.  Many vented maybe silently so, while others openly gave their verdicts.  As for me, I have been left to ponder whether it is fair to appeal to you the fans to keep supporting the team.

I can assure you, despite the obvious disappointment, undoubtedly i would do it again – asking for that support to grow or strengthen beyond wins and losses.

The reason for my optimism is as simple as:¬† “Loss does not equate death.”¬† You see if our mortal beings loses the battle against life, it is triumphed over by the faith in Christ (for those of us who believe), thus eternity is promised to us.¬† When that time comes, the old mortality will be swept away, and immortality will be the greatest gift for our souls.¬† Thus, we would enjoy eternal bliss with Christ if we die in friendship with him.

Similarly, a team losing a match 2 to 1 does not equate the death of the team and should not result in the breakdown of its veins and backbone.¬† After-all, with some extra effort, a return to its vision and mission, the acquisition of the club’s goal will result in the scoring of many more goals.

On that note, I hereby propose five (5) simple, but necessary considerations that LA Bombers FC and their fans should entertain.

1.¬† Finish as strong or even stronger than you start.¬† Team, this is clear (I hope), but work on your stamina as well as your personal and collective passions to win.¬† Fans, keep the momentum of the support up even when things look brown. (That is hard I know, but it is possible).¬† The point is, every game is unique and should be approached with fresh perspectives and hopeful mannerisms.¬† Treat each game with it’s own merit.

2.¬† Find the core of your person, dig deep and you will realize there is a winner in you.¬† Team: you have won before, so take a collective and individual trip back to those joyous moments.¬† Ponder: “what have us these victories then?”¬† Once you find the reasons, bottle them within your heart and replay them in your memory bank.¬† Watch the winning spirit turn into reality though you all.¬† Fans: Your realization of the winner in you will propel your desire to make winners of our players.¬† Your every disposition and verbal expressions will exude just that spirit of winner, plus some.

3.¬† Pray together with sincerity.¬† Give the game to the purpose and honor of God.¬† Maybe for some people this could be laughable, but if we can pray to pass exams after we study hard, why can’t one or a team pray to win a game after the hard work of practicing and training for it?¬† Players and Fans – we are called to respect, honor and please the talent giver in every facet of our lives.¬† We are to give the talent and skills back to Him. So before those games try a little personal prayer fans, and a collective and personal prayer Team, that you may give your best, be satisfied with the outcome after the final whistle blows, and respect the team’s efforts despite the disappointments if your heart’s desire was not met.¬† Meanwhile, prayer goes together with effort.¬† It changes things. #Pray.

4,  After losing a game, re-calibrate, refocus and like a computer, reboot your system.  Team:  reboot to the values that can bring success to any team.  Those values that are bigger than any level of frustration you may have.  Reprogram your attitude Р(state of mind), and watch growth happen.  Fans: you must reboot too.  Reboot to the thing that drives your support of the team.  Your love for the game, your appreciation for the players, your pride in community despite its challenges. So reset, reboot and re-turn to the next football match.

5. Finally, enjoy the moments, enjoy the games, find all the reasons to be joyful during each encounter with an opponent.  Team: remember to laugh and relax even while struggling during a match.  Help each other to maintain a certain sense of confidence, peace and self control.  РEnjoy yourself.   Fans: enjoy the game, but remember to interact with your fellow fans and even those of the opposing team.  Laugh a little, for that might just contribute to the tranquil mindset that our players need on the field.  Remember, Teams and Fans feed off each other.

Conclusively, I encourage all concerned¬† to employ the above considerations before, during and after all future matches.¬† LA Bombers FC’s next game is scheduled for (Saturday 9th February at 3:30 PM at the Benjamin’s Park).¬† #FightToTheLastWhistle Bombers.

 

Please help Devon Malcolm Brewster get re-registered in Medical School at UWI in Jamaica! Sign below this post & Support the Go Fund Me!

Tonight, I read what I considered a heart-breaking desperate call for help from a young man seeking to become a medical doctor.  This young man I have known in our community as an exemplary one and have no hesitation in making his plea, my plea too.

You know how the saying “young men is an endangered species” and that “young men are under-performers in academics…” and all the other negatives uttered about young, black and or Caribbean males? – Well if one young man is making efforts to break this ridiculously viscous cycle, we should all rally behind him.¬† This is my position!

Malcolm is a multi-talented person.  He is a musician, and has the potential to preach the word of God.  He awed so many people when he preached at the funeral service of a renounced individual not too long ago at  РMount Wallace Methodist Church which is his home congregation.   He is fearless and God fearing all together.  He has a passion for all things positive and is still so very humble and pleasant.   37065942_1550112276574141_r

Many can attest to his great leadership skills and potentials, his contributions to community via hosting of summer music classes for children, and his participation in other life changing and positively impactful activities.

Additionally, Malcolm’s outstanding academic achievements at all levels thus far cannot be ignored.¬† He in my view, is a perfect candidate for the investment of¬† some of our nation’s tax dollars, or a reputable scholarship.¬† ¬†The question of why such a promising yut- man is presently de-registered due to some tuition debt baffles me.¬† Like many of us, his family most likely doesn’t have the resources to assist him pursue his heart’s desire; thus, him being at the mercy of the lack.¬† For how long again should we leave him to the elements of this emotional torture?

Uncertainty is not comfort.  Being de-registered is depressing and embarrassing.  No one would like this for his or her child, no caring parent would sleep well knowing a son or daughter is living on a house built on sand.  Sadly, this must be the predicament of Devon Malcolm Brewster and his family.

I hereby join the call to whom it may concern, to consider with urgency the need of the young Devon Malcolm Brewster. ¬† He might save some of our families’ life as a medical doctor in the near future – God willing – after all.¬† Who knows?¬† Then again, it would be our loss if this young man doesn’t achieve this goal, or if he throws stones behind his back and never turns to look at Dominica.¬† We the “elders” are expected to promote sustainability.¬† Investing in Young Devon Malcolm Brewster, is investing in Sustainable Development and Resilience.

Somebody who can, please do something to help Malcolm Brewster study peacefully, with the confidence that he will and can achieve his goals.  If he does, then Dominica wins.

If you support this call, please make an effort to simply sign your name below this post as a comment, so that we have signatures registered to prove our support to him.

Meanwhile, I have noted a GoFundMe petition was set up for him.  If you are so moved to assist him, please hit the above link.  Devon Needs our Support.  It is that simple.

 

LA Enterprise Bombers FC, Shows Resilience and Sheer Determination

After writing my last blog entry, I found it necessary to watch the boys of LA Enterprise FC play their next match.¬† Notwithstanding the fact that I was like the several others who were speedily completing Saturday chores prior to joining the devoted fans already lined up along the grounds of the Benjamin’s Park, I was able to enjoy quite a proportion of the game.

Having found myself on the wing of an irate fan, I was often perturbed by the dirty insults directed toward the coach, then to the players, and even at fans and opponents alike.

Imagine at one time, a local player was actually giving some unpleasant responses to the irate fan.¬† As if trying to intimidate all the ‘non-football players, and just comers like me, the culprit once described himself as an animal.

I wondered whether being an ‘animal’ was a qualification to show, that one deserved to wear the team’s supporters’ tshirt, which interestingly this guy was not even decking.¬† He even missed spotting the team’s colour.

Then I thought maybe this is his way of showing his passion for the game, desperation for the Bombers team to win, and more so to give himself something to believe in.¬† Whatever his reason, it wasn’t easy for me to focus on the boys, block out that distortion and maintain my calm within that verbal storm.

Then I thought to myself, if every other ‘fan’ is as rude and impatient like the referenced fan, well Bombers and furthermore any sports playing team or individual who supports them is in deep trouble.

“Love is patient and it is kind, it is not rude…” according to the scriptures.¬† If this is the case, I have a hard time being convinced by someone that this is love for the game, the players or the team.

On the contrary, such behavior denotes anger, bitterness, and as if the existence of a vendetta.¬† I’m not here to judge nor vilify the irate fan, but alas am I perturbed by such explosions and concerned about the quality or lack thereof of the man.¬† The disrespect is real all over.

Anyway, enough of the lamentation already.¬† ¬†The turn offs that were experienced at last Saturday’s game cannot surpass the phenomenal work put out by the boys then.

Some top quality defense employed by Elizee (Maudo), Usher’s abilities to run the ball toward the opponent’s goal post, the determination of the strikers amidst the challenges faced were all commendable and worth mentioning.

Their hard work resulted in a four to 1 win over the opponent.  This is most certainly something to be proud of.

Kudos to the tempered fans who turned up and turned out.  Our support will continue to elevate Club LA Enterprise Bombers.

With a few more crucial games ahead, players must remain focused, management must keep the glue strong and refreshed, coach (es) must fix any festering flaw, and fans must keep the fire burning.

Thank you Bombers for the win.  Remember complacency is a huge enemy.  You better stay focused on the purpose and prize ahead.

All the best going forward.  #LAEnterpriseBombersFC #PressOn

 

5 Considerations LA Enterprise Bombers FC and Fans Should Urgently Employ Before, During and After Every Football Match.

By now most of us are aware that the clash of the giants left the Portsmouth LA Enterprise Bombers FC and their fans heartbroken.  Many vented, maybe silently so, while others openly gave their verdicts.  As for me, I have been left to ponder whether it is fair to appeal to you the fans, to keep supporting the team.

I can assure you, despite the obvious disappointment, undoubtedly I would do it again – asking for that support to grow or strengthen beyond wins and losses.

The reason for my optimism is as simple as:¬† “Loss does not equate death.”¬† You see if our mortal beings loses the battle against life, it is triumphed over by the faith in Christ (for those of us who believe), thus eternity is promised to us.¬† When that time comes, the old mortality will be swept away, and immortality will be the greatest gift for our souls.¬† Thus, we would enjoy eternal bliss with Christ if we die in friendship with him.

Similarly, a team losing a match 2 to 1 does not equate the death of the team and should not result in the breakdown of its veins and backbone.¬† Afterall, with some extra effort, a return to its vision and mission, and the acquisition of the club’s goal will result in the scoring of many more goals.

On that note, I hereby propose five (5) simple, but necessary considerations that LA  Enterprise Bombers FC and their fans should entertain.

1.¬† Finish as strong or even stronger than you start.¬† Team – this is clear (I hope), but work on your stamina as well as your personal and collective passions to win.¬† Fans – keep the momentum of the support up even when things look brown. (That is hard I know, but it is possible).¬† The point is, every game is unique and should be approached with fresh perspectives and hopeful mannerisms.¬† Treat each game with it’s own merit.

2.¬† Find the core of your person, dig deep and you will realise there is a winner in you.¬† Team: you have won before, so take a collective and individual trip back to those joyous moments.¬† Ponder: “what are the things that have contributed to these victories then?”¬† Once you find the reasons, bottle them within your heart and replay them in your memory bank.¬† Watch the winning spirit turn into reality through each of you. ¬† Fans: Your realization of the winner in you will propel your desire to make winners of our players.¬† Your every disposition and verbal expressions will exude just that spirit of winner, plus some.

3.¬† Pray together with sincerity.¬† Give the game to the purpose and honor of God.¬† Maybe for some people this could be laughable, but if we can pray to pass exams after we study hard, why can’t an individual or a team pray to win a game after the hard work of practicing and training for it?¬† Players and Fans – we are called to respect, honor and please the talent-giver in every facet of our lives.¬† We are to give the talent and skills back to Him. So before those games, try a little personal prayer fans, and a collective and personal prayer Team, that you may give your best, be satisfied with the outcome after the final whistle blows, and respect the team’s efforts despite the disappointments if your heart’s desire was not met.¬† Meanwhile, prayer goes together with effort.¬† It changes things. #Pray.

4,  After losing a game, recalibrate, refocus and like a computer, reboot your system.  Team:  reboot to the values that can bring success to any team.  Those values that are bigger than any level of frustration you may have.  Reprogram your attitude Р(state of mind), and watch growth happen.  Fans: you must reboot too.  Reboot to the thing that drives your support of the team.  Your love for the game, your appreciation for the players, your pride in community despite its challenges. So reset, reboot and re-turn to the next football match.

5. Finally, enjoy the moments, enjoy the games, find all the reasons to be joyful during each encounter with an opponent.  Team: remember to laugh and relax even while struggling during a match.  Help each other to maintain a certain sense of confidence, peace and self control.  РEnjoy yourself.   Fans: enjoy the game, but remember to interact with your fellow fans and even those of the opposing team.  Laugh a little, for that might just contribute to the tranquil mindset that our players need on the field.  Remember, Teams and Fans feed off each other.

Conclusively, I encourage all concerned  to employ the above considerations before, during and after all future matches.

Do note that LA Enterprise ¬†Bombers FC’s next game is scheduled for (Saturday 9th February at 3:30PM at the Benjamin’s Park).¬† #FightToTheLastWhistle BombersFC.