Taking a time out
"Hey there, don't you know, there's an isle with a style and a wind that sings a calypso, a people's who's passion a fashion forged from a fire, Super Island, call it T&T" - David Ruder, calypsonian
The North of the country is poles apart! It’s the area where Kony and the LRA ran amuck for over twenty years, just on the border of South Sudan. For me it’s like someone pressed pause in 1989 on the district. So I am there to work on a project to increase the number of women doing commercial farming and increase the income of the small scale women farmers along with the implementation of a Gender Policy for the Company that work with the women farmers. Why women? They were affected by this conflict like no other, losing their children as many were taken as child soldiers and their husbands or partners who were killed or left.
So far, it’s been truly for me a transformational experience. I can say without a shadow of doubt that I have learnt so much about humility, gratitude, honouring myself and my ancestors, purpose and service! Every day is a lesson, an experience and sometimes it calls me to dig deep! I just had one of these conversations. I am just chatting with a woman from the district, what I thought would be “small talk”; she asked me where are you from? I said Trinidad and Tobago. Madam where is that country? I never heard of it before, so I explained. Then she said Madam Akosua, in your country do you have wars? I said no, she said I would like to visit a place where there is no war because you know I lost my father and my brothers, they killed very many people and made a big cook with them and forced us to eat it.
Ok, my face is now twist up all how and I am saying to myself did she just say cook the people? Huh? And you ate it? Yes madam, if you don’t they kill you or cut off your lips (yes they do there are people walking around with no lips) she said, it is OK, now they have gone to Congo. She said, my brother’s arm was cut off and they left him there and told us don’t touch him. The men in the army told us that the Holy Spirit is the one who made them do it. All this conversation with no emotion on her part eh! She said Madam, have you ever had a war in your country? I said no. She says you never experienced a war madam? Never ever? Hmm But madam, there are no victims here we are not victims, we are all warriors, we will not let this ever happen again. She said, you cannot have a victory if you don’t show up for the struggle. You cannot have a victory if you are running away from what you think is too big or too much for you to handle. The victory comes when you face your demons head on and you come through still standing!
My famous intelligent response – OK
I told her I am going home next week, she said you go home and give thanks ok Madam and come back to us with your humility and quiet energy, you have been given a responsibility! Me- OK!
Looking forward to being home with no wars, family and friends, my mama’s cornmeal and coconut bake, doubles, Malta, coconut water & Jouvert!!!! Africa me love yuh big eh I will see you soon, but Trinidad is my heart!! David Rudder says it best “ two islands in the fun with a spirit that moves as it grooves just taking you higher, Super Island T&T”