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Contents

No. 140 July/August 2016

51

84 EMBARK

IMMERSE

ARRIVE

23 Datebook

51 panorama

84 destination

36 The GAME

When it comes to athletics, the Caribbean — Jamaica in particular — has dominated the field for the past decade. And as the 2016 Olympics open this August in Rio de Janeiro, all eyes will be on Usain Bolt and his peers from across the region. Kwame Laurence profiles some of our leading Olympic contenders

Imagine a country with a palmfringed Atlantic coast and an interior of Amazon rainforest, where the cultures of West Africa, India, Java, and Europe meet and mingle, where it seems you can experience four continents in as many days. Come to Suriname and see the whole world

Is the Caribbean Premier League the start of a West Indies cricket revival?

68 closeup

Kingston beat

Events around the Caribbean in July and August, from a diving festival in Dominica to Carnival in St Lucia

30 Word of Mouth Barbados Crop Over and the Leeds West Indian Carnival are two stars of the August festival season

“I wanted to do”

One country, four continents

98 home ground

42 Bookshelf and playlist

The first woman to be elected Commonwealth secretary-general, Dominica-born Patricia Scotland has made history in more ways than one over her stellar career. Joshua Surtees interviews the new Commonwealth head and finds out where her passion for speaking up comes from

For many visitors to Jamaica, the capital Kingston, at the foot of the Blue Mountains, is just the gateway to the country’s beach resorts. But, as Tanya Batson-Savage explains, Kingston’s bustling cosmopolitan scene and dynamic cultural offerings make it an essential destination. Here’s her list of must-sees and mustdos, from art to music to cuisine

This month’s reading and listening picks

74 backstory

104 round trip

Two hundred years ago, a group of free black veterans of the War of 1812 arrived in Trinidad. In the island’s deep south, the villages they founded still preserve the traditions of the “Merikins,” as writer Judy Raymond and photographer Marlon Rouse discover — and still have much to teach their fellow citizens

Shaped by subterranean forces, the islands of the Lesser Antilles are an arc of volcanoes — some extinct, some dormant, some still active. And among their dramatic forested peaks, crater lakes, and hot springs, amateur vulcanologists (and ordinary tourists) can find ample evidence of our planet’s restless energy

38 Great outdoors Some go hashing for the exercise. Others are motivated by the booze

40 The DEAL Does medicine hold the key to diversifying Caribbean tourism?

47 Cookup

fresh from the farm The farm-to-table movement is no longer just a foodies’ trend — it’s going mainstream, even in the Caribbean. Franka Philip explains why knowing where your produce comes from adds something special to your meal 14

gold standard

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heroes of the forgotten war

fire down below


CaribbeanBeat An MEP publication ISSN 1680–6158

104 ENGAGE

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Editor Nicholas Laughlin General manager Halcyon Salazar Online marketing Caroline Taylor Design artists Kevon Webster & Bridget van Dongen

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114 inspire

a promise to jb For many families, a sick child is both an emotional tragedy and a financial blow. When Chevaughn and Noel Joseph’s young son was diagnosed with a rare cancer, they vowed to help others families in need, Lisa AllenAgostini reports

Follow us:

www.facebook/caribbeanbeat

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www.twitter.com/meppublishers

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unbreaking the internet When a software developer deleted a key piece of code, thousands of websites around the world “broke” — and Trinidadian Laurie Voss had to help undo the damage. Mark Lyndersay finds out how

118On this day historic gold

At this year’s Rio Olympics, champions like Usain Bolt will dominate the headlines. But as James Ferguson explains, the history of Caribbean victory at the games goes back more than a century

This is your personal, take-home copy of Caribbean Beat, free to all passengers on Caribbean Airlines Printed by Solo Printing Inc., Miami, Florida

Caribbean Beat is published six times a year for Caribbean Airlines by Media & Editorial Projects Ltd. It is also available on subscription. Copyright © Caribbean Airlines 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher. MEP accepts no responsibility for content supplied by our advertisers. The views of the advertisers are theirs and do not represent MEP in any way. Website: www.caribbean-airlines.com

126 Onboard entertainment Movie and audio listings, to entertain you in the air

128 parting shot What gives Barbuda’s famous pink sand beaches their rosy blush?

The Caribbean Airlines logo shows a hummingbird in flight. Native to the Caribbean, the hummingbird represents flight, travel, vibrancy, and colour. It encompasses the spirit of both the region and Caribbean Airlines.

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Cover The greatest Caribbean athlete of all time? Jamaican Usain Bolt is definitely a contender, as he defends his Olympic titles at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro Photo Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

This issue’s contributors include: Jamaican Tanya Batson-Savage (“Kingston beat”, page 98) is the publisher and editor in chief of independent publishing house Blue Moon Publishing and the online arts and culture magazine Susumba.com. She is the author of Pumpkin Belly and Other Stories and the play Woman Tongue. Nailah Folami Imoja (née Charmaine Gill) (“Start with the music”, page 30) is an award-winning BarbadianBritish writer and educator. The author of numerous novellas, including Colourblind, To Protect & Serve, and Fantasy Fulfilled, she considers her twelve-year-old daughter her greatest opus. Kwame Laurence (“Gold standard”, page 51) is a multiple award-winning sports journalist, and will be in Rio de Janeiro in August to cover his sixth Olympic Games. He has been one of the Caribbean’s leading athletics correspondents for twenty-six years, including twenty at the Trinidad Express. Franka Philip (“Fresh from the farm”, page 47) is a Trinidadian journalist who is deeply passionate about food and food issues. She is keen to pursue “the story behind the story” in Caribbean food to tap into the growing consciousness about supporting local producers and innovation in food processing in the region. Judy Raymond (“Heroes of the forgotten war”, page 74) is a freelance writer who has written extensively about books, arts, and politics. Her latest book, The Colour of Shadows, is a study of the conditions and images of Caribbean slavery. Joshua Surtees (“I wanted to do”, page 68) is a British writer with Jamaican roots. He is based in London, Paris, and Port of Spain, and writes for international publications including the UK Guardian and VICE.

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A MESSAGE From OUR CEO Dear Valued Customers, The summer vacation months of July and August are two of the busiest months for travelling, and Caribbean Airlines is delighted that you have chosen us as your preferred air carrier. Our teams have carefully planned for the increased demand of July and August, to ensure that you and your families have a positive experience when travelling for your vacations. Summer is a time of great fun and adventure, and Caribbean Airlines is thrilled to be the Official Airline sponsor for the Caribbean Premier League 20/20 (CPLT20) Series. In the coming months we will be connecting cricket fans and teams throughout the Caribbean and North America, as you travel to attend the various games. Also, for the first time, matches will be played in Fort Lauderdale at the Lauderhill Stadium from 27 to 31 July. We look forward to you flying with us to experience the excitement of this premier cricket league. 2016 continues to be significant for Caribbean Airlines as we transform the way we serve you. Guided by a brand repositioning committee, Caribbean Airlines is focusing on key areas that are important to you, our valued customers. One of the significant improvements has been the upgrade of our reservations, ticketing, and airport check-in system to Amadeus, which has directly benefitted each of you through: • faster and easier web check-in • reservations and ticket purchase using your mobile phones • simpler ways to buy tickets • real-time information on reservation and flight changes • self-serve, user-friendly airport kiosks at all Caribbean Airlines destinations By the end of the year, we will be switching our loyalty programme to Amadeus’ “Hit It Loyalty.” The process of conversion to the Amadeus loyalty programme is already underway, and will include the transfer of the Jamaica-based 7th Heaven rewards programme to Caribbean Miles. This transition, when completed, will offer you the most customer-friendly loyalty programme available in the market, allowing for superior selfservice technology where you will be able to: • book flights • issue reward tickets • manage all aspects of your accounts independently Also, we have listened closely to your feedback, and through the “H.U.M.” (Happiest Ultimate Moment) Campaign we are offering you greater value added when you fly with us in the months of June and September. A “H.U.M.” pass will be given to

all regional and international customers travelling in the months of June and September to enjoy special discounts with retail partners throughout the Caribbean Airlines network. Encourage your family and friends to travel with us in September to make full use of this exciting promotion. As we advance through 2016, our strategic direction will continue to re-focus our brand to embody the themes: • • • •

We Care We Connect We Create We are the Caribbean

These themes will be reflected in everything we do — our culture, our operations, our values, and every aspect of our behaviour, both internal and external to our organisation. Be assured that Caribbean Airlines remains committed to delivering our vision for an improved customer-centric travel experience to serve you better. We are grateful for your support, as we know you have plenty of choice. Have a great flight and enjoy your summer vacation! Tyrone Tang Chief Executive Officer (Ag.)


Hum on Board! Travel in SEPTEMBER and get your H.U.M. Pass to experience the HAPPIEST ULTIMATE MOMENTS. Enjoy discounts at popular restaurants night spots, spas and MORE!

We keep the Caribbean humming with our warmth. Fly

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datebook Your guide to Caribbean events in July and August, from a diving festival in Dominica to Carnival in St Lucia, Antigua, and Grenada

Don’t miss . . . Antigua Carnival 22 July to 2 August

The Moment Is Captured

She’s a four-time Antigua and Barbuda Party Monarch, and Claudette Peters, the “Soca Diva”, will be back to defend last year’s title at Antigua Carnival 2016, a highlight of the island’s calendar. Like Carnivals across the Caribbean, Antigua’s comes loaded with fetes and concerts, culminating in Carnival Monday and Tuesday, 1 and 2 August, when the Antigua Recreation Ground, otherwise famous for cricket, is transformed into Carnival City.

How to get there? Caribbean Airlines operates daily flights to V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua from Trinidad, Jamaica, and Barbados, with connections to other destinations WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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datebook

If you’re in . . . Tobago

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Dominica Dive Fest

Tobago Heritage Festival

Breadfruit Festival

8 to 17 July dominicawatersports.com

15 July to 1 August tobagoheritagefestival.com

1 to 31 August

Underwater volcanoes, swimming in volcanically heated springs, whalewatching, and coral reefs — it’s time to get those sea legs into a wetsuit. The longest running scuba festival in the Caribbean is back, and the Nature Isle of the Caribbean will be abuzz.

Children love to sit and listen to the older generation tell stories. And these stories get even better when they’re acted out. Each year communities in Tobago celebrate their history and heritage with a highly anticipated series of events. Goat and crab races, the Miss Heritage Personality Contest, folk tales, and the re-enactment of the Belmanna Riots are must dos. And nothing compares to the Moriah Ole Time Wedding, no invitation needed. Join the crowd on Bachelor Night as they do traditional dances, and hop to tambrin music — folk songs performed on fiddle and percussion. The next day, help celebrate the couple’s union at the wedding procession. Playful taunting and jubilant shouts come from the spectators, as the gentlemen clad in traditional three-piece suits — accessorised with top hats and bow

Dive Fest Dominica was created to encourage locals to learn to scuba and discover ways to conserve the environment for future generations. Fast-forward twenty-two years, and thousands are flocking to Dominica to experience the island’s rich marine environment. There goes a family of dolphins! Look, some sunken treasure! The Dominica Watersports Association has organised an action-packed list of fun activities on, off, and under the sea. Talks and slideshows on marine ecology will also be in the mix — making those underwater treasure hunts even more exciting. Show off your athleticism by taking part in swimming and kayak races. And on the last day of Dive Fest, all roads lead to Soufrière for the grand finale: the famous Kubuli Canoe Race. 24

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The Division Of Tourism And Transportation

Images Dominica

Dominica

ties — escort the ladies attired in bustle dresses and wide-brimmed hats. To the sounds of tambrin, they eventually perform the traditional three-step “brush back” dance, demonstrating the ups and downs of life. At the reception hall, entertaining speeches are delivered to the delight of everyone present. It’s been said that the Heritage Festival is to Tobago what Carnival is to Trinidad — but don’t take our word for it. See for yourself!

©Istock.Com/Bergmannd

Breadfruit is a gift that keeps on giving. While some Caribbean countries simply eat it roasted or fried, St Vincent hosts an entire festival featuring breadfruit’s gastronomic possibilities. The proclaimed connoisseurs and masters of the breadfruit, Vincentians boast of twenty-five different varieties.

The introduction of breadfruit was so historically significant, it forms part of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ national dish: roast breadfruit and jackfish. Originating in the South Pacific, breadfruit was brought to the island in 1793 by the English Captain William Bligh, more famous as the victim of the earlier mutiny on the HMS Bounty — a favourite Hollywood story. This “tree of life,” fast-growing and abundant, was intended as a cost-effective way to feed enslaved Africans on St Vincent’s plantations. In remembrance of those ancestors and their resourcefulness, SVG celebrates a month-long breadfruit festival starting on Emancipation Day, 1 August. In addition to culinary events, you can look out for miniexhibitions on potential uses of the tree, from lumber to medicine. Each weekend the festival visits a different community, so check the schedule to see when it’s coming your way. Event previews by Shelly-Ann Inniss


E

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10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Lunch & house brand drinks and use of all facilities other than golf

THE GOLF PASS US $85 / TT $545 * (per person)

7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Breakfast, lunch, clubs, cart and a 18-hole round of golf and use of the Fairways & resort facilities with house brand drinks

THE NIGHT PASS US $95 / TT $610 * (per person)

6 p.m. – 12 midnight Dinner & beverages all-inclusive. House brand drinks in any outlet, all-inclusive in any restaurant including Kali’na (a Table D’hote menu)

THE GRAND ULTIMATE PASS US $105 / TT $675 * (per person)

10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

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Lunch, dinner & beverages all-inclusive. House brand drinks in any outlet, all-inclusive in any restaurant including Kali’na (a Table D’hote menu)

Tobago Plantations Estate, Lowlands, Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies • Phone: 868-660-8500 • info@MagdalenaGrand.com

W W W .M A G D A L E N A G R A N D . C O M Conditions: Passes are not applicable to in-house and/or arriving guests. Children (5 yrs.-12 yrs.) are half price. Use of the resort facilities is exclusive of golf unless otherwise stated. No children are allowed on the golf course or in Kali’na. Rates are inclusive of all taxes and exclusive of all Benne Café, spa and scuba services. Offers are valid through 12/15/16. Rates are subject to change without notice. Certain restrictions and blackout dates apply.


datebook

The joy of July Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival Roy Wilkins Park, Queens, New York City jerkfestivalny.com Spice is wafting through the air . . . Calling all foodies, reggae fans, and culture enthusiasts: celebrate Jamaican cuisine at the sixth annual festival. And what better place than Jamaica, Queens? [17 July]

Jerkfestivalny.Com

Reggae Sumfest Jamaica reggaesumfest.com Can’t get enough reggae? You’re in luck: more artistes than ever before will take the stage at Jamaica’s biggest music festival in Montego Bay [17 to 23 July]

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National Art Gallery Of The Bahamas

Lucian Carnival St Lucia stluciancarnival.com Who’s ready for some Lucian bacchanal? Release your inhibitions at Monday morning J’Ouvert and the colourful Tuesday pageant [18 and 19 July]

Nevis Culturama Venues around Nevis culturamanevis.com Still going strong in its forty-second year, Nevis’s annual festival expresses its traditional cultural heritage while embracing other Caribbean influences [21 July to 2 August]

From Columbus to Junkanoo National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, Nassau nagb.org.bs A historical memoir created by thirty-five artists, highlighting the growth and development of the Bahamas. Runs through 2 October [runs through July and August]

Ends 2 August

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Awesome August

©Istock.Com/Stevegeer

Spice Mas Grenada spicemasgrenada.com Short Knees and Wild Indians will reconnect you with traditional mas, but if you’re feeling casual, just jump up in your t-shirt on Monday night [30 July to 9 August]

Emancipation Day Trinidad and Tobago The streets will be alive with performances of freedom. Port of Spain’s landmark Queen’s Park Savannah plays host to the Emancipation Village, and the day ends with a flambeau procession [1 August]

Biguine Jazz Festival Saint-Pierre, Martinique biguinejazz.com The union of jazz with French Antillean rhythms brings to life Creole jazz. It goes down smooth in the heart of picturesque Saint-Pierre. [11 to 14 August]

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Elisabeth Pollaert Smith/ Photographer’s Choice/Getty Images

caribbean hoop fest

Festival Internacional de Rap-Habana Hip Hop Alamar, Havana, Cuba Talented artistes from across Cuba and the globe converge on east Havana, hometown of local hip-hop stars Papa Humbertico and the Orishas [1 August]

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Caribbean Hoop Fest Montego Bay, Jamaica caribbeanhoopfest.com Youth from across the Caribbean meet their international peers for basketball, entertainment, and community outreach. Come and wave your country’s flag! [24 to 28 August]

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word of mouth Dispatches from our correspondents around the Caribbean and further afield

Nailah Folami Imoja gives a run-down of her favourite events in Barbados’s Crop Over calendar

C

rop Over — the sweetest summer festival — will soon be upon us. And with it comes calypso. For many years, calypso (and its derivatives rapso, ringbang, and soca) was mostly mere noise to me — a result, perhaps, of my not having been born into Carnival culture. But something clicked when I was in my twenties. I caught festival fever — and, as I became more attuned to my roots, the sweetness of this music was “revealed” and I grew to love it. Anyone who’s seen me dance can attest to that. I now give lessons in wining and wukking up! So, when it comes to Barbados’s months-long celebration, there are certain aspects that, as we say in Caribbean parlance, “cyan miss meh.” During Crop Over, the air literally hums with music. It’s everywhere, so you’ll have no difficulty finding it. Your first stop? A calypso tent. My favourite is First Citizens/Digicel De Big Show, featuring Adonijah, Biggie Irie, and ten-time calypso monarch Red Plastic Bag. If new to Barbados and Bajan (our Nation Language), you may want to

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Holger Leue/LPI/getty images

Start with the music

have a translator accompany you to your tent of choice — but, language barrier aside, I can guarantee that between the calypso and the comedy (and the giveaways!) you’ll get your money’s worth of entertainment. Looking for more music? Don’t miss Crop Over in the City, when Bridgetown becomes the backdrop for a sneak peek at the festival. Then there’s Soca on the Hill, featuring the top Caribbean soca artistes, and Pan Pun De Sand, a family event where you can stake out a spot on the beach and relax to the scintillating rhythms of local, regional, and international steel bands. Next there’s there’s the Pic-O-De-Crop finals, where calypsonians vie for monarchy. And for the hottest tunes on the road (not to mention the colourful costumed spectacle), don’t miss the culmination of the festival: Kadooment Day. If, like me, you’re also interested in the quieter aspects of Crop Over, consider Craft Works and the Visual Arts Festival, both of which highlight the unique

skill and creativity of our amateur and professional artisans. Also, there’s always much to learn on the Heritage Walk. And then there’s my favourite: Read In!, which can best be described as an extravaganza of words. In recent years, this literary arts event has seen the word (and by “word” I mean poetry, fiction, non-fiction, spoken word, and stand-up comedy) and performing and visual arts smoothly blended by the show’s producer and artistic director, Ayesha GibsonGill, to create a memorable showcase of Barbados’s writers, past and present. This year, to mark the island’s fiftieth anniversary of Independence, the theme is In Our OWN Words. The event will feature the launch of Tony Kellman’s historical novel Tracing JaJa, about the African king’s exile in Barbados, as well as the work of five of our many literary icons — Jeanette Layne Clark, Bruce St John, Frank Collymore, Timothy Callender, and Kamau Brathwaite — as well as some of our finest contemporary writers. I can hardly wait! Will you join me?


word of mouth

the battle for the title of Calypso Monarch, a reggae concert in the park, and on J’Ouvert morning bedraggled partied-out revellers are joined by excitable kids in their pyjamas to greet the dawn together. One obvious difference: this Carnival is in August, as the weather is just too damn cold for us northerners to celebrate outside in freezing February. Charismatic founder Arthur France, a gifted storyteller now in his seventies, will regale listeners with tales of the challenges he overcame to get the first Carnival off the ground. He sensed a “crippling homesickness” in himself and his community which compelled him to try and breathe life into a Caribbean Carnival in Leeds. His friends thought he was crazy, his neighbours swore he couldn’t do it, and the police needed some serious persuading — but his persistence and passion paid off. After securing the use of the Town Hall and permission to parade on the road, his core team turned neighbours’ houses into miniature mas camps, and begged and borrowed materials. One stumbling block was the question of where in Leeds to find the flamboyant feathers needed to adorn the costumes. A trip down to “Butchers’ Row” in Leeds city market and a few plucked chickens later, the issue was resolved. Finally, on August Bank Holiday 1967, the sound of homemade steel pans rang through the streets of Leeds, and Carnival was on the road. To this day, the goal that France set himself still holds true: “I decided it would be run by West Indians, full stop.” The Carnival proved that the Caribbean community were going to shape the city — “we West Indians were always labelled as not being capable of running things,” he insists, “and we’ve proved them wrong.” There is a strong community and cultural ethos still alive in Leeds Carnival. Efforts are made to ensure that costumes remain affordable, and traditional mas characters are celebrated. The costume designs for the troupe I play in, Harrison Bundey, are consistently shaped by politics — like Free Dem — Close Guantanamo (2008), Shame on You BP in response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill (2010), and Blud ah Go Run — Save the National Health Service (2012), which received a great reception from the crowds. Leeds West Indian Carnival will be fifty years old in 2017, and grand plans are afoot to celebrate, including a Carnival ballet and an international Carnival conference hosted by Leeds Beckett University, in partnership with the Carnival. Leeds has taken Carnival into its heart, and every year more and more spectators and participants of all backgrounds and ethnicities come together to celebrate this unique phenomenon. Here, under the often drab skies of Northern England, framed by endless rows of red brick terraced houses, we celebrate both Caribbean culture and a fantastic spectacle which transcends the cultural, racial, and economic boundaries which too often shape our world. n

courtesy guy farrar

The Harrison Bundey Troupe’s 2013 presentation, Unstitch the Rich

Carnival of the north

Founded nearly fifty years ago, Leeds West Indian Carnival has remained true to its community roots, while embracing revellers of all backgrounds, writes Emily Zobel Marshall

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t’s August Bank Holiday Monday. The rain has been persistent, and it’s unseasonably cold. Yet in battle with the grey skies and penetrating damp, alongside the warmth of over-proof rum in our stomachs, is one of the most enthusiastic, artistic, and diverse Carnival parades you’re ever likely to come across. This is Leeds West Indian Carnival. Leeds West Indian Carnival can boast of being the first authentic Caribbean street Carnival in Europe. Established in 1967 by Leeds residents Arthur France from Nevis, Ian Charles from Trinidad, and Leeds University overseas students from Trinidad and Jamaica, it’s enjoyed a strong relationship with the city’s civic institutions, yet remained firmly in the control of the Caribbean community and its Carnival Committee, a dedicated group of Leeds people of Caribbean heritage who have shaped the event since its beginnings. Leeds Carnival weekend follows a similar format to Trinidad and other Caribbean islands: there is the King and Queen show,

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For All People


THE GAME

The T20 revolution As the Caribbean Premier League opens for its third year, the West Indies are world champions of Twenty20 cricket. It’s a form of the venerable game that seems especially suited to today’s West Indies players and fans, writes Garry Steckles — and maybe it’s the start of a true regional cricket revival Photograph courtesy: www.cplt20.com

2015 CPL champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel

W

hen Twenty20 cricket made its competitive debut a mere thirteen years ago, there wasn’t the slightest indication that this abbreviated, crash-bang-wallop upstart would revolutionise the venerable and all-too-often staid game — or that it would lead to a sporting renaissance in the English-speaking nations of the Caribbean. Back then, the region’s Test and One Day International teams were in the first few years of a decline that continues to this day, interest in the domestic game was flagging, and fans — who were used to the West Indies being the best team in the world — were becoming fed up as loss followed loss.

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The first official T20 matches were played in June 2003, and it’s turned out to be a form of cricket that could have been created specially for the swashbuckling players and party-loving fans of the Caribbean. And with the brash youngster barely in its teens, the West Indies are once again on top of the cricket world, winning both the men’s and women’s T20 World Cup titles in India recently — the men’s for the second time, something no other team has achieved. As a bonus, the West Indies’ under-19 team also won the World Cup in the one-day format earlier this year. With our players dominating the T20 version of the game, and with T20 now far and away its most popular format, the Caribbean is also poised to play a huge role in taking big-league cricket to a lucrative and hitherto impenetrable market: the United States. This summer, first-class competitive leag ue cr icket is ma k ing its longawaited debut in the US, with six HERO Car ibbean Premier League f ixtures in Fort Lauderdale showcasing many of the players who had hundreds of millions of fans glued to their television screens for much of the recent World T20 championships in India. And just as the T20 game could have been invented for Caribbean players, it could also have been created to appeal to the legions of A mer ican spor ts fans who have traditionally regarded cricket as tedious and boring. This version of the game is anything but. Big hitting, spectacular fielding, tight finishes, and a user-friendly playing time of about three hours are just a few of the attractions, and, in the case of the CPL, so is a soca-and-reggae-driven good-time vibe. The sixfranchise league, featuring teams from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St Lucia, Jamaica, and St Kitts and Nevis, bills itself as “The Biggest Party in Sport” and it has lived up to that boast in each of its three highly successful seasons leading up to 2016. Star-studded team rosters for this year’s CPL fixtures in Fort Lauderdale include current West Indies stars Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Samuel Badree, Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, Lendl Simmons, and Sunil Narine; Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and


Thisara Perera; South Africa’s A.B. de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Faf du Plessis, Morne Morkel, and Hashim Amla; New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill; Australia’s Shane Watson and Michael Hussey; and Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik. One name that’s been synonymous with Caribbean cricket over the years is that of Trinidadian calypsonian David Rudder, whose song “Rally Round the West Indies” was adopted as the team’s anthem more than a decade back, and is played before all their games. He sees T20 as a timely innovation that can have a far-reaching positive impact on the region’s cricket. Says Rudder: “In this high-speed world we live in, T20 seems a natural fit. And now that we have momentum, I’m hoping to see more people coming out to support the game in the Caribbean, now that we have a home-grown league. “Oddly enough, I think that the big winner in all this will be Test cricket. We have the young ones interested — seize the time and spread the game.” The Twenty20 format, for the record, is the brainchild of Stuart Robertson, who was marketing manager of the English Cricket Board (ECB), and came up with the idea after a survey of why England’s domestic game was shedding fans by the truckload. Many of the responses suggested that the traditional versions of the game were boring and took too much time. The first official T20 competition — the Twenty20 Cup — was given the go-ahead by the ECB in April of 2002, and the first five matches, among county teams, took place in June the following year. The fans turned out in force, most of them loved what they saw, Surrey won the inaugural tournament — and the rest, as they say, is history, with just about every cricketing nation of any consequence now hosting a major T20 league. Twenty20 could hardly be more different from Test matches, long the yardstick of cricket accomplishment. With each side limited to bowling a maximum of twenty six-ball overs, there’s simply no time for long spells of defensive play by either batsmen or bowlers. A Test match, by contrast, can last as long as five full days, with each day bringing six hours of play along with leisurely breaks for lunch and tea, and brief refreshment interludes. The first significant T20 competition in the Caribbean was the Stanford 2020 tournament in 2006, financed by the flamboyant American billionaire Allen Stanford, whose Antigua-based business interests were then flourishing in the Caribbean. Subsequent big-money Stanford-backed tournaments were also successful, but they quickly fizzled out after the financier was arrested in the US in 2009, convicted of running a massive Ponzi scheme, and sentenced to 110 years in prison. Caribbean players, though, continued to thrive in T20 cricket leagues around the world, including the Indian Premier League, the biggest and most lucrative tournament, as well as Australia’s Big Bash — and now the homegrown CPL. The action begins on 21 June at Kensington Oval in Barbados, with the final scheduled for 26 July at Providence Stadium in Guyana. For more information on the match schedule, teams, players, and more, visit www.cplt20.com. n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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great outdoors

For some, the attraction of being outdoors is the fresh air, the scenery, the healthy exercise. For others, it’s the booze. Denise Chin on the attractions of the “sport” of hashing

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here’s a group of mainly goofball types, plus a few odd normal people, who spend every other Saturday afternoon chasing chalk marks or paper on the ground through a (usually) forested area, on trails left by “hares.” These runs are prefaced, punctuated by, and concluded with copious amounts of beer and other alcoholic beverages. They are deliberately set to mislead and confuse the participants into taking wrong turns. These intrepids are called the Hash House Harriers. First, a little history. Hashing got its start in Malaysia in 1938 — when a group of British colonial officers and expats founded the Hash House Harriers, named after their clubhouse, in an attempt to combine exercise and alcohol. There are now around two thousand arms of the original group, in countries around the world. The objectives of the Hash House Harriers, as recorded in 1950, say it all: To promote physical fitness among our members To get rid of weekend hangovers To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel And the method of the game is still much the same. A week before the run, a group of hares set the

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shipfactory/shutterstock.com

On, on! course (a recce), then lead the pack at the start of the hash. They’re followed by the front-runners (the show-offs), then the semi-runners (the wannabes), and lastly the walkers (the losers or flower-pickers) bringing up the rear — or sometimes on an alternate path. Shouts of “On, on!” all through the hash tell the pack if they’re on the right path. Here in the Caribbean, there are Hash House Harriers in almost every island — a quick Google search will send you directly to a website or Facebook page. Everyone is welcome, and the camaraderie and friendliness are both phenomenal and legendary. Visitors who are able to show up for only one run before flying back home are greeted like old friends. Here in Trinidad, we have expanded our talent circle to include an annual cross-dressing football tournament and a very solemn kaiso competition. Every year the hashers also take their special brand of crazy overseas, as an annual tour is also a must.

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ashing was first brought to Trinidad in 1984 by a gentleman named Peter Frearson, the founder of POSHHH (the Port of Spain Hash House Hariers), and initially it was a Saturday run. Since then, other runs have been born, such as the Monday evening road run (the HHMMM) for the overachievers and the Thursday evening run (the Alzheimers Posse) for the old and downtrodden, who just really want to start drinking earlier in the week. My own first hashing experience was in the hills of Paramin, north of Port of Spain. I foolishly thought this would be a breeze, as I considered myself relatively fit, and I was prepared to leave these unathletic-looking people in the dust. Two hours later, with legs screaming from those devil hills (and, I’m pretty sure, tracks of tears on my cheeks), I arrived back at the starting ground. As is the custom, I was identified as a virgin and “forced” to guzzle a beer (what sort of penalty is that, anyway?). This was my introduction to an amazing group of people whom I consider friends and allies, and who welcomed me with open arms right from the get-go. Our beloved “Down-Down” after-run song captures the camaraderie: Here’s to the hashers, they’re true blue They are hashers through and through They are hashers so they say And they’ll never get to heaven in a long, long way So drink it down, down, down Here’s my advice. If you enjoy a little adventure, don’t mind some heckling, can keep up with the pack, have a Saturday afternoon free for fun, and can drink (or else they’ll whisper behind your back . . .), look up a Hash House Harriers club in your area. Your legs may not thank you, but you’ll make some friends for life. n


beyhan yazar/istock.com & Kangholanna58/shutterstock.com

THE DEAL

Patient or tourist? As Caribbean countries seek to diversify their tourism industries, medical tourism — aimed at people who travel for treatment — should be on the agenda. Erline Andrews investigates

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n early 2008, as the global economic crisis was triggering a decline in recreational tourist travel, representatives from thirteen Caribbean countries came together in Barbados for a three-day “strategy meeting” on health and wellness tourism. They listened to presenters from Canada, the United Kingdom, Cuba, and Malaysia — all countries with established and successful medical tourism industries. Med ica l tou r ists travel to ot her countries to access treatments that are not available where they live, or that are cheaper or more immediately available elsewhere. There is intra-regional

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medical tourism in the Caribbean, but participants at the meeting heard of a large, lucrative pool of potential patients outside the region. “Health and wellness tour ism is growing at a higher rate than that of global tourism,” said Barbados tourism minister Richard Sealy in his feature address. And Sir Henry Fraser, retired dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, explained via email why getting into medical tourism was “a no-brainer” for Barbados. “Which Canadian or American needing overseas surgery would not prefer Barbados, where we speak

English and have high standards, to the uncertainty of a twenty-four-hour flight to the Far East, with poor communication in language and no follow-up care?” he asked. Fra ser co - aut hored , a long w it h members of the Canada-based Simon Fraser University (SFU) Medical Tourism Research Group, the 2012 report An Overview of Barbados’s Medical Tourism Industry. And the meeting in 2008 was followed by a spurt of state activity to build up the region’s medical tourism. Barbados’s Ministry of Health created a task force that recommended, among other things, a package of incentives to encourage the setting up of private health care facilities on the island. Trinidad and Tobago’s investment promotion agency, InvesTT, commissioned a “draft strategy for medical tourism,” which included suggestions for how to rally the public and private sector around the idea of making the country a prime medical tourism destination. And the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro), which also commissioned a draft policy document, entered into an agreement in 2013 with an American organisation to build a facility targeting medical tourists, estimated to cost US$170 million. But there hasn’t been talk of the project since 2013. A similar project in Barbados also seems to have stalled. In T&T, there’s been no action on the draft strategy. So far only five institutions in the English-speaking Caribbean have accreditation from the US-based Joint Commission International, a key element in medical tourism success. Among the recognised facilities are the Barbados Fertility Clinic, accredited in 2007, five years after it was founded, and Doctors Hospital in the Bahamas, which has been in operation for thirty-six years but was accredited in 2010. Last year, the hospital did the first cochlear implant in the Bahamas, and also offers high-intensity focused ultrasound treatment for prostate cancer, stem cell treatment, and spine surgery. In an interview in 2014, Doctors Hospital founder Barry Rassin said medical tourism accounted for eighteen per cent of the institution’s revenue. He aimed to increase that to fifty per cent. Meanwhile, the Barbados Fertility Centre already has


eighty percent of its clientele coming from abroad, according to the SFU overview. The centre and the hospital are models for medical tourism: they’re run by locals and offer services in highly specialised fields, thus ensuring demand from outside the country. But so far they have not been replicated elsewhere in the region. “There just hasn’t been the right level of investment in infrastructure,” says James Cercone, an international health care consultant who’s worked throughout the region. And despite the constant talk of medical tourism, the actual efforts to promote it in the region have been slow. A 2014 article in the International Medical Travel Journal found there were long delays on the part of government agencies in granting permits, licensing, and other approvals. “The Bahamas is not the only country where politicians have made numerous promises of support for medical tourism, until it comes to the

point of committing time, money, and resources,” the article concluded. And last year the IMTJ asked, “Why is Jamaica struggling to attract medical tourism?” It found the high cost of private health care was a deterrent. The publication quoted Dr Alfred Dawes, past president of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association. “I have received enquiries from Americans about the cost of weight-loss surgery, only to be told point blank that it costs way more than in Mexico,” said Dawes. Cercone said that high duties on medical equipment and supplies added to the cost of health care in the region. “In the end,” he says, “it’s a question of paying the same thing to go to, say, the Bahamas or to go to Mayo Clinic in the US. I’d rather go to the US.” But Paul Hay, a Jamaican project management consultant who’s written about health tourism, responded in the negative

ADVERTORIALS Barbados Fertility Centre (BFC), located in Christ Church, Barbados, and at the St Augustine Medical Hospital, Trinidad, is globally recognised as one of the premiere centres for medical excellence. Specialising in all aspects of infertility management, BFC’s unique approach offers couples a stressreduced, holiday-style experience with state-of-the-art IVF and related procedures that have resulted in high success rates for couples unable to conceive a child for a year or more. The JCI-accredited centre began operations in 2002, and has successfully treated patients from Europe, North America and the Caribbean. Caribbean Heart Care Medcorp Limited is an established leader in cardiovascular services, having provided premier care to over 50,000 patients in the Caribbean for twenty-three years. Our success rate surpasses the world’s top cardiovascular institutions, and we are the first in the Caribbean to be QHA Trent Accredited. We

were awarded “Service Provider of the Year” in 2013 by the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Service Industries, and our highly specialised team continues to provide 24/7 uncompromising service to save lives. Our heart is set on improving your quality of life. Visit or call us, and let’s begin your journey. St Clair Medical Centre is a subsidiary of Medcorp Limited, which started its operations on 31 December, 1993. It is a fifty-bed facility comprised of a stateof-the-art Intensive Care Unit. Specialised and sub-specialised surgeries are completed here by well-qualified, highly trained specialists and multidisciplinary teams in neurosurgery, vascular, gastroenterology (including bariatric), and orthopaedic, to name a few. The centre treats medical patients, namely pulmonary, paediatric, endocrinology, and neurology. We pride ourselves on providing optimal care for our patients. Life is precious — choose the best!

when asked if the Caribbean medical tourism industry was a pipe dream. He pointed to a few foreign-owned projects throughout the region, like the Hospiten Montego Bay, which opened late last year. It cost J$2.3 billion, and is run by the Hospiten Group out of Spain. “It would seem that such facilities require foreign investors or strategic alliances who can draw clientele from their own nations and deal with issues such as transportation, HMOs, etc, which are outside the control of our Caribbean institutions,” Hay says. HMOs — health maintenance organisations — provide health insurance in the US. But Dawes cautioned against a reliance on foreign-owned facilities. “For medical tourism to be effective in growing the economy, the Jamaican people must be the owners, so they can benefit,” he told the IMTJ. A paper about medical tourism in Jamaica published last year in the journal Globalisation and Health pointed to the prohibitively high cost of getting that much-needed accreditation. “Accreditation processes and the costs of the renovations they typically demand pose a large and immediate financial barrier,” said the paper. It also said that Caribbean health and tourism officials may have been misled into having too high expectations for medical tourism by “inflated projections” from “industry promoters and consultants.” The future of Caribbean medical tourism may be in the hands of people like Trinidadian Aisha Carr-Noel, a former emergency medical technician who runs a medical travel agency with one other person. Right now, most of her customers are Trinidadians travelling to places within the Caribbean and Latin America. She’d like to expand her reach, but for the time being it would only be to customers elsewhere in the region. Carr-Noel thinks health care officials should first focus on facilitating the exchange of health care services within the region, and improving the quality of health care citizens receive at home, before looking for foreign patients. “We are the customers of our own services,” she says. “And if we can satisfy our own needs, of course we would be able to have customers internationally.” n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Bookshelf You Have You Father Hard Head, by Colin Robinson (Peepal Tree Press, 116 pp, ISBN 9781845233167) “I shall go without companions, and with nothing in my hand; I shall go through many places that I cannot understand — until I come to my own country.” Using Hilaire Belloc to preface the anchoring poem of his debut collection, Trinidadian Colin Robinson both nods to antecedence and playfully grapples with contemporaneity. You Have You Father Hard Head is not the debut of a green-toothed newcomer, but the testament to thirty years’ poetic groundwork. The aforementioned poem, perhaps ironically titled “Unfinished Work”, is a dense navigation of childhood bullying, proudly scavenged queer pride, and manifestoes to men loved, lost, and reclaimed through the ecstasy of remembrance. Both feral and winsome salutations are offered in the poem’s refrainbased structure to those who “carried tongues like oil and flames of pentecost that linked and licked the darkness of past wounds.”

The Bone Readers, by Jacob Ross (Peepal Tree Press, 270 pp, ISBN 9781845233358) Grenada-born Jacob Ross brings crime fiction where it’s always had a blood-spattered, psychologically gripping perch: to the Caribbean. Setting The Bone Readers on the fictional island of Camaho, Ross populates the novel with distinctly nonimaginary portents and signifiers. Chief among these is the confrontation between centuries-brewed spiritualism and forensically honed science: which of these fortresses of belief can sooner reveal the heart of a cold case? DC Michael “Digger” Digson and his supporting cast, including the shrewd, slightly schoolmarmish Miss K. Stanislaus, are rendered in Ross’s unsentimental yet keenly revelatory prose as agents of justice, grappling with the interior workings of their own best-defended secrets. The first in a Camaho Quartet series, The Bone Readers spills fresh blood on pristine sandy beaches with more sharpness and sleight of hand than Agatha Christie herself.

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Robinson’s speakers know their way around wounds. The collection is segmentally divided to reflect the terror-struck origins of the HIV/ AIDS epidemic, flights and transitory musings both literal and figurative, and the speaker’s braided litany of laments to his mother. There is no space for easy rests in Robinson’s verse: in “The Plural of Me”, the speaker exhorts his living mourners to “parcel my cremains like wedding cake, small ribbon-tied boxes for everyone to travel home with, stamp and sit and pee on as they curse or smear themselves to rapture.” In the gay Caribbean, as in the singularly gay homestead, You Have You Father Hard Head takes no doubtful prisoners: this collection kills indifference on sight. In poems that halo sins as precious, confronting the most vulnerable spaces for truths and lies to live by, Robinson has produced a reckoning, liberating space: a platform from which far more than flags can be flown.

The Gymnast and Other Positions, by Jacqueline Bishop (Peepal Tree Press, 206 pp, ISBN 9781845233150) Winner of the 2016 OCM Bocas Prize for Non Fiction, The Gymnast and Other Positions somersaults off the edge of complacently told narratives from its opening story. While none of the pieces in this hybrid-formatted convocation of short fiction, essays, and interviews spans more than a handful of pages, each of them prompts personal excavations that run fathoms deep. Jamaican Jacqueline Bishop presents characters and figures beset by thickets of sexual expansion and exploitation, beleaguered identity crises, gendered aggressions, and the menacingly evolutionary swathe of slavery. These protagonists, child and adult alike, strive towards states of redemption and reclamation. Bishop tells their stories with grace and a refusal to balk. Whether she positions them at the barre or in the full boardwalk of their pain, the writer lets these figures move and breathe with fortitudinous awareness of their range of motion.


Wife, by Tiphanie Yanique (Peepal Tree Press, 72 pp, ISBN 9781845232948) Winner of the 2016 OCM Bocas Prize for Poetry, Virgin Islander Tiphanie Yanique takes us to the altar in both the high-heeled restraint and the barefoot pugnacity of bridehood itself. Yanique is a fierce archivist of experience in these poems that confront femininity and fecundity, writing women into being who have both birthed babes and engineered revolutions within themselves. Never sluggish or slackjawed on the page, Wife’s verse opens itself up to complications, cleaving away safe, old associations from the hallowed state of matrimony. Every institution deserves rigorous debate, and Yanique’s debut collection sails confidently into this charged arena. Women’s work, these lyrically clever, occasionally tongue-in-cheek poems attest, is everywhere — the province of both goddesses and grenade-launching female fighters of the black diasporan experience.

The Repenters, by Kevin Jared Hosein (Peepal Tree Press, 170 pp, ISBN 9781845233310) The St Asteria Home for Children should be a comforting place — but to violently orphaned Jordon Sant, it’s the site for so much of his cheerless growth. In The Repenters, Trinidadian Kevin Jared Hosein’s debut novel, Jordon is the unlikeliest of young heroes, perhaps because he’s forced to come of age in the unlikeliest of orphanages and islands. Here is Trinidad like you haven’t quite seen it in fiction before: a dark-corridored hotbed of malevolence and newspaper-headlined corruption, yet shot through with astonishing glimpses of humour. The novel is its own funhouse of slightly twisted hilarity, providing a harrowingly funny odyssey into this Trinidad hinterland populated by growling canines and purposeful parables. For those too long fed on routine diets of sun, sand, and sea settings, The Repenters takes the reader through a back-alley investigation of what makes Trinidadians, orphans, and all reckless survivors tick. Reviews by Shivanee Ramlochan, Bookshelf editor WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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playlist

San José Suite Etienne Charles (Culture Shock Music)

Lifted by Love Samantha Gooden

Jazz in the wider Americas is more than improvisation that engages the blues and swing, but an evolving exploration of sounds, rhythms, and cultural tendencies informing the music that is the definition of freedom. San José Suite, Etienne Charles’s sixth album, is a mature contemplation of this Trinidadian trumpeter’s wider encounters with the elements of creole music in the New World. Drawing inspiration from three San José cities in the Americas — in Costa Rica, California, and Trinidad — Charles re-tells the stories and histories of those communities, their people and their commonalities, with jazz that is both rhythmically diverse and harmonically expressive enough to never be clichéd. “Cahuita”, “Boruca”, “Revolt”, and “Speed City” are musical statements of keen observation, celebratory reflection, and musical adroitness. This album is also a signal to the listener that jazz in the twenty-first century is in the hands of a burgeoning trumpet pioneer charting modern directions much like Armstrong, Davis, and Marsalis before him.

Praise and worship songs with lyrics that focus on Christian faith, and music that follows modern popular genre trends (pop, R&B, and reggae, in this case), are the focus of contemporary Caribbean gospel music. Samantha Gooden — born in the UK, raised in Jamaica, now living in Barbados — is in a phase of her life where she recognises that her voice is a gift from God, and she wants to freely share that gift with the world, “to reach out.” As such, on her debut five-song EP Lifted By Love, precursor to a full-length album to be released later this year, Gooden relates personal truths and shares testimonies that inspire, that exalt, that spur reflection from a listener willing to listen. She sings: “I am a child of the King / I am a child of the One who made everything,” in a voice that glorifies and honours her faith. Celebrating with her is easy to do.

The heart of fertility care

Organization Accredited by Joint Commission International

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Single Spotlight Queen Destra

If ever an album title was apt, this is it. Queen, Destra Garcia’s new album, her eleventh, is both deserved and ironic. In an industry where soca accolades are still measured by competition wins instead of concert ticket and album sales, Destra stands out as the most popular female soca artist in the islands and diaspora, without the added marketing push of that ever-elusive title, never having won either Road March or Soca Monarch. This album compilation of recent Trinidad Carnival songs, including her recent hits “Dip and Ride” and “Normal”, also rounds up three duets featuring Jamaicans Peetah Morgan and Tanya Stephens and Trini chutney queen Drupatee Ramgoonai, challenging norms. Racy, ribald, and risqué, the album and the artist continue to push all the right buttons — tight productions, varied tempos and rhythms, sonorous voice — to still keep crowds dancing in a career approaching twenty years, further reinforcing her earned moniker of queen of bacchanal.

Sigui Stima Levi Silvanie

Levi (pronounced LAY-vee) Silvanie is a Curaçaoan singersongwriter and one of his country’s most popular artists. His new single “Sigui Stima”, which in Papiamentu loosely translates to “follow love,” is a clarion call for a kind of selflessness that recognises material things alone can’t give satisfaction, but enveloping love in one’s life is necessary: “Smile / Pursue your happiness / Have no fear, don’t wait too late, / ’cause you got one life to live.” Silvanie collaborated with Curaçaoan guitarist Willem Blankenburgh to create this song that sat on a shelf for nearly a decade only to be reborn after a recent tragedy at home. “Music gives me the strength to cope with these things,” Silvanie notes. Floating between EDM, pop, and his native ritmo kombina, and sung in both English and Papiamentu, this tune percolates with a positive message that grooves along to keep it on high rotation in your head and heart. Reviews by Nigel A. Campbell

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cookup

Fresh from the farm

The farm-to-table movement, focused on locally and sustainably grown produce, began as a foodies’ trend — but it’s gone mainstream internationally, even in the Caribbean. As Franka Philip writes, knowing exactly where your produce comes from and who has grown it adds something special to your meal — and from farmers markets to vegetable box delivery services, Caribbean entrepreneurs are catching on Illustration by Shalini Seereeram

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hen you’ve bought vegetables, meat, or eggs directly from farmers who grow the produce, there’s a special sense of satisfaction, knowing you can cook a wholesome meal with the freshest ingredients available. It means going to the market regularly and engaging with the farmers, who offer tips and the occasional something extra for loyal customers. But often many of the vendors who sell in our local markets are not the actual farmers. Instead they go to the wholesale markets or — in the case of Trinidad — visit the docks in the capital, Port of Spain, to buy the best of the fruit and vegetables imported from the Caricom region. But in recent years, farmers markets have become extremely popular. Known for their emphasis on local and fresh produce

direct from farmers and small producers, these markets play up the notion of “fresh food from the farm to the table.” This idea of eating the freshest produce without having to go very far also ties into the “buy local” thrust gaining traction in these straightened economic times.

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t one farmers market, the San Antonio Green Market in the lush Santa Cruz valley just east of Port of Spain, patrons visit not only for the produce, but also to have a great experience. When shoppers head to the Green Market on Saturday and Sunday mornings, they meet a range of cooks selling breakfast, chocolate-makers offering exquisite dark cocoa delights, and more often than not there’s an expert on hand giving a talk or cooking demos. There aren’t any farmers markets in Antigua, but that doesn’t stop people from building close relationships with their local farmers and getting their farm-to-table fix. At Hall Valley Farm in St Mary, meat is the word. Run by Adrian Hall, this is one of the island’s top meat producers. And it’s not a typically WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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courtesy Green Market Santa Cruz

Eating the freshest produce without having to go very far also ties into the “buy local” thrust gaining traction in these straightened economic times

commercial enterprise. The farm has been in Hall’s family for several generations, and his grandfather Robert was a pioneering agriculturalist who was well known across the Caribbean. A visit to Hall Valley Farm’s Facebook page shows complimentary comments from customers. “Thanks for the beautiful leg of Easter lamb, it was the best lamb I’ve tasted in the nine years I’ve lived in Antigua,” says one. “Not only do we have free-range eggs on island now, but stunningly beautiful free range eggs!” gushes another. Hall Valley specialises in lamb, beef, pork, chicken, Cornish hens, and free-range eggs. Some of their deli products include yogurt, lemon ricotta cheese, achar seasoning, dulce de leche, and lime marmalade. Adrian Hall takes pride in his non-intensive approach to rearing animals. “Our chickens, for example, are reared in pens that are moved every day. We don’t pack three thousand chickens in an area like the commercial farms do — our chickens have space to run and thrive.” Hall uses a similar approach with lamb, which is grass-fed, leaner, and ultimately tastes better. The farm’s meat costs more than normal supermarket fare, but there are people who prefer to pay for quality. His clients are ordinary people, boutique hotels, fine dining restaurants, and the super yachts that dock at the island. “We don’t have a farmers market here, but we have a loyal client base,” Hall says. “We organise delivery and pick-up points. Certain things they come to the farm for. Our client base is growing all the time, but we are conscious of keeping it small, so we can build relationships with our customers.”

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onvenience and relationship-building are both part of the farm-to-table concept. Getting farm-fresh food delivered is a fantastic option. In Trinidad, D’ Market Movers has made a huge impact with their pioneering delivery service. It is the first company in Trinidad to offer an online delivery service of fresh produce, seafood, and meat. Former banker David Thomas started the company in 2011, after observing how his co-workers appreciated similar services offered by other vendors. Thomas, who is passionate about agriculture, deals with farmers who share his mission to deliver

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top quality produce. “We work with greenhouse farmers who use fewer pesticides than open field farmers. We go and see their operations, so we know exactly who we are dealing with,” Thomas explains. D’ Market Movers’ vegetable box business has been doing well, and the attractive, easy-to-use website makes shopping easier for clients. “Our business has grown and we have been doing really well on the retail side. Farmers are excited, because where in the past some might have had trouble matching their products to a market, they can now get their goods sold through us.” The company has also found a way to extend the farm-totable experience. Their supper club, Our Moving Table, aims to show off the best local produce in an outdoor dining setting. Our Moving Table is a collaboration between D’ Market Movers and chef Sonja Sinaswee. The chef, who is a big believer in the farmto-table concept, says that “The emphasis is on wholesome food, using very few store-bought, processed products. For instance, if there’s coconut milk in a recipe, you can rest assured that I cracked some coconuts and made the milk myself.” At each event, fifty guests are treated to a menu that incorporates food from up to twenty local farmers and agroproducers. “One of the things our clients appreciate is that, regardless of their special dietary requirements, they will get something tasty,” says Sinaswee. “We have a core of guests who attend regularly, and they eat whatever we serve, because they like our menus.” Sinaswee describes her style of cooking at Our Moving Table as “elevated rustic cuisine.” For the self-described “country girl,” cooking in the rustic way is quite normal. While Our Moving Table is a niche product, Sinaswee notes that more and more people are interested in attending. Besides word-of-mouth endorsements about the quality of the meals, she thinks people want to support local farmers and agro-producers. At each event, producers are invited to speak about themselves and their businesses. This is so that those attending can have a closer connection with the food they’re eating and raise awareness of buying local. Thomas is pleased at the progress of Our Moving Table, and in the future he intends to spread the event to different parts of Trinidad, incorporating more farmers. He believes there’s yet another step in the farm-to-table concept for D’ Market Movers and Our Moving Table. “We will begin to retail some of the items we serve to guests at the events,” he says. “It’s a guarantee of fresh, seasonal produce.” What more could thoughtful gourmands ask for? n


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ome August, Caribbean eyes will be firmly focused on the João Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the athletics venue for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The region has made its reputation in athletics, and that tradition will continue at the Rio Games, running from 5 to 21 August. Jamaica will lead the charge in Rio, and the headline acts are expected to be two-time defending sprint champions Usain Bolt and ShellyAnn Fraser-Pryce. The 100-metre dash is the blue-riband event at the Olympics, and no athlete has won it three times — yet. Both Bolt and FraserPryce are expected to contest the century at Rio 2016, and on 13 August Fraser-Pryce will have the opportunity to be the first to win three titles. If she fails to complete the hat-trick in the women’s final, Bolt will get his chance one day later to become the first Olympic 100 three-peat champion. Bolt, the only man with more than one Olympic 200-metre gold medal, will also bid for a third straight half-lap title. And another Jamaican, Veronica Campbell-Brown, the 2004 and 2008 women’s 200-metre champion, could be among the contenders once again. While three in a row is no longer a possibility, she has a shot at becoming the first three-time champ.

Gold standard

Ian Walton/getty images

August brings the 2016 Summer Olympics, and high expectations for Caribbean athletes, who have dominated the track for the past decade. Kwame Laurence reports on the possibilities for Caribbean Olympic victory, and profiles some of the athletes who’ll keep sports fans on the edge of their seats

Campbell-Brown’s fellow Jamaican Elaine Thompson is among the women expected to challenge her for that 200-metre title. At twenty-four, Thompson is ten years younger than Campbell-Brown, and set to become a global superstar. At last year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing, the supremely talented sprinter captured silver in 21.66 seconds, the clocking earning her fifth spot on the all-time world list. Thompson could also challenge in the 100 metres, along with Trinidad and Tobago sprinters Michelle-Lee Ahye and Kelly-Ann Baptiste. At the 2012 London Olympics, Jamaicans Bolt, Yohan Blake, and Warren Weir finished one-two-three in the men’s 200 metres. Blake, who also earned the 100-metre silver in London, lurks as a potential threat to Bolt. Factor in the 2008 100-metre silver medallist Richard “Torpedo” Thompson, his T&T teammate Keston Bledman, Jamaican Asafa Powell, and forty-year-old St Kitts and Nevis sprinter Kim Collins, and the Caribbean is again guaranteed a strong Olympic sprint presence. Meanwhile, Kirani James will bid to repeat as men’s 400-metre champion. The one-lap event could also feature his fellow Grenadian Bralon Taplin, the Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos, T&T’s Machel Cedenio, Deon Lendore, and Lalonde Gordon, and Jamaican Javon Francis. T&T’s Keshorn Walcott is the defending men’s javelin champion, and should be among the favourites in Rio. Jamaican Omar McLeod is a strong contender for men’s 110-metre hurdles gold. And in the one-lap hurdles, T&T’s Jehue Gordon and Puerto Rican Javier Culson will hunt precious metal. Bahamian Shaunae Miller must fancy her chances in the women’s 400 metres. And there are other Caribbean women to look out for in Rio. The list — not an exhaustive one — includes Jamaica’s reigning 100-metre hurdles world champion Danielle Williams, Cuban world pole vault champion Yarisley Silva, T&T shot putter Cleopatra Borel, and Barbadian heptathlete Akela Jones. WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Usain Bolt

Jamaica, athletics

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sain Bolt is the greatest sprinter in history. The statistics attached to the Jamaican megastar’s name make it almost impossible to challenge that declaration: six Olympic gold medals; eleven world titles; the 100-metre world record, 9.58 seconds; the 200-metre world record, 19.19 seconds. But is Bolt the greatest sportsman of all time? How does he match up against the likes of football’s Pelé, tennis player Roger Federer, basketball’s Michael Jordan, boxing’s Muhammad Ali? The Bolt that showed up at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last year made a strong claim for the “world’s greatest” label. In the men’s 100-metre final, he clocked 9.79 seconds to retain his title.

Date of birth: 21 August, 1986 Height: 1.96 m Weight: 88 kg Olympic highlights: 2008 men’s 100, 200, 4x100 gold; 2012 men’s 100, 200, 4x100 gold World records: 9.58 (100), 19.19 (200), 36.84 (4x100)

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Though only six men in history have run faster, the winning time was pedestrian by Bolt’s lofty standards. And striking gold at major global meets is what Bolt is about, so nothing new there. But there was something special, extra special, about this particular victory. Justin Gatlin was the favourite for gold, heading into the championships — and for good reason. The drug-tainted American dived under 9.80 seconds four times on the road to Beijing, and added another in the semi-final, topping heat two in 9.77. Bolt, meanwhile, was not enjoying his best season. Plagued by injury, he raced sparingly in his World Championships buildup. And in stark contrast to Gatlin, the Jamaican sprint great only managed a 9.96-second run in winning his semi-final heat, following a stumble in the early stages of the race. But Bolt in a championship final is a horse of a different colour. Dominant in his two previous World Championship 100-metre triumphs, as well as his two Olympic victories, Bolt was made to


4x100-metre gold in a world record time of 37.10 seconds. Four years later, at the London Olympics, Bolt recorded another triple triumph. He won the 100-metre dash in 9.63 seconds and topped the 200 field in 19.32. Then, in the sprint relay, Bolt performed anchorleg duties for the victorious Jamaicans, combining with Carter, Frater, and Yohan Blake for a world record run of 36.84 seconds. The 200-metre final was a momentous occasion for Jamaica. Following Bolt to the line were two of his Racers Track Club training partners: Blake, the silver medallist in 19.44 seconds, and Warren Weir, who clocked 19.84 to bag bronze. There’s no doubt Jamaica will again be in the headlines at Rio 2016. And the podium charge will be headed by a living legend: Usain St Leo Bolt.

Jan Kruger/getty images

work hard, very hard, in the Beijing 2015 final. Getting to the line ahead of Gatlin was an uphill battle, but the twenty-nine-yearold Jamaican was equal to the task. Bolt beat Gatlin by just onehundredth of a second, his grit and determination in securing that narrow win showing him to be the ultimate sprint warrior. Next stop for Bolt is the 2016 Olympics. This will surely be his last Olympic Games, and he’ll do everything in his power to ensure a golden farewell. Bolt’s very first Olympic gold medal was earned eight years ago at the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing. What a performance! A world-record run of 9.69 seconds, and a huge two-tenths of a second cushion on silver medallist Richard “Torpedo” Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago. Bolt followed up with another world record, winning the 200-metre final in a jaw-dropping 19.30 seconds. Two gold medals and two world records. But the young man from Trelawny was not done. Running the third leg for Jamaica, he teamed up with Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, and Asafa Powell for

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Alexander Hassenstein/getty images


Keshorn Walcott

Trinidad and Tobago, athletics

clive brunskill/getty images

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he Keshorn Walcott story is an amazing one. Walcott was fifteen when he first tried his hand at the javelin. Mere months later, he was in St Lucia representing Trinidad and Tobago at the Carifta Games, an annual meet featuring the best youth athletes in the region. The Toco teen struck gold in the boys’ under-17 javelin. Walcott’s overnight success was a clear indicator that he was born to throw. Three straight Carifta Games under-20 titles between 2010 and 2012 meant that Walcott left the junior ranks with an unbeaten record at the regional championships. But while his Carifta career was stellar and he celebrated with a record throw of 77.59 metres in his swansong performance in Bermuda, there were far more significant achievements to come in 2012. Walcott travelled to El Salvador, where he retained his Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championship title with an impressive 82.83-metre effort — a new meet record. Then came the IAAF World Junior Championship title in Barcelona, Walcott becoming Trinidad and Tobago’s very first global throwing champion. Clearly, this was a young man with the potential to beat the world. He was one for the future. No one, though, could have predicted “the future” would come so soon. Less than one month after his World Juniors success, Walcott captured the Olympic title. Nineteen-year-old Walcott shocked the world, an 84.58-metre throw earning him top spot at the London Games. At last, 1976 men’s 100-metre champion Hasely Crawford had company in the elite club reserved for Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic gold medallists. In addition to becoming the country’s second Olympic champion, Walcott had the distinction of being just the second athlete from the western hemisphere to capture the Olympic men’s javelin title, and the first black male thrower to secure gold in 116 years of the modern Olympics. Hampered by an ankle injury, Walcott was unable to make an impact in 2013. In 2014, he seized Commonwealth Games silver in Glasgow. And the 2015 season was a mixed bag: Pan American Games gold; an injured ankle; a superb 90.16-metre throw that earned him fourteenth spot on the all-time world performance list; a twenty-sixth-place finish at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, with a 76.83-metre effort. It is now 2016, and Walcott is preparing for what he hopes

to be a second triumph in as many Olympic appearances. “My expectation is to go and defend my title by any means . . . just go back and win the gold. That’s basically my goal for Rio,” he says. “The lesson I have learned from 2012 to now,” Walcott continues, “is that you need to listen to your body. When it tells you to stop, you need to stop. When it tells you to rest, you need to rest. I have also learned in the past four years about some of my better abilities in throwing and some of my greater strengths, which can aid me in my quest to throw further.” Walcott has been an inspiration to many, his Olympic success encouraging a throwing culture in the sprint-focused Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago’s Shakeil Waithe and Tyriq Horsford and Grenada’s five-time Carifta Games champion Anderson Peters are among the region’s thriving javelin throwers. “It’s proven,” says Walcott, “that once somebody does something, others will follow, and others will try to surpass. So, knowing that competition is coming up, you have to do better and better every time to try to stay on top, not just in your country but in the world.” So Walcott is working hard on the road to Rio, maintaining a single-minded focus as he bids to stay at the top of the Olympic podium.

Date of birth: 2 April, 1993 Height: 1.88 m Weight: 90 kg Olympic highlight: 2012 men’s javelin gold Personal best: 90.16 m

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Kirani James

alex livesey/getty images

Grenada, athletics

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irani James was only eighteen when, in 2011, he became world champion in the men’s 400-metre event, his 44.60-second run in Daegu, Korea, setting off Carnivalstyle celebrations in Grenada. But that global triumph was merely the prologue. There was more to come from the teenager from the fishing village of Gouyave in St John’s, Grenada. The following year, James scorched the 400-metre track in 43.94 seconds to strike gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, becoming Grenada’s first Olympic champion and the island’s first-ever medallist on the world’s biggest sporting stage. James led a Caribbean sweep of the 400-metre medals, the Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos and Trinidad and Tobago’s Lalonde Gordon earning silver and bronze, respectively. Like most sports-minded boys in this region, James was not one-dimensional in his athletic pursuits. “I grew up playing basketball and a bit of soccer,” he says, “but then I figured out that track and field was the best choice for me.” The athletics world too is better off because of that excellent choice. In 2009, James travelled to Bressanone, Italy, where he captured the IAAF World Youth Championship boys’ 200-metre and 400-metre titles. One year later, at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada, the affable Grenadian was golden in the men’s 400. SpeedZone coach Albert Joseph was responsible for Kirani’s development in the embryonic stage of his career. One of his early triumphs in Grenada colours came at the 2006 Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) Games in St Lucia. “I won the 400

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metres and came second in the 200 metres,” James remembers. “I realised I could compete with the powerhouses like Jamaica and Trinidad. I realised I was something special.” Repeating as Olympic men’s 400-metre champion would certainly be a special achievement. Only world-record holder Michael Johnson (43.18 seconds) has achieved that feat, the American winning in 1996 and again in 2000. James has his eyes on the prize, and will go into Rio 2016 as one of the favourites for gold. Now twenty-three, the quartermiler won his first four races this year, clocking 44.36, 44.08, 44.15, and 44.22. But though James is in great form, there’s no guarantee of gold. South Africa’s reigning world champion Wayde van Niekerk clocked 44.11 in early May, American LaShawn Merritt is always a threat, and there are a number of young, hungry challengers for James’s Olympic title — including his fellow Grenadian Bralon Taplin, Trinidad and Tobago’s 2014 world junior champion Machel Cedenio, and Jamaican Javon Francis. Game on!

Date of birth: 1 September, 1992 Height: 1.85 m Weight: 74 kg Olympic highlight: 2012 men’s 400 gold Personal best: 43.74


Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Jamaica, athletics

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cameron spencer/getty images

helly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is undoubtedly an all-time great. The first major entry on her sprint résumé came at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where she captured the women’s 100-metre title. The Jamaican track star then travelled to Berlin in 2009 for the IAAF World Championships, and left the German city with 100-metre and 4x100-metre gold medals. Fraser-Pryce made a successful defence of her century title at the 2012 London Olympics. One year later, she was in irresistible form at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, obliterating the field with a jaw-dropping 10.71-second run in the 100-metre final. Fraser-Pryce added the 200-metre gold to her 100-metre title, before icing the proverbial cake with a golden anchor-leg run for Jamaica in the 4x100-metre relay. It was then back to Beijing for the 2015 IAAF World Championships. Five years after her first Olympic success, Fraser-Pryce made a triumphant return to the famous Bird’s Nest stadium, taking the 100-metre title in 10.76, and anchoring Jamaica to 4x100-metre gold.

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Fraser-Pryce’s coach, Stephen “Franno” Francis, speaks highly of his charge. “What has pleased me most is that she has mastered the trick of staying good. A lot of natural factors mitigate against staying at number one, but I think she has conquered those things and developed a mindset that keeps her where she is. Shelly-Ann does everything she used to do, and to a greater extent. That to me is her biggest achievement. She is not very concerned about enjoying the fruits of her success, as opposed to making sure she continues to be successful.” Fraser-Pryce knows about struggle. Having grown up in Waterhouse, a rough inner-city Kingston community, she refuses to be entrapped by the fame and fortune that have come with her success on the track. “I’m driven from inside, and circumstances and different situations that happened in my life,” she says. Given her journey to the top, twenty-nine-year-old FraserPryce is unlikely to be fazed by her 100-metre season-opener in late May. Recovering from a toe injury, she finished eighth and last at the Prefontaine Classic IAAF Diamond League meet in Oregon. Fraser-Pryce’s rivals, however, know better than to discount her as a threat for gold at Rio 2016. The 11.18 seconds clocking she produced in that cellar-place finish in Oregon was faster than both her 2013 and 2015 100-metre openers. Both times, the “Pocket Rocket” went on to grab gold at the IAAF World Championships.

Date of birth: 27 December, 1986 Height: 1.60 m Weight: 52 kg Olympic highlights: 2008 women’s 100 gold; 2012 women’s 100 gold; 2012 women’s 200, 4x100 silver Personal bests: 10.70 (100), 22.09 (200)

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Machel Cedenio

christian petersen/getty images

Trinidad and Tobago, athletics

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achel Cedenio has a reputation as something of a comeback kid. The Trinidad and Tobago quartermiler is a strong finisher, and effectively used this weapon to earn his country the Pan American Games men’s 4x400-metre title in Toronto last year. Cedenio produced another stunning finish in the 400 metres at the 2015 Bauhaus Athletics IAAF Diamond League meet in Stockholm. Way behind the leaders as he turned for home, the talented athlete turned on the afterburners and stormed to the front of the field. He was golden in 44.97 seconds. Cedenio’s trademark finishing power was on show once again at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, his efforts helping Trinidad and Tobago to silver in the 4x400 relay in a national record time of two minutes, 58.20 seconds. Cedenio also enjoyed individual success in Beijing, advancing all the way to the 400-metre final. However, the podium was beyond him, the then-nineteen-year-old finishing seventh in 45.06 seconds. Back in 2014, Cedenio dominated the 400-metre final at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon. His 45.13-second golden run earned him a cushion of more than a second on the silver medallist. Cedenio will never have it that easy in the senior ranks, not with the likes of Grenada’s reigning Olympic champion Kirani James, South Africa’s 2015 world champion Wayde van Niekerk, and American LaShawn Merritt still in the field. And while thirty-year-old Merritt may not have a long

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future ahead of him, both James and van Niekerk will be just twenty-four this year — and, all things being equal, will be squaring off against Cedenio for many years to come. But like James and van Niekerk, twenty-year-old Cedenio is a special talent, and still on an upward progression curve. He was just nineteen when he clocked a personal best of 44.36 seconds at the 2015 Cayman Invitational, and once he steers clear of serious injuries this season, his best will be even better by the end of the Rio Games. One of Cedenio’s time targets will be the 44.21-second Trinidad and Tobago record for the 400 metres, established by Ian Morris way back in 1992. But on the evidence of last year’s World Championship final — in which van Niekerk was the fastest of three men under 44 seconds, at a jaw-dropping 43.48 seconds — a mere national record is not likely to earn Cedenio a trip to the podium. He might need membership in the elite sub44 club in order to return home from Rio with a medal draped around his neck.

Date of birth: 6 September, 1995 Height: 1.90 m Weight: 70 kg Personal best: 44.36 (400)


Shaunae Miller

stu forster/getty images

The Bahamas, athletics

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haunae Miller opened her 2016 individual outdoor campaign with a world-leading 49.69-second run, earning her the women’s 400-metre gold at the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational. With that clocking, the twenty-two-year-old Bahamian threw down the gauntlet to her one-lap rivals. The 49.69 scorcher was just two-hundredths of a second slower than Miller’s 49.67 personal best, which she produced in finishing second to American Allyson Felix (49.26) at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing last August. Last year, Miller opened with a 51.83-second run, and had to wait until July to dive under 50 seconds. That pattern suggests a very fast time is on the cards for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Miller is also a top-class 200-metre sprinter, but is not expected to chase the 200/400 double at the Rio Games. Her preference is likely to be the 400, and the long-legged quartermiler would fancy her chances of following in the strides of another Bahamian, 2004 Olympic one-lap champion Tonique Williams. Miller enjoyed many on-track successes as a teen, setting the stage for her 2015 World Championship silver and her bid for Olympic gold at Rio 2016. At the tender age of sixteen, she became a world junior champion, capturing the under-20 400-metre title in Moncton, Canada, in 2010. In 2011, she was still eligible to compete in the under-18 category, so it was no surprise when the young Bahamian struck gold at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Villeneuve d’Ascq, France. But Miller was

unable to make a successful defence of her under-20 title at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, the theneighteen-year-old finishing fourth in the final. Three weeks later, Miller made her Olympic debut in London. The memory is not a pleasant one. She pulled up injured in the opening round of the 400 metres, and her season was over. Miller’s 2013 IAAF World Championship outing in Moscow was a far better experience. Though still a junior, she performed with distinction, earning a lane in the 200-metre final. In the championship race, the baby of the field finished fourth in 22.74 seconds. The 2014 season was Miller’s first as a full-fledged senior athlete, and she celebrated with the 400-metre bronze at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland. She moved up to silver at the 2015 outdoor Worlds. The Florida-based athlete is hoping to take the next step at Rio 2016, and become the latest Bahamian golden girl.

Date of birth: 15 April, 1994 Height: 1.85 m Weight: 69 kg Personal bests: 22.14 (200), 49.67 (400)

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Michelle-Lee Ahye

Trinidad and Tobago, athletics

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cameron spencer/getty images

ichelle-Lee Ahye is in the race to become Trinidad and Tobago’s first female Olympic medallist. She gave a clear indication that she’s ready to challenge for a podium finish at Rio 2016 when she reached the final of the women’s 100-metre dash at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing: she finished fifth in 10.98 seconds. With seven women already under 11 seconds in April and May this year, a trip to the Olympic podium is likely to require a faster-than-10.98 clocking. But Ahye is more than capable. She has a 10.85-second personal best to her name, and is preparing to go even faster. Early-season times are pointing towards a fast women’s century final in Rio. On 31 May, the three fastest legal times in the world this year were 10.80, 10.81, and 10.83. Add to the equation Jamaican Elaine Thompson’s windaided 10.71-second run, and there’s no doubt track and field fans will be served up a treat in August. Getting to the final at the Beijing Worlds was a significant achievement for Ahye. But she wants more in Rio. The Carenage sprinter is determined to be a headline act, and not merely a member of the supporting cast. Date of birth: 10 April, 1992 Height: 1.68 m Weight: 59 kg Olympic highlight: 2012 women’s 100 semi-finals Personal best: 10.85 (100)

Omar McLeod Jamaica, athletics

patrick smith/getty images

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Date of birth: 25 April, 1994 Height: 1.80 m Weight: 73 kg Personal bests: 9.99 (100), 12.97 (110 hurdles)

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mar McLeod is just twenty-two, but has already claimed his own chapter of track and field history. In April this year, he clocked 9.99 seconds to win the men’s 100-metre dash at the John McDonnell Invitational in Arkansas, his fine run handing the Jamaican the distinction of being the first-ever athlete to dive under 10 seconds in the 100 and under 13 in the 110 hurdles. It’s in the latter event that McLeod hopes to make waves in Rio. He got his first taste of global success at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Oregon, where he produced a 7.41-second national record run to strike gold in the 60-metre hurdles. McLeod carried his fine form into the outdoor season, clocking 12.98 seconds to win the 110 hurdles at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Shanghai. At the time of writing, the 12.98-second scorcher was the fastest time in the world this year. Though he’ll be making his Olympic debut at the Rio Games, McLeod will be a strong contender for precious metal in the sprint hurdles. He’d do his chances no harm by reproducing or bettering his 12.97-second personal best in the 16 August Olympic final.


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Akela Jones

Barbados, athletics

alexander hassenstein

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Date of birth: 22 April, 1995 Height: 1.86 m Weight: 77 kg Personal bests: 1.98 m (high jump), 6.80 m (long jump), 6,371 points (heptathlon)

kela Jones is an extraordinary talent. The Barbadian is just twenty-one, and has time on her side in her quest to become the best. The question is: best at what? Jones is already a world-class heptathlete, and could mature into an all-time great in the seven-discipline event. But she is also a potential world-beater in both the long jump and high jump. In fact, two years ago, Jones emerged as the best under-20 long jumper on the planet, striking gold at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon. At the end of May, Jones was second on the women’s high jump 2016 world outdoor performance list at 1.95 metres. She enjoyed an even better jump during the indoor season, her 1.98-metre clearance earning her second spot on the global list. She’s also been making strides in the long jump. In March, she produced an indoor best of 6.80 metres, and followed up with a 6.75-metre outdoor leap in May. Jones is on a progression curve that could take her to the podium at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. But she is special, and cannot be discounted as a medal threat this year, at Rio 2016.

Jehue Gordon

Trinidad and Tobago, athletics

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mark kolbe/getty images

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ehue Gordon knows about global glory. At the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada, the T&T athlete captured the 400-metre hurdles title. And three years later in Moscow, he dived across the finish line to grab gold at the IAAF World Championships. But for any world-class track and field athlete, Olympic gold is the ultimate achievement, and Gordon is hoping to add his name to the list of champions at the Rio Games. The 2015 season was a rough one for Gordon. Plagued by an injury, he was never at his best, but insisted he would die with his boots on and defend his title at the Beijing Worlds. The mind was willing, but the body was weak, and the man from Maraval bowed out in the opening round. Gordon is determined to turn things around in 2016. At the 2012 London Olympics, he clocked 48.86 seconds to finish sixth in the final. Gordon’s 47.96 semi-final clocking would have earned him bronze in the championship race. As he works assiduously towards his golden Rio goal, the twenty-four-year-old track star will be ever-mindful of the importance of being at his best when it matters most.

Date of birth: 15 December, 1991 Height: 1.90 m Weight: 80 kg Olympic highlight: 2012 men’s 400 hurdles, 6th place Personal best: 47.69 (400 hurdles)


Beyond the track The Caribbean Olympic presence goes beyond athletics, especially for Cuba. The Spanish-speaking nation is particularly strong in boxing, sixty-seven of its 209 Olympic medals coming in that sport. Among the boxers hoping to be golden for Cuba at Rio 2016 are lightweight Lazaro Álvarez (profiled on page 66), welterweight Roniel Iglesias, and heavyweight Erislandy Savón, the nephew of three-time Olympic gold medallist Félix Savón. Cuba has also earned thirty-five judo medals at the Olympics, and will again be expecting precious metal in this sport. The list of Cuban qualifiers includes reigning women’s heavyweight champion Idalys Ortiz and London Games men’s middleweight silver medallist Asley Gonzalez. Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson (also profiled on page 66) will be a

medal contender in the pool, and Trinidad and Tobago veteran George Bovell, the men’s 200-metre individual medley bronze medallist in 2004, will bid for 50-metre freestyle honours. T&T cyclist Njisane Phillip also has a genuine shot at a podium finish in the sprint. Thanks to Yona Knight-Wisdom, Jamaica will make its Olympic comeback in diving. He will become the country’s first diver to compete at the Games since 1972. Nigel Paul is the first T&T super heavyweight boxer to qualify for the Olympics. And T&T sailor Andrew Lewis is back for a second appearance in as many Olympics. The Lewis story is an amazing one. A freak accident in Brazil nearly snuffed out his life. Lewis suffered serious injuries, but he had already

qualified for the Rio Games, so instead of settling for mere recovery, he pushed his body. Displaying the heart of a champion, he returned to the water to resume his Olympic preparations. There will be a debut for Barbados when Jason Wilson becomes the country’s first triathlete to compete at the Olympics. Two young women, Jamaican Toni-Ann Williams and T&T’s Marisa Dick, have earned their respective countries’ first-time qualification in gymnastics. Bahamian Emily Morley and T&T’s Aisha Chow did the same in the sport of rowing. And more history will be created by half-heavyweight Christopher George. He will become T&T’s firstever Olympic representative in judo.

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Alia Atkinson Jamaica, swimming

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Aurelien Meunier /getty images

amaica is the sprint capital of the world. But speed in the northern Caribbean island is not limited to the track. Alia Atkinson is fast in the pool. In fact, the twenty-seven-year-old Jamaican is the joint-fastest-ever in the short course women’s 100-metre breaststroke. She clocked one minute, 02.36 seconds at the 2014 World Short Course Championships in Qatar to equal the world record established by Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte. Atkinson’s record swim earned her the gold medal, becoming the first black woman to win a global swimming title. It was gold at last for Atkinson, following double silver at the 2012 World Short Course Championships in Turkey and another silver medal performance in Qatar in the 50-metre breaststroke. There was more precious metal for Atkinson at the 2015 World Long Course Championships in Russia. She seized silver in the 50-metre breaststroke and bronze in the 100-metre. The Alia Atkinson medal collection is vast: six at the World Championships, two each at the Commonwealth and Pan American Games, and nine at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, including eight gold. An Olympic medal was within Atkinson’s grasp at the 2012 London Games, but she just missed out, finishing fourth in the 100-metre breaststroke final. Rio in August will be another shot at the podium.

Date of birth: 11 December, 1988 Height: 1.72 m Weight: 71 kg Olympic highlight: 2012 women’s 100 breaststroke, 4th place World record: 1:02.36 (100 breaststroke short course)

Lázaro Álvarez Cuba, boxing

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ázaro Álvarez has the Midas touch. He struck bantamweight gold at the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico. He returned to Mexico in 2014 to capture the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games lightweight title. And in 2015 the Cuban boxer became lightweight champion at the Pan Am Games in Canada. Álvarez is also a three-time gold medallist at the World Amateur Championships. The winning streak started in 2011 in Azerbaijan, where he was crowned bantamweight champion. Two years later, in Kazakhstan, Álvarez stepped up to the lightweight division, but the result was the same. Gold! He repeated the feat at the 2015 Championships in Qatar, beating Azerbaijan’s Albert Selimov by TKO (technical knockout) in the final. Olympic gold is the one major accolade that has eluded Álvarez so far. At the 2012 London Games, he beat American Joseph Diaz and Brazilian Robenilson Vieira de Jesus to reach the bantamweight semi-finals. However, Ireland’s John Joe Nevin halted his run, and the Cuban was forced to settle for bronze. Álvarez plans to set that right when he competes in the lightweight division at Rio 2016. Cuba already has thirty-four gold medals in Olympic boxing, and Álvarez seems set to add to that tally. Few would be brave enough to bet against the twenty-five-year-old southpaw. n

Date of birth: 28 January, 1991 Height: 1.70 m Weight: 60 kg Olympic highlight: 2012 bantamweight bronze Other career achievements: 2011 World Championship bantamweight gold; 2013 World Championship lightweight gold; 2015 World Championship lightweight gold

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“I wanted to do” On 1 April, 2016, the Commonwealth of Nations inaugurated a new secretary-general — the first woman ever to hold that powerful position. Born in Dominica, taken to Britain at the age of two, Patricia Scotland rose to the top of the legal profession in her adopted country, then to even greater heights in the political establishment. Joshua Surtees interviews the new Commonwealth head, and learns that her career is rooted in a passion for speaking up for others

orn in Dominica in 1955, to a Dominican mother and an Antiguan father, Patricia Scotland was the last of her parents’ twelve children to be bor n in the Caribbean before the family moved to the United Kingdom when she was two. Her childhood in the England of that era combined the warm, nurturing environment of her family home with the harsh realities of overt racism outside it. At school, she was often overlooked in favour of white children. She once told a Daily Telegraph journalist, “You can either let it crush you, or you can move on.” Ignoring a careers advisor who told her to get a job in a supermarket, and a lecturer who warned her against studying for a law degree as a black woman, Scotland was admitted to the bar in 1977. Since then, her achievements have surpassed those 68

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of perhaps any other Caribbean-born woman in her adopted country. Her list of roles within the British establishment is historic and unprecedented. In 1991, she was the first black British woman to be made a Queen’s Counsel, at the age of thirty-five — the youngest QC since William Pitt, British prime minister in the late eighteenth century. In 1997, she was made a life peer by the Labour Party, and given the title Baroness Scotland of Asthal, after the village in Oxfordshire where she lives. (By coincidence, Asthall lies on the River Windrush, after which the famous Empire Windrush was named; the ship went on to lend its own name to the wave of West Indian migration to the UK in the 1940s and 50s.) Two years after entering the House of Lords, the now Baroness Scotland became Britain’s first black female government minister. Then in 2007 she was given one of the most significant positions within Britain’s political system: attorney general. She was the


Carl Court / getty images

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first woman to hold the office since it was created seven centuries years ago. Her most recent role has come w ith even g reater responsibility. In November 2015, at the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta, Scotland was elected Commonwealth secretary-general — only the sixth person to head the international organisation, and the first woman. By the convention of rotation through the var ious Commonwealth regions, a secretary-general from the Caribbean was expected to be chosen, and many in the region hoped Caricom would unite behind a single candidate. Instead, nominated by Dominica, Scotland found herself running against the Antiguan diplomat Ronald Sanders. But after the first round of voting, the Commonwealth Caribbean nations reportedly united

behind Scotland, and history was made. Scotland says tackling climate change and the redistribution of wealth to citizens of all backgrounds throughout Britain’s former empire are top of her agenda, as she begins her four-year term of office. Her demeanour is intelligent and eloquent, kind but authoritative. Her humility is uncommon among people who hold positions of power. Equality and justice are her key motivators, she says, along with her Roman Catholic faith. She avoids the spotlight and rarely gives personal interviews. She still speaks fluent creole and Dominican patois, and has retained strong links to the Caribbean, professionally and in her private life. Married to fellow barrister Richard Mawhinney since 1985, Scotland has two sons. Away from her high-flying career, she loves dance, books, and her family.

“Going through infants and junior school I was subjected to a lot of racist abuse. But I had the most amazing, loving, bright, funny, strong, resilient family”

You were inaugurated as secretary-general of the Commonwealth on 1 April, 2016. How did you spend your first few weeks in the new post?

“I started with a classic Caribbean inauguration. We had choirs singing and Dominican dancers and steelpan, so we really understood the Caribbean was in the house! Then we had a trade mission with Lesotho on the next day, and on the third day I did a climate change summit. Then we went to Geneva to look at the Small States Office and signed a memorandum of understanding with UNESCO. We went from there to the UN to watch the signing into law of the COP21 agreement on climate change, something which has been so much part of the Caribbean’s desire to get better protection for the islands. “Then I went to Belize and Guatemala. I came back to do the anti-corruption summit in London. It’s a global issue, but the fifty-three countries in the Commonwealth are affected, because the people stealing our money are linking up together and they are no respecters of our boundaries. So it’s been a real roller-coaster.” Did that inauguration happen in London or the Caribbean?

“We had both. It happened in London, but I was very graciously invited to attend Caricom’s meeting of governors general and presidents in Antigua. My father is Antiguan and my mother is Dominican — so I am, through my father, Antiguan. So it was very special for me to be in Antigua at the moment when I actually took up office, to be able to speak to people there.” 70

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You were born in Dominica, and moved to Walthamstow in London with your parents at the age of two. You were the tenth of twelve children. Tell me about your earliest memories of growing up in London.

“My family were the first black family to move into Walthamstow. Walthamstow at that stage was in Essex. And it was a time when racism was very much a part of everyday life. As I was growing up in Walthamstow, it was interesting that although we were the only black family, people would identify us as Scotlands [owing to the large size of the newly arrived Scotland family]. And they would say, ‘Oh look, you must be a Scotland,’ because we were the only ones there. “But things started to change, and people became more worried by even the slight increase [in immigration]. Frankly, all the way through my schooling I was usually the only black girl in my class. The classes beneath me started to have one or two girls — for instance, my sister was four years younger than me, and when she went to school there were a few more black children. “So going through infants and junior school I was subjected to a lot of racist abuse. In those days, you’d be called ‘jungle bunny,’ and they’d ask you if you lived in a mud hut and wore a grass skirt, and would make monkey noises. It was a very challenging time, but I had the most amazing, loving, bright, funny, strong, resilient family, who really cushioned me through much of that. I’m so grateful to my brothers and sisters and my mother and father, because they were my resilience, my assurance and insurance against all the nastiness. Once you went into our


courtesy charles jong

Baroness Scotland in Dominica in 2015, when the Vielle Case Primary School was renamed in her honour

home, that was your sanctuary, and you knew that you weren’t stupid. Because at that stage people were always saying that black people couldn’t achieve anything. “But I don’t always like talking about those days, because it all makes it sound so dreadful. But of course I had wonderful friends and fantastic people who were warm and kind and nice — it’s just we were living in a time before the Brixton Riots, where it was OK to abuse people. I think it’s very sad that we talk about those changes now as though it was political correctness [that affected change], when in fact all that happened was that people who didn’t have rights and were unprotected got a bit more protection. A rebalancing of fairness.”

In your childhood, did your family travel back to Dominica and Antigua for holidays?

“Not until I was a teenager. My parents were, I think, incredibly clever — they didn’t want any of us to go home until we had finished our education, because what they feared was that if we went home we’d never come back! “My father was the most fantastic feminist you ever met in your life, and I didn’t realise he was unusual. He was born in 1912, and he believed that a woman could do anything a man could do. He had five daughters and seven sons, and when he was teasing my mother, he would say, ‘You keep your sons, give me my girls, and WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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my girls can do anything your boys can do, only better.’ “So he encouraged us, and my mother encouraged us, to see ourselves as people as opposed to boys or girls or men or women, and told us that as people we could achieve anything if we worked hard and identified our talents. They used to say every one of us is given a talent by God: our job is to go out and find that talent, hone it, and use it for the benefit of other people. “And that’s what I grew up with, a very strong Christian family. My father was a Methodist, and my mother was a devout Catholic. And what they did between them was demonstrate to us that you should concentrate on what joins you, not what separates you. Just because you have a different face or different colour, it doesn’t mean you cannot live together in harmony. So I grew up looking for what joins me to others.” After school you did a law degree and graduated in 1976. You were then called to the bar in 1977. What drew you to the law?

“I always wanted to make a difference, and looking at what I was good at — I liked communication, I liked people, I liked articulating on behalf of others — law seemed to give me all those combinations. I was one of those ‘why-why’ birds who were always saying ‘why does this happen?’ and ‘this is not fair.’ So justice was hugely important to me. I didn’t think it was fair that some people, just because they were brighter or richer, got a better say. I always wanted to speak up for those who didn’t have a voice for themselves.” You were the first black woman to be appointed Queen’s Counsel in Britain. What does that actually mean, for people who wouldn’t know?

“It’s a bit like [the equivalent of] being a GP or being a consultant — there’s the junior bar dealing with work that is of medium to high quality, and then you have the leaders of the bar who are considered to be the crème de la crème, the top two per cent or something. You are appointed by the queen, and only if you are identified as one of the best of the whole profession.” And in 1997 you were given a life peerage when the Labour party came into power. How did you feel when you heard the news that you were to become a baroness?

“Actually, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be one! I shouldn’t really say that, but the thing is this: I am someone who likes to do things. I don’t necessarily like the notoriety that comes with it. So I’ve never wanted to be — I wanted to do. And in doing things I’ve ended up being someone. The notoriety of being in the public eye is not something I would necessarily have courted.” You became Britain’s attorney general in 2007. Obviously that’s a towering position within the British political establishment.

“Being attor ney general is one of the most awesome responsibilities to be given. You become the guardian of the 72

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public interest and the rule of law. You’re the first law officer in the land, to the queen, the Parliament, the government, and you have to act independently while being in government. You have to speak truth to power. You are constantly in a position where you may any day tell people things they don’t want to hear. I am humbled that I was the first woman since 1315 into whose hands that awesome responsibility was placed.” You’re now secretary-general of the Commonwealth. LGBT rights is something you’ve been quoted in the media as wanting to promote. What else?

“Of course LGBT rights are important, but the main focus of my work is that I want to put the ‘wealth’ back into the Commonwealth, and the ‘common’ back into wealth. “I’m talking to colleagues across the fifty-three countries, and having enough money to feed people and to address the sustainable development goals to meet COP21 is so important, because climate change poses an existential threat to the Caribbean. “So climate change is at the top of my agenda, and so is good governance — making sure our countries are in a position to deliver good governance — and part of that is making sure the social capital of our countries is exploited properly. The charter makes clear that every citizen in the Commonwealth, irrespective of their race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or region, should be treated with absolute parity.” You live with your husband and two sons in London. What are your ties with the Caribbean now?

“My parents moved back to Dominica after we had all finished our education, and when they had retired — where they lived until they died. My parents died in 2007 and 2008, respectively. After I qualified, I used to go back to Antigua and Dominica most years when my parents were well, and when they became less well I went home three or four times a year. People used to say my mother or father would cough and I’d be on a plane. And maybe they were right, but I adored my parents. “I had the great privilege when I became a foreign office minister in 1999 to be the minister responsible for the Caribbean and overseas territories. Before that, I’d been the government chair of the advisory group on the Caribbean since 1997. I created the UK-Caribbean Forum, which is the process through which the UK and Caribbean meet to discuss important points of interest every two years. And throughout my ministerial career, from 1997 to 2010, I always made sure I followed the Caribbean with great interest and made sure that Caribbean voice was heard. I’ve been very much a Dominican Brit. “So my contact with the Caribbean was very intense. I speak creole fluently, and at home my parents spoke Dominican patois as well. So we had a very Caribbean home life and I felt very Dominican — albeit I was being brought up, as my father would say, ‘transported like a bag o’ rice’ to England.” n


BACKSTORY

Heroes of the Forgotten War In 1816, several companies of free black veterans of the “Forgotten War” between the United States and Britain arrived in Trinidad with their families. These settlers founded villages in the island’s far south, and two centuries later their “Merikin” descendants preserve a sense of cultural identity and their traditional way of life. Writer Judy Raymond and photographer Marlon Rouse pay a visit to the Merikin villages to find out what these communities can teach their fellow citizens Photography by Marlon Rouse

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he company villages perch atop the ridges of low hills in southern Trinidad — too low to offer panoramic views, but high enough to keep a lookout if you needed to. Their houses are almost all new or being renovated, with piles of sand or building blocks in many driveways. The old Baptist churches have all been rebuilt already. In the Mt Pleasant churchyard, some of the rails around the grave of Samuel Ebenezer Elliott (1901–69) have been knocked down by scaffolding and debris from the construction work. Further from the church, older, unkempt graves straggle down the hill into the bush. Elliott’s disrespected grave and faded headstone are among

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the very few visible clues to what’s special about these villages. He was known to his friends and family as a healer; one of his protégés, American anthropologist Dr Frances Henry, called him, in a memoir, “one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever encountered.” Her book, He Had the Power, is subtitled Pa Neezer, the Orisha King of Trinidad. (Orisha is a syncretic Yoruba and Christian Caribbean faith; but Elliott was also a devout Baptist.) To the rest of the country he was known as an obeahman, with spiritual powers he could use for good — or possibly, some believed, for evil. But, the question of his mystical abilities aside, Pa Neezer’s surname is significant in itself. The Elliotts were one of the free


A graveyard and old headstones: a typical scene around one of the many Baptist churches on the hills of the company villages

black families who were settled south-east of what is now Princes Town, two decades before slavery ended in the Caribbean, during the time of Governor Sir Ralph Woodford. Pa Neezer was named after his forefather Samuel Elliott, who was among the black soldiers who fought for the British against the United States in what is now aptly called the Forgotten War, from 1812 to 1814. In return, the soldiers were relocated to the British colonies of Nova Scotia, Bermuda, or Trinidad, where each family was given their freedom and sixteen acres of land. In Trinidad, because of their origins, they became known as the Merikins, and this August they celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of their arrival and of a proud heritage of freedom.

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The war of 1812–1814 The British and Americans went to war in 1812 over a number of causes: the Americans were trying to invade Canada; the British were pressing American merchant seamen into serving in the navy to fight Napoleon; they blocked America’s east coast; and on the western frontier they were aiding Native Americans to push back. At one point the British even invaded and burned down Washington, DC. But the war — also known as “The War of Faulty Communication” — ended in stalemate in 1814.

Curwin Callender holds a saffron root, grown in his own yard. He is sitting next to a model of the heritage centre that the Merikin Heritage Foundation hopes to raise the funds to build

The proclamation that brought the Merikins to Trinidad By the Honourable Sir Alexander F.I. Cochrane, KB, Vice Admiral of the Red, and Commander in Chief of His Majesty’s Ships and Vessels, upon the North American Station. Whereas, it has been represented to me, that many Persons now resident in the UNITED STATES, have expressed a desire to withdraw therefrom, with a view of entering into His Majesty’s Service, or of being received as Free Settlers into some of His Majesty’s Colonies. This is therefore to Give Notice, That all who may be disposed to emigrate from the UNITED STATES will, with their Families, be received on board His Majesty’s Ships or Vessels of War, or at the Military Posts that may be established, upon or near the Coast of the UNITED STATES, when they will have their choice of either entering into His Majesty’s Sea or Land Forces, or of being sent as FREE Settlers to the British Possessions in North America or the West Indies, where they will meet with due encouragement, Given under my Hand at Bermuda, this 2nd day of April, 1814, ALEXANDER COCHRANE. By Command of the Vice Admiral WILLIAM BALHETCHET. GOD SAVE THE KING

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any of the soldiers had been among four thousand runaway slaves from plantations in Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, and South Carolina. They were encouraged to abscond en masse, providing valuable information to the British and disrupting the local economy when their disappearance caused a shortage of plantation labour. They were recruited into a British battalion of Colonial Marines, and after the war, when they were given land in Trinidad, each village was made up of men from one of the six companies, and some of their families. Official accounts put the number of settlers between four hundred and eight hundred. (No one knows what happened to Second Company: rumour has it they were lost at sea.) Some of the villages have since been renamed: Indian Walk, after the First Peoples who passed through it regularly, because it was on

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the route to one of their sacred sites; Hardbargain, because the discharged soldiers weren’t satisfied with the first settlements they received; New Grant, after a better agreement was reached. “My father’s father was from the Congo region,” says Philip (Elliott) Pierre, a healer and a descendant of Pa Neezer. “They were not slaves. They were buffalo soldiers, fighters. They came down here as soldiers.” His cousin Akilah Jaramogi often says the same thing: “We didn’t come here as slaves.” Jaramogi is Pa Neezer’s great-niece, though she was born an Ayres, from Sixth Company, the biggest village. She has helped forge an alliance between the Merikins and the Maroons of Jamaica, Suriname, and elsewhere in the region, peoples who escaped from slavery and lived more or less independently of colonial rule.


That independence is still clear in the Merikins’ traditional way of life, much of which continues unchanged. People move away or migrate, but some return. Up in the company villages, everyone knows each other, and who’s related to whom. While the T&T government faces a recession and urges everyone to grow food, the Merikins already do. When they first came to Trinidad, they were given rations for a few months until the land they had planted started bearing. Now, where you might expect a lawn, the sloping garden behind a house will be covered with the wide heart shapes of dasheen leaves, or plants used as seasoning or herbal remedies. Merikin families also have land scattered throughout their villages, parcels of the original sixteen acres that have been divided and passed down through generations.

No doubt the Merikins were thrown on their own resources at first because of their isolation (Trinidad’s roads were scarce and notoriously bad when they arrived; the people they met here spoke French patois, not English; and were Catholics, not Baptists). It’s still a self-sufficient community, and even now many Merikins are self-employed. They’ve always fed and clothed and equipped themselves, and sold the surplus to buy what they couldn’t make or grow. They didn’t go to doctors, but treated themselves: Philip Pierre speaks knowledgeably of the uses of black sage, rabbit grass, monkey step, malomay, sarsparilla root. Similarly, Curwin Callender, one of Jaramogi’s co-directors at the Merikin Heritage Foundation (MHF), regularly makes what health buffs would call a green smoothie, blended from WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Akilah Jaramogi (née Ayres), an executive member of the Merikin Heritage Foundation, and a descendant of Pa Neezer, originally from Sixth Company Village

ingredients grown in his yard: parsley, celery, pawpaw, mustard leaf, lettuce, sweet potato, green tomatoes, mango, cinnamon, pineapple, and saffron root. Callender likes to collect things, and is one of few people to own what may be original Merikin artefacts, possible exhibits for a future museum: blades from hoes and an axe, the head of a sledgehammer, a short cutlass with a guava-wood handle, horseshoes, an implement for pressing together lengths of wood for ply. Jaramogi says the original Merikins brought carpentry and other artisanal skills with them and passed them down: “These were not weaklings who came, these were strong, skilled people.”

Curwin Callender’s collection of Merikin artefacts, which includes a coalpot, axe heads, hoe blades, and other implements, some thought to be over a hundred years old

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Callender also has a model of the headquarters the MHF hopes to build, housing an office, a meeting room, and a library for students. More research needs to be done. Several books have been written about the Merikins — including one by Alfred “Boysie” Huggins, a Merikin and father of Hazel Manning, a former government minister and wife of former prime minister Patrick Manning. But although Huggins’s 1978 Saga of the Companies was reprinted in 2013, even in Trinidad and Tobago many people know nothing about them, and their story isn’t taught in schools.

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o Jaramogi, who joined the MHF six years ago, is working to raise the group’s profile, and her people’s. She was brought up “knowing we were Merikin,” but left the company villages at sixteen, rejecting the Baptist faith, the celebration of Columbus’s 1498 discovery of Trinidad at Moruga (“I knew there were people here thousands of years before”), and even her name: “They were slavemasters’ names. People might feel they were family because they had the same last name, but it meant in fact only that they had come from the same American plantation.” Her mother wasn’t happy; but Jaramogi’s free spirit is typical of the Merikins. She lives now in the Port of Spain suburb of St Ann’s, where for thirty years she’s run a reforestation project, often on a shoestring budget, and raised her six children after their father died. Her resourcefulness and resilience obviously come from her roots in the company villages. They are still home: she comes down from the city about twice a week, and as she drives visiting journalists, it’s clear how well she knows these winding roads. There are visits to historical sites, such


The house on Happy Hill, the spot once inhabited by the first Samuel Elliott, the original headman of Third Company Village when the Merikins settled in south Trinidad two hundred years ago

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Some Merikin bicentennial celebrations, 2016 January: February: March: April: May:

Street procession to Fourth Company Baptist Church, Williamsville Celebrations at a secondary school in Princes Town Thanksgiving ceremony Exhibition of memorabilia at the National Archives Merikin Jubilation, a show at which young people modelled African wear and answered questions about the African countries their Merikin ancestors originally came from: “Our history didn’t begin with slavery,” Akilah Jaramogi points out June: Delegation to an annual fundraiser held by West Indians in Brooklyn, New York: Merikins planned to distribute foundation membership forms and raise awareness August 18: Symposium in Matilda, Princes Town, on the Maroon legacy August 20: Annual nighttime procession and church service August 25: youth leadership convention, gala dinner, and awards by the Merikin Commission October: Merikin delegation to attend Suriname festival for the Maroons of the western hemisphere, taking stickfighters, drummers, a book display, and re-enacting a baptism Longer-term plans include a heritage village and even a heritage month like Tobago’s, in which traditional rituals and customs are re-enacted. Also, “In the company villages we hope to promote cultural caravans — invite drummers, moko jumbies, stickfighters, so that we can build up to taking part in [the] Best Village [competition], showcase our Merikin calypsonians like Gypsy and Lady Adanna,” says Jaramogi.

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as Happy Hill, where the original Samuel Elliott’s house once stood. She drops in to see Cousin Philip; Cousin Sheila Sandy and her daughter Marva, a co-director of the MHF: Callender, also of the MHF; another Cousin Sheila — another healer; and Jaramogi’s mother, Vera James, needs to be taken home to dress for a funeral. Jaramogi is hailed out for a chat by the blue-eyed Neville Floyd, age ninety, and father of twenty-two children, who’s out for a walk. In between, every few minutes there’s a conversation with a passerby she knows or is related to. The way of life she recalls from her childhood here died out decades ago in the towns and cities. “We used to live Philip Pierre, Jaramogi’s cousin, a descendant of Pa Neezer and, like him, a healer off the forest,” she remembers, “and my grandmother [‘Tanty Lou’] grew sorrel, peppers, pigeon peas, corn . . .” The rest would be sold in the San Fernando market. “On Fridays I had to walk to Sixth Company to collect baskets of christophene, eggs, and passionfruit from one cousin, then go by another for eggs, dasheen . . . During the week, if we were lucky, we could sit in the bullcart — it was posh to have bison and a bullcart — to go and collect yam. Other people would have dried saltfish, corned pigtail . . . On Friday we would begin to bag and bundle it, and on Saturday at 4 am they would go to the market.” lost, the skills not being passed on. Other people have moved Other people raised pigs, goats, ducks, and geese. “They into the area, and the forest is being cleared. They cut down would sell some of the meat to restaurants and hotels, and keep trees and don’t plant them back. People pave their yards instead some to make tripe or black pudding and share it with their of growing food.” So she wants to take what she’s learned in the city back to her neighbours. So we always had meat. Feeding children was never a problem.” (Merikins had big families; Jaramogi is one of eight, people. Environmentalism — born of growing up in the forest — is one of her passions. Encouraging tourism is another, and she and can’t count how many cousins she has.) Now she sees the company-village lifestyle changing, and believes the villages could combine both — for example, through not for the better. “People are buying food instead of growing re-enactments of customs she remembers from her childhood. “I want to go and raise awareness about forest preservation, dasheen or green fig or ochro. Some of the traditions are being grey water management . . . Farming is important, too — we A visit to the Merikins in 1831 could be the food basket of Trinidad. We could have Merikin retreats into the forest, with bush tea and bush baths. The young German Friedrich Urich worked as a clerk in “Mer i k i n s ca n r ea l ly g ive bac k to t h i s cou nt r y : his uncles’ store in Port of Spain in the early nineteenth environmentalism, agriculture — we practise it. The Merikins century, but also sometimes visited the estates they owned have a lot to contribute. We’re waiting for someone to invest, in south Trinidad. someone with a level of respect and appreciation. We’re a group In December 1831 the sociable Urich recorded in his who have contributed over the years, if given the opportunity.” diary a visit to a Sergeant Howard, who lived in a company Jaramogi is good at getting a lot done with a little, but she and village “two hours from Matilda Estate” (the original the MHF are hoping to get support from the wider community to Matilda was a Merikin through whose land Indian Walk rekindle the Merikin spirit. It may help that the area MP, Lovell ran). His account of the visit shows how Merikin traits have Francis, is a Merikin, and Franklin Khan, another government persisted. minister, grew up in Sixth Company. Urich wrote, “Howard is a good-looking mulatto who If it’s not fostered, it’s just a matter of time before the fought on the side of the English in the American War of company villages and the Merikins who live there lose their Independence [sic]. His wife is a gaunt-looking negress. unique identity. They gave us a warm welcome and we spent a much “We need to keep that sense of goodness, of being different. pleasanter evening with them than we had expected. It will empower the young people,” urges Jaramogi. “If the Howard has great pride . . . Mrs Howard is very wellchildren of the community don’t reclaim their legacy, their sense mannered.” of pride will be lost.” n

The Merikins’ independence is still clear in their traditional way of life, much of which continues unchanged

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Ariadne Van Zandbergen

ARRIVE

84 One country, four continents Destination

99 Kingston beat Home Ground

Enjoying the rushing waters of Blanche Marie Falls on Surinameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nickerie River

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Destination

One country, four continents Even by the standards of the hybrid Caribbean, Suriname is incredibly diverse. With its Atlantic coast and Amazonian interior, its Dutch, West African, Indian, Javanese, and indigenous cultures, this single country contains elements of South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe, with a Caribbean twist â&#x20AC;&#x201D; yet remains itself, as Philip Sander explains 84

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AMA Z ON

It may look like the heart of the Amazon rainforest, but this stretch of wilderness is on the outskirts of Suriname’s capital, Paramaribo

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Ariadne Van Zandbergen

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t’s the kind of clichéd joke travel writers sometimes make, when they want to emphasise the obscurity of a place. Country X was so small/it was so far away/its name was so odd — I wasn’t even sure what continent it belonged to. Except where some places are concerned, there’s some truth to the cliché. Picture this: a small city perched beside a river, with a seventeenth-century brick fort, neat neoclassical buildings lined up along streets with complicated Dutch names, and open-air cafés where citizens while away the hours. Is this Europe? But the city is dotted with the minarets of mosques and the polychrome murtis of Hindu mandirs; on a fine evening you might wander to a neighbourhood famous for its warungs, small family-run eateries serving spicy Javanese fare. Are we somewhere in Asia? Then head out of the city — downriver to the coast, perhaps, with its palm-fringed beaches, or inland to the vast expanse of tropical rainforest — and you may well wonder now if this is the Caribbean, or somewhere in the Amazon. But look at the small villages in certain regions of the interior, with their traditional houses and canoes, where on special occasions people still dress in colourful fabric wraps, and those of a linguistic bent may detect what sound like a few words of Twi. So is this West Africa? No; yes; all of the above. Welcome to Suriname.

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africa

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ow, there’s no question what continent Suriname belongs to geographically. Squeezed between Guyana to the west, French Guiana to the east, the Atlantic to the north, and Brazil to the south, it is definitely South American — but with a Caribbean twist, and links to some far-flung corners of the globe. Geography begets history, history begets culture, and Suriname’s geography, history, and culture make it one of the most fascinatingly diverse places in the world. Fought over by the English and the Dutch in past centuries, the plantation colony of Suriname was populated first via African slaver y and then through Asian indentureship. Enslaved Africans who escaped bondage established autonomous Maroon communities in the remote interior, preserving elements of their West and Central African culture and adapting them through contact with indigenous Amerindians. After emancipation in the late nineteenth century, Dutch authorities shipped in indentured labourers from India and Java (the latter then a part of the Dutch East Indies); other immigrants came from China, the Middle East, and Portuguese Madeira. Nowadays, Brazilians slip across the border from one direction, French Guianese from another. By the time of Independence in 1975, Dutch remained the

official language, rivalled by both the lingua franca Sranan and English. But Hindi, Javanese, several Maroon and Amerindian languages, and Brazilian Portuguese are all in everyday use by their respective cultural groups. A random gathering of Surinamese might easily pass for a United Nations conference. And all this in a population of just half a million. Locals take this diversity for granted. For visitors, Sur iname is a fascinating microcosm, a place where cultures thr illingly r ub shoulders. Every guidebook will point you to Keizerstraat i n Pa r a m a r i b o, w he r e a mosque and a synagogue are polite neighbours. But in the surrounding streets you’ll also find an elaborate cathedral built entirely of wood; a riverside market where you can buy Nollywood DVDs, Indonesian spices, and the paraphernalia for indigenous Winti ceremonies; a broad town green where on Sunday mornings bird fanciers bring their caged pets to take the air; roti shops to rival anything Guyana or Trinidad might boast; and some of the friendliest, most hospitable people you’ll meet anywhere, most of them speaking two or three languages more than you. If the tourist board ever runs out of slogans, they can fall back on this one: come to Suriname and see the world.

Suriname is a fascinating microcosm, a place where cultures thrillingly rub shoulders

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Ariadne Van Zandbergen

Communities like New Aurora, on the upper Suriname River, have preserved cultural links across the centuries with the West and Central African ancestors of Surinamese Maroons. The distinctive style of traditonal Maroon architecture is demonstrated by a wooden house in the village of Pikinslee (opposite page)

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AS I A

Ariadne Van Zandbergen

Colourful murtis at a Hindu temple in Weg naar Zee, north-west of central Paramaribo

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AS I A

The Suriname Tourism Foundation

Surinameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Javanese cultural heritage includes traditional dance, music, shadow puppetry, and cuisine

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Ariadne Van Zandbergen

EUROPE

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Historic buildings along Paramariboâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mirandastraat are a touch of Dutch urban style in the tropics

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Ariadne Van Zandbergen

CAR I BBEAN

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It could be a beach anywhere in the Caribbean — but in this case it’s Galibi, near the mouth of the Marowijne River on Suriname’s Atlantic coast

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Ariadne Van Zandbergen

Children in traditional indigenous dress celebrate the oldest of Surinameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s many cultures, in the village of Apura, near the Corantijn River

?

Thinking of advertising

Caribbean & International

Denise Chin

Tel: (868) 683 0832 dchin@meppublishers.com Trinidad & Tobago

Yuri Chin Choy

Tel: (868) 460 0068 yuri@meppublishers.com

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Advertorials Ramada Hotel Paramaribo Ramada Paramaribo Princess Hotel & Casino is an exquisite four-star hotel with fifty-nine stylish rooms, including two Presidential Suites. Guests will value the hotel’s central position, located in the business and entertainment centre of Paramaribo, within short walking distance of the shopping areas, forty-five minutes from Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport. The hotel features a full-service business centre, Ogi Japanese Teppanyaki Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Rooftop Pool Lounge & Restaurant, Next Night Club, and Princess Casino. 

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accessories, and tobacco. Our top brands include Johnnie Walker, Marlboro, Gucci, Carolina Herrera, Ray Ban, Swarovski, Furla and Ferrero. King’s Duty & Tax Free at the arrival hall is open during all flights for your convenience. So come and enjoy our low prices compared to the region.

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home ground

Kingston beat

matthew henry

Jamaica’s capital isn’t just the gateway to the island’s famed beach resorts — it’s a lively, sophisticated metropolis, bursting with music, culture, nightlife, and amazing cuisine. Tanya BatsonSavage compiles a list of Kingston’s must-see, must-hear, and must-taste attractions

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Looking down from the foothills of the Blue Mountains, past New Kingston to the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s downtown and harbour

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PYMCA/UIG/getty images

Get down with downtown Downtown Kingston is one of the neighbourhoods visitors are often urged to avoid. Yet there are more than a few hints that the historic heart of Kingston may be headed for an upturn. When in the midst of the paradoxically laidback bustle of Kingston, it’s sometimes easy to forget this is a seaside city with a sprawling harbour and fabulous breezes to cool down the often high temperatures. Along with access to a great view of the Caribbean Sea, downtown Kingston is also the umbilical cord of the city’s cultural infrastructure. Almost buried among the crumbling façades of brick buildings from a forgotten era are museums and galleries just a hop, skip, and robot taxi ride away from each other. If you’re looking for a shot of java, maybe a little ackee and saltfish, plus a touch of jewellery to get your morning going, F&B Downtown is a great place to start. The unique, trendy venue combines a restaurant and jewellery store. F&B serves up friendly staff, great atmosphere, and a combination of local cuisine, sandwiches, and Italian fare. Resting at the western end of Harbour Street is Studio 174. At its core, this is an attempt at cultural regeneration through the visual arts, offering art and other classes to the young members of the surrounding inner city. Studio 174 has also built a steady stream of exhibitions from new and emerging artists yet to find a space in the mainstream. More than a century old, the Institute of Jamaica is the grand dame of Jamaican history and culture. The unassuming 100 WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

The Ward Theatre on North Parade is a longtime landmark of downtown Kingston Opposite page Artist Taj Francis works on a Paint Jamaica mural

brick of her headquarters doesn’t offer much of architectural interest, but the IOJ’s East Street locale presents a smorgasbord of opportunities to dive into Jamaica’s history and art. Explore exhibitions on the island’s natural history, delve into Rastafari, African, and Jamaican culture through the museums division, and get more than a feel for our rhythms in the Jamaican Music Museum. Liberty Hall: The Legacy of Marcus Garvey is the island’s first multimedia museum, with hours and hours of footage on the civil rights leader from whose genius Bob Marley borrowed the line “emancipate yourself from mental slavery.” Not far away, on the north side of Parade, rests the (almost) newly minted Símon Bolívar Centre, commemorating the two-hundredth anniversary of the Venezuelan liberator’s visit to Jamaica. The crown jewel and the must-see space of Jamaican art is the National Gallery, sitting on the edge of Kingston Harbour. Even while several of Jamaica’s commercial art spaces have fallen prey to the recession and closed their doors, the island’s visual art scene remains vibrant and buzzing with energy — much of it surrounding the NGJ. Its permanent galleries allow you to step into Jamaican art from the Taínos through to the present, and feature works by most masters of Jamaican art, while the rotating exhibitions often exhibit contemporary works. Every month the NGJ creates a blend of the arts with their Last Sundays events, combining art, live music, literature, theatre, and dance.


matthew henry

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marcus golding

Feel the beat There are numerous ways to engage with reggae music across Kingston, but my favourite is the History of the Music tour, because it gives you a chance to dive deep into the belly of the city’s culture and history. The HM tour starts at National Heroes Park, drawing the link between the music and the rest of the island’s history. Often overlooked, the park hosts the remains of past prime ministers and cultural icons such as Louise Bennett, as well as a space of tribute with monuments built to our national heroes. The tour also allows you to visit historic record stores and pressing plants, and culminates with a session at the Alpha Boys’ School. More adventurous patrons can also opt to visit the inspiring Paint Jamaica murals by some of the island’s most energetic young artists, and have lunch at rustic Life Yard, where the food is ital (vegetarian) and delicious. Many of the ingredients are actually grown right in the back. It’s impossible to talk about reggae without mentioning Marley, so of course the Bob Marley Museum makes this list. Whether you come to see it for the legend of Marley or to relive the atmosphere of Marlon James’s novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, the museum at 56 Hope Road, former home of the reggae legend and the place where the infamous attempted assassination took place, is not to be missed. By day, it’s a reasonably nondescript mall, but at night, Pulsate on Trafalgar Road, New Kingston, gets booming. Its main nights are Wednesday (when it goes retro) and Fridays, when you can step back in time for a great dancehall party, usually with guest deejays such as Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, or Lady Saw doing a rare solo performance. 102 WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

Taking in a performance at Redbones the Blues Café

Kingston has a more diverse music scene than you might guess, and Redbones the Blues Café is often the home base for live music and literature. Nestled in the quieter part of New Kingston, the restaurant boasts live reggae, jazz, and rock sessions as well as poetry readings and book launches. In Kingston, the hills are actually alive with music — at least on Sunday nights, when selector Gebre Selassie (of Rockers Sound System) creates a reggae and dub pilgrimage-worthy experience that has brought many up the winding and aptly named Skyline Drive. Kingston Dub Club remixes the idea of island chill, and makes a great end to a Sunday night — not least for the spectacular view of Kingston by night, its glittering lights spreading towards the darkly glimmering Caribbean Sea in the distance. Here you’ll find a taste of a Jamaican dance hall, but steeped in Rasta livity, as the selector plays roots, rockers, reggae, and, of course, dub. It’s the embodiment of good vibrations.

The Blue Mountains, rising above Kingston in a crescendo of hills, offer more than the promise of beautiful flora, fog-laden treks, and some of the world’s best coffee


Dine and dance Historic Devon House, with a combination of museum and garden, provides the perfect opportunity to satisfy your sweet spot and get in touch with a little of the island’s history. It’s best to visit on Saturday, because not only will the famous ice cream offset the day’s heat, but you’ll avoid the Sunday crush, when the snaking lines seem to stretch to forever. You can sit under the massive poinciana tree enjoying your ice cream cone, or grab a patty from the nearby bakery. The tiny shops in the courtyard also give you the chance to snag the stylishly chic handmade jewelry of Reve gallery, more standard craft, or locally made aromatic candles. While it’s always great to sink your teeth into some spicy jerk chicken or pork, in recent years Kingston has developed a taste for cuisine from around the world. The Market Place serves up a diverse slate of restaurants that is the culinary manifestation of Jamaica’s motto “Out of many, one people.” Located off one of Kingston’s major arteries, the former shopping mall features a cluster of restaurants serving Japanese, Indian, Chinese, and Mediterranean dishes. If you dine in the courtyard, rather than the interior of a restaurant, there is no need to restrict your palate — you can order from multiple restaurants. Buried in

the back, and a taste you have to try, is Mi Hungry (not open for dinner). It’s so tiny it could be mistaken for a closet, but Mi Hungry serves up raw-food-only cuisine that could tempt even a diehard pork-eater (and it has). The Rasta-influenced eatery allows you to experience food that is more hardcore than vegan, but loses none of the flavour. With a legendary reputation — if one somewhat steeped in fiction — for its numerous rum bars, Kingston serves up a rousing nightlife. There’s a growing number of wine bars, from the quaint and intimate The Wine Shop to the more trendy Uncorked and the sleek Regency (at Terra Nova Hotel). If you have a wish to invite lady luck to share your nightlife, you’ll find a growing number of gaming lounges, including Macau, Acropolis, and Odyssey, each with a spirited bar attached. Meanwhile, three Jamaican sports stars are lending their names to prominent sports bars where you can indulge in good bickle (food), catch a game, and enjoy great vibes and even get or gaze at sports memorabilia: check out Cuddyz (owned by Courtney Walsh), Usain Bolt Tracks and Records, and Triple Century (owned by Chris Gayle).

PYMCA/UIG/getty images

While Kingston has only a few bookstores, if you are looking to get in some local lit, pop into Bookophilia, where you can have a coffee while you read and take a break from the sun. Though there isn’t a regular programme of readings, the shop sometimes hosts literary evenings, so check out their events when you’re in town.

The courtyard at Devon House, famous for its ice cream

The Blue Mountains, rising above Kingston in a crescendo of hills, offer more than the promise of beautiful flora, fog-laden treks, and some of the world’s best coffee. The twisting road from Papine up to Irish Town and onward also boasts a series of restaurants that make a great option for Sunday or Saturday lunch. At the twin venues Café Blue and Crystal Edge, just beyond Irish Town, although everyone might not know your name, they sure act like it, staff and other guests alike. Crystal Edge serves up great local dishes like curried goat and oxtail that encourage you to have intimate knowledge of the bones, while Café Blue offers pastries and coffee — and watch out for the hummingbirds. Further up the road, and resting by a river, Serendipity offers Jamaican-style cuisine while EITS Café serves up a tasty European-style menu. Both get some of their ingredients fresh from their own gardens. n

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ROUND TRIP

Jonathan Palmer/Mustique Airways

Fire down below

From St Kitts in the north to Tobago in the south, the islands of the Lesser Antilles have been shaped over the aeons by geological forces that begin far below the earth’s surface. This arc of islands is really a series of volcanic peaks — some still active, some dormant, some extinct — and among the steep, lushly forested slopes, amateur vulcanologists can find ample evidence of the planet’s restless energy, erupting sometimes gently, sometimes with awesome force

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La Soufrière caldera St Vincent

The highest peak in St Vincent — rising to 4,049 feet above the sea, near the island’s northern tip — is also the youngest. Classified as an active volcano, La Soufrière (French for “the sulphur-maker,” and a common name in the Antilles) last erupted in 1979, but advance warning and an evacuation plan prevented any casualties. For intrepid hikers, the challenging climb from either Rabacca on the windward coast or Richmond on the leeward is rewarded by the lush cloud-forest near the summit, and stunning views of mountains, sea, and the huge crater, with a lava dome at its centre.

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Champagne Reef

Madisetti/Images Dominica

Dominica

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It sounds like something out of a sybarite’s imagination: swimming in Champagne? Well, not literally, but the sensation at Champagne Reef — off Pointe Michel, near Dominica’s southern end — is appropriately fizzy, thanks to the volcanic gases bubbling up from thousands of small underwater vents across the reef. And the closer you get to the seabed, the warmer the temperature. Teeming with fish and other sea life, Champagne Reef is one of the Caribbean’s top dive sites, but shallow enough for snorkellers to enjoy too — or even for casual swimmers. When cruise ships are visiting, the water can get crowded, but on a quiet day you might have all this bubbly to yourself.


ADVERTORIAL

The Bahamas

– much more than sun, sand and sea

B

ahamas Junkanoo Carnival (BJC) 2016 was another resounding success, not only for Bahamians but for regional and indeed international visitors. On the first weekend of May, people from all over the globe gathered at the most picturesque Carnival venue in the world to “amp up the music,” “turn up the vibes,” and “soak up the culture.” Junkanoo Beach on the New Providence coastline came alive with a smorgasbord of creativity, culture, and cuisine for an uninterrupted three days. For those who experienced BJC 2015, the inaugural event, this was an even bigger, better version of an amazing festival they had waited a whole year for! Seasoned partygoers who were at Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival for the first time were blown away by the warm and friendly nature of the Bahamian people, and the fun-tastic musical fusion of evocative junkanoo rhythms, melodic “rake ’n scrape” and infectious soca sounds — not to mention the artistic array of craft and the fabulous food available at every turn. This was undoubtedly another magnificent weekend for The Bahamas. Oh yes, the addition of this springtime BJC event to the already hugely popular Summer slate and the long-established indigenous Junkanoo parades at Christmas time will definitely propel this 700-island archipelagic paradise to epic status in the World of Festivals!

Rake ‘n scrape

For further information, please visit bahamas.com or bahamasjunkanoocarnival.com

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Saint-Pierre It’s perhaps the best known natural disaster in Caribbean history: the 1902 eruption of Mt Pelée and the abrupt destruction of the town of Saint-Pierre, “the Paris of the Antilles,” once the cultural and economic centre of Martinique. Shielded from lava flows by several valleys and ridges, the citizens of Saint-Pierre thought themselves safe from the rumbling volcano. Instead, their doom was a pyroclastic flow, a racing current of hot gases, ash, and rock, then unknown to science. Famously, a single man survived the disaster, a prisoner locked behind the thick walls of his cell, while more than thirty thousand of his compatriots perished. One hundred and fourteen years later, Saint-Pierre is a sleepy small town, still dotted with historic ruins, and home to the Musée Vulcanologique Franck Perret, which tells the dramatic story of the day that changed Martinique forever.

De Agostini/L Romano

Martinique

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Montserrat For a close-up look at how the earth’s subterranean forces are still actively shaping these islands — and the lives of their inhabitants — there’s no better place, or more chastening spectacle, than the island of Montserrat. In July 1995, the previously dormant Soufrière Hills volcano, rising above the capital, Plymouth, began erupting, triggering a mass evacuation of Montserrat’s southern two thirds. Plymouth itself was partially buried by ash flows, as was the island’s airport. Relatively quiet in recent years, the volcano is still considered active and dangerous, closely monitored by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory. But authorities now allow supervised tours of the ruins of Plymouth, billed as a contemporary Pompeii, and both helicopter tours and the vantage point of Garibaldi Hill allow visitors to survey the volcano’s destructive power — visible in the ash-covered expanses — and the regenerative force of nature, as unchecked vegetation returns parts of the exclusion zone to forest.

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Diamond Falls

DebraLee Wiseberg/istock.com

St Lucia

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Near the town of Soufrière and the iconic Pitons, Diamond Falls are fed by St Lucia’s famous sulphur springs, which bubble up to the surface of an ancient volcanic crater. As far back as the late eighteenth century, the warm mineral-rich waters were known for their therapeutic properties, and the first baths were built here in 1784, for the benefit of French troops stationed in St Lucia. Today, visitors can soak in the outdoor baths, explore the surrounding botanical gardens, and admire what locals claim is the Caribbean’s most colourful waterfall, plunging nearly sixty feet into a natural pool. Over the centuries, the sulphur, copper, magnesium, and other minerals in the water have stained the rock face, and its natural kaleidoscope changes continuously.


central press/hulton archive/getty images

engage

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Jamaican Olympic medallist Arthur Wint at the 1948 Summer Games in London


INSPIRE

A promise to jb When Chevaughn and Noel Joseph’s young son JB was diagnosed with cancer, they promised him they would help other sick children. Nearly a decade later, the Just Because Foundation supports families at their time of greatest need, Lisa Allen-Agostini discovers Photograph by Warren Le Platte

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he wall beside Chevaughn Joseph’s desk at Mt Hope Paediatric Hospital in Trinidad is covered with pictures. One is a child’s hand-drawn thankyou note; another, the front page of a child’s funeral programme. One bears a small pair of handprints in yellow paint. The hands were her son’s. He died of a rare form of cancer in 2007. He was not yet six. Chevaughn and her husband Noel are president and chairman, respectively, of the Just Because Foundation — JBF, for short. They co-founded the not-for-profit paediatric cancer support organisation and named it after their son Jabez, whom Chevaughn called JB. Jabez is a biblical name, Noel explained to a recent

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visitor to the JBF office — most people know it for Jabez’s prayer in the First Book of Chronicles, a prayer asking for gifts from God, and which, the Bible says, God granted. Chevaughn never liked the name, because it means “born in pain,” she says. But JB Joseph was a happy child, and continued to be so even while he endured years of treatment for alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma of the tongue. On February 15, 2005, Chevaughn found a lump on JB’s jaw. It was the size of a T&T tencent piece, about 1.6 centimetres in diameter. In two weeks, as his parents took him to doctor after doctor to diagnose its cause, the lump grew to the size of a lime, then the size of an orange. When she talks about her children — whether the dozens


Opposite page Noel and Chevaughn Joseph (at left) with a Grenadian family helped by the Just Because Foundation: baby Shemmia with her parents Alisha and Shem

of children she has helped through JBF, or her surviving child, RaVen, now a teenager who plans to become a surgeon — Chevaughn Joseph gets fierce. Her dark eyes flash, and the dimples in her chin and cheeks deepen as her face becomes set. You can imagine how she, along with the more placid Noel, fought to find out what exactly was wrong with their son — and, having got the diagnosis, exactly how best to help him. “The process was challenging,” Chevaughn recalls. “We had some really good doctors. But we had some not so amazing times.” The challenges she glosses over include two misdiagnoses, and a doctor who coolly advised them their son’s affliction could either be a virus or cancer. After JB’s tumorectomy, their oncologist sent a sample to a lab in Britain. “Having the right microscope to see those cells made a huge difference,” Noel says. Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is “a very aggressive form of cancer.” Eventually, with that oncologist’s help, the family went to a hospital in Newcastle, where JB had “more than half his tongue” removed, Chevaughn says. The experience literally changed their lives. In spite of the terrible circumstances of their visit, they were made to feel welcome, housed for two weeks close to the hospital in a “home away from home,” and even treated to an anniversary lunch. RaVen, as JB’s sibling, was also kept occupied by a charity, the Rainbow Trust, while JB had his treatment. “We were bombarded with every possible service to make sure our stay was second to none,” Chevaughn says. “What we encountered on the trip was professionalism, a system,” Noel adds. There was a “multi-disciplinary team looking at a single patient” — oncologist, radiographer, hematologist, and so on, all working together. There was even art and craft and entertainment on the children’s wards. RaVen and JB called it “hospital heaven.” This is what they promised JB they would recreate for him when he got back to T&T.

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n 2005, Noel was an advertising industry producer who had recently become self-employed. Chevaugn, a marketer whom Noel describes as the “ice-to-Eskimos type,” had just set up her own company when JB fell ill. “All of which we describe as preparation for the Just Because Foundation,” Noel jokes. They use their professional skills in doing the work of the foundation, from branding and advertising to fundraising and administration. They have a driver and an administrative assistant, a management team and a tiny board. Some days, Noel says, they have to sell T-shirts, mugs, and teddy bears to make ends meet. With little but tallawah resources, JBF established and operates a hospital ward for children with chronic, noncommunicable diseases. JBF has run with the idea of the homeaway-from-home, renting a house where they put up families of patients who live far from Mt Hope. The foundation has sourced equipment for the ward, chemotherapy for patients, and counselling for patients and families. Their Wishing Well

Childhood cancer early-warning signs • • • • • • • • • • •

Continued, unexplained weight loss Headaches, often with early morning vomiting Increased pain in bones, joints, back, or legs Lumps or unexplained masses Development of excessive bruising, bleeding, or rash Constant infections A whitish colour behind the pupils Nausea that persists or vomiting without nausea Constant tiredness or noticeable paleness Eye or vision changes which occur suddenly Recurrent or persistent fevers of unknown origin

programme grants sick children’s wishes. Sometimes JBF assists families with other non-medical needs. Having a child with cancer or heart disease can be devastating for anybody, but if a single parent has to leave work for a month or a year to be with a sick child, the repercussions can be harsh. Major sponsors of the JBF Specialty Unit at Mt Hope Paediatric have plaques in their honour mounted on a wall. These are the funders who pay for or provide facilities like the comfortable parents’ lounge, the well-equipped playroom and library, and the recliners next to every bed on the ward, where, at any hour, parents can be seen at their sick children’s sides. T&T’s Ministry of Health recently began giving JBF a monthly stipend. It covers some fixed costs, like the rental of their three-bedroom home-away-from-home and salaries for their two staff members. The needs, however, mount daily. Apart from maintenance, there’s attrition of portable assets like computers and cable boxes, and JBF supplies toiletries and meals to parents of children on the ward. Their big annual fundraiser, the Kiddie K walk and health fair, can only do so much. Right now, JBF is reaching out to long-term corporate sponsors — especially ones with regional reach. The foundation has helped families from across the Caribbean, and though non-nationals of T&T have to pay for medical services at Mt Hope, JBF gives their support free of charge to everyone. Of course, they also welcome volunteers and individual donations, no matter how small — one regular donor, a pensioner, gives $25 a month. “That’s her widow’s mite, that’s what she can do,” says Noel. Donors willing to adopt a family can work with the Josephs and JBF to decide how much to give. JBF is also growing. The foundation wants to build a tenbedroom home-away-from-home for families whose children are being treated. Like the “hospital heaven” in Newcastle, it will be top of the line. They will need labour, building materials, and furnishings to make the dream come true. But Chevaughn and Noel are sure in their purpose. “I know this is why JB came, this is why he got sick, this is why he died,” Chevaugn says. “I don’t wonder if this is what God wants me to do — I know.” n

To find out how you can help the Just Because Foundation, visit www.thejustbecausefoundation.com. WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM 115


plugin

Unbreaking the Internet Last March, an angry software developer deleted a JavaScript code package from the Internet. It doesn’t sound very exciting, but the result was thousands of broken websites, and a cascade of online errors. In stepped Trinidadian Laurie Voss, CTO of the web company npm. Mark Lyndersay tells the story of a coding rescue mission Photograph courtesy npm, Inc.

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n March 2016, the Internet shook, when a small, fairly straightforward, but widely used snippet of JavaScript code disappeared from the code dependencies of hundreds of online apps and software connections. And at the centre of the controversy that arose was a Trinidadian software programmer, Laurie Voss, who had to take dramatic and unprecedented steps to restore functionality to broken online software. Voss is officially the chief technical officer (CTO) of npm, a code packager and repository for the JavaScript language that adds functionality and capability to thousands of online services and apps. The software company was a hobby project started by Voss and Isaac Schlueter, who met at Yahoo in 2008. After they both left the search company, Schlueter became involved in Node.js, a JavaScript runtime built using the Chrome Engine. The project took off in 2009 with

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the creation of npm, which packages and archives the code snippets created by developers, and by 2013 Schlueter reached out to Voss to evolve npm Inc from a serious hobby into a business. Voss had been working in the world of the startup, and signed on as CTO. The road to that point had been a long one for Laurie Voss. As a child, he would make fake computers out of cardboard and play with them. His abstract fascination entered the world of reality at age eleven, when he got a computer of his own, something that was quite rare at the time. “I was mostly just playing around with it until I was fifteen, when Internet access arrived in Trinidad, and I started building web pages,” Voss says. “The attraction of the web was how powerful it was, what an equaliser it was: I, a kid in Trinidad, was capable of making a web page just as good as some kid in America. “That had never been true before, and it’s still true. Every little thing you add to

the web makes the whole world better, in some tiny but real way. I think that’s an amazing thing,” he adds, “and I still get excited every time I think about it.” The npm project is described as “the largest ecosystem of open source libraries in the world,” an indispensible resource of packages of the JavaScript code that essentially runs the Internet. In the open-source model of software development, successful code is offered to the developer community for its use and adaptation, and npm is the leading spot to find code packages that expand functionality or make the development process a bit easier. Instead of writing the code that’s necessary to do a particular thing, you download or reference the package of software that’s already been proven to do it efficiently. The npm project has four million users globally, who contribute, adapt, and access code packages continuously. Think of the whole process as a software


“Every little thing you add to the web makes the whole world better, in some tiny but real way,” says Laurie Voss. “I think that’s an amazing thing”

version of Jenga blocks, and you begin to get the idea. That’s also a good way to understand what went wrong in March — and it all began with a name.

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ik is a new instant messaging app. It’s also the name of an unrelated code module written by Azer Koçulu, one of many that he’s contributed to the npm repository. The Kik app developers began a cor respondence w ith the author of t he code modu le about rena m i ng his software, because it intended to publish its own open source code to the repository. That infuriated Koçulu, and the annoyed programmer withdrew his kik module along with the other 272 he had published with npm. Among them was a popular code package called leftpad. In March 2016 alone, left-pad was fetched 2,486,696 times. According to a blog of clarification published by npm, “Shortly after 2.30

pm (Pacific Time) on Tuesday, March 22, we began observing hundreds of failures per minute, as dependent projects — and their dependents — all failed when requesting the now-unpublished package.” A replacement package (called a fork, a branch development of the original code) was added to the repository within ten minutes, but the code failures continued, because the unpublished left-pad package was being called by a specific version number, which was no longer available. Two and a half hours later, the problem had been sorted out, after a suitable version was un-unpublished (technology breeds strange grammar) from a backup. “It was a sign,” Voss recalls, “of how popular and essential to JavaScript development npm has become that even one popular package missing for a couple of hours caused a lot of disruption. “To prevent that kind of problem in future, we’ve now made the process of

unpublishing a package a lot slower, so it can’t take everybody by surprise,” he says. “We’re also taking steps to correct the bad policy we had that made Azer get so mad at us in the first place. “Unpublishing,” Voss says, “happens all the time. This event, unpublishing a really popular package that had been around a long time, was unprecedented, which is why it caused so much disruption.” It was a different kind of excitement for Voss, who is currently acting CEO of npm while Isaac Schlueter is on paternity leave. “My title is CTO,” Voss explains, “but my role hasn’t stayed the same for more than three months in a row since we started the company. “I was writing code, then I was architecting, then I was recruiting, then I was managing, then I was analysing data, then I was project managing, then I was defining product direction. “Ask me again in three months and it’ll be different again, I’m sure.” n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM 117


on this day

Historic gold At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Caribbean sports fans will have dozens of homegrown champs to cheer on. But the region’s history of Olympic success stretches back more than a century. James Ferguson looks back to the earliest Caribbean Olympic heroes, and how today’s athletes have kept their victorious legacy alive Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

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ho would dare to guess what will happen to the athletes from the Caribbean at the Olympic Games in August? Will Jamaica’s Usain “Lightning” Bolt break the nineteen-second barrier in the 200 metres? Or will he come second to Justlin Gatlin in the 100 metres, as predicted by the statistics company Infostrada? Will Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago repeat his feat in London in 2012, of winning gold in the men’s javelin event (the youngest champion ever)? And who would bet against Cuba picking up medals in boxing? They won two golds four years ago. The Caribbean has come on, literally, in leaps and bounds since seventeen-year-old Cuban fencer Ramón Fonst surprised Louis Perrée, the local favourite, to take the gold medal in the epée at the Paris Olympics of 1900. Perhaps it helped that he had been trained in France, but his medal was all the same the first for a competitor from the Caribbean and Latin America. Nicknamed “El Nunca Segundo” (“Never Second”), Fonst repeated his success in 1904, winning both epée and foil fencing

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events, and for good measure won a gold at the 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games at the age of fifty-five. In Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, the national stadium (sadly damaged in the 2010 earthquake) is named after one Silvio Cator, who took a silver in the long jump in Amsterdam in 1928. His 7.58-metre leap was a mere sixteen centimetres short of the winner’s, and it still stands as a record in Haiti. When he retired from athletics (he also played football for the capital’s most successful team), the polymath Cator went into politics, and in 1946 was elected mayor of Port-au-Prince — hence the name of the stadium. He wasn’t the first Haitian to win an Olympic medal; Ludovic Augustin had gained a bronze in 1924 in the last-ever team shooting event. In the 1940s and 1950s, competitors from the Bahamas and Cuba (sailing), Puerto Rico (boxing), and Trinidad and Tobago (weightlifting) all achieved success in their fields, but the standout athlete of the period was Jamaica’s Arthur Wint, a.k.a. “The Gentle Giant,” the first gold medallist from the island, who won the 400 metres in 1948 in London. (His compatriot Herb McKenley came second.) In a foretaste of the Bolt phenomenon, Wint went on to triumph again four years later in the 4x400metre relay race in Helsinki, contributing to a new world record, while also coming second in the 800 metres. These successes were far from the end of his career. He qualified as a doctor, was Jamaican ambassador to Sweden and High Commissioner to London, and fittingly died on Jamaica’s Heroes Day in 1992.

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nglish-speaking Caribbean territories first competed while still colonies, and then, briefly, under the banner of the West Indies Federation in Rome in 1960 (the thirteen competitors were known as “Antilles” and gathered two bronze medals). With the move towards Independence in the 1960s, however, came a new age of athletic excellence, with increased resources and nationalistic enthusiasm, which culminated in the annus mirabilis, forty years ago exactly, of 1976 in Canada. Not only did the ever-reliable Cubans pick up two golds in boxing (the celebrated super-heavyweight Teófilo Stevenson had won a gold four years previously in Munich), but Trinidad and Tobago celebrated a first-ever gold medal, won by Hasely Crawford in the 100 metres, and Jamaican Don Quarrie picked up a gold in the 200 metres (and a silver in the 100 metres). Quarrie would later win a bronze in the 200 metres in Moscow (1980) and a silver in the 4x100 metres relay in Los Angeles (1984), showing considerable stamina, and has been honoured by a statue at the entrance to the National Stadium in Kingston’s Independence Park. As for Crawford, he went one better, having Port of Spain’s 23,000-capacity stadium named after him.


With the move towards Independence in the 1960s came a new age of athletic excellence in the Caribbean, with increased resources and nationalistic enthusiasm

Success continued into the 1980s and 1990s. Cuba became an established force in boxing, with Stevenson (the son of an immigrant from St Vincent) winning a boxing gold again in Moscow in 1980. A man of principle and a folk hero in Cuba, he reputedly turned down a $1 million deal to turn professional. He was followed by boxers such as Hector Vinent Charón, who won the light welterweight title in 1992 and 1996, and Félix Savón, who took the heavyweight gold medal in 1992, 1996, and 2000. Like Stevenson, Savón was determined to remain an amateur, and rejected hugely lucrative offers to fight the likes of Mike Tyson. Jamaica, meanwhile, created its own Olympic history in Atlanta in 1996, when Deon Hemmings became the first woman from the island to win a gold medal, triumphing in the 400-metre hurdles. She won two further silvers in Sydney four years later, before passing on her crown to fellow Jamaican Melaine Walker, who won the same event in Beijing in 2008. From 1980 to 2000, meanwhile, Merlene Ottey had won no fewer than three silvers and six bronzes for Jamaica in 100-, 200-, and 4x100-metre events. Which brings us to London in 2012, where the Caribbean —

Cuba included, of course — can be said to have punched well above its weight. Jamaica took first, second, and third place in the men’s 200-metre finals, with Usain Bolt also winning the 100 metres (thus becoming the first man ever to win both events at two different Olympics). The Bahamas won the men’s 4x400-metre relay race, while Grenada could boast its first-ever medal when Kirani James stormed home in the 400 metres. There were also medals for the Dominican Republic’s Luguelín Santos and Felix Sanchez, as well as the Jamaican women’s 4x100 relay team. In all, the Caribbean region accounted for thirty-six medals, with Cuba leading the field with fifteen.

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an it get much better in Rio? The signs are promising, and widespread confidence shows how far the region has come. There has even been a suggestion, in Caribbean Journal, that one of the bigger countries — Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago — might one day host the Summer Olympics. One wonders what an athlete from Finland would make of competing in an average temperature of 29 degrees Celsius (seven degrees higher than Rio) — but, then again, athletes from the Caribbean have had to endure the vagaries of cold climates in places such as Helsinki and Moscow over the years. Whatever the rights and wrongs of a Caribbean Olympic Games, the words of the late, great Teófilo Stevenson, when turning down the big money offer, sum up what is central to the Olympian spirit: “What is a million dollars against eight million Cubans who love me?” n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM 119


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SPOT THE DIFFERENCE by Gregory St Bernard

There are 11 differences between these two pictures. How many can you spot?

Spot the Difference answers Hurdles are bigger; discus thrower is smaller; colours of discus thrower’s outfit are swapped; colours of javelin thrower’s shorts are swapped; javelin is longer; pole vaulter’s head is bigger; pole vaulter’s legs are repositioned; laurel wreath on torch bearer’s head is smaller; torch’s flame is bigger; torch bearer’s eyes are repositioned; entire track is lower.

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baroness Bolt bridge cancer Carnival champ Commonwealth dub Dutch farmer fencing free range genip gold hash hashing Java

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737 onboard Entertainment — JULY/AUGUST Caribbean Airlines has introduced a second movie on flights of four hours and over, thus providing continuous entertainment to you, our valued customer.

Northbound + Eastbound

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The Bucket List

Barbershop: The Next Cut

Before Sunset

Discover the story of how Brazilian footballing legend Pelé rose from an impoverished childhood to lead Brazil to its first-ever World Cup in 1958.

After meeting in hospital, two strangers, Carter and Edward, decide to go on an adventure of a lifetime, doing everything they ever wanted to do.

When the surrounding community takes a turn for the worse, Calvin and his longtime crew come together to save his barbershop and their neighbourhood.

Nine years ago, two strangers spent a magical night together in Vienna. Now, as they cross paths again in Paris, they discover what might have been.

Vincent D’Onofrio, Rodrigo Santoro, Diego Boneta • director: Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist • drama, sports • PG • 107 minutes

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Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall • director: Malcolm D. Lee • comedy • PG-13 • 112 minutes

Northbound + Eastbound

Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy • director: Richard Linklater • drama, romance • R • 81 minutes

Southbound + Westbound

The Little Rascals

Miracles from Heaven

When Harry Met Sally

Man-cub Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of selfdiscovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known.

The gang is back in this charm -ing update of the Depressionera classic. The adventures begin when Alfalfa breaks the rules of his “Womun Hater’s Club” and falls for Darla.

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Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and finally confront the decision whether to let their relationship develop into romance.

Jennifer Garner, Kylie Rogers, Martin Henderson • director: Patricia Riggen • drama • PG • 109 minutes

Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher • director: Rob Reiner • comedy • R • 96 minutes

Travis Tedford, Bug Hall, Brittany Ashton Holmes • director: Penelope Spheeris • comedy, family • PG • 83 minutes

Audio Channels Channel 5 • The Hits

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Channel 9 • Irie Vibes

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Channel 6 • Soft Hits

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The Jungle Book

Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba • director: Jon Favreau • action, adventure • PG • 96 minutes

J U L Y

Pelé: Birth of a Legend


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PANAMA

Georgetown Paramaribo

Bogota COLOMBIA

GUYANA GUYANA

C O L O M B I A

ECUADOR

Barbados

Quito

SURINAME

FRENCH GUIANA

Rio Negro

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Gulf of

R.

Rio

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parting shot

Beach blush

B

arbudaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sandy shores owe their delicate pink blush to marine creatures living in nearby waters. Corals, molluscs, and tiny organisms called foraminifera, pulverised by waves and transported by tides, lend their rosy hues to the islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gorgeous beaches, stretching for mile upon blissful mile. Photography by BlueOrange Studio/ Shutterstock.com

128 WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


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Caribbean Beat — July/August 2016 (#140)  

Inside this issue: • Events around the Caribbean in July and August, from a diving festival in Dominica to Carnival in St Lucia • Barbados...

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