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My new favourite place… Panamá!

1 Nov

This May I had the pleasure of visiting Panamá.. and it was truly one of the best trips I’ve had since my mum and I started circumnavigating the Caribbean.

It has the climate and topography similar to Jamaica, with the addition of the lush rainforest and burgeoning citylife. It has a mixture of cultures and takes from a variety of other Latin American countries as well as Caribbean.

Small city next to a rainforest – next to a large city – next to the jungle – surrounded by a vast mountain range. Pockets of bliss! If you’re interested in an extremely diverse set of excursions – this is the place. 😀

The food was fantastic, the people were kind and genuinely happy.. But really -the only way to experience this beauty.. Is to go and see for yourself! 😍😍😍

 

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“DUSHI” / CURAÇAO

12 May

Just returned from another lovely trip to the Caribbean in beautiful Curaçao. Stayed at the Sunscape Curaçao Resort Spa & Casino. The accommodations were adequate, the food was great. The weather was gorgeous, the sea was amazing. And I was able to see a small portion of the island… and had a fantastic time!

However there were some dark moments, which unfortunately put a cloud over the entire trip. They say you never have a 2nd chance to have a 1st impression. It is sad that such a beautiful experience was marred by the action of a few.

What I experienced was very different and on a whole other level of ridiculous and unacceptable. And my story, along with other Black people, and other shades of Black, Indian – was unique to us. A group of us were systematically and repeatedly racially profiled on the resort, and consistently carded several times a day. In addition, my mother and I were attacked by a local in the casino – whereby the manager of the casino did absolutely nothing, denied any responsibility and took the side of the guy who accused us of stealing his slot machine card. On top of all this, we all felt an overwhelming nagging sense that the staff were too busy to attend to us. Like we did not belong there or something. It was a sad state all around.

And it wasn’t even “White” on “Black” racism, where one could identify it, and protest it. This was BLACK ON BLACK racism. My OWN PEOPLE were doing this to me and us. What for? They actually stopped us on the resort several times a day, asking our names and room numbers at a checkpoint. It was a degrading and tiring experience – as though we were intruding on their turf, or sneaking in without paying. When TRUTH be told, if you examined the bank accounts of the Black people on the resort you would see quite a different tale. Meaning, Blacks have MONEY. Get over it! We have money and we will spend it where ever we choose. But of course we’re not allowed to go anywhere nice.

Nevertheless, I spoke to the management about it and I wasn’t stopped again. And the other people who protested – they were also given a “pass.” But I know that’s just my situation, and our situation. Who knows when they’ll stop the next?

I have experienced the former type of racism in my childhood and youth, believe me, and was probably better equipped to deal with it, because I knew what it was. But even now, almost in my mid-30s, I’m still not equipped to deal with this sense that “I am not/should not be allowed to be somewhere or do something, because I am of colour.” It’s a notion I’ve never been exposed to in my life. I’ve always had opportunities afforded to me, and have never had any type of obstacle professionally or personally, in Canada. So, when I go to the Caribbean, where I feel like this should be my “second home,” and am treated like a 2nd class citizen, my heart breaks and that’s all there is to it.

Oddly I do not / cannot blame the people who did this, and the culture that surrounds them and how they treat people. How can I? They are a product of their environment, of their own history, and of their own slavery.  They are constantly reminded of it, and perhaps can’t escape it. They are a product of their own mental slavery.

Despite this tragic tarnish, I had a FANTASTIC time with my madre 😀 And enjoyed her hilarious antics when she threatened to beat the guy with her cane, and nearly did to the casino manager.  So at least I know I was well-protected! 😉

Onto the next trip!

😀

sunset2 mum & me 2 port dushi fire14 sign2

Society needs a RESTART BUTTON.

30 Sep

I was moved today by this article http://elitedaily.com/life/greatest-moments-clarity-life-realizing-things-didnt-work-youre-better/773523/ – and it’s true each of those points are present and screaming in my life right now, and they have been a slow but steady realization over the past 4 years.

However, the overarching idea that the article didn’t mention: the main reason why people feel that they need to be absolutely perfect, and have everything they want, when they want it without disappointment. It’s a combination of many things, a false notion of success, and thereby happiness, and this idea that disappointment is a lifetime failure. Society has a way of making people feel like shit, in the nicest and kindest way ever.

It’s as though, if you’re not driving an Audi, own three homes, or make six figures, you’re somehow not successful. Or if you’re not surrounded by a lot of people, you’re not popular or ‘liked.’ Or if you’re not with the love of your life, married with kids, you’re not important, worthy or valued (single people get crap all the time). Or lining up to own the new iWhatever, personally I could care less about how fashionable my phone is at the moment. My phone is hundreds of years old, and I’m really proud of it. Or the best part, that grieving has an expiry date, and that you should somehow, “move on already,” when people think it’s time. Society doesn’t allow people to grieve, to take time to heal emotionally. And that’s sad. Because if more people were afforded more time to heal, we may not have as many cases of long-term depression.

Our society has placed a ridiculous amount of pressure on people to achieve material things, and obtain the most outrageous and most unrealistic goals. And the craze that we’re in right now is a symptom of it. Our society says, ‘be an individual and do whatever you desire’ – but refuses to allow people to be individuals the way they want to define and achieve it, primarily allowing failure to be an important part of that journey. And no matter how much you try and create your own adventure, it seems as though those adventures are defined by other people. The only way to combat it is to ignore what society deems as important.

Example: The majority of the women exactly my age, my peers, actually aren’t getting married and having kids. They’re actually DOING things to build their career. One is producing an independent film in Hollywood and another is working for NATO in Europe. They are creating their happiness, prioritizing what they feel is important right now. And I completely LOVE that. Women have the right to create their own destiny, without the comments from “people.”

A side note: It’s those “people” who aren’t your friends.

And yes, you can measure success in terms of a dollar value, but others value success by how happy they are, how at peace they are, others by what they create or how they can positively affect others. There are a million and one ways to be happy, and frankly it’s nobody’s business how we arrive there.

In my opinion, it’s not important to be perfect, but it’s important to be well-balanced. Live the life you choose to lead by the measures and criteria that you can sustain and uphold. Fail, be proud and take the time and define your own success, happiness and destiny.