Dear Readers of Ti Domnik Tales:
Merry Christmas from the Nature Isle! I know it’s been a while since I have posted a note. Please accept my apologies for the delay. I have been concentrating on preparing for an advanced level French exam here at Alliance Francaise for the past couple of months. I only completed it just before Christmas. You might also be curious to know that following Tropical Storm Erika and its devastating aftermath, I was not inclined to venture far from my home, for safety’s sake, as the ground was unstable and hiking trails (and roads) had to be cleared of storm debris.
However, I have recently traversed the island to spend a few wonderful
days and nights at the charming Beau Rive boutique hotel near Castle Bruce on the east coast. I am delighted to report that the roads are in good condition, and it was an easy journey through the mountains of the island’s interior. I will certainly be venturing further afield in the New Year, as bailey bridges have been erected across rivers where the previous structures had been washed away and most of the roads are motorable.
But life has not completely returned to normal here, as dozens of people who lost homes and properties as a result of the storm are being temporarily housed as they await new homes, which are presently being built by the Government of Dominica in safer areas. Repairs to infrastructure are ongoing, and it is possible to completely enjoy the offerings of the Nature Island. However, it is important to remember that the destructive effects of global warming/climate change are leaving their marks, as evidenced in vulnerable countries and small island states such as Dominica.
My recent break at Beau Rive was, in effect, a mini-retreat and pause for reflection over the past year, as well as an opportunity to document intentions for 2016. In this peaceful setting, I was able to look back on 2015, and recognize that my life in Dominica had changed to some degree, as I actually spent more than four months abroad – some of it in Paris to attend the wedding of my wonderful French friends Carole and Gildas in January, followed by an extended ‘vacation’ in Canada as a result of Tropical Strom Erika. That summer sojourn lasted from mid-June until the end of September. My delay resulted from the destruction of the Douglas-Charles airport, which was quickly repaired within one month, thanks to the generous assistance and technical support of several caring countries.
While visiting with Mark, the Managing Director at Beau Rive and Angela, one of his repeat guests (17 times!), I paid close attention to our conversations. In my quest for inspiration about the forthcoming year, I listened attentively to what was said that particularly resonated with me. Suffice to say that our discussions centred on thinking of others who are less fortunate and being mindful of what we can do to make the world a better place in which to live. I also admired Angela’s personal strength and determination to have a fulfilling and rewarding life, and to not let any type of obstacle prevent her from living out her dreams. Above all, I felt surrounded by kindness, consideration and good will. I returned home with uplifted spirits and hope for a brighter future by setting intentions to consciously spread good cheer (in any form)all year round.
I have much to be thankful for and I wish to express gratitude to all those who have touched my life in very meaningful ways this past year. In particular, I am grateful to my family in Canada for their support and encouragement, and for hosting me for an extended period when I was ‘storm-stayed’ in Canada. I also appreciate the generous gesture of my niece Mara and my nephew Dallin, who willingly offered their usual Christmas present from me to help those in need in Dominica. I also wish to thank Canadian-Caribbean writer and friend Susan M. Toy, who included my blogs (Ti Domnik Tales and Canary Gal) on her list of notable authors for 2015. She is the perfect example of someone who thinks of others with a giving heart while happily pursuing her own career.
In the past couple of months, I was also profoundly moved by the positive results arising from the COP 21 climate action accord in Paris. As well, I enthusiastically participated in Dominica’s week of thoughtful international documentaries about climate change, which was organized by Alliance Francaise. These sessions culminated in
Dominica’s Day of Action, coordinated by the Waitukubuli Ecological Foundation. While the attendees were small in number, the spirit of the movement was very big, and I congratulate all participants who are leading by example in Dominica.
During this event, I made friends with two young people, Maria and Dan. Although we were just becoming acquainted, I really admired their passion, determination and dedication to eliminating and reducing environmental concerns on the Nature Island and of course, globally.
As 2015 draws to a close, I will send off this post to you, with warmest wishes for a peaceful, loving and caring New Year. I hope that your adventures will be fruitful, and that you will give careful consideration to how you can make the world a better place now – and for the future!
I’ll be in touch in 2016, as I share my journey on the sensational Nature Island – and elsewhere!