Part 2: Dear James, how do I cope with football season? #Frustrated!

A Step by Step Guide for Spouses during football. To survive Brazilmania, these actions are necessary, according to James and … Mahatma Gandhi…?!

Football. El Fútbol. Le Football. O Futebol. 足球 Voetbal.

Dear Frustrated,

Evening Relationship World Cup Survival Tip
“Game Time”
“It is important that you know when your mate will be unresponsive. Most first games will probably start around 12pm Trinidad time which means your cut off time is 5 minutes before the first whistle. You can send an email if something comes up. If it’s urgent you can sent a text/whatsapp/viber.

Between each game in the group stages, there is an hour’s lapse to which normal communication can resume and emails/messages would be adhered to. Full communication can resume after the final whistle at 8pm the same day.

Final Relationship World Cup Survival Tip
I want to leave two things with you guys.

1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with watching a match with your mate. What is absolutely wrong is trying to speak about anything other than football.
Also you may find one of the footballers handsome, great! Now you can learn another footballer other than Ronaldo or Messi, take this time to learn as much of the game as you can. But only ask questions during throw ins, goal kicks, half time or when someone get’s injured.

And Finally

2. Mahatma Gandhi once said “Nothing tests the tensile strength of a relationship like the world cup.”


I hope you enjoyed this post,

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Dear James, how do I cope with football season? #Frustrated!

Football. El Fútbol. Le Football. O Futebol. 足球 Voetbal.

Whichever language you speak, the message should be clear – 2014 FIFA World Cup is here! Life as you know it for the next month or so will be… different, especially for spouses and significant others who are not “football-minded”.

Naturally I was super-excited when an ardent football fan & friend from Trinidad and Tobago – James Nicholas – decided to preserve relationships the world over, by issuing some “sage” advice to his friends. The following are his own words, reproduced with his permission. If you want to make sure your relationship survives “Brazilmania”, read on!

Dear Frustrated,

“From now until Thursday I will be posting tips to help your relationship survive the world cup (for the ladies and some for the men).
1. World cup is like the weather, try as you may you can either cry or sing in the rain, but one thing is for sure….it’s going to rain. So embrace it and accept that it is going to happen.

2. Understand that this is man time, just like it’s woman time when you want to do your thing eg. talk, go shopping, moopenclipart.orgvies’s only for 1 month and the worst will be over in two weeks, after the group stages you might actually get to go out but don’t push it.

3. Your husband/bf team is your team unless you follow football and have your own team then most of this status isn’t for you anyway. You will support his team…you can even go as far as buying him his favourite team jersey….if you aren’t engaged yet this might just do the trick…a man needs to know you care about the things he cares about.

I‘m going to answer some of the more popular questions women/men ask during a game so you wont have to ask..This can be printed and stuck on the door or fridge. 

Q1. I thought you usually support Manchester United how come you’re supporting Brazil? 

A1. **Blank stare**…..Club and country are two different things..

Q2. Wasn’t there a finals recently? Why is there another one now lasting a whole month?

A2. Ref. answer A1 and there are knock outs in which the top two teams will face off

Q3. I thought you were watching the game. Why are you on your phone/tablet/laptop?…you aren’t really watching the game, you just don’t want to speak to me (this statement is a technical foul)

A3. **The answer for this question varies based on the person**
– I’m posting to social media an atrocity to which I spotted
– I’m talking to (insert friend’s name here) who is supporting the other team or my team
– I’m checking my fantasy team

Q4. You know, it seems like you are more focused on football than on me at any point in time…

A4. That is erroneous and purely based on your perception…I only have this for a month…you I have with me always *please note that last statement is a double-edged sword use wisely*

Q5. At half time can you/we….?

A5. No. half time is for highlights and bathroom breaks.”

To be Continued!

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2014 DC Caribbean Filmfest

Information via TransAfrica Newsletter.

In recognition of Caribbean American Heritage Month in June, TransAfrica, Caribbean Association of World Bank and IMF Staff (CAWI), Caribbean Professional Network (CPN), Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) and AFI Silver is proud to present the DC Caribbean Filmfest, now in its 14th year at the AFI Silver Theatre.  Support provided by the IDB Cultural Center.

Dates: June 13-15, 2014

Venue: AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910




Fri, Jun 13, 7:15PM   Opening Night:
Post-screening reception commemorating the 35th anniversary of St. Lucia’s independence, sponsored by the Caribbean Professional Network.

As a poet, playwright, painter and even filmmaker, Derek Walcott has been hymning the Caribbean for more than 60 years. This rousing documentary reveals an intimate portrait of the Nobel Prize winning Walcott, as it visits his art studio, his childhood home and his current residence on his beloved native island of St. Lucia. Discover the anger and frustration that the poet holds against the downtime of the arts as he speaks frankly about the meaning of poetry to him personally, and about the significance of art for humanity. Most importantly, this documentary is a celebration of the greatest gift Walcott has given the world: his poetry.

DIR/PROD Ida Does. Netherlands, 2014, color, 80 min, digital presentation. In English. NOT RATED

Click here for ticket information.

Fri, Jun 13, 9:30PM 


“I always have my ears on the ground-level…I just take it from you and bring it back to you…” This independent feature-length documentary digs deep into the consciousness of the Black Man himself, legendary calypsonian Dr. Leroy Calliste, better known as Black Stalin. Featuring the big man’s music and performances as well as interviews with Trinidad’s top entertainment and academic names: Kees, David Rudder, JW and Blaze, Nadia Batson, Dr. Roy Cape, Denyse Plummer and Dr. Patricia Bishop.

DIR Tamara Tam-Cruickshank. Trinidad and Tobago, 2012, color, 60 min, digital presentation. In English. NOT RATED

Click here for ticket information.

Sat, Jun 14, 2:00PM
YURUMEIN (Homeland)  Tickets $5!

This powerful documentary recounts the painful past of the Caribs on St. Vincent and the extermination of scores of their ancestors at the hands of the British, while building an intimate portrait of Garifuna culture in-transition today. It presents firsthand accounts from both Carib descendants who remain on the island of St. Vincent and voices of returning descendants whose ancestors were exiled to Central America—where Garifuna traditional culture was able to survive and flourish. As Garifuna from around the world come together to remember and celebrate the lives and resilience of their shared ancestors, they also begin to discover possibility and hope for the future of Garifuna culture and a greater worldwide community.

DIR/SCR Andrea E. Leland. US/St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 2014, color, 50 min, digital presentation. In English. NOT RATED

Click here for ticket information.

Sat, Jun 14, 3:15PM

ABO SO (Only You)

This musical tells the story of Tatiana (Raphaela Mahadeo), an intelligent, conservative young woman who moves with her mother and brother to their aunt’s house in the neighborhood known as Seroe Patrishi. There, she meets Santiago (Miguel Genser), a quirky young man of Latin origin, who can’t take Tatiana’s diva attitude. Yet secrets are revealed. They discover compassion for one another, out of which a beautiful love grows. This almost impossible love will test them both. Featuring the songs of legendary Aruban musician Padu del Caribe. Official Selection, 2013 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival; 2014 Curaçao International Film Festival Rotterdam.

DIR/SCR/PROD Juan Francisco Pardo. Aruba, 2013, color, 72 min, digital presentation. In Papiamento with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Click here for ticket information.

Sat, Jun 14, 5:00PM    TULA: THE REVOLT

Based on the true story of the slave uprising in 18th-century Curacao, this epic drama follows the enslaved Tula, who led his colleagues in revolt. Upon hearing of the emancipation of the slaves in Haiti, Tula decides that he needs to take charge to change the situation in Curacao. While his pleas for freedom go ignored by his masters, Tula finds support among his fellow slaves, and they decide to strike. Dutch troops quickly arrive at the plantation, and though Tula dreams of a peaceful agreement, he soon finds out that he has no option but fight with the other enslaved people for freedom, equality and brotherhood. Starring Danny Glover, Obi Abilli and Natalie Simpson.

DIR/SCR/PROD Jeroen Leinders; SCR Curtis Holt Hawkins. Netherland Antilles/Netherlands, 2013, color, 100 min, digital presentation. In English and Dutch with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Click here for ticket information.

Sat, Jun 14, 7:15PM CRISTO REY

The universal legend of Romeo and Juliet provides a compelling framework for Dominican director Leticia Tonos to explore the recent escalation in historic tensions between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Janvier, a mixed-race Haitian-Dominican teenager, maintains an uneasy presence in crime-plagued Cristo Rey, a slum barrio of Santo Domingo that he calls home. When he gets the chance to make some extra cash by protecting the beautiful Jocelyn, the young sister of Cristo Rey’s controlling drug kingpin, he takes it, hoping to be able to reunite with his deported Haitian mother. But when he becomes romantically involved with Jocelyn, the tensions rumbling below the surface erupt. (Note courtesy Miami International Film Festival). Official Selection, 2013 Toronto Film Festival.

DIR/SCR Leticia Tonos; SCR Alejandro Andújar; PROD Sergio Gobbi. Dominican Republic/Haiti/France, 2013, color, 96 min, digital presentation. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Click here for ticket information.


“Your choices matter first of all.” Rocksy (popular Jamaican entertainer Christopher “Johnny” Daley), a small-time hustler, journeys into chaos to steal a car while his lady friend Rosie (Camille Small) hangs a watercolor painting in their modest room and dreams of peace. The fight to survive their broken dreams and aspirations compels them to commit a crime that changes their lives forever. Shot on the streets of Kingston where poverty, beauty and desperation collide, this Jamaican story transcends its island locale to become a universal story of people whose poverty seems to trap them in a life where reckless acts appear the only road to an elusive better life. Winner, Best Diaspora Feature, 2014 African Movie Academy Awards.

DIR/SCR/PROD Mary Wells; PROD Sajoya Alcott, Frances-Anne Solomon. Jamaica, 2013, color, 83 min, digital presentation. In English. NOT RATED

Click here for ticket information.

Sun, Jun 15, 1:10PM


Exploring the riveting story of the women’s suffrage movement in the Bahamas, this documentary focuses on five of the central figures in the movement. In their singular “womanish ways,” these women worked tirelessly to redress discrimination and to advance and expand the cause of democracy in the Bahamas. Through archive footage and interviews with the women and men who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the founders of the movement, filmmaker Marion Bethel sheds light on this important period in Bahamian history.

DIR/SCR Marion Bethel; DIR Maria Govan. Bahamas, 2012, color, 73 min, digital presentation. In English. NOT RATED

Click here for ticket information.


Born and raised in Kingston, Stuart Hall is one of the most influential and esteemed cultural theorists of his generation. A thinker and commentator, he is one of the intellectual giants of the last sixty years. Ghanaian filmmaker John Akomfrah’s sweeping and majestic feature length documentary takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride through the upheavals, struggles and turning points that made the 20th century the most important period of global political change to date. The story is told through the ideas of Stuart Hall and heard through the sonic landscape of the music of Miles Davis. Official Selection, 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

DIR John Akomfrah; PROD Lina Gopaul, David Lawson. UK, 2013, color, 103 min, digital presentation. In English. NOT RATED

Click here for ticket information.

Sun, Jun 15, 5:00PM                                                                                                    


The invasion of Grenada by U.S. forces in 1983 echoed around the world and put an end to a unique experiment in Caribbean politics. What were the circumstances that led to this extraordinary chain of events? This comprehensive, gripping and revealing documentary tells the story of the Grenada revolution as never before. The film features extensive, previously unseen file footage, as well as old and new interviews with many of the key players of the time. Award-winning filmmaker and Caribbean film scholar Bruce Paddington has crafted a landmark documentary that aims to educate and continue the process of healing and reconciliation in the region. Official Selection, 2013 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival.

DIR/SCR Bruce Paddington, Luke Paddington. Trinidad and Tobago/Grenada, 2013, color, 113 min, digital presentation. In English. NOT RATED

Click here for ticket information.

Sun, Jun 15, 7:30PM   RESILIENT HEARTS

This documentary was inspired by the catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, and left the country and its people devastated. Directed and written by Haitian-American actress Claudine Oriol, who left Port-au-Prince one hour before the earthquake, the film unfolds through the eyes, lives and spirit of the Haitian people, giving voice to the voiceless. Through a variety of narratives, Oriol sheds light on Haiti’s unique and rich history, conveys the resiliency of the Haitian spirit and shows the strength and power of a community united. Filmed entirely in Haitian-Creole (with English subtitles), this project is an ode not only to Claudine’s fellow Haitians, but to the international community and everyone impacted by this natural disaster.

DIR/SCR Claudine Oriol. Haiti, 2013, color, 74 min, digital presentation. In English, Creole and Haitian with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Click here for ticket information.

Sun, Jun 15, 9:40PM BLACK AND CUBA

This edgy and artful documentary follows a group of predominantly black, street-smart students at Yale, who feel like outcasts at the elite Ivy League university, as they band together and adventure to Cuba to see if revolution is truly possible. While filming their poignant encounters with AfroCuban youth, breathtaking sites and moving hip-hop performances, the travelers confront realities behind myths of color-blindness and social mobility. This chronicle of their journey uncovers renewed hope for equality and human rights. The film is the feature directorial debut of Dr. Robin J. Hayes, international human rights advocate and scholar. Official Selection, 2014 Pan African Film Festival.

DIR/SCR/PROD Robin J. Hayes. US/Cuba, 2013, color, 83 min, digital presentation. In English. NOT RATED

Click here for ticket information.

For more information:; or call 202.223.1960 ext. 137 or email


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Social Development Insight ~ The pretence of ending poverty


Last Friday I was on my way to downtown Kingston for a meeting and noticed a black dog running at the side of the road. It was carrying a prize in its mouth. As I drew nearer I realized the prize was the carcass of a rat. The dog in its hunger was tearing it apart rapidly.

Something in me sank. I remember looking around at some of the inner-city communities I was passing through and feeling a sense of helplessness. Days earlier just close by there had been a shooting at the entrance of the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH)., Fast forward another 10 minutes and I’m looking at an elderly woman, unwashed, uncared for – sitting at the side of East Street staring intently at her skin and digging away at her flesh. One can only attempt to guess what is haunting her mind.

Shortly afterwards I am sitting in a cool trendy boardroom preparing to start a meeting. I am numb and haunted. Those images are re-playing in my head. I am not the only one. For another 45 minutes the four of us sat earnestly reflecting on development challenges facing Jamaica. Like development, some of these issues are deep-seated, complex, multi-faceted. They require original, out of the box critique and action. They require resolve. These are problems that have been years in the making, a melange of culture, history, politics, leadership – or lack thereof – etc etc etc. They require political will, not politicking.

A few things about our approach to social development in this country (and the rest of the Caribbean!) must change:-

  1. Social development is not a competition. It is not a competition for media attention. It is not about trumpeting the glory of one over the other. It is a battle to the death for the lives of innocent children, young people, women & men in our communities. For a child to reach the age of 5, live in depressed circumstances, experience trauma, be hampered in attending school etc – then it is almost too late. NGOs, CBOs, Private sector, church bodies, Government agencies – this is not a competition. Let us co-ordinate/ link our efforts!
  2. Social development is not a business. The only business we should be running is the business of running ourselves out of a job. This would mean that the challenges we have thrown our money and efforts at, are improving. Not regressing. This is not about setting up an NGO, agency etc for the purpose of receiving funding to pay ourselves to “eat a food”, “pay a bill”, “live a little”. With that attitude we’ve already lost.
  3. Social development is not an opportunity for “slave master” tactics or political advantage. With all due respect constituency leaders, MPs, Ministers, Parish coordinators etc this is not about gaining a little mileage through “handout leadership”. I want “hand-up leadership”. This is not about ensuring our friends in high places receive the funding & the projects etc. It is a about the people. The children, the young girls & boys, the women & men in our communities.
  4. Social development is not about a quick fix. Problems that have been years in the making, will not suddenly go away by a 6 month or 2 year project. In the pages of reports that cite the numbers of beneficiaries reached, trained, served etc this does not mean that their lives have improved one iota. We need to start thinking more long-term with our interventions. Aid agencies, it is time you recognize this. Stop baiting the development sector with your carrot money and sending people scampering to meet your rules. Are you sure you know the full face of the problems? Development is not top down. We speak participation, but it seems we are really referring to tokenism.

I want to know your thoughts. Send me your opinion, let’s talk. Nothing changes when we sit silent.

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Goodbye World ~ from the Children who were …

borrowed image (no copyright infringement intended)

My heart is crying on account of the recent deaths of so many young children this weekend in Jamaica. It is overwhelming. I send out my condolences to the grieving families.

I also grieve on account of the stories of young men being arrested for various criminal activities; stories that aired on the use and abuse of under-aged girls as sex workers etc etc etc.

I call for us in Caribbean society to start looking at a more intelligent way to create a more positive environment for our children. This means Governments & Civil society listening to each other, people in communities uniting to support each other to be better parents and individuals across socio-economic lines find ways to empower each other. Parenting, child-rearing, moulding our future leaders is a collective responsibility best achieved as a joint effort. This is a battlefield where ironically we should all be on the same side. Negative perceptions, attitudes, behaviours, practices etc – those are the enemies.

Am I naive to think that it is not too late for our nations’ children?

When I Grow Up

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Vignette Insights – Is Dominica Boring?

Richard Etienne, UK film-maker and a member of the Dominican diaspora has embarked on a personal journey of discovery about his Dominican homeland. Today on Island Vignettes, he shares a 2nd snippet from his upcoming short film “The iD Project”.

“Dominica is a small Caribbean island so what can it truly offer to a guy from a big city like me? Watch what some of Dominica’s most influential voices had to say.”

This snippet is from ‘The iD Project’ – releasing Summer 2014. 

Richard Etienne
Richard Etienne

This film is publicly funded and no donation is too small. Please support at and click ‘Donate’ at the top of the page.

To see Richard’s first installment for his upcoming short film, visit his first story that was featured on Island Vignettes: Vignette Insights: My Dominican Story

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Tribute to Lorna: You are gone but never forgotten

The beautiful Lorna
The beautiful Lorna


My dear friends, many months ago I shared  a story about a phenomenal woman who smiled her way into my heart in 2009. She was the first person to comment on my blog when created in 2012. When we hugged goodbye in 2011, she promised to attend my wedding. Lorna Hamilton Henry – the force behind Mothers2Mothers TNT.  Selfless, giving, loving…

My dear Lorna is now resting with the angels. Tonight I have no words. I loved her. I will never ever forget her. Her mission lives on. The least I can do is continue to share her story. Please help me to pay tribute to this Christian warrior by sharing her story, checking perceptions  and helping friends and loved ones who live and continue to fight discrimination against Persons Living with HIV/AIDS.

In Lorna’s words: “… When I go out to speak I tell people we are just that – people. People living with a disease but we have the same hopes and dreams as anyone else. I tell them discrimination is a form of murder. You may not have stabbed me or shot me but the stress you induce can cause me to deteriorate and die.”  I pray God’s comfort for her grieving family.

Rest in Peace Lorna.

Listen to Lorna on You Tube: 

Click here to Read Lorna’s story: My Live with HIV

More on Lorna the Advocate: Strong Women working toward an AIDS free generation


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My Top Pick for Staycation Saturday

Today I will relax. Yes, relax. Sometimes this is difficult. There is always a distraction – phones, internet, work, bills… It’s an endless list of things that constantly occupy our minds. My remedy is to do things that put me at ease eg daydreaming, baking, reading, sitting in the garden.

My top pick for today is baking. I’ve kicked off my Staycation Saturday with a fresh batch of lime & fruit scones. It only took 30 minutes because my dough was already frozen. Here’s a taste. How are you spending your Saturday?

Wishing you a good one!

Lime & Fruit scones
Lime & Fruit scones


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Earth Day 2014 – Going green in Kingston, Jamaica

Can gardening be called an adventure? After my experiences in the garden the past few months I have to say, “Yes!” The world celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd 2014. For the past two years I’ve either planted a tree or got involved in some other activity. This year I did nothing – or so I thought. I’ve since re-considered and remembered that I have done something HUGE all year.
Strawberry in Island Vignettes garden
Strawberry in Island Vignettes garden

I finally started my own little garden in the heart of Kingston. In the midst of city life I have reaped tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, parsley, thyme and very soon, strawberries. This is actually part 2 of my personal downtime which thus far has focused on ornamental plants.

Scotch bonnet peppers
Scotch bonnet peppers

What really motivated me finally? Two things. (1) For years I’ve listened to persons across the Caribbean talk about “eat what you grow, grow what you eat”, “feed the nation”, etc etc etc. (2) I got tired of paying too much in the grocery for these items. These days I enjoy my seasonings fresh from garden to pot.


My gardening has become the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks to my dear Arthur who got me started with seedlings and endless trips to the garden store for supplies. Enjoy.






Thanks also to my dear friend Kate for her encouragement in getting me blogging again.

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