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Contents

No. 147 September/October 2017

36

40 EMBARK

IMMERSE

ARRIVE

19 Datebook

40 snapshot

50 Escape

His passion for film started when he was growing up in Barbados. It led Jason Jeffers to make the awardwinning short documentary Papa Machete, and to found the Third Horizon Caribbean Film Festival in Miami. What these initiatives have in common, he tells Nailah Folami Imoja, is a dedication to telling Caribbean stories and changing the way the world imagines our islands

Near the southern end of the Antillean chain, St Vincent and the Grenadines is one country made up of thirty-two islands. Welcome to the charms of Caribbean Airlines’ latest destination — from the clear turquoise water of the Tobago Cays to St Vincent’s volcanic black beaches, to the gingerbread cottages of Mustique and the boat-builders of Bequia

44 Q&A

58 neighbourhood

With his debut book Make Us All Islands shortlisted for a prestigious Forward Prize, BVI poet Richard Georges is the latest Caribbean writer to make a splash beyond home shores. He talks to Shivanee Ramlochan about the special challenges of writing from a small place

Far from Georgetown and the Atlantic coast, Guyana’s raffish border town is a gateway to neighbouring Brazil — and to the adventures of the Rupununi, with its rolling savannahs, misty mountains, forests, birds, and beasts

Events around the Caribbean in September and October, from Diwali in Guyana to the World Creole Music Festival in Dominica

26 Word of Mouth Hook, line, sinker: a fishing tournament in Antigua means equal parts exhilaration and exhaustion, and a one-off public holiday commemorates the First Peoples and indigenous heritage of Trinidad and Tobago

32 Bookshelf, playlist, and screenshots This month’s reading, listening, and film-watching picks, to keep you culturally up-to-date

36 Cookup

best of brew Coffee grown in the Caribbean is some of the world’s finest. Pricey Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica’s high elevations is celebrated by connoisseurs — but can locals actually afford it? And what can Trinidad and Tobago’s farmers learn from Jamaica as they seek to revive their own coffee production? Franka Philip talks to the experts about the present state and future prospects for the business of coffee beans 10

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Stories like ours

“I let the tides tug me along”

46 backstory

A voice for all As head of the Association of Caribbean States, appointed in 2016, St Lucian June Soomer keeps regional integration high on the agenda. She tells Shelly-Ann Inniss how her career as historian and diplomat prepared her for this trailblazing new role

One destination, 32 islands

Lethem, Guyana

60 travellers’ tales

An archipelago diary The islands of the Aegean Sea are the original archipelago, which has lent its name to scatterings of islands everywhere else in the world. Under the baking summer sun, Philip Sander explores the Cyclades, from picturesque hill villages to ancient ruins to glistening bays, and feels oddly at home


CaribbeanBeat An MEP publication

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Editor Nicholas Laughlin General manager Halcyon Salazar Online marketing Caroline Taylor Design artists Kevon Webster & Bridget van Dongen Editorial assistant Shelly-Ann Inniss

Business Development Manager Trinidad Yuri Chin Choy T: (868) 460 0068, 622 3821 F: (868) 628 0639 E: yuri@meppublishers.com

ENGAGE 68 Green

Business Development Manager Tobago Evelyn Chung T: (868) 684 4409 F: (868) 628 0639 E: evelyn@meppublishers.com

Halcyon Salazar T: (868) 622 3821 F: (868) 628 0639 E: hsalazar@meppublishers.com

Redonda rescue Tiny Redonda, with its steep and barren cliffs, is home to colonies of seabirds, rare lizards found nowhere else — and, until recently, hordes of invasive goats and rats. But a new restoration project aims to return Redona to its original inhabitants. Erline Andrews learns more

70On this day

Media & Editorial Projects Ltd. 6 Prospect Avenue, Maraval, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago T: (868) 622 3821/5813/6138 • F: (868) 628 0639 E: caribbean-beat@meppublishers.com Website: www.meppublishers.com

The Lüders affair One hundred and twenty years ago, a minor dispute in Port-au-Prince escalated into an international incident, with the German navy threatening to bombard the city. James Ferguson remembers this episode in the long history of foreign powers meddling in Haiti’s affairs

72 puzzles Our crossword, word search, and other brain-teasers

78 Onboard entertainment

Read and save issues of Caribbean Beat on your smartphone, tablet, computer, and favourite digital devices!

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 2017. All rights reserved. ISSN 1680–6158. 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

Keep yourself entertained in the air, with new and classic movies and eight audio channels

80 parting shot Puerto Rico’s Cueva Ventana offers visitors a stunning natural view of the Arecibo valley

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.

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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AdvertoriAl Gareth Jenkins and Petrice Jones, lead actors in Play the Devil

Challenging yet exciting times ahead for Caribbean film

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hen the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) began in 2006, few local films were being made and there wasn’t much of an audience for Caribbean cinema. But the recent trajectory of local features with international appeal suggests things are changing. Films such as God Loves the Fighter, Play the Devil, and The Cutlass have all played to sold-out audiences during the ttff, won awards for best T&T film, and have gone on to successfully screen in other parts of the world. The latest two narrative features to have their Caribbean premieres at ttff/17 — Green Days by the River (Michael Mooleedhar, T&T, 2017) and Moko Jumbie (Vashti Anderson, T&T/USA, 2017) — are expected to perform similarly.

There are a number of organisations working to support the development of a Caribbean film industry, including the University of the West Indies film programme, FilmTT, and of course the ttff, presented by Flow, whose annual exhibition of films takes place in September. With a mission to facilitate the growth of Caribbean cinema, the festival is currently taking stock of what has been achieved and its next critical steps. Following feedback from its stakeholders, the festival has already begun to provide training in script development and will continue with training workshops during this year’s festival, from 19 to 26 September. A day of panels and presentations to support co-productions is also carded, as well as a focus on women in film. As an increasing number of quality local films are being produced, despite limited funding, there’s much to be excited about for Caribbean film.

The 2016 ttff team

The recent trajectory of local features with international appeal suggests things are changing

Christian James and Michael Mooleedhar, the producer and director of Green Days by the River


Cover Bequia‘s colourful coconut boats Photo mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

ADVERTORIAL

“Thank you for calling 211...”

T This issue’s contributors include: Erline Andrews (“Redonda rescue”, page 68) is an award-winning journalist with almost two decades of experience in the field. Her work has appeared in publications in Trinidad and Tobago and the US, including the Chicago Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor magazine. James Ferguson (“The Lüders affair”, page 70) is a UK-based writer and editor, and longtime contributor to Caribbean Beat. He is the proprietor of Signal Books. Nailah Folami Imoja (“Stories like ours”, page 40) is an award-winning Barbadian-British writer and educator whose favourite aspect of Barbados is its people. Her novellas include Colourblind, To Protect & Serve, and Fantasy Fulfilled, and are available via www.smashwords.com. From an initial background in finance, Shelly-Ann Inniss (“A voice for all”, page 46) decided to explore her love for writing and media. A Trinidadbased Barbadian writer and editorial assistant at Caribbean Beat, she is an explorer and adventureseeker at heart. Franka Philip (“Best of brew”, page 36) is a Trinidadian journalist who is deeply passionate about food and food issues. She is features editor for the Trinidad Guardian. Shivanee Ramlochan (“I let the tides tug me along”, page 44) is a Trinidadian poet and arts reporter, and Bookshelf editor for Caribbean Beat. She also writes about books for the NGC Bocas Lit Fest and Paper Based Bookshop, Trinidad and Tobago’s oldest independent Caribbean specialty bookseller. She is the deputy editor of The Caribbean Review of Books.

his is the courteous service offered by the competent staff of the 211 Contact Centre in Tobago, as they disseminate accurate information to residents and visitors of the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Tobago Information Technology Limited (TITL) manages and operates the 211 Contact Centre. TITL is a “special purpose company” of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), staffed by over seventy specially trained personnel. TITL’s mission is to facilitate the increase of digital opportunities that will improve the socioeconomic development of Tobago and Trinidad through the use of information and communication technology (ICT). By simply dialing a three-digit number, 211, the centre provides Tobago residents and visitors with information on the nine divisions of the THA, other government services, as well as directory services for businesses throughout Tobago and Trinidad, by extension. TITL also provides twenty-four-hour access to emergency service providers (TTPS, TTFS, TEMA, and TEMS), as well as facilitating a free Emergency Medical Alert System (EMAS) for the elderly and differently-abled citizens. Calls to 211 can be made from anywhere in T&T. TITL’s growing database is capable of providing customer insights, and callers can expect a call-back on information not readily available. Call centre services such as telephone surveys and telemarketing are also conducted. Information on the Tobago Jazz Experience, Tobago Heritage Festival, Easter goat races, and other festivals is readily available. Other TITL Services include: • The Employment Exchange Bureau (EXB) is easily accessed via its website www.tobagojobs.gov.tt and represents the commitment of the THA to provide a synergy between employers and jobseekers, particularly in Tobago. • The IT literacy and community walk-in computer programs offers free Internet access and computer literacy training to residents as young as five years, facilitating human resource capital development in Tobago. • Professional IT Certifications and Tertiary programs • Video call conferencing • Medical and legal transcription TITL can be contacted by calling 211 or 1 (868) 635 1941. Next time you’re in Tobago and need information on “Anything Tobago,” remember to call 211.

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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A MESSAGE From THE CARIBBEAN AIRLINES TEAM

At Caribbean Airlines, it is our privilege to serve you. We are committed to providing safe, reliable, value-added service throughout our nineteen-destination network. As part of our mission to enhance your travel experience, our city ticket office located on the mezzanine floor of the Parkade Building, at the corner of Queen and Richmond Streets in Port of Spain, Trinidad, has been outfitted with state of the art ticketing kiosks. Now you have the choice of conducting business without having to join the traditional line. You may use the kiosks to conduct all transactions that are currently available on the Caribbean Airlines website. It is our vision to eventually place kiosks in hotel lobbies, malls, and other high-traffic areas for your easy access and convenience. Be assured that the kiosks are secure, as special software is used which limits browsing to the Caribbean Airlines website. Earlier this year, RBC and Caribbean Airlines signed an agreement to renew our ten-year partnership. This milestone in our successful relationship represents another example of our commitment to our customers and to the communities we serve. As companies with a distinguished legacy in the Caribbean and with a strong presence and representation globally, RBC and Caribbean Airlines appreciate the importance of partnership and of continuously innovating to deliver value. The signing of the agreement paved the way for the launch of the new RBC Caribbean Airlines Visa Platinum credit card. The new card gives you greater choice and opens a world of opportunity with additional benefits like travel insurance and concierge services to make your travel experience more convenient and enjoyable.  Our business is rapidly evolving, with technology and the changing needs of our customers driving the pace of that evolution. It calls for us to be a different type of airline: to be agile, bold, courageous, and flexible, to forge strong and lasting partnerships, and to be innovative. As a business, we keep asking ourselves what’s next: what do our customers want and what do they need. And we are constantly challenging ourselves to deliver the right products and services and a differentiated experience that gives you the convenience, the choice, and the freedom that you want. 14

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As we continue to celebrate our tenth anniversary this year, there will be more exciting developments. Look out for special promotions in the months of September and October, which will enable you to travel to destinations throughout our network. Some popular upcoming events include the annual Labour Day Parade in New York, which takes place on 4 September. Caribbean culture and history are celebrated in the weeks leading up to this lively street party along Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. From 9 to 13 October, Grenada will be abuzz with activity when the Caribbean Tourism Organistion hosts the annual State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC). At this event, Caribbean tourism policy-makers, public and private sector partners, and travel professionals gather to discuss issues, and identify solutions and ways to keep the region competitive, which benefits our tourism industry. Please check the Datebook section of the magazine for a full list of upcoming events for September and October, and take your complimentary copy of Caribbean Beat with you. Visit our website at www.caribbean-airlines.com, become a fan by liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ caribbeanairlines and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @iflycaribbean. Thank you for choosing Caribbean Airlines — we value your business and look forward to serving you throughout our network. Yours in service, The Employees of Caribbean Airlines


Destination:

The RBC® Caribbean Airlines Visa‡ Platinum personal and business credit cards are everything you need. With Caribbean Miles and exclusive travel benefits, it’s your perfect travel partner. Start your journey. Apply now at rbc.com/miles-platinum.

The RBC® Caribbean Airlines Visa‡ Platinum credit cards are available to nationals of Trinidad and Tobago only ® /™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. ‡ Trademark(s) are the property of their respective owner(s).


Escape the ordinary. Discover Hyatt Regency Trinidad. It’s good not to be home.

The newly renovated Hyatt Regency Trinidad sets the perfect mood for conversation, leisure, special events, business or your next getaway. Come experience our enhanced spaces; luxurious suites with spectacular gulf views, relax and unwind in our locally inspired spa and rooftop infinity pool overlooking the gulf. Enjoy world-class cuisine at Waterfront restaurant. Our upgraded facilities are designed to accommodate weddings, events and parties of all sizes. While you’re here, get the most out of your stay. For reservations, visit trinidad.hyatt.com HYATT REGENCY TRINIDAD 1 Wrightson Road, Port of Spain 868 623 2222 The HYATT trademark and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation or its affiliates. ©2016 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.


datebook

amanda richards

Your guide to Caribbean events in September and October, from Carnivals to food festivals

Don’t miss . . . Diwali 19 October Guyana Tiny deyas twinkle in the night. Their small rays bring hope and positivity, as Mother Lakshmi, the goddess of light and prosperity, is venerated and celebrated. It’s Diwali — also known as Deepavali and Divali in other parts of the world — the Hindu festival of light. In Guyana, families come together, saying prayers in front of the Lakshmi murti before illuminating the first deya. Sweets are shared as a form of goodwill, and rangoli — intricate artworks made from coloured rice, sand, or powder — are designed on the floor. Don’t miss the motorcade held by the Guyana

Hindu Sabha, where impressive illuminated floats pass through the streets to the sounds of tassa drums, bhajans, and chowtals. Temples across the country also compete to win the award for the best lit and decorated float. And everyone is welcome. Of course, Diwali is also celebrated in Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and other Caribbean countries with Hindu communities.

How to get there? Caribbean Airlines operates daily flights to Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana, Piarco International Airport in Trinidad, and Johann Pengel International Airport in Suriname from destinations in the Caribbean and North America WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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datebook

If you’re in . . . NEW YORK CITY

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

DOMINICA

Labour Day West Indian Carnival

Patrons of Queen’s Hall Honour Performance

World Creole Music Festival

4 September Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn wiadcacarnival.org

21 October Queen’s Hall, Port of Spain

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mark lyndersay courtesy queen’s hall

Anika Photography courtesy WIADCA

in the home of the Caribbean’s North American diaspora: Brooklyn. Its legacy has continued for fifty years, with an ever-growing turnout on Eastern Parkway. Over two million participants combine their voices and waistlines, singing and jamming to top soca hits. Don’t be surprised to see seniors wining down low, commemorating the milestone and paying homage to their heritage. And the work of the West Indian Carnival Association goes beyond the magnificent parade: it also presents college scholarships and organises cultural workshops and networking events. Five treasured days of festivities lead up to the finale. Music trucks, food, and colourful costumes fill the parkway. Be sure to indulge in the gastronomic treats from almost every island in the Caribbean. And don’t forget your flag and earplugs!

repertoire includes over thirteen Road March songs, leading to wins for David Rudder, Calypso Rose, and Superblue. Now these outstanding careers are being celebrated at the Patrons of Queen’s Hall 2017 Honour Performance. The Patrons are an NGO promoting the development of theatre arts in T&T. The proceeds from the event go towards recognising artistes and artistic events in the country’s theatrical history. So this is more more than just a show: it’s about the preservation of legacies.

Have you heard of the festival that never sleeps? Dominica, the otherwise quiet nature-rich isle in the north Leewards, annually attracts over ten thousand people to its World Creole Music Festival, the highlight of International Creole Month every October. At the heart of Dominica’s culture

Emily Eriksson/shutterstock.com

Music is like food. It provides sustenance, changes moods, and allows us to travel to places we’ve never been. It digs deep, touching parts of the soul not easily accessed. The marriage of beautiful melodies to well-crafted lyrics inspires, heightens consciousness, and enables many a reverie. Music is art. And art is power. Over the years, rapso groups 3Canal and musical arranger Pelham Goddard have created musical landmarks in their homeland, Trinidad and Tobago. In 1997, 3Canal made a pivotal turn in Trinidad’s Carnival music with their hit song “Blue”. In 1999, “Talk Yuh Talk” became “an anthem for the dispossessed and voiceless.” Meanwhile, Goddard’s

It doesn’t matter how far you roam, elements of home inevitably bubble inside you. In New York City, the first Caribbean Carnival was held in the streets of Harlem in the 1940s. If you guessed it was organised by a Trinidadian, you’re right. Later on came the annual West Indian Carnival

27 to 29 October Windsor Park dominicafestivals.com

is its French-based Creole language, widely spoken. The World Creole Music Festival showcases Dominica’s heritage with a strong focus on fusions of other genres with Creole forms. Kompa from Haiti, zouk from Guadeloupe and Martinique, soukous from West Africa, zydeco from Louisiana, and Dominica’s own bouyon will blend with soca, calypso, dancehall, and other popular genres. This year, for three pulsating nights, the star-studded performers will include the Zouk All Stars, singer Orlane from Réunion in the Indian Ocean, Francky Vincent from Guadeloupe, Stéphane Ravor from Martinique, and Bunji Garlin and FayAnn Lyons from T&T. Even if you’ve never uttered a word of Creole, you’ll leave with an enhanced vocabulary — who knows, you might even be able to recite the chorus of a song. Event previews by Shelly-Ann Inniss


SURINAME

Maroon Day 10 October Venues around Suriname Kwinti. Today, they make up almost a fifth of the country’s population. After Independence from the Netherlands in 1975, and even through the brutal days of the Surinamese civil war in the 1980s and 90s, the Maroons maintained a strong sense of identity and devotion to their way of life. Official recognition of their importance in Suriname’s history and development came as recently as 2011, when the first Maroon Day was recognised as a national public holiday. Maroon Day is an opportunity to contemplate the resourcefulness and courage of those ancestors who took freedom in their own hands, and to celebrate Maroon art — especially renowned for textiles and wood-carving — as well as music, dance, and food. And the rest of the year, one of the best places to experience Maroon culture is the town of Moengo, which — under the leadership of Ndjuka artist Marcel Pinas — has become a creative epicentre, with everything from a sculpture park to a school of performing arts.

Ariadne Van Zandbergen

With its mix of ancestries and languages from four continents, Suriname may be the most ethnically diverse country in the Caribbean region. In this complicated spectrum of heritages, Suriname’s Maroons stand out, for their historical resilience as much as their rich, visually distinctive culture. As elsewhere in the Caribbean, the name “Maroon” signifies the descendants of enslaved Africans who managed to escape plantation bondage, finding refuge in remote regions of Suriname’s interior. In 1760, unable to subjugate the Maroons despite the advantage of superior numbers and weaponry, the Dutch colonial authorities signed a peace treaty granting the Maroons autonomy. Over generations, they formed communities adapted to life in the forest, where numerous rivers serve as highways for trade and, when necessary, escape routes. Drawing on memory of their ancestral life in west and central Africa, and learning from the survival techniques of Suriname’s indigenous peoples, the Maroons evolved into a series of independent tribes, like the Saramaca, the Ndjuka, and the

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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datebook

Sweet September Antigua Warriors Cup International Soccer Tournament

clifton li

Upcoming young football stars take to the field as they compete for the coveted trophy [27 August to 10 September]

Toronto International Film Festival Johnny Jno-Baptiste

TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto tiff.net Film-lovers enjoy premieres and screenings of some of the year’s best films from around the world [7 to 17 September] Started 27 August

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Relax… Rejuvenate… Reconnect • • • • • •

Warm friendly service Peaceful cosy rooms Yoga and massage Organic herb gardens World-renowned restaurant Live band on weekends

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Come home to yourself… come home to Kariwak… where Tobago begins.

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Curaçao PRIDE Venues around Curaçao curacaopride.com Rainbow flags fly high along Queen Emma Bridge, embracing five days of non-stop celebration by the LGBT community [27 September to 1 October]

Sunset Jazz in Frederiksted

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OlegDoroshin/shutterstock.com

St Croix, US Virgin Islands Unwind to various forms of jazz against a backdrop of palm trees, playful waves, golden sand, and a gorgeous sunset [15 September]

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GOOD prices

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Bambú GIFT SHOP

Rare & exotic arts and crafts made in the Caribbean Lovely Caribbean wear, collectibles, accessories and much more...

Cnr Crompstain & Milford Rds, Crown Point, Tobago Tel: (868) 639-8660 goodeatstobago

#199 Milford Road, Crown Point, Tobago T. 868-639-8133 E: mariela0767@hotmail.com WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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datebook

Obsessed with October

Miami Carnival Venues around Miami miamibrowardcarnival.com The Miami heat gets kicked up a notch with J’Ouvert, pan competitions, and parades to rival other Caribbean Carnivals [8 October]

Pure Grenada Dive Fest Fotoluminate LLC/shutterstock.com

Grenada and Carriacou Ready to take the plunge? Free beach dives, underwater photography competitions, and a day exploring the wrecks are some of the adventures on offer [11 to 14 October]

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Carriacou Corn Festival courtesy festival of speeed 2016

Footprints Behind the Sand resort Roast corn, corn soup, and corn bread are usual suspects. Discover lots more scrumptious possibilities of the locally grown staple [29 October]

Festival of Speed

Jamaica Food and Drink Festival

Bushy Park, Barbados bushyparkbarbados.com Fuel your need for speed in a vibrant atmosphere with vehicles from around the world, stuntmen, Formula One World Champion Driver Jenson Button, and a spectacular show of twister aerobatics [14 October]

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Venues around Kingston jafoodanddrink.com Enlighten your senses with culinary mastery and tasteful vibes at this highly anticipated — and delicious — affair [21 to 29 October]

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word of mouth

istock.com/byrond

Dispatches from our correspondents around the Caribbean and further afield

The line of victory Vicky James feels the exhilaration of the struggle at Antigua’s Francis Nunes Jr Memorial Fishing Tournament

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t’s 3.30 am and my alarm is blaring. I groggily turn it off and force myself to get out of bed. I don’t bother showering — I know it’s going to be a hot, sweaty day. I put on some jean shorts and an old t-shirt and jump in the car for the ride down to English Harbour. It’s still dark when we get there. We park up and make our way to the boat that’s been waiting since last night. The captain slept on the boat and the rest of the crew is already on board. We start getting ready for the 6 am start of the tournament. The sun is now rising as we and the other boats leaving from English Harbour make our way to our favourite fishing spot — nearly thirty miles offshore. At exactly 6 o’clock, our lines hit the water. Another Francis Nunes Jr Memorial Fishing Tournament — named for one of Antigua’s most avid sports fishermen, who died in 2008 — has begun. If you’ve never been sports fishing, it’s an experience not for the faint of heart. Hours and hours in the hot sun, trolling back and forth along the bank

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where the Antiguan land shelf drops into the deep blue sea. Hours of boredom, watching the lines jerk and shiver, waiting, waiting . . . until snap! The line jumps and the reel starts to scream. It’s a strike! The crew jump up and pull in all the lines except the one that’s hooked the fish. The captain choses a crew member to take the line. Since it’s a competition, there are rules in place. Only one person can set the hook and reel in the fish, but help is allowed to bring the rod to the angler, so as I seat myself in the fighting chair, it’s handed to me with the reel still screaming while the line lets out. It’s a good size fish. We’re not sure what — we’re hoping for a kingfish or wahoo. I adjust the drag on the reel so the line slows and the screaming stops. I pull hard on the rod. The tip lifts above my head and I quickly let it fall to waist height, reeling frantically as I do so. I have to remember to guide the line on to the reel so it doesn’t tangle. I repeat the motion, and again, and again. My arms and shoulders are starting to burn, but I’m getting line back on the reel. Zing! And the fish has taken back all the line I’d managed to reel in. It’s exhausting, but so exhilarating. Eventually, after an hour, the fish is tiring. It still has some fight, though, and out behind the boat it jumps, trying to throw the hook. It’s a beautiful dolphin fish (also known as mahi-mahi). Its colours flash yellow and green as it jumps again, trying its best to escape. But victory is mine as I get it close enough to land on the boat. We return to the club with a few fish caught. My dolphin is nearly thirty pounds, but none of our crew wins any prizes this year. Doesn’t matter, though, we have had an amazing day at the tournament. And back on the dock there’s better to come, as a seafood festival is underway. There’s a lot to sample, with fresh fish, lobster, conch, and other seafood on sale, not to mention copious amounts of beer and rum to wash everything down. I’m sunburned and tired, but as I lime and chat with all my friends, I’m already looking forward to the 2017 event, scheduled for 23 September.

For more information on the 2017 Francis Nunes Jr Memorial Fishing Tournament, visit www.antiguabarbudasportsfishing. com


edison boodoosingh

word of mouth

First comes first Nixon Nelson explains the significance of Trinidad and Tobago’s long-overdue indigenous heritage holiday in October 28

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he earliest known Trinidadian is an individual known as Banwari Man. That’s the name given by archaeologists to the skeleton found in 1969 at Banwari Trace in south Trinidad, buried in a shell midden and dated to around 3,400 BC. That far back, it’s possible Trinidad was still connected to Venezuela by a land bridge across the Gulf of Paria. So the human history of Trinidad began even before it was an island. Most Trinidadians today still use the old anthropological term “Amerindians” to refer to these indigenous First Peoples. For several thousand years they lived in communities across the island whose names are still in use, like Mucurapo and Chaguaramas, Chaguanas and Arima. They had complex social systems, trade links with the South American mainland and with the Antilles to the north — the geographical location of Trinidad would


have made it a kind of transport hub connecting continent and archipelago — and a rich culture. Trinidad was “Amerindian” territory for several thousand years, and by comparison the five centuries since the arrival of other peoples from across the Atlantic, in the persons of Christopher Columbus and his crew, are a blip on the historical timescale. The island was called Iere for far longer than it’s been called Trinidad. For all that, the average citizen of T&T remains largely ignorant of this aspect of the country’s past. At school, we’re taught a distorted and simplified version of history, involving “peaceful” Arawaks and “warlike” Caribs who were almost completely “wiped out” by the aggression of Spanish conquistadors and by disease — leaving only a small, isolated remnant in the foothills of the Northern Range near Arima, the Santa Rosa Carib Community. In the past decade and a half, there’s been a small but growing movement to rewrite this misleading old narrative, led by members of the Santa Rosa Community themselves. We’ve been reminded that historical records identify multiple indigenous groups — not just “Arawaks” and “Caribs” — flourishing in Trinidad up to the seventeenth century. Far from being “wiped out,” their descendants went underground, as it were, adopting new names and adapting to changing circumstances in the first decades of Spanish colonisation, intermarrying with new arrivals to the island — an untold number of Trinidadians have indigenous ancestry, and most don’t know it — but quietly preserving their history, culture, and deep knowledge of Trinidad’s natural environment. These unfamiliar facts have been explored in creative forms by artists like the writer and filmmaker Tracy Assing, and documented by scholars like the American anthropologist Maximilian Forte. Meanwhile, the voices of the Santa Rosa Community have grown ever louder, demanding that Trinidad and Tobago’s indigenous history be recognised for its place at the heart of the country’s national story. It’s a campaign that was only helped by the discovery of an indigenous burial site during restoration work on the Red House, seat of Parliament in Port of Spain. The symbolism couldn’t be more clear: the structure representing T&T’s sovereignty and democracy has indigenous remains in its literal foundations. For centuries, the Roman Catholic festival of Santa Rosa in late August has been adopted by the Carib community as a celebration of their own heritage, and in recent years it’s been the start of a weeks-long commemoration of indigenous history. And in 2017, for the first time, there will be a special national public holiday in recognition of the First Peoples’ overlooked contribution to the development of modern Trinidad and Tobago, on 13 October. Some members of the Santa Rosa Community have questioned the value of a single one-off day of commemoration after centuries of deliberate amnesia. But the community as a whole has welcomed the gesture, and issued a “homecoming call,” inviting citizens to participate and make the indigenous heritage holiday a truly national event. Simply having the holiday declared, after extensive lobbying, is an achievement, to be sure. But just as surely, it’s only the beginning. n

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ADVERTORIAL

Introducing the all-new

It’s a bold evolution of the Swift’s DNA. Completely new styling, a performance-enhancing lightweight chassis and advanced safety technologies.


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t’s a bold evolution of the Swift’s DNA. Completely new styling, a performance-enhancing lightweight chassis, and advanced safety technologies. Swift Chief Engineer Masao Kobori says, “We set out to create a car that makes people go ‘WOW!’ the instant they see it, the instant they get inside, and the instant they step on the accelerator.” Top Gear summed it up as “Another great product from Suzuki, the Swift is a cracking and likeable supermini.” Introducing the new Suzuki Swift! With more than 5.4 million sold, the new Suzuki Swift continues to exude an overwhelming sense of presence. From the outside, the new Swift is more muscular and emotive with a well-grounded look that is wider and aggressive and a body that is shorter and lower. The blacked-out A pillars create the appearance of a “floating roof” and the LED signature illumination used in the headlamps and rear-combination lamps scream high-tech sophistication. With the entire range weighing less than a tonne and even as little as

840 kg, the new Swift provides a dynamic driving experience that is safe, stable, and exciting. The new Swift rests on Suzuki’s new-generation lightweight, rigid “HEARTECT” platform, which delivers enhanced vehicle performance and collision safety. Newly designed lightweight suspension helps to retain the Swift’s characteristic direct-response steering while providing a supple and comfortable ride. Reinvigorated power units ensure lively performance without sacrificing Suzuki’s customary excellent fuel economy. The new Swift comes equipped with the 1.2-litre, 16-valve engine. Get inside, and the bold evolution of the Swift’s DNA continues. The instrument panel has sporty white accents and satin chrome is used throughout the cockpit in conjunction with a black tonal base to create a stunning high-contrast interior space. Interior room has been improved with more vertical and lateral headroom for passengers seated in the rear and increased lateral room for passengers in the front. An amazing 265 litres of luggage space allows for expanded storage capacity without sacrificing any exterior styling. Sporty, high-quality, advanced, and just simply easy to own, the love affair Caribbean people have had with the Suzuki Swift looks set to continue with the introduction of this latest model.

Contact your local Suzuki dealer today to arrange a test drive! More information can be found at www.suzukicaribbean.com.


Bookshelf Hadriana in All My Dreams, by René Depestre, translated by Kaiama L. Glover (Akashic Books, 256 pp, ISBN 9781617756191) Here is a novel about Haitian zombies, originally published in French in 1988, that has witnessed a revival of its own. Kaiama L. Glover’s robust, inventive English translation brings the reader a bounty of words to reference carnal delights. In Hadriana in All My Dreams the flesh may be departed, but the spirits within these pages are rosy, robust, and more than a little racy. The year is 1938. Fair Hadriana Siloé, beloved by all in the southern Haitian village of Jacmel, perishes the moment she utters her wedding vows. The jewel of Jacmel loses no power in death, however: her wedding fete morphs into a funerary fiesta. Yet even as the lush, baroque bacchanal of wedding guests turned wake-goers parades in the streets, Hadriana skips the grave for a less interred incarnation. Transformed into a zombie by a nefarious predator, she must contend with the forces of nature and the cruel passage of time in her quest for peace, freedom

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from persecution, and the possibility of posthumous true love. Depestre, a grandfather of Haitian literature, spins a sensuous romp that serves up equal helpings of the historically contemplative and the handsomely entertaining. In the watchful eyes of our narrator, “figures sculpted from the purest marble and figurines of rotten wood had come together to dance, sing, drink rum, and refuse death, kicking up the dust on my village square, which, in the midst of this general masquerade, took itself for the cosmic stage of the universe.” Hadriana in All My Dreams opens its narrative palm cheekily, cleverly, to reveal the kernel-truth of Jacmelian life, of a resurrected beauty’s power beyond pulchritude. It’s a story that contains its own universe, tucked irresistibly into an evening’s riotous, ruddycheeked read . . . suitable for sneaking into weddings and funerals alike.

Make Us All Islands, by Richard Georges (Shearsman Books, 86 pp, ISBN 9781848615274)

Rock | Salt | Stone, by Rosamond S. King (Nightboat Books, 120 pp, ISBN 9781937658618)

Shortlisted for the 2017 Felix Dennis Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the poems in Make Us All Islands come to the page garlanded in sargassum, singing the depths of the sea. Richard Georges, a Trinidad-born British Virgin Islander, brings us legacies of his islands in salt, slavery, and silence. He achieves this enviable quietude in verse by summoning watchful spaces around ancestral trauma, colonial cannibalisms, and modern-day machinery. In these swells of quietness, shorn of poetic ego, “No / body lies still as a stone / for the groping sea.” The ocean, we are reminded, is everywhere. So too is the human capacity to survive, to struggle for the shore in deep currents. Georges takes us into tidal pools and submarine catacombs, guiding our eyes to everything the sea keeps. These poems are as valuable and watchful as lighthouses dotting the Caribbean coastal chain.

The black queer woman’s body rises from the broken places and the play-spaces made lyrically active in these poems. From the “smirk-faced girl in the mirror” to a primordial, self-resurrecting goddess with “a sun setting on her eye,” King’s first collection of poems introduces us to the future as female, as transcendent and wickedly, wildly subversive. Soucouyants stalk these pages, aligned with market women, mistresses, and Madonnas of murky character. Rock | Salt | Stone heralds them without apology, wielding verse with the fertile clarity of a creator fashioning her world, using the clay, blood, and spiritual arsenal of an incendiary poetics. Not only are these poems not here to ask permission for their meanings, they also aren’t demure: untamed and untrammeled, King’s debut in verse is pepper-laced seasoning for the Caribbean poetry pot.

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Trinidad Noir: The Classics, edited by Earl Lovelace and Robert Antoni (Akashic Books, 256 pp, ISBN 9781617754357) Trinidad and Tobago has always done noir writing its own way. Think less hardboiled, more heated. The first installment of Trinidad Noir (2008) revealed a dark, incessant heart beating beneath the public and private carapaces of contemporary T&T. This second offering delivers nineteen stories from a cadre of writers, the majority of whom emerged as established voices in the republic’s march towards Independence. Classic or not, none of these stories is more Trinidadian than the other. From Lovelace’s own “Joebell and America”, which captivatingly wheels and deals in the diminishing luck of a big-time gambler, to the heartshattering finality of an East Indian labourer’s toil in “The Quiet Peasant” by Harold Sonny Ladoo, these stories sing of a fractured, fascinating land.

History of West Indies Cricket Through Calypsoes,  by Nasser Khan (212 pp, ISBN 9789769570368) Assembled with as much attention to precise detail as a scientific study, Nasser Khan’s ode to the odes beyond our boundaries is a labour of love and a marvel of research. Documenting, with full lyrics and attributions, over two hundred calypsoes about cricket between 1926 and 2016, this book spreads a recognition of the Caribbean’s own beautiful game to the edges of every known pitch. Sorting songs by celebrations, calamities, paeans to particular players, rallying calls, sharp satires, and more, History of West Indies Cricket Through Calypsoes is a serenade all its own. From Mighty Lingo to Machel Montano, Alison Hinds to Atilla the Hun, cricket champions will thrill to the news that there’s a ditty for nearly every scenario: win, lose, draw, and more. For every player and stadium-going pundit who despairs that the future of Windies cricket is bleak, here’s a songbook of the sport that’s worth rallying around.

ADVERTORIAL

Tobago student wins Eric Williams essay competition

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afiya Moore of Bishop’s High School Tobago is the most recent winner of the Eric Williams School Bags Essay Competition. Open to all lower and upper sixth form (CAPE or equivalent) students in the seventeen English-speaking countries of the Caribbean, the competition was organised by The Eric Williams Memorial Collection (EWMC). The “School Bags” essay competition was named after a statement by late scholarstatesman Eric Williams, who led the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for a quarter century until his death in 1981. On 30 August, 1962, the eve of his country’s Independence from Britain, he famously exhorted: “You, the children, yours is the great responsibility to educate your parents . . . you carry the future of [the Nation] in your school bags.” “I consider myself a global citizen who just happened to be born in Trinidad and Tobago,” says Moore. “I attended the Lambeau Anglican Primary School and Bishop’s High School, Tobago. Throughout my primary and secondary education I participated in cocurricular activities, particularly the performing arts. However, I simultaneously honed an interest in the literary arts.” Moore’s winning essay was published by the Trinidad Express newspaper and online by CARICOM Today. The full text can be found at www.today.caricom.org/wp-content/ uploads/Eric_Williams_Schools_Bay_ Essay_Competition_winner.docx

Reviews by Shivanee Ramlochan, Bookshelf editor

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playlist

Pan Roots Culture Kareem Thompson (self-released) Brooklyn-born pannist Kareem Thompson revels in his Trinidadian heritage on his debut album as a leader away from his band K.I.T. Caribbean Connection, fully exploring more complex jazz harmonies. The continued fusion of Caribbean rhythms and melodic phrases makes the listener recognise Thompson’s roots, and he has not strayed too far from those early cultural influences. The title track with its percussive voicing gives credence to the idea that steelpan jazz is wide open to further evolution, as those sonic cues that define the sub-genre are subtly pushed aside for an exploration of the broader range of harmonies and rhythms. “The Sun Will Shine Today” is a standout track that has the players on this album skilfully soloing. With five out of seven tracks composed by Thompson, this album is a showcase for a rising talent in pan jazz, hopeful to maintain the Caribbean variation of jazz music in the Americas.

Cé Biguine! Charlie Halloran (Twerk-o-Phonic) This album represents, in the twenty-first century, a kind of harking back to the music and technology of a bygone era. New Orleans trombonist Charlie Halloran and his band have recorded an album of orchestrated biguine — the music of the French Antilles created in the early twentieth century as a creole stew of Afro-Caribbean and European musical tropes — straight to 78 rpm acetate disc master, to create a modern artefact of music history. Pops and clicks like an old vinyl record give this recording a nostalgic ambience, while the music has a quality that makes you want to grab a partner and dance the night away under tropical stars. It eschews the kitsch of 1950s American tourist views of the Antilles as a playground, for a re-awakening of the musical distinctiveness and inventiveness of the creole musician. Novelty aside, this album is a keepsake for listeners wanting to understand the Caribbean’s role in the evolution of jazz. Jazz, then and now, is rewarded.

Electro Sax Elan Trotman (Island Muzik Productions) Bajan saxman Elan Trotman keeps churning out new albums at a rapid pace, as if to suggest the uptake of his new music is effective and guaranteed to be popular. With this, his seventh fulllength album since 2001, he keeps evolving his style around his smooth jazz base to eke out new niches. Utilising the electronic dance music drum elements so popular in recent times, Electro Sax redefines what is possible with Caribbean music. Aware that this album will “definitely ruffle feathers” for its modern production aesthetic — he assembled a creative team of up-and-coming producers, all Berklee College of Music alumni: Spardakis, P-Nut, Dr O, and Da Troof — Trotman is persevering in his push to promote the tropicality elements along with just great music for dancing. Debut single “Island Gyal” percolates with a sexy reggae vibe, keeping hope alive that this experiment in EDM fusion remains grounded in his Bajan roots.

Single Spotlight Say Yeah/Baila Mami Preedy/Nailah Blackman (Anson Productions) Riddim is king in both dancehall and soca music in the Caribbean. Multiple songs sharing the identical musical accompaniment would be a nightmare for a modern copyright lawyer seeking originality, but here in the Caribbean it is the fortunate fate of the music producer, who can milk as much life out of a song as can earn multiples in royalties and airplay. We like it so! “Parallel Riddim” producer Anson Soverall shares his music with fellow Trinidadians soca artist Preedy (“Say Yeah”) and rising star Nailah Blackman (“Baila Mami”), for a pair of songs with a smooth modern dancehall vibe, exploring parallel emotions that never intersect or mix. Simply, this is a groove mover with lyrics that address love, regret, and second chances (“Say Yeah”), and lust, excitement, and naïve hedonism (“Baila Mami”) — both destined to make you dance close to a partner. Reviews by Nigel A. Campbell

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SCREENSHOTS

Moko Jumbie Directed by Vashti Anderson, 2017, 93 minutes The farther we get from where we once were, the more we yearn for that place and those we associate with it. Forget that we weren’t actually born there, or that the souls we most identify with the place no longer walk its earth. Passports may tell us we are citizens of a particular country, but what are such dictates when stacked against the affinities of the heart? What if home is elsewhere? Such anxieties of being and belonging thread their way through Moko Jumbie, the first feature by Vashti Anderson, a Wisconsin-born, New York-based filmmaker, the daughter of a Trinidadian mother and a father from the United States. A supernatural search for the self as well as a tremulous, moonlit romance, Moko Jumbie is both haunting and haunted, a palpably realised fever-dream of a film. At the film’s centre is Asha (Vanna Vee Girod), a young British woman of Trinidadian parentage and Indian

Sambá Directed by Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán, 2017, 90 minutes From their first feature, Cochochi (2007), to their acclaimed drama Sand Dollars (2014), the directing duo of Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán have inched their films away from a loosely plotted, quasidocumentary form towards a more narratively traditional style. Sambá is the apotheosis of this development. Deported from the United States, Cisco (Algenis Perez Soto) takes to fighting for money on Santo Domingo’s streets. He catches the eye of the Italian Nichi (Ettore D’Alessandro, the film’s writer), a once-promising pugilist who sees coaching Cisco as a shortcut to erasing his debts. Add a romantic interest, Luna (Laura Gómez), and a subplot featuring Cisco’s estranged son Leury (Ricardo Ariel Toribio), and Sambá hits most of the boxing picture’s storytelling beats (there’s even a Rocky-style training montage). A winsomely melancholic tone, however, saves Sambá from clichéd triumphalism — except in its final moments, when Cárdenas and Guzmán wisely give in to convention. For more information, visit facebook.com/sambafilm

ethnicity. A “Paki” in England, Asha is, with her studied goth persona, no less an outsider in Trinidad, where she arrives in the summer of 1990. Staying with her watchful aunt Mary (Sharda Maharaj) on the family’s run-down coconut estate, Asha realises that all isn’t as it seems here, including her enigmatic uncle Jagessar (a scene-stealing Dinesh Maharaj). Along comes Roger (Jeremy Thomas), a pan-playing, crabcatching neighbour, one of “them Africans” in Mary’s phrase. Insouciant in his manner, with a cutlass trailing from his hand, Roger instantly catches Asha’s eye. The youngsters begin a secret affair. In lesser hands such a setup might have been steered towards more obvious ends, but Anderson — buoyed by Shlomo Godder’s lambent cinematography — elegantly sidesteps the ordinary, imbuing her heartfelt island love letter with visual wonder, lyrical depth, and an invigorating sense of the fantastic. This is a glimmering, memorable film. For more information, visit mokojumbiethefilm.com

The Watchman Directed by Alejandro Andújar, 2017, 87 minutes Ugly events unfold in beautiful surroundings in The Watchman, Alejandro Andújar’s patiently observed debut feature, about class exploitation and the insuperable divide between races in the Dominican Republic. Once a fisherman, Juan (Héctor Aníbal) now makes a lonely living as caretaker of a beach house owned by Don Victor (Archie López). Victor’s feckless son, Rich (Yasser Michelén), shows up unannounced one day for a short holiday with friends: parasitic lothario Alex (Héctor Medina), naïve village girl Karen (Julietta Rodríguez), and coy, wealthy neighbour Belissa (Paula Ferry). The elements are in place for an increasingly tense and eventually explosive chamber piece. Unlike The Maid or The Second Mother — recent Latin American cinematic portraits of domestic servitude — The Watchman isn’t interested in subverting the master-servant relationship, which adds an element of dourness to the proceedings. Aníbal gives a grimly stolid performance to match, Juan helpless and humiliated to the bitter end. For more information, visit facebook.com/ elhombrequecuida Reviews by Jonathan Ali WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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cookup

Best of brew 36

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The Caribbean region produces some of the world’s most celebrated coffee — like Jamaican Blue Mountain. But can locals afford the pricey beans? And will efforts to revive the coffee industry in Trinidad similarly pay off? Franka Philip investigates


In Japan, a cup of Blue Mountain coffee can retail for US$8 a cup. Ironically, this means the average Jamaican can’t afford their own premium coffee

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o many people say they can’t start their day properly until they drink a cup of strong coffee. In the Caribbean, where several countries can boast about producing world-class coffee, it should be easy to get a decent cup of joe. Across the region, there’s been a proliferation of coffee shops offering a cuppa and free wi-fi. In Trinidad and Tobago, for example, global coffee chain Starbucks has established four outlets over the last year. Add those to the many branches of the local coffee chain Rituals, and it would be easy to assume that a coffee culture is taking hold in the nation. But do those chains actually sell the best local or regional coffee? In short, the answer is no. Starbucks sells Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in the United States, Canada, and online. In Puerto Rico,

Starbucks sells locally sourced coffee, but it’s not available in other parts of the Caribbean. Coffee bloggers consistently rate coffee from Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Jamaica very highly. I’m not the biggest coffee drinker myself, but I’ve been introduced to a variety of coffees by connoisseur friends, and Jamaican Blue Mountain strikes me as extremely well balanced and enjoyable. According to the World Atlas of Coffee, only “coffees grown between 900 and 1,500 metres [in elevation] in the parishes of St Andrew, St Thomas, Portland, and St Mary can be referred to as Jamaica Blue Mountain.” Jamaicans speak with great pride about their national coffee, and a leading evangelist is Norman Grant, managing director and CEO of the Mavis Bank Coffee Factory. Grant is known as “Dr Coffee”, and he has over thirty-five years’ experience in the business. He is internationally certified and has worked at every level in Mavis Bank. After speaking with Grant and listening to his interviews online, it’s clear that maintaining quality — from the bean to the cup — is central to their success. “Our farmers take care of their crops. Quality is what has allowed Jamaica coffee to be at the top,” Grant tells me. In an online interview, he explains that farmers are encouraged to get the coffee to the factory within six hours of picking, and the processing begins almost immediately. Another fundamental element is managing pests and diseases. “Our bean, the arabica typica, allows certain characteristics to come out, but at the same time it is susceptible to certain diseases,” he explains. “The Jamaica Coffee Board does research to ensure that the nutrition element is good and that we’re fertilising in a timely fashion — part of quality and healthy coffee is to ensure the plant is being fed right.” Mavis Bank produces the Jablum brand, most of which is exported to places like Japan, the US, and Europe (you can also buy it at the airport in Kingston). Jablum has exclusive deals with high-end outlets like Harvey Nichols in London. In Japan, a cup of the coffee can retail for US$8 a cup. Ironically, this means the average Jamaican can’t afford their own premium coffee. And, according to the Global Voices website, Jamaicans drink a lot of tea and (gasp!) imported coffee. In this industry that brings in up to US$35 million a year for Jamaica, the farmers and producers are well rewarded. “Our coffee has always been in high demand. The supply has lingered behind the demand, and has helped to keep prices robust,’ Grant says. “The prices fluctuate, but our prices are substantially higher than what others get.” WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Caribbean coffee exports in metric tons, 2015/16

Haiti

21,000

Dominican Republic

24,000

Cuba

6,000 Jamaica

1,260 Trinidad and Tobago

720 Source: International Coffee Organisation

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hings are not as rosy at the other end of the Caribbean, where the Trinidad and Tobago coffee industry is in decline. Some of the factors contributing to this are high labour costs, farm inefficiency, ageing farmers, and the inability of the sector to attract young people. This is in contrast to the cocoa industry, which is battling against similar odds but enjoying something of a renaissance. While T&T’s cocoa has a history of excellence, and is used by the world’s leading chocolate makers, it’s not the same for the country’s coffee. “The local coffee industry is practically dead,” says lifelong coffee farmer Sham Rampersad. “The prices that were paid to the farmers by the Cocoa and Coffee Industry Board over recent years were not viable for the investments made by the farmers to upkeep this long-term business venture.” Rampersad’s grandparents owned cocoa and coffee estates, and his parents were buying agents for the national coffee board for many years. These familial bonds have engendered his love and passion for cocoa and coffee, he explains. The south Trinidad farmer belongs to the Cocoa and Coffee Marketing Co-operative Society Ltd (CCMCSL), an organisation that seeks the interests of cocoa and coffee producers. “The volume of coffee beans purchased is declining rapidly. To increase production, the stigma of being a farmer has to change,” Rampersad says. “[We need] an education drive to show a successful business model. That has to capture the youthful entrepreneurs with the objective of showing that cocoa and coffee farming is a business that could change the community in which you live.” Trinidad’s coffee isn’t awful, but it’s definitely not as well balanced as Jamaican Blue Mountain. However, many locals swear by long-established brands like Hong Wing and Chief, and are comforted by the familiarity of the taste. “Our coffee beans are called robusta, whereas the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans are arabica,” Rampersad says. “Both are different in planting material, taste, and price. As the name says, our variety is a more robust plant, and a taste which all locals have grown accustomed to.” Robusta beans have a higher caffeine content, and this means

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the coffee they produce is more bitter. One way to counteract this is to pay more attention to the roasting process. This is the belief of Hanson Harribans, who along with his wife Shalimar is behind the Trinidad-based online artisan coffee retailer Roastel. In an interview with a local newspaper, Harribans explained that it’s difficult to get an even roast from robusta beans, and most local roasters tend to burn the bean in the process. But “you could apply a modern approach to it, a different roast profile, and combine that with different ways of brewing the coffee, and you could acquire a really nice taste from the robusta,” he says. Like Sham Rampersad, Harribans and his wife are from coffee families. He acknowledges the difficulties facing the coffee sector, and says they have used creative strategies to come up with a premium product. It seems to be working. More T&T restaurants and small coffee shops are stocking Roastel coffee. Their Harmony blend, a mix of local and imported beans introduced in 2016, has been well received. “We have achieved tremendous range with this flavour profile by delicately contrasting a lightly roasted Peruvian bean with a dark roasted Rio Claro robusta,” Harribans says on his blog Coffee Corner. “With the aim of using as much local content as we can, we’re moving full steam ahead in our journey to provide fresh, premium coffee and to create a new-wave coffee culture in our lovely T&T.”

Robusta beans have a higher caffeine content, and this means the coffee they produce is more bitter. One way to counteract this is to pay more attention to the roasting process Bringing the coffee sector back to life is the mission for Rampersad and his colleagues in the CCMCSL. They are working with T&T’s Ministry of Labour to establish small co-operatives in coffee-growing areas. The CCMCSL has streamlined the method of coffee processing and packaging, and they are finding markets in which to sell the coffee on behalf of the farmers. “We can help them develop the value-added products, and it is our aim to eventually provide all the hotels and guest houses with ground coffee,” says Rampersad. “This is a much better way of operating, because the farmers in their own co-operatives will get a better price for their coffee.” These forward-looking approaches to revitalising the coffee industry are a good place to start if Trinidad coffee is eventually going to be a player on the world stage. n


courtesy third horizon

Immerse

Snapshot 40 Stories like ours

Q&A 44 “I let the tides tug me

along”

Backstory 46 A voice for all

The Professor, star of Jason Jeffers’s film Papa Machete


SNAPSHOT

Stories like ours As a twelve-year-old in Barbados, Jason Jeffers was given a book about Alfred Hitchcock, starting a lifelong fascination with film. With his award-winning short documentary Papa Machete, he set out to tell the kind of Caribbean story that doesn’t make it into mainstream narratives. And, as he explains to Nailah Folami Imoja, the same objective drives the Third Horizon Film Festival, which Jeffers founded in Miami last year: to change the image of the Caribbean in the popular imagination Photography courtesy Third Horizon 40

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aribbean history is more important now, in these times when we are dealing with Brexit and Trump and the concept of diversity, than ever before,” says filmmaker Jason Jeffers. “There is nowhere more diverse than the Caribbean. If you want to investigate diversity, the Caribbean, as a laboratory, can provide profound insight into what the modern world is

dealing with.” Jeffers is clearly passionate about his role in exploring diversity and sharing his discoveries, through film and music, with others.“I recognise the need to educate my audience about the art, music, and film of the Caribbean,” he adds. “There is a need to re-educate people’s definition of the Caribbean — to recreate the popular imagination.” At the age of thirty-seven, Jeffers is doing just that, with an award-winning and internationally celebrated short film, Papa Machete (co-written with Keisha Rae Witherspoon), under his belt, along with production credits for two other recognised shorts, Swimming in Your Skin Again and Dolfun. Born in Canada to Barbadian Margaret and Montserratian Hugh (now deceased), Jeffers moved to Barbados at the age of three. He received his primary, secondary, and tertiary education there, studying law, information technology, and English literature at the Barbados Community College. “I’ve always had this strong sense of justice, so I thought for a minute that I would be a lawyer,” he says, “but then I felt I could find more justice through the pen than in the courtroom. So I went to Florida International University and studied journalism for three years.”

“Part of our initiative is to change the narrative of movies so that Caribbean people, particularly children, can see themselves on screen,” says Jason Jeffers

Opposite page Still from Papa Machete Below Jason Jeffers

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From Papa Machete

After an internship with Rolling Stone magazine — quite a coup, given he was still in his first year at university — and a brief stint as a freelancer, Jeffers got a job as a reporter for The Sun Post, a weekly newspaper covering Miami Beach. “I wasn’t there very long, but through that job, I became a great observer of life,” Jeffers notes. “It was very difficult. I didn’t enjoy it, but it’s one of the best things that ever happened to me. It made me comfortable speaking to anyone. It gave muscles to my curiosity, and so many ideas based on events and characters I met — so many stories to tell.” He shakes his head and laughs, distracted for a moment by fleeting memories. Jeffers’s interest in filmmaking began when, age twelve, he received a book about Alfred Hitchcock. “I was fascinated by film, and from that time it was the only thing I really wanted to do,” he recalls. “I was always into music, writing, telling stories. Filmmaking is just an extension of that expression.”

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t was at a turning point in his life — five years after graduating from FIU, freshly laid off from his newspaper job, and about to return to Barbados — that Jeffers’s first love reasserted its presence. “I came across a cell phone video of the Professor fencing” — that’s Alfred Avril, one of the last practitioners of the tradiaitonal Haitian martial art of machete fencing — “and I knew immediately I had to make the movie. Given the importance of the Haitian Revolution to Caribbean and world history, I realised this story needed to be told and that my company, Third Horizon” — originally a small record label created to produce his music — “needed to be resurrected so I could tell it. I put every dollar into the venture. Everyone on the team contributed. I sold my furniture, maxed out my credit cards. My anxiety

“There’s a certain audacity that Caribbean people have,” says Jeffers. “It’s an instinct. We needed it to survive what we came through historically” was . . .” He raises his left hand above his head to indicate how high. “I remember thinking, many times, ‘This is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done. This is ridiculous.’ But that didn’t stop me. It was at once the most important and yet the most foolish thing I’d ever done. A nothing ventured, nothing gained kind of situation.” Despite doubts, Jeffers persevered. “That is one of my character traits, to aim big. To just do what I have to do to get where I want to be. I think that comes from my upbringing — some nurture, some nature,” he adds with a chuckle. “There’s a certain audacity that Caribbean people have. It’s an instinct. We needed it to survive what we came through historically.” The result was Papa Machete, a ten-minute documentary about Avril. After the film was made came the difficult task of finding ways to promote it. So Jeffers set his sights on international film festivals.

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“Before the film took off, we got rejected so many times. It was disheartening,” he admits. “Our first submission was to Sundance. At that time, it was a little different and was called The Professor. After that, we re-edited the film. It still got rejected again and again. It was on 4 July, 2014, with fireworks in the sky, that I got a call telling me the film had been accepted to the Toronto International Film Festival. My joy was surreal.” Jeffers’s beaming smile at the memory is testimony to that. Since then, Papa Machete has played at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015, and at more than thirty other film festivals on every continent, most recently winning an award at the Zanzibar Film Festival. “One of the most heartening things is that Papa Machete has played all those festivals and is now online, and has had more than one million views. This means people are having to reconsider their views of Haiti — what it is, was, and can be.” Jeffers notes that he found lessons in the many rejections he received before the critical acclaim. “I learned there was just not enough context for stories like ours. Because of their perception of Haiti, the western world expected and wanted to see Haiti shown in a different light, while we see it as a place of great power and legacy. As we travelled the world attending film festivals, we realised we were often the only Caribbean people in the room, and that there seemed to be a very narrow definition of a Caribbean person or experience.”

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aimed to — in Jeffers’s words — “build bridges from Miami back to the Caribbean.” During the four-day festival, Third Horizon seeks to “edutain” participants by telling a story through the programming as well as showing movies. “At the heart of the festival is our programming,” Jeffers says. “Last year, we got a write-up in Filmmaker Magazine, which was great, because it was our first year and the industry in the Caribbean is still in its infancy. “That is part of our challenge,” he explains. “There is not lots to draw on when it comes to showing our own stories to those outside the diaspora. It means we’ve had to be creative in planning the festival with such a limited pool. We’ve found space for African film and Indian film as they relate to the Caribbean experience. We’ve also drawn from the French- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean.” These days, between planning the 2017 festival, Jeffers is working with Borscht Group — a collective which has been instrumental in exploring the real Miami on screen — on a film directed by Jeffers’s Third Horizon A rapt audience at the 2016 collaborator Keisha Rae Witherspoon, Third Horizon Caribbean Film Festival and set in a Miami fifty years in the future. “It’s speculative fiction, examining the effects of global warming and rising sea levels on life and death in Miami.” And as much as he views himself as a Caribbean man, it is clear Jeffers is very much at home in Miami. “It’s such a Caribbean city — a city built largely by Bahamian labourers — and it’s a point of entry for so many Caribbean nationals coming to this country,” he says. “It’s the meeting point for filmmakers in the Caribbean and filmmakers in Hollywood or New York. With this festival, we’re aiming to highlight the Caribbean from the perspective of Caribbean people and create opportunities for Caribbean artists.” n

ut of this recognition was born the Third Horizon Caribbean Film Festival: an annual festival of Caribbean film based in Miami, spearheaded by Jeffers and a collective of other creatives with Caribbean roots. “The idea had been conceptualised years before, but the Miami community recognised the importance of stories like ours and spoke loudly, letting us know the festival is needed now,” Jeffers says. “Part of our initiative is to change the narrative of movies so that Caribbean people, particularly children, can see themselves on screen. My main area of interest is popular entertainment. Everything begins in the imagination, so if we don’t see ourselves adventuring and conquering those who oppress us in those imagined realms, how can we hope to conquer our challenges in real life?” With the inaugural Third Horizon Caribbean Film Festival in September 2016, Jeffers and his team, in partnership with the Caribbean Film Academy,

The 2017 Third Horizon Caribbean Film Festival runs from 28 September to 1 October at venues around Miami. For more information, visit thirdhorizonfilmfestival.com WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Q&A

“I let the tides tug me along” BVI poet Richard Georges, whose debut book Make Us All Islands is shortlisted for a 2017 Forward Prize, talks to Shivanee Ramlochan about grounding his poems in his home island, and the challenges of writing from a small place Photography courtesy Mark Gellineau

These poems speak compellingly about British Virgin Islander history on land and at sea. From what emotional terrain do you draw the foundations of your work? Where do you set your horizons in poetry? I think, especially with this work, there was an intense desire to put those remarkable narratives and experiences in a place outside of memory and little-read history titles. I really wanted to commit them to verse, as a way — perhaps a contradictory way — to make them real. As a fledgling writer, I saw all this history, all this landscape, and all this water sort of carrying on on its own, outside of the consciousness of the wider region, and completely outside of the experience of the non-islander. In a way, I guess you could say that my writing it is a sort of profane exercise, as I’ve abstracted and mythologised things that are very real already. As far as my poetic horizons go, I try to let the tides tug me along, and trust that they will take me where I’m meant to go. I thought I’d write a book of poems and then move on to spend some time experimenting with fiction, but poems seem to keep coming. I think I have to trust that. 44

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The BVI is often overlooked in celebrations of Caribbean literature. What is needed for clearer focus on underwritten spaces in our islands? The answer to this is twofold. While BV Islanders have been writing at least for the last hundred years, that writing has hardly ever left our shores. Several of our local writers, for various reasons, self-publish their books, which makes it less likely for anyone outside the BVI to read them. So the first part of the answer is that writers in the BVI have to look outward, have to publish through regional and international platforms that are listening for new voices, and put their work through the rigours of those processes. We have to travel to literature festivals and book fairs in the Caribbean and make the effort to become part of the greater chorus of the region. We have to look beyond the BVI as our audience in order to do that. The second aspect might be that once those sorts of things are happening in the smaller spaces of the Caribbean — say, Bermuda, Turks and Caicos, St Vincent, and the like — it may take some effort on the part of festival directors, editors, and publishers to reach out to emerging writers in those spaces. For my own part, that is one of the reasons David Knight, Jr, and I founded Moko, and I can point to my own developing career as a template for what is possible in writing from a small place. n

Make Us All Islands resists oppression with a tender ferocity, such as in “Blue Runner”: “we must learn again / . . . how to pull the thin / shimmering spears from our throats.” Where do you channel the quiet vigilance that dwells in this collection? It’s funny that you mention vigilance, as the motto of the British Virgin Islands is the Latin word vigilate or “be vigilant.” I can’t say that was an overtly conscious motivation of mine, and I am always wary of messages that call for things like cultural revivals and draw lines around national identities, but as I wrote I often returned to the rituals and practices that located us here as Virgin Islanders. That is the space where poems Born in Trinidad in 1982, Richard Georges grew like “Blue Runner”, “Bushing up the British Virgin Islands, where he lives the Pit”, “Boiling Bush” and in Tortola. He teaches at the H. Lavity Stoutt others came from, in a spirit Community College, and is co-editor of the of documenting those rituals online literature and art journal Moko. His book of ours and how those rituals of poems Make Us All Islands, published in early are a quiet resistance of the 2017 (and reviewed in this issue of Caribbean insidious orders of colonialBeat, page 32), is shortlisted for the Felix ism, patriarchy, capitalism. Dennis Prize for Best First Collection, part of the UK-based Forward Prizes for Poetry. His second book, Giant, will be published in 2018.


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BACKSTORY

A voice for all Photography by Damien Luk Pat courtesy ACS

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f you scan a boardroom, platform, or summit, her hair stands out. Not only is her bun quite tall, sometimes it’s the only mass of hair among the shaved or low haircuts worn by the men in her presence. Addressing an audience of press personnel, she speaks slowly, with authority and precision. Outspoken, intelligent, confident — that might be your initial impression. You’d never guess that Her Excellency Dr June Soomer is one of the shyest people you’ll ever come across. Throughout her life, she’s been a world-changer, paving the way with many firsts, as she hiked up the stepping-stones to where she’s currently stationed as secretary-general of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Soomer is the first woman to head the organisation, and despite being an introvert, she projects herself out of “necessity,” she says, to get the job done. In fact, when the nomination came for the position of secretary-general,

Intense focus and determination were instilled in June Soomer from very young. What the average person might view as a significant accomplishment, she sees as just the next step 46

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When St Lucian June Soomer was named head of the Association of Caribbean States in 2016, she became one of the Caribbean’s most influential leaders. Shelly-Ann Inniss finds out how Soomer’s past career as a historian prepared her for this new role creating history

Soomer was already personally acquainted with every prime minister and opposition leader among the ACS countries. In one word, Soomer describes herself as “aware.” Growing up in St Lucia, her family was poor. Nevertheless, her mother made sure her family never suffered. Soomer is the seventh of eight siblings. Intense focus and determination were instilled in her from very young, adding to her inquisitive nature. What the average person might view as a significant accomplishment, she sees as just the next step. Soomer was the first woman to graduate from the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies with a PhD in history, in the early 1990s; then the first women to serve as a CARICOM ambassador for St Lucia. In 2016, she was appointed the first woman secretary-general of the ACS, a four-year position; and in August this year she started a term of office as the chair of the UWI Open Campus Council. Simultaneously straddling two desks doesn’t inhibit this modern-day Renaissance woman. She’s also an author, amateur fashion designer, baker, and devoted cheerleader for her staff and colleagues. But being an aunt to her numerous nieces and nephews is her favourite role. How does she juggle her professional obligations, cook, enjoy her hobbies, balance her personal life, plus get a minimum of six hours sleep? “You find the time to do what’s important to you,” she says.


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The Association of Caribbean States Member states: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela Associate members: Aruba, Curaçao, France (on behalf of French Guiana and St Barthélemy), Guadeloupe, Martinique, the Netherlands (on behalf of Bonaire, Eustatius, and Saba), St Martin, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos

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s secretary-general, Soomer is responsible for the development and maintenance of political relations and co-operation among ACS member and associate member states. Additionally, she’s expected to strengthen the institution and collaboration efforts between the ACS and third parties. Leading her diligent team of thirty-two, she strategically and efficiently navigates her charted course, to the best of her ability. The ACS was founded in 1994, with the intention of promoting dialogue, co-operation, and co-ordination among all Caribbean countries. Fast-forward twenty-three years: it now has twenty-five member states, eleven associate member states, twenty-seven observer states, and the support of CARICOM and other international bodies. The ACS unites approximately 285 million people in the Caribbean region. “Small countries sometimes feel lost in big arrangements, not understanding that everybody has a voice,” Soomer says. “The ACS gives everybody that voice. We function in bigger organisations like the United Nations, and people recognise that we have a vote, although we are small nations. But it is a vote, and it is recognised globally.” So in her first year on the job, she set out to revitalise the ACS. One of the things Soomer believes the ACS was designed to do, but hasn’t, is ensure that every regional organisation works to maximise resources and bring the best benefits to the Caibbean. “I think that a lot of countries are oversaturated with regional integration, so they prefer to put their efforts into things that they recognise more, instead of investing in possibilities,” she says. Soomer believes the reason the ACS is a good example of co-operation is because it’s so different. “I think my job is harder because I have to work with the diversity that I have. I must also look at the differences and ensure that the policies that

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are placed in the countries are what the countries want, because they are different. I want all of the regional associations and organisations to meet and map out for the region’s success. That’s the best thing I can do.” Of her many visits to the member and associated states, Belize resonates most. She was appointed secretary-general at the Intercessional Summit of CARICOM leaders there, but that isn’t why. Soomer believes Belize has tremendous expertise: in home-grown policies, their ability to include the population in decision-making, their focus on the environment, and on sustainable living. “We aspire to be a ‘united states,’ and if we go to Belize, we will better understand who we are. Our countries have so much more to offer. If only we realised our models haven’t done us justice,” she says. Soomer has the power to ensure the ACS has world-class technical workers and proper co-ordination across its various portfolios. But how is her success really measured? Will the ACS be considered successful when average citizens feel the benefits in their lives? When disaster risk factors are reduced and properly managed? Or if

Soomer is sometimes challenged by disrespect, which she brushes off. “I am aware that I carry the weight of women from the past and women to come” trade, transport, tourism, and Caribbean Sea initiatives can function and be sustained efficiently and effectively using the region’s resources? Cricket is in Soomer’s bones. She watches it, analyses it, and also writes about it. Her dream job is to one day run the West Indies Cricket Board. But her truest passion is history, and that’s what she aims to create. Like other powerful women, Soomer is sometimes challenged by disrespect, which she brushes off, pressing forward. “I am aware that I carry the weight of women from the past and women to come. If I don’t do this job well, people will say, we always knew that women couldn’t do it,” Soomer explains. And she rebukes such a possibility. If she ever writes a book on women and careers, she’ll title it Upgraded — the true metaphor for her life. n


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ARRIVE

Escape 50 One destination,

32 islands

Neighbourhood 58 Lethem, Guyana

Travellers’ Tales 60 An archipelago diary

Bridge to adventure in the hills of St Vincent


ESCAPE

One destination, 32 islands Caribbean Airlines’ newest destination, St Vincent and the Grenadines, is a miniature archipelago unto itself, with thirty-two islands, small and smaller, scattered down the Antillean chain. Each has its own personality, but they share an effortless charm and a natural beauty — as you’ll see in the following pages

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jonathan palmer/mustique airways

Protected by a marine park, the uninhabited Tobago Cays and nearby Horseshoe Reef, in the southern Grenadines, are a paradise of shallow turquoise water, accessible only by boat

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kay wilson

In the hills above St Vincent’s Mesopotamia Valley — surrounded by rainforest, 1,500 feet up — the Montreal Gardens owe their lushness to fertile volcanic soil

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Michael DeFreitas Caribbean / Alamy Stock Photo

For generations fishing was the mainstay of Bequia, and the island is home to master boat-builders — who nowadays also craft intricately detailed model vessels, practically seaworthy

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St VINCENT

Kingstown

BEQUIA

MUSTIQUE

CANOUAN MAYREAU

Tobago Cays

UNION Carriacou

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Petite Martinique

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In a chain of islands with no shortage of stunning beaches, Mayreau’s Salt Whistle Bay may be the most gorgeous of them all, with its powdery white sand and warm, clear water in a heavenly shade of blue

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kay wilson

Privately owned Mustique, dotted with colourful villas and cottages, has long been a retreat for the international jet set

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kay wilson

St Vincent’s volcanic geology means that its windward coast is scattered with natural black-sand beaches

Caribbean Airlines operates regular flights to Argyle International Airport in St Vincent, with connections by ferry to the Grenadine islands WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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NEIGHBOURHOOD

pete oxford

Streetscape

Lethem, Guyana

Sprawling across a small triangle between the Takutu River, the airstrip, and the Rupununi Road, Lethem has no obvious centre and few major landmarks. Red laterite earth and the vast Rupununi sky may be the distinctive feature of this small town of simple dwellings and cashew trees, increasingly interspersed with guesthouses and modest hotels, eateries, and general goods stores stocked with Brazilian products. Portuguese is almost as common as English, and watering-holes are as likely to serve Brazilian Nova Schin beer as Guyanese Banks. On Lethem’s northeastern outskirts are the rodeo grounds, home of the famous Easter Rodeo that draws numerous vacqueiros — cowboys — from near and far, to show off their skills with bucking broncos and lariats.

Two hundred and sixty miles from Guyana’s Atlantic coast, the border town of Lethem has a raffish frontier charm — and serves as the gateway to the Rupununi Savannah and neighbouring Brazil

Pre-dated by several Amerindian villages in the vicinity and by the nearby Jesuit mission of St Ignatius, the settlement of Lethem — named for a former governor of British Guiana — began in the early twentieth century as a border post on the eastern bank of the Takutu River, which serves as Guyana’s boundary with Brazil. By the time of Guyanese independence in 1966, Lethem boasted a district commissioner’s headquarters, police station, and dirt airstrip. In January 1969, Lethem was the epicentre of the Rupununi Uprising, a short-lived but violent rebellion by a small group of Rupununi ranchers against the government in Georgetown. Five policemen were killed before soldiers flown in from the coast restored order. For most of the following two decades, Lethem remained a sleepy village, until in the late 1980s a dirt road was carved through the forests and savannahs of central Guyana, connecting Lethem to Georgetown by land. The road increased the number of travellers between Guyana and Brazil — mostly 58

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pete oxford

History

prospectors, tradesmen, and a few tourists — until in 2009 a bridge across the Takutu became the first land link between the neighbouring countries. The bridge plus a gradual increase in eco-tourism has brought a small population boom to Lethem in the past decade.


amanda richards pete oxford

Savannah life

Shelter For many years the Savannah Inn, run by the redoubtable Mrs Khan, was the favoured choice of tourists passing through Lethem, for its airconditioned bungalow rooms and location beside the airstrip. Its newest competition is the recently opened Rupununi Eco Hotel, which can organise various tours and expeditions for visitors.

In Lethem, you have only to walk for a few minutes in any direction to find yourself in the open savannah, an astonishing country of red laterite earth broken by palm-lined creeks, sandpaper trees, anthills, and the blue Kanuku Mountains looming. Even a day-trip by 4x4 vehicle is enough to give you a sense of the Rupununi, a region that whispers adventure. Start with an early morning visit to MocoMoco Falls (above), and a plunge into a bracingly cold river pool, and follow that with an excursion to the Amerindian village of Nappi in the Kanuku foothills, home of the community-run Maipaima Eco-Lodge. Further afield are the cattle ranches at Karanambu and Dadanawa, both of which host ecotourists, and the positively sybaritic Rock View Lodge at Annai. They all offer ample opportunity to encounter wildlife, explore the Rupununi’s rivers and forests, and generally immerse yourself in a landscape of vast horizons.

Across the border

pete oxford

In the days before the Takutu Bridge, travellers to Brazil needed to cross the river by boat to the town of Bonfím, Lethem’s immediate neighbor to the west. Beyond Bonfím, a whole continent awaits you. A rather good highway through the magnificent savannah leads you to the natural first stop: Boa Vista, a planned city laid out with broad boulevards, museums, monuments (below), and a modernist cathedral. And after Boa Vista — Manaus, the great city in the middle of the Amazon?

Co-ordinates

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3.4º N 59.8º W Elevation approx. 260 feet

Guyana

Lethem

Caribbean Airlines operates daily flights to Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown, Guyana, with connections to Lethem on Trans Guyana Airways or by road WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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travellers’ tales

The Portara, what remains of a 2,500-year-old temple, towers above the main town on Naxos

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An archipelago diary

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In the blazing heat of summer, Philip Sander sets off to explore the Greek islands of the Aegean Sea — the original archipelago that lent its name to every other scattering of islands. Here are pages from the journal of a week in the Cyclades

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Left A quiet street in Chalki Right The slopes of Naxos are covered with terraced fields and orchards

Monday Homer described it as “wine-dark,” an epithet classical scholars still puzzle over. But from the open deck of the ferry, the water of the Aegean is anything but dark: it is an intense, luminous blue, seeming almost to be lit from deep below. It is a sea-blue unlike any I’ve ever seen, enticing as a siren’s call. I almost want to taste it. Not long out of Athens’s port of Piraeus, we can already see the first islands of the archipelago. The archipelago, the original one. Archipelago, in Greek, means “chief sea,” an early name for the Aegean. Only later did it come to refer to the hundreds of islands interrupting the waves between Greece and Turkey

The journey to Naxos takes five hours, and the ferry, the size of a small cruise ship, is amply provided with air-conditioned lounges — and then by metaphorical extension to chains and clusters of islands everywhere in the world. Thousands of miles from my own native archipelago, the Antilles, I feel unsurprisingly at home. The journey to Naxos takes five hours, and the ferry, the size of a small cruise ship, is amply provided with air-conditioned lounges, cafés, and bars. I prefer to sit out on deck, for the views over a sea as smooth as glass, while brown and green islands pass by on the horizon. Eventually one of those distant islands turns into our destination: Naxos. I see the mountain peaks, then a smudge that becomes the white houses of the port and capital, known locally as Chora. As the ferry draws closer, the first astonishment: on a rocky islet above the harbour, joined to the main island by a 62

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causeway, is a great rectangular frame of marble, twenty-six feet high and almost twenty wide. The Portara is the surviving doorway of a now ruined temple, begun around 530 BC and never quite completed. Two and a half millennia later, it still welcomes travellers to Naxos. In the early evening we explore the town, built around a steep, small hill topped by a Venetian castle, the Kastro. The streets are narrow and labyrinthine, and many of them are in fact staircases. As we ascend, at a sharp turn an elderly lady calls out from her kitchen. Are we visitors, and where do we come from? She lived in Athens for many years, she tells us, then retired back


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to Naxos, where she grew up. Can we guess how old she is? Not seventy, not even eighty. Ninety-six! Here is her identity card to prove it. And before we go on we must have sweets from her kitchen, which she hands round in a Christmas tin. At the highest part of the Kastro, through the Venetian walls, past the Catholic cathedral and the museum, is a terrace with the best view in town. Below are little churches gathered around a square, gardens, the tiled rooftops of old houses, then the harbour, then a long stretch of beach. Behind and above, the hills to the south-east are dotted with villages, and Mt Zas towers above all.

Tuesday The village of Chalki, at the geographical centre of Naxos, boasts not just two tavernas but an art gallery, a distillery of kitron (a potent lemon-flavoured liqueur), and a ceramics workshop. We duck into all of them before we follow an alley that turns into a rough path as the houses peter out, and we find ourselves ascending a hillside past enclosed fields, stone-walled pastures, groves of olive and fig. The view opens behind us: terraced slopes, churches and monasteries, a fertile green where a stream flows at the bottom of the valley. Halfway up, in the shade of a small church there is a fountain WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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The village of Oia clings to the ridge of Santorini’s volcanic caldera

bearing water piped from mountain springs, cold and tasty. Pomegranates hang ripening from one tree and mulberries fall uneaten from another. Ahead is a conical hill topped by a ruined Venetian castle — Naxos and the surrounding islands of the Cyclades were Venetian territories for centuries, and the remains of fortresses are found on every strategic peak. The midday sun grows intense as we walk up through pastureland, and the dry, hot air is fragrant with wild thyme and oregano. At the pass below the castle we see our next stop: the village of Ano Potamia in the valley ahead. As we descend towards the river, the vegetation grows lush, the trees laden with fruit. We have lunch at a taverna beside an orchard of cherries and plums, figs and apricots. The afternoon is loud with cicadas as we climb the final hill to reach the day’s destination. Goats in their stone-walled pen chew meditatively, wondering who would choose to hike in the blazing heat. The hillside fields redouble their aromatic exertions, and our lungs are full of the scent of herbs. The path is a rough jumble of stones bordered by thorny hedges. High above, white gashes on the sides of the mountains reveal the marble quarries for which Naxos has been famous since ancient times. A signpost points us to our goal. On the hillside, beside an outcropping of weathered marble, the broken kouros has lain for 2,500 years, exposed to the sun and the rain. A kouros is a sculpture of a standing nude youth, life-size or larger — a common genre among the Archaic and Ancient Greeks, often found in temples and sanctuaries of the god Apollo. 64

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They press their arms to their sides, are usually depicted taking a step forwards, and have enigmatic smiles. Naxian marble was a favoured medium, and ancient sculptors often journeyed to the quarry not just to select an appropriate block of stone but to do the preliminary carving on site. On Naxos, archaeologists have found three unfinished kouroi among the quarries — damaged at an early stage of sculpting, and abandoned where they lay, so the theory goes. This kouros on the hillside has broken legs, perhaps the result of a careless accident as the semi-carved marble was shifted to begin the arduous journey downhill. Nearby, closer to the village of Flerio and sheltered among orchards, a second kouros lies broken mid-shin. The bus back to Chora is only ten minutes late. It drops us off providentially outside an old-fashioned shop crammed with cheeses, herbs, and dried fruit. A bag of dates, dried on their stems, are just the snack to restore our energy after the day’s long walk in the hills. That, and a lingering dip in the shimmering blue water of the bay a hop away from our hotel.

Wednesday Another ferry ride is a chance to read up on the Cyclades, which up to now have been an empty patch in my mental geography. The name of this group of islands comes from the Greek word for “around” — because they cluster in a jagged oval around sacred Delos, supposed birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Naxos is the largest of the group, around the size of Barbados, but with a population of just nineteen thousand.


Greece

Athens Mykonos Delos Paros

Naxos

Amorgos Milos Santorini

With a common history and culture, similar landscapes and architecture, the Cyclades nonetheless preserve their distinctions. Andros, nearest to the mainland, is mountainous and well-watered. Ios has long been favoured by hedonistic young backpackers, though nudism is now officially banned on its beaches. Milos is where the celebrated Venus de Milo sculpture was found, and Amorgos is known for a remote monastery built into the side of a cliff. Most famous nowadays are Mykonos and Santorini, among the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. Santorini is also famous for its volcano, which rumbles away at the centre of a great caldera, formed in a catastrophic eruption 3,600 years ago. One of the largest volcanic events in recorded history, it’s thought to have contributed to the decline of the Minoan civilisation, triggering a tsunami and the failure of crops after clouds of ash blocked the sun. You get a centre-stage view of this huge geological theatre as you arrive by boat into the drowned caldera, nearly eight miles long by four wide. Nine-hundred-foot sheer cliffs rise from the deep water, and the island’s chief settlements perch atop this vertiginous ridge. Endlessly depicted in magazines and postcards, Santorini is probably the place you visualise when you think of a Greek island. The view of whitewashed houses and brilliant blue domes clinging to the cliffside in the village of Oia is the sight people journey great distances to see for themselves. It’s gorgeous — until you turn back to the narrow main street and find it jammed with hundreds of heat-stunned tourists. It’s the same in Fira, the capital, a few miles away along the caldera edge. Walking back through the centre of town to our hotel after dinner feels like joining a long, slow-moving queue. Finally, past the bus station, the crowds thin, and then we hear the jaunty strains of traditional Greek music wafting over a wall. Peering over, I see three musicians with stringed instruments and a breathless but enthusiastic chain of dancers in street clothes. Some sort of party? WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Kite_rin/shutterstock.com

A typical sight in the village of Lefkes on Paros: whitewashed walls, blue door, profusion of bougainvillea

There is a gate in the wall, it stands wide open, and it seems natural to slip in and join the small throng of people admiring the dancers. Eventually a grinning woman comes round with a box of ice cream cones — we have stormed someone’s party, but we’re offered a treat anyway. It’s a group of local schoolteachers, it turns out, celebrating the end of the term, tipsy and merry.

Friday Another ferry, another island. As we dock in Paros, for no reason I can explain, I feel a distinctly satisfying sense of having finally got to the right place. As we walk along the waterfront to our hotel at the end of the harbour bay, the blue-green water winks and beckons. Fifteen minutes later, having dropped my bag in my room and quick-changed into my trunks, I’m wading in. It isn’t the prettiest beach in the world, and the shore is rocky underfoot, but twenty feet out the pebbles and sea grass give way to sand, and the water is the perfect temperature: cool enough to refresh, warm enough to encourage indefinite lingering. It’s seven o’clock and the sun is far from setting. A few hours later, in the cool of evening, the little town is bustling, restaurants and shops lit up along Agora Street, though a few paces down any side alley there is silence and soft shadow.

Saturday In the hills of Paros, Lefkes may be the perfect Cycladic village. Houses cluster along a ridge, with regulation blue doors and 66

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shutters. Caper bushes spring from stone walls. The plateia or village square is paved with marble. In a grove of olives we pick up the old Byzantine road, paved centuries ago and still in use, at least by hikers. As in Naxos, wild herbs perfume the air — here, sage dominates. We can see the sea in the near distance as we descend to Prodromos — another picture-perfect village where tending profuse arbours of purple bougainvillea seems to be the municipal hobby. A café at a narrow intersection offers the respite of an espresso freddo, the Greek take on iced coffee, swizzled to a state of creaminess without added milk. But the sea is calling. There is one more slope to climb, then it’s downhill through a small pine forest to the bay of Piso Lavadi. Three or four tavernas line the quayside, small boats bob at anchor, and the beach is busy but not crowded with frolicking families, and a spaniel intent on the impossible task of catching a minute fish. I go to the water like a homecoming. It’s our last day in the Cyclades, and tomorrow we take the ferry back to Athens. But in some other life I haven’t yet lived, that ferry ticket gets torn up. n

Caribbean Airlines operates daily flights from destinations across the Caribbean to Miami and New York City, with connections on other airlines to Athens


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ENGAGE

Green 68 Redonda rescue

On This Day 70 The LĂźders affair

Redonda is a prime nesting site for brown boobies and other seabirds


Green

Redonda rescue Tiny, isolated Redonda is a haven for seabirds and home to rare species of lizard — whose numbers have dwindled because of the depradations of invasive rats and goats. A new restoration project aims to turn back the clock, Erline Andrews writes Photography courtesy Jenny Daltry/Fauna and Flora International

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he dwarf geckos of Redonda, Sphaerodactylus sp, are among the rarest creatures on earth. About an inch long, on average, with translucent brown skin spotted white and bulging eyes, they can be found only on the one-mile stretch of mountainous island that Columbus mistakingly thought was round — hence

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his name for it: Santa María de la Redonda. Today, uninhabited Redonda in the Leeward Islands is part of Antigua and Barbuda, though it’s closer to St Kitts and Nevis. Researchers think the geckos meet the criteria to be on the list of critically endangered species. Their numbers were reduced by the destruction of their habitat by invasive species — rats and goats —

Ameiva atrata is a ground lizard endemic to Redonda

brought to the island more than a century ago by humans. But now people are racing to reverse the damage and save the dwarf gecko and two other lizard species endemic to Redonda. A ground lizard, Ameiva atrata, long, glossy black, and described as fearlessly inquisitive by researchers, is listed as critically endangered. And a tree lizard, Anolis nubilis, which has few trees left to climb and actually lives mainly between the rocks of the almost barren island, is for the time being listed as stable. Redonda is also the nesting place for hundreds of seabirds. According to a 2012 survey, more than fifty per cent of masked boobies — the largest booby species, distinguished by a dark grey face that contrasts with a mostly white body — in the Lesser Antilles nest on Redonda. And more than twenty per cent of the breeding pairs of the region’s brown boobies — large, long-billed birds with a white, feathered bib extending from chest to belly — use Redonda, along with twelve per cent of magnificent frigate birds.


Two animal species have apparently already disappeared from the island: the burrowing owl and a skink (another kind of lizard) that was endemic to Redonda. “I’ll never get to see all sorts of wonderful animals because the previous generations didn’t care, they didn’t take action,” says conservation biologist Jenny Daltry, one of the key forces behind the Redonda Restoration Programme. “I don’t think we have the right to let these go without making some effort.” Daltry works for UK-based Fauna and Flora International. The oldest global conservation organisation, FFI has restored twenty-four islands in the Caribbean, including protectorates of Barbados, St Lucia, and Anguilla. Daltry first came to Antigua and Barbuda in 1995, to help save the Antiguan racer, a venomless snake endemic to the country that was on the brink of extinction. Only about fifty remained on uninhabited Great Bird Island. The Antiguan Racer Project proved successful, and grew into the Offshore Islands Conservation Programme, which worked to save the wildlife and vegetation on f if teen islands in the Antigua and Barbuda chain. The Caribbean region has one of the highest rates of species extinction, Daltry pointed out in a 2015 presentation. She traces the problem back to when Europeans first came to the region. Rats stowed away on ships. Goats were brought to Redonda to provide meat and milk for miners who lived there between 1860 and the First World War, extracting guano. Elsewhere in the region, mongooses were brought from Asia to deal with the rats, but turned into pests themselves. “Some people would say, why are people from England getting involved in this? Well, actually a lot of problems you have — the rats, the goats, and the mongooses — to be honest, it was the English people that brought these things here,” explains Daltry. “As an English person, I have a responsibility to try and help.” Invasive species are also a problem in inhabited areas, but uninhabited islands promise long-term success in providing a safe haven for wildlife. “What is exciting

about some of those little offshore islands is that you can actually turn back the clock and help wildlife recover,” says Daltry.

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hen researchers visited Redonda in 2012 to do a feasibility study, they estimated a rat population of around 5,500. Individual rats live only about a year, but they reproduce relentlessly. In the stomachs of rat specimens, researchers found plant, bird, egg, and lizard remains. Demonstrating the extent to which rats consume anything in their path, they were also found to have ingested goat droppings — and other rats. If rats caught in traps weren’t retrieved quickly enough, researchers would find them partially eaten. “Those rats over there were so intelligent,” says Antiguan ecologist Shanna Challenger, who heads the Redonda programme. “They would work in teams. I’ve

the British Mountaineering Council, who helped lay rat poison around the island’s steep cliffs. UK charities the Darwin Initiative, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Taurus Foundation provided funding. The rat eradication began in January 2017 and was wrapped up by March. Around the same time, the sixty-five or so goats on the island, who were starving because of a lack of vegetation they helped decimate, were corralled and carefully airlifted to the mainland. It will be months before Redonda can be declared rat-free. The island has to be regularly monitored over the next few years to make sure the rats are gone and to see how the wildlife and vegetation rebound. “They’ve already started to notice some recovery in the bird population,” says Antiguan marine biologist Ruleo Camacho, another member of the restoration team. “Based on the recovery rates we’ve seen on some of the other islands where we’ve done rat eradications, bird life responds pretty quickly. You get quite a rapid recovery, not only in the number of birds but also in the diversity of bird species.” Colin Donihue is one of a team of biologists from Massachusetts who volunteered to help monitor the lizard population over the next few years. “The problem is, a lot the islands are small, and that means the species on them are pretty vulnerable,” he says. “Severe weather or invasive species can easily wipe out an entire population on an island . . . When you lose a species that’s only on an island, you end up losing real richness and diversity.” Public education is an important part of maintaining the restored islands, says Daltry. “When I first went to Antigua I spoke to a school class, and I said, ‘Where do wildlife live?’ And they said, ‘Oh, in Africa.’ Because they’d only seen naturalistic programmes about Africa and the lions and elephants,” she says. “But there’s so many wonderful animals just under their noses,” she added. “They may not be as big, but they’re still very special and unique and important in their own way.” n

Uninhabited islands promise long-term success in providing a safe haven for wildlife. “You can actually turn back the clock,” says biologist Jenny Daltry seen two of them — one would distract the bird and the other would roll the egg from underneath it.” To put together the feasibility study and spearhead the rat eradication, the Redonda team recruited Elizabeth “Biz” Bell, an ecologist from New Zealand. “Invasive rats have caused mass extinctions of spectacular creatures around the world,” says Bell. “New Zealand is one of those places, and this is why we started developing these techniques to remove invasive species and spread that technology around the world to help other countries.” The intricate rat eradication process was laid out in the 2012 feasibility report. Fund-raising took years. The mission, which cost an estimated US$700,000, brought together an impressive coalition, including Antigua and Barbuda government agencies, the local conservation NGO Environmental Awareness Group, Caribbean Helicopters Ltd — helicopters are the only way to access Redonda — and

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on this day

The Lüders affair One hundred and twenty years ago, an apparently trivial police matter in Port-au-Prince involving a half-German businessman evolved into an international crisis, with German warships threatening to bombard the Haitian capital. It is a littleremembered incident in the shameful history of foreign powers meddling in Haiti’s affairs, writes James Ferguson, foreshadowing the US occupation less than two decades later Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

F

or much of the more than two centuries since its declaration of independence on 1 January, 1804, Haiti has been the victim of both foreign intervention and neglect. It took until 1862 for the United States, no doubt fearful of the example set by Haiti’s slave revolution to its own Southern states, to recognise the republic’s independence. Over the next century, the US would meddle in its unstable neighbour’s affairs, engaging in gunboat diplomacy to intimidate Haitian governments, culminating in a military occupation from 1915 to 1934. “Haiti is a public nuisance at our door,” said Alvey A. Adee, perennial US Assistant Secretary of State from 1886 to 1924. Even in the final decade of the last century and the first of this, US troops were sent into Haiti (in 1994 and 2004), first to restore President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power and then to airlift him out of a coup.

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Nor were the French, the former colonial masters of SaintDomingue, much friendlier to the Haiti that replaced it. In 1825, still furious at the loss of its lucrative plantation colony and with warships ready to attack, France demanded 150 million francs in compensation for “lost” slaves and property from the civil war–devastated republic, reducing the debt to 90 million francs in 1838, to be paid over thirty years. This was the equivalent of US$21 billion in current terms. It was not until 1947 that all associated interest and fees were paid off, and by then Haiti was poverty-stricken and bankrupt. In 1915 — the year of the US invasion — it was estimated that eighty per cent of the government’s budget went on servicing the debt. If this seems vindictive, then consider the events that followed the arrest in Port-au-Prince on 21 September, 1897 — 120 years ago — of one Emile Lüders. As his surname suggests, Lüders was of German parentage: his father was from Hamburg and his mother Haitian, and though born in Haiti, he retained German citizenship. On that day, he was at his business, the Écuries Centrales (Central Stables) in the bustling city centre, when the police arrived. They were looking for his employee Dorléus Présumé, suspected of theft, who happened to be washing a coach outside the stables. From upstairs, Lüders heard Présumé shouting and rushed down to help him. In the ensuing altercation, Lüders allegedly struck a policeman, and both he and Présumé were arrested. In what seems like an unusually speedy process of justice, both men were sentenced to a month’s imprisonment by the Police Tribunal that same day. Perhaps foolishly, Lüders decided to appeal to the Correctional Tribune. It was then that it was discovered that his temper had already got him into trouble — he had been jailed for six days in 1894 for assaulting a soldier. The sentence was changed to one year’s imprisonment. This news was transmitted to the German chargé d’affaires, Count von Schwerin, whose main task was to oversee the welfare of a community of about two hundred Germans, mostly coffee traders. He demanded Lüders’s immediate release as well as the firing of the police officers involved. When the US minister Powell also insisted that Lüders should be set free, the issue swiftly reached the desk of President Tirésias Simon Sam. For perhaps understandable reasons, Sam duly gave in, and on 22 October Lüders left Haiti for Hamburg.

President Sam. It demanded $20,000 in compensation for Lüders, his safe passage back to Haiti, a formal apology to the German government, a twenty-one gun salute to the German flag and — most cruelly — a reception in honour of Count von Schwerin. Sam was given four hours to agree. Otherwise the German warships, armed with powerful canonry, would open fire on the capital and the presidential palace, just a few blocks away from the waterfront. A white flag was to be raised over the palace if President Sam wished to capitulate. Which he did. There is a longstanding belief in staunchly patriotic Haiti that the citizenry was prepared to resist the German attack, but this would have been foolish. The Haitians were outgunned, the city a potential tinder box of wooden houses and narrow streets. Perhaps the Germans would never have opened fire, fearful of an international incident, but who was to know? In the event, the money was paid, the apology issued, Lüders reappeared, and von Schwerin, in full diplomatic dress, attended the reception at the palace, drily described by Powell as “an unpleasant affair.” It was certainly an unpleasant exercise in extortion and humiliation, which seems to have been overlooked by the US, the self-appointed policeman of the Caribbean at that time. The sense of powerlessness and shame was deeply felt in Haiti, and anger was directed at the president. Michael Largey recounts in his excellent book Vodou Nation how the editor of the Haitian newspaper L’Impartial published a notice after the event:

Perhaps the Germans would

never have opened fire, fearful of an international incident, but who was to know?

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ll might have thought that was the end of the story, but Count von Schwerin had other ideas. He had alerted Berlin to the mistreatment of a German national and requested military support. On 6 December, two German warships, SMS Charlotte and SMS Stein, dropped anchor in the bay of Port-au-Prince. The Charlotte’s Captain Thiele was rowed over to a jetty, where he presented a written ultimatum to be delivered to

You are invited to attend the funeral of young Haiti, cruelly assassinated by President Tirésias Augustin Simon Sam. The funeral procession will leave the mortuary, located at the National Palace, to give itself to the court of Berlin. Port-auPrince, 6 December 1897. This seems a little unfair to Sam, who is generally thought to have done a good job in the eighteen months he was in power before the “Lüders affair.” He never really recovered, and resigned before his six-year term was up. He spent many of his remaining years in exile. But at least he fared better than his cousin, Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, elected president in March 1915. He unwisely ordered the execution of 167 political prisoners, many from among the capital’s wealthy elite. A furious mob burst into the French embassy, where he was hiding, and literally tore him apart. American warships just happened to be anchored in the harbour, and President Woodrow Wilson, fearful of a hostile Germany taking advantage of the chaos, ordered the Marines ashore. It was the beginning of the nineteen-year occupation that led to fifteen thousand Haitian dead and a sense of resentment that still lingers today. n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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CARIBBEAN CROSSWORD Across 1 A scattering of islands [11] 5 Rainbow shape [3] 7 Excite [6] 9 A city in Canada, but also a garden in St Vincent [8] 11 Bar of gold [5] 12 Yolky drink [6] 14 Your uncle’s wife [4] 15 These tiny Grenadines share a name with Trinidad’s sister isle [6,4] 18 Brazilian cowboys [10] 19 Book page [4] 22 Sculptor’s material, perhaps? 24 Prickly bush [5] 26 From the US [8] 27 Spanish grocery [6] 28 Sphere [3] 29 Pretty Caribbean house trim [11]

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13 Red soil of Guyana’s Rupununi (need a hint? see page 58) [8] 16 Portuguese islands in the Atlantic [6] 17 Managing a gallery collection [8] 18 St Vincent’s is named La Soufrière [7] 20 Moving ahead, also a major international poetry prize [7] 21 Soak up [6] 23 Grey matter [5] 25 A “doing” word [4]

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE by James Hackett There are 11 differences between these two pictures. How many can you spot?

Spot the Difference answers Ram’s eyes are closed in one of the images; Sita’s eyes are closed in one of the images; the background shapes are different; Sita’s earring is different; detail around Sita’s lips is different; there is different detailing on the sari; you can see finger lines on the image of Ram on the left; there is more definition on Ram’s arm on the left; Sita’s clothing is different; Ram’s clothing near his chest has different colours; the bowstring is a different colour.

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bay bean Bequia brew Caricom craft Cueva Ventana deya diplomat ferry fishing goat Greece gunboat Haiti historian Ignatius

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Sudoku 9x9 - Puzzle 3 of 5 - Very Easy Medium 9x9 sudoku puzzle

Fill the empty square with numbers from 1 to 9 so that each row, each column, and each 3x3 box contains all of the numbers from 1 to 9. For the mini sudoku use numbers from 1 to 6.

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87% (2017 year-to-date: 31 January)


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Airport: ANR Robinson International Reservations & information: + 868 660 7200 (local) Ticket office: ANR Robinson International Airport Baggage: + 639 0595 / 631 8023 Flight information: + 868 669 3000

NORTH AMERICA Fort Lauderdale Airport: Hollywood Fort Lauderdale International Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225 (toll free) Ticketing: Terminal 4 – departures level (during flight check-in ONLY – 7.30 am to 7 pm) Baggage: + 954 359 4487

Miami Airport: Miami International Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225 (toll free) Ticketing: South Terminal J – departures level (during flight check-in ONLY – 12 pm to 3.00 pm); Baggage: + 305 869 3795

New York Airport: John F Kennedy International Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225 (toll free) Ticketing: Concourse B, Terminal 4, JFK International – open 24 hours (situated at departures, 4th floor) Baggage: + 718 360 8930

Toronto Airport: Lester B Pearson International Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225 (toll free) Ticket office: Terminal 3 Ticketing available daily at check-in counters 422 and 423. Available 3 hours prior to departure times Baggage: + 905 672 9991

SOUTH AMERICA Caracas Airport: Simón Bolívar International Reservations & information: + 58 212 3552880 Ticketing: Simón Bolívar International Level 2 – East Sector Hours: 7 am – 11 pm City Ticket Office: Sabana Grande Boulevard, Building “Galerias Bolivar”, 1st Floor, office 11-A, Caracas, Distrito Capital + 58 212 762 4389 / 762 0231 Baggage: + 58 424 1065937

Guyana Airport: Cheddi Jagan International Reservations & information: + 800 744 2225 (toll free) Ticket office: 91-92 Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown Baggage: + 011 592 261 2202

Suriname Airport: Johan Adolf Pengel International Reservations & information: + 597 52 0034/0035 (local); 1 868 625 6200 (Trinidad) Ticket Office: Paramaribo Express, N.V. Wagenwegstraat 36, Paramaribo Baggage: + 597 325 437


737 onboard Entertainment — SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER Northbound

Southbound

S E PT E M B E R

© 2017 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Going in Style

The LEGO Batman Movie

When their pension funds become a corporate casualty, three lifelong friends decide to risk it all and knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.

In order to save Gotham City from the Joker’s hostile takeover, LEGO Batman has to drop his lone vigilante thing, try to work with others, and learn to lighten up.

Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin • director: Zach Braff • comedy • PG-13 • 96 minutes

Zach Galifianakis, Rosario Dawson, Will Arnett • director: Chris McKay • animation, action • PG • 104 minutes

Northbound

Southbound

OCTO B E R

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

The Princess Diaries

Captain Jack Sparrow is pursued by old rival Captain Salazar and a crew of deadly ghosts who escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea.

A shy San Francisco teenager is stunned when, out of the blue, she discovers she’s a real-life princess.

Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites • directors: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg • action, adventure • PG-13 • 128 minutes

Anne Hathaway, Hector Elizondo, Julie Andrews • director: Garry Marshall • comedy • G • 115 minutes

Audio Channels Channel 5 • The Hits

Channel 7 • Concert Hall

Channel 9 • Irie Vibes

Channel 11 • Kaiso Kaiso

Channel 6 • Soft Hits

Channel 8 • East Indian Fusion

Channel 10 • Jazz Sessions

Channel 12 • Steelband Jamboree


parting shot

A cave with a view High above the valley of Puerto Rico’s Rio Grande de Arecibo, a system of caves in the limestone cliffs serves as a home for a colony of bats — and gives intrepid visitors the treat of a spectacular view. A fifteen-minute hike uphill from the PR-10 highway and a flashlit scramble past stalactites and stalagmites brings you to the mouth of the Cueva Ventana, the Cave Window — and a vista of green hills and fields all the way to the horizon. Photography by Max Sawa/shutterstock.com

80

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


RAISE A TOAST TO THE HOUSE THE RU M

THE RU M

THE RU M

THE RU M

GOLD 2017

D CACHAÇ A AN ERS AST M

GOLD 2017

D CACHAÇA AN

ERS AST M

WWW.ANGOSTURA.COM

GOLD 2017

D CACHAÇA AN ERS AST M

SILVER 2017

D CACHAÇA AN

ERS AST M

D CACHAÇ A AN ERS AST M

THE RU M

THE HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA, HOME TO THE WORLD’S FINEST RUM RANGE, IS PROUD TO BE AWARDED FIVE GLOBAL RUM MASTER AWARDS!

SILVER 2017

Caribbean Beat — September/October 2017 (#147)  

• Events around the Caribbean • A fishing tournament in Antigua, and a holiday commemorates the First Peoples and indigenous heritage of Tri...

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