When Dominica’s Hike Fest Coordinator Maxine Alleyne-Esprit called me recently, I assumed she was going to give me the date of a forthcoming meeting to plan next year’s program. But what she actually said rendered me temporarily speechless!
hikes in May, and you are the grand prize winner!” she informed me excitedly. In response, she received my stunned silence. After a few moments, I managed to stammer: “Me? What? I can’t believe it!” And then I chuckled, “Perhaps shorter legs sometimes have an advantage as they can’t help but take more steps!!!”
I was of course thrilled to receive this award, as it meant that Jolly’s Pharmacy would issue a cheque of $500.00 ECD to a charity of my choice. There are many worthy and worthwhile charitable organizations on the Nature Island. After having given it some thought, I informed Maxine the next day that I would like this donation to be given to a charity called ‘Reaching Elderly Abandoned Citizens Housebound’ (R.E.A.C.H.)’. This organization “seeks to relieve some of the intense suffering of the aging in the community.” I feel very strongly about addressing some of the concerns of less fortunate senior citizens and I was thankful to have the opportunity to help them in a small way with my Hike Fest prize.
At the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) Prize-Giving and Recognition Media Event on Wednesday June 12th, I was formally presented with this prize. But what I didn’t expect was more! Maxine informed the assembled press and public that my mobile phone had gotten wet during the Jaco Flats/Steps Hike while crossing the Layou River several times and that it had since dried out thanks to a bag of rice. However, the other part of the grand prize was a Smart Phone from Digicel and the Hike Fest Committee felt that it could serve me well on future hikes! I knew I was a little pale that morning, but by now I was starting to turn quite pink! I accepted this prize with delight. (Now I just need to figure out how to use it!)
And the surprises continued! On behalf of the DHTA, Maxine thanked me for my contributions to Hike Fest as a volunteer and for my blog posts about the event. I had previously
informed her that I write from the heart and that there is no expectation of anything but interested readers for my efforts. I appreciate this acknowledgement and the promotion of Ti Domnik Tales to the press! I was then presented with a Certificate of Recognition and another goodie – a dinner for two at the well-recommended Old Stone Grill & Bar in Roseau. And to think that I had never eaten there before!
It was a very happy occasion as a number of Hike Fest participants from what I informally call “the 50 plus club” were also recognized for their achievements on the trails. As well, the invaluable support of all sponsors and partners who assisted the DHTA with Hike Fest were publicly thanked profusely.
In turn, I would like to extend much gratitude to the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association and its Hike Fest Committee, as well as all the sponsors and partners who contributed to the success of this enjoyable event. Because of this annual festivity during Tourism Awareness Month on the Nature Island, I have been able to tackle and complete many trails that I would have never thought previously possible. As well, I have trekked with wonderful people every time and have always had a great deal of fun. There is no doubt in my mind:”‘Dominica’s Hike Fest. It’s the best!”
See you on the trails next year! The dates are set: May 24, 31 and June 7, 2014. For more information, consult the web site of the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association.