Summer Blues

sai-kiran-anagani-209542-unsplashWhat’s going on with this summer’s weather? It rains more often than I can remember. If it’s not raining, we’re experiencing 90 degrees hot, humid, and sticky summer days.

I think I have the summer blues…

I wish I can say I’m motivated to go hang out on the beach. But clearly, I don’t want to shake and bake in the hot sun. Frankly, I have more than enough color.

This is the first year I literally don’t feel like going on vacation. I love to travel. It’s just one of my passions. But my life has been going through a lot more downs than ups lately.

I recently suffered the loss of my mother. It’s been a huge downer and changes your appetite for a long time.

They say “time heals all wounds.” I hope so because my mom was my best friend and a praying woman. God has taken her home. I know she is at peace. The memories we shared will forever be imprinted in my heart.

So my husband and I have been doing odd  jobs around the house which never gets finished. I guess we watched too much HGTV. I’m so tired and ready to push it aside so I can get some fresh air. I don’t want to see another can of paint any time soon.

Therefore we decided to kick back and go on day trips near home. Our first stop will be a long ride to Rochester, New York to visit my husband’s college buddies. YEAH! Sounds like fun.🤔

When life is pulling you in different directions, going somewhere, anywhere to change the scenery may not be such a bad idea.🤗

We are now approaching the end of July.  Summer will be over in a very short time.

Will I continue to let my mood defeat me?

I might act impulsively and do something else on the spur of the moment.🤗

I am so disappointed I have done absolutely nothing, not even turn on the grill. But it’s not over until it’s over.

Stay tuned as I ponder my next move…

 

 

 

 

UPDATE

photo-1500644970114-4ff3c3dfb61fThere is a humanitarian crisis on the Island of Dominica and other Islands in the Caribbean devastated by Hurricane Irma and Maria. In my previous posts Dominica’s Storm Disaster I showed you some of the disastrous development on the Island caused by Hurricane Maria. There was no running water, electricity, or communication. Once a rainforest environment, most of the trees have been stripped and broken and  some left for dead by the road side.

FB_IMG_1506479672314 The most recent update, food, water and supplies are beginning to trickle in and distributed to various towns.  Communication is getting out slowly through social media. The medical community is working hard with help from other countries to assist those who are severely in need of medical attention. Some areas are just beginning to have running water. So far, 27 people have died and they are still trying to reach some battered areas not accessible by car. The students from Ross University for Doctors have been removed from the Island due to this tragedy. There are people who are still waiting and desperate for help for there basic needs. Transportation has been provided for those who need to leave the Island.

Most of the infrastructure is damaged and it will take a very long time for the country to be rebuilt. Nevertheless, I see it as an opportunity to rebuilt using very smart engineering techniques for damaged bridges and better buildings strong enough to withstand future hurricanes.

The government is doing the best that they can under the circumstances, but are overwhelmed with the task ahead. Security is in place to keep order, and help hard to reach areas impacted by the hurricane.

Dominicans have experienced this crisis before but not to this extent. The last time there was a disaster looming on their shores, it was hurricane Erika beating on their door. This time hurricane Maria didn’t only knock, she came in and took everything in her path.

FB_IMG_1506449817818Dominicans are a proud and resilient people. The hurricane may have knocked them down, but they are not out. They will come together as a community and do whatever it takes to rebuild their country with the help of the world community.

This natural green and lush tropical Island will continue to be called the nature Island and will look even better in the years to come.

FB_IMG_1464972559347This is what Dominica looked like before Hurricane Maria and by the grace of God will continue to be a tropical Paradise, one of earths Garden of Eden in the near future.

FB_IMG_1464973249924

This is the land where I was born, and I will be praying that our God will continue to bless, and heal this land. Its natural beauty will return even better than before.

FB_IMG_1464972669777Please continue to pray that all these Islands which were impacted by the hurricane will be up and running in a short period of time.

Feel free to leave a comment…

 

Beauty with a twist

sunset-2331736_1280I was looking forward to my much-needed vacation in Costa Rica in Central America. We had planned an itinerary which would allow us to visit different parts of the country.  There was so much more to see as we investigate the possibility of moving here when we reach retirement age.

Costa Rica

This country is beautiful with its exotic flowers, waterfalls and white and black sand beaches.  It has rugged terrain, volcanoes, and rainforests which is home to many animals. We arrived in San Jose and stayed at a hotel called the Barceló which I would recommend for its  view of the mountains, tropical gardens and great customer service. My husband and I have stayed here before and they are always more than willing to make your stay with them as comfortable as possible. Costa Rica is also known for its gourmet coffee beans considered among the finest in the world. I couldn’t wait to enjoy a cup at the Barcelos free breakfast buffet.

After leaving the hotel in San Jose, we traveled with some family and friends to places like Guancaste, Puerto Limon, and Cahuita. We saw volcanoes, waterfalls and bathed in   natural hot water springs. There is also a nice hotel near the volcano called the Baldi with several layers of hot water springs which is a must if you ever visit Costa Rica. You will not be disappointed.

20170806_121625We stopped in Liberia and went fishing where I actually caught my first fish.  We saw a monkey as we stood on the beach going through the trees. We tried to get his attention and took some pictures. As we stood near the water, the same monkey saw our stuff on the log, came down from the tree with a group of his friends in order to grab our things. Luckily, we got to it just in time. That was one of the many highlights on my vacation.

20170813_201152Our next stop was Quepos where we experienced an outdoor market which featured fresh fruits, vegetables and souvenirs for tourists. The Beaches in Manuel Antonio near Quepos were very relaxing and the rough waters did not deter us from taking several dips. I was dying to take a chance ziplining across the landscape but maybe on my next trip to this beautiful country.

Silent Racism

I like to write about the good bad and ugly in life because that’s reality. You can’t have one without the other. There is no time like the present to express my thoughts about the racism which exists everywhere in our world. Costa Rica is not different in that regard because it’s simply glossed over or ignored. Voted as one of the best places for retirement, a tropical paradise, environmentally conscious Costa Rica has its share of problems like any other country.

I am an African-American woman with a Caribbean heritage. I like to observe various aspects of life no matter what country I visit. My husband speaks fluent spanish and therefore he was able to communicate with anyone he came in contact with. On several occasions as we got into a cab, during their conversation, the word Limon would be spoken by the cabby.  I do not speak the Language but I understood why they assumed he lived in Limon.  A Little annoyed, my curiosity got the best of me so I began to dig deeper.

Costa Rica has four small minority groups which are Blacks, mulattoes, Amerindians and Asians. About 8% of the population is of black African decent from 19th century Black Jamaicans. They are considered Afro-Costa Ricans. I understand it’s a small minority of the entire population. But a country which boasts of a high literacy rate, why haven’t these minorities assimilated more into the major population?

Does all black people live and work in Limon?

Why does every cabby assume we come from Limon? Is this a segregated country? While driving through different areas, I couldn’t help but notice very few Blacks in professional jobs or casually sitting enjoying the beaches or restaurants on the pacific side of the country. So I began to look at this issue a little more closely.

Puerto Limon

Limon is closer to the Caribbean Sea and considered one of the most pristine and lush regions of Costa Rica. It’s a very busy port town shipping products like bananas to different countries and welcomes hundreds of cruise ships each year. Limon is also one of the country’s most geographically diverse regions and features everything from mangrove wetlands to towering mountains.This province also has white-sand beaches which are lined with coconut trees. In spite of this, Limon remains as one of the least traveled regions in Costa Rica, allowing for exploration of untouched prehistoric rainforests and unmatched beauty compared with the rest of the country.

Many Afro Costa Ricans have made there homes here and continue to raise their families in the Caribbean culture. The minority population who live here are marginalized due to underlying racism. The Politicians have invested very little on this side of the country. Limon is considered off the beaten path and usually not recommended for Tourists. There are not many jobs here due to the lack of investment. However jobs like dock hands, truck drivers, and cargo hauler are few and far in between. What are the options for those who complete their education?

As I drove around the country I saw a considerable amount of investment on the pacific side. New roads, new shops and restaurants like Crate and Barrel, Starbucks P.F. Chang and more. Fast foods like Quiznos, Subways, Kentucky Fried Chicken, even McDonald’s has made its home here. There are large malls featuring all kinds of designer shoes and clothing. Yes, they even have food courts with Asian, American and Costa Rican cusine. Yet in Limon, very little investment is focused on this side of the country. In my opinion, that’s why I consider it silent racism because this exists in some capacity everywhere, even in the United States.

This country is clearly segregated with the majority of blacks living primarily on one side of the country which is underdeveloped and neglected. Our Taxi driver assumed we were from Limon because he knows that’s where black people primarily live. Although I can honestly admit a lack of knowledge about the politics of Costa Rica and why things are the way it is, there is clearly a disparity between the two sides of this country.

The struggle of Blacks in this country is very similar to other South American countries. I have not been treated unfairly here due to the color of my skin however I couldn’t help but look into the matter of race. Limon was the clincher and if I am considering Costa Rica as a possibility for my future home, all aspects of this country needed to be explored. An interesting article to read although written years is by a lady named Rosebell.

https://rosebellkagumire.com/2010/02/19/costa-rica-democracy-and-why-it-doesnt-mean-much-for-black-people-here/ . She goes a little more in-depth as to the problems and I’m not sure if much has changed based on my observations.

Race is a Factor all over the world even in a democratic country like Costa Rica. I hope the government will implement policies to change discrimination practices which marginalize minorities in their communities.

Costa Rica is  indeed a beautiful country and has the opportunity to make some much-needed changes in order to make their country more inclusive for all their inhabitants. We are living in a world that can only move forward when we become more accepting of others regardless of race or ethnicity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new adventure

20170715_151858I haven’t had a Saturday off in weeks but this past Saturday, I finally had the opportunity to explore a new town not too far from my home. My friend has been encouraging me to check it out for such a long time. So I decided to take a leap of faith and drove to this new location with my daughter. This was our day to spend some quality time together. Both our schedules have been out of whack lately so we made a decision to escape towards a new adventure. The name of the town is New Hope in Pennsylvania near the Delaware River.

20170715_151743It was a humid sunny and hot day. Maybe a little too warm for my taste. The heat has been excruciating this summer and that day will probably go down in history as another scorcher. When it’s not raining like it has been on a regular basis lately, the sun is blazing. By the way, I thought rain was supposed to cool our temperature down. It feels of late it’s going higher or am I just imagining the intense heat,

As we approached the town, we caught glimpses of the Delaware river on our left and beautiful houses on our right. We drove down Main Street where we observed several restaurants and small businesses. There was plenty of metered parking on the street however we decided to park in an all day lot.

In the middle of the town, a small house was designated for visitors where we were able to get a map, booklets, and pamphlets about the town and surrounding area. If one wanted to take a ride on the Delaware river, there was also a small ferry available which will take you on a small tour up and down the river. So much to do and so little time.

I was so glad we wore comfortable shoes as there was quite a bit of walking but so worth it. There were museums to satisfy everyone’s taste and small shops with various types of merchandise. As we went door to door looking at jewelry, clothing, and other paraphernalia, we happened to purchase some items at relatively good prices. But don’t be fooled, there were also quite a few high-end stores. If you’re on a budget, beware or bring some extra money if you want to spend a little more.

A  small bridge connects New Hope Pennsylvania to Lambertsville New Jersey We walked to the other side where we got a better view of the Delaware River. If you have a taste for antiques and additional shopping, you’ll find it here.

We slipped into a small coffee shop which also sold ice cream in order to get a break from the heat. My daughter ordered mint chocolate chip and I ordered buttered pecan. What a treat after a nice day. It was extremely refreshing and delicious.

Beautiful flowers were arranged in unison by a sidewalk. Crowds of people everywhere enjoying the moment. We were so glad we had the opportunity to spend the day together.

20170715_153330After walking around Lambertsville, we went back to New Hope and stopped at a few more stores where we made additional purchases. Our finale was at a popular restaurant named Havana where we sat an ordered a refreshing drink and ate some appetizers.

In the future, I intend to come back to New Hope. If you have the opportunity to discover new places near your home, spend it with someone special and build memories that will last a lifetime.

Can you recommend any places near where you live?

 

 

 

 

Life at a Glance

20170526_164219

Are you living the life you were meant to live? These are Photos taken on the Island of Dominica. I recently spent two weeks on this island and I was inspired by its natural beauty.

20170526_135530 I was born here many years ago and came to America at the age of two. To be honest, I have visited Dominica, several years ago, but this time seemed so different. The mountains seemed larger covered from top to bottom with coconut, bamboo, and other trees which are indigenous to this island. As I looked at the sky, the color was bluer than blue. You can also smell the freshness of the Atlantic and Caribbean Ocean. The colors of the flowers, plants and trees had an intensity I hadn’t noticed before. Beautiful homes in colors of bright orange, yellow and greens added a wonderful dimension to the landscape.

20170519_132125

As I observed everything around me, I was amazed I hadn’t payed much attention in previous trips to this island. Why was this time so different? Then I realized I was older and looked at life very different from my younger days. I no longer took life for granted but embraced each day as if it was my last.

2017051995162105

I met people who had given up their busy life in their perspective countries for a much slower and simpler life in Dominica. I pondered about my life and wondered if I had what it takes to change my current lifestyle, for life in a smaller country. What we give up is all the stuff we’ve accumulated over the years and certain amenities that smaller countries can’t provide. 

20170521_094510

Are we living the life we were meant to live? Sometimes I wonder because since childhood, our life has become more complicated as we continue to chase the almighty dollar.  Was this what God had in mind when he placed us here on earth? If I remember correctly, he placed us in the Garden of Eden, a paradise similar to the island of Dominica but much, much better. I guess I will hold these thoughts captive and contemplate what I should do in the coming years.

20170525_183417

When it comes to you, my suggestion if you are not interested in moving to any other country in the future, at least make time to connect with nature no matter where you are. It will make a world of difference when considering the life you are living.