Recognizing Acts of Kindness at Christmas-time on Dominica, the Nature Island

This bouquet of beautiful anthurium lilies from Trafalgar in Dominica's lush Roseau Valley. They symbolize my gratitude to those who have bestowed acts of kindness upon me!

This bouquet of beautiful anthurium lilies was harvested at Trafalgar in Dominica’s lush Roseau Valley. They symbolize my gratitude to those who have bestowed acts of kindness upon me!

As Christmas 2014 draws near, it’s an opportune time to express gratitude to some people and institutions that have been kind to me in recent times on the Nature Island. T’is the season of peace and goodwill, after all!

When I think of it, there is so much to be thankful for, as I  did note in my Thanksgiving post this past October.

Admittedly, I am somewhat saddened by the absence of my lovely kitty Tia-pet, who departed this earth in May 2014. One of my last fond memories would have been one year ago, when Tia snuggled up under the Christmas tree. I subsequently submitted a photo of this serene scene to Dominica News Online  and they posted it over the Christmas 2013 holiday!  You can see that pretty pic of the Yule-tide pussy cat here.

When Tia passed away, it was my friend Nancy Osler, Managing Director at Springfield who helped me to lay him to rest. He’s buried in a beautiful setting on that property at the edge of the rainforest and I am certain that my little pet is at peace there.  I thank Nancy profusely for all the help she gave me on that very sad day.  I will never forget her acts of kindness during my time of grief.  As well, I owe a debt of gratitude to hiking pod partner Liz Madisetti. She was willing to look after Tia (if he had survived) so that I could spend some time in Canada.  Although that did not become necessary, she is always ready to lend a hand without hesitation!

No Christmas tree this year, but the poinsettia adds to the spirit of the season.  They do grow on Dominica.  This one was lovingly tended at Green Mountain Flowers near Giraudel by proprietor Daryl Phillip.

No Christmas tree this year, but this poinsettia adds to the spirit of the season. This one was lovingly tended at Green Mountain Flowers near Giraudel by proprietor Daryl Phillip.

When my eyes  became severely inflamed from unknown allergies for several months this year, optometrist Dr. Debra Williams of Island Vision Inc. monitored my condition very closely.  She was very attentive to my overall health condition and with professional concern, checked my eyes on numerous occasions – sometimes three times a week until there was improvement.  But not only that, she is still watching the progress of my eyes –  willingly, freely and with an open heart.  I am profoundly grateful!

I had had some difficulties with my little car, and while some attempts had been made to fix it, the source of the problem was not located.  Although it was pronounced fit to drive, I became very upset en route to an appointment  for a manicure and pedicure when I heard a new “strange” noise.  I was distressed because I was about to drive across the island’s mountainous interior  later that week to spend some time on the east coast  at lovely Beau Rive. It was a Saturday afternoon and I really did not know what to do! When I entered The Glam Day Spa in Roseau, I was on the verge of tears.  All of the staff showed great concern, and when coaxed, I did tell them about my car woes.  They were so gentle with me, and showed such compassion.  Even those who were not attending to me came over to commiserate and  empathize with my situation.  The staff at The Glam certainly put me into a better frame of mind in that healing environment.  However, I was still a little rattled when I left (I now had to deal with the car!).  I did make it home, but when I arrived, I looked in  my purse and thought that I was missing some money, but wasn’t sure. It wasn’t a huge amount, and I figured I must have overspent at the market in the morning…or something.  About an hour later, I received a call from Venetta, the receptionist at The Glam.  She asked me if I was missing any money.  I exclaimed, “Yes!” and immediately volunteered the amount.  She then said she had found that sum on the floor just after I left and wondered if it had fallen out of my purse.  The staff held it for me and I collected it the following Monday.  Of course, it was already destined for car repairs!

When I arrived at Beau Rive a few days later, I still did not feel confident about the latest round of repairs on the car.  I did express this to Mark Steele, proprietor at Beau Rive Boutique Hotel.  He willingly drove my car up his steep driveway and was always on-call, if anything should happen while I traveled around (nothing did!). During my stay I was treated exceptionally well by him and his staff, with much kindness, generosity and consideration.  I am very grateful for the blissful time that I had at that lovely locale.

With car troubles still simmering after that excursion, I went to  Julius, a well-established mechanic in my neighbourhood with a reputation for honesty and good work.  He assessed the problems and informed me about what needed to be done (or  not done) in order for the car to run more smoothly.  When I offered to pay for his time, he graciously declined!  Of course I will return to him for the actual repairs.  This positive experience was completely contrary to what I had endured at a larger  specialized establishment.  I guess their loss is Julie’s gain (and mine too)!

If you’ve ever waited a long time for an important package by”snail mail,” then perhaps you’ll empathize with me. It took one of mine that I had sent from Canada in June four months to reach Dominica!  And that is not the first time.  Unfortunately, items invariably get sent to the Dominican Republic, and there can be long delays before the package finally arrives on the Nature Island.  I feared that the workers in the Parcel Post Section of the General Post Office in Roseau would get tired of seeing my face.  However, they have always been extremely pleasant and have gone out of their way to assist me in tracking delayed or missing packages.  Most of all, they have encouraged me to “keep the faith,” and in doing so, everything has turned out well every time!

Even though I don’t have a pet at the moment, I do help to take care of a couple of dogs that are attached to a business in my area. When I became worried about the state of the young female on the premises, one of my wonderful veterinarians, Dr. Nausima Paul offered to come with me and examine this canine.  She proffered her professional opinion to the owners. (I had informed them about my concerns and had volunteered to bring the vet for a consultation at my expense).  After Dr. Paul was finished with the examination, I drove her back to her clinic.  As she stepped out of the vehicle, I extended my hand with cash in it to pay her – and she declined! I was surprised, as she had willingly come along with me despite her own discomfort from injuries sustained in a recent accident.  She and her husband Dr. Ronnie George took constant care of Tia-pet during the last couple of years of his life.  I am further grateful for their compassionate and caring attention up to  Tia’s death, as he was an exceptionally long-lived cat.

I would be remiss if I did not express extreme gratitude to Mrs. Cecily Lees, my lawyer in Dominica.  She is also one of my first friends on Dominica and she has assisted me in numerous ways, both personally and professionally over the years.  While her  legal specialty is real estate at Safe Haven Real Estate  , she has always “been there” for me and I appreciate everything she has done for me from the bottom of my heart!

This lovely winter solstice sunset was taken at Zam Zam Cafe in Citronier, a mile south of Roseau.

This lovely winter solstice sunset was taken at the fabulous Mexican-inspired  Zam Zam Cafe in Citronier,just south of Roseau.

Finally, I extend sincere thanks to you, dear reader for taking the time to read this post, and for your interest in Ti Domnik Tales. This year, the site reached over 50,000 visits and  now has about 100 ‘followers’.  Stay tuned for more adventures and experiences in the New Year!

If you can spot the Green Flash of the sunset on this Winter Solstice Eve, then I hope you will have lots of luck in the New Year!

If you can spot the Green Flash of the sunset on this Winter Solstice Eve, then I hope you will have lots of luck in the New Year!

This plate of homemade cookies is intended for Santa. From the bottom of the plate, clockwise: Chocolate Chip Bar; Fruit Hermits; Oatmeal Shortcakes; Gingerbread; Chocolate-Coconut Brownies.  All recipes of Canadian origin!

This plate of homemade goodies is intended for Santa. From the bottom of the plate, clockwise: Chocolate Chip Bar; Fruit Hermits; Oatmeal Shortcake; Gingerbread; Chocolate-Coconut Brownies. All recipes are of Canadian origin!

I am heading to Paris just after Christmas to attend the formal wedding celebrations of French friends that I met on Dominica: Carole Bogdanovscky and Gildas Lefevre.   I am certain to have some wonderful adventures in the City of Light and will be writing about them on the Canary Gal blog upon my return.

In the mean time, may the peace of this magical season be upon you.  Merry Christmas! And may the New Year be filled with kindness, compassion, love and goodwill, wherever you live on the planet!