04 April 2005

Al Fin

Yes, I'm back. After two weeks of entertaining visiting family members, I'm finally back to my old routine. It was a hectic two weeks. Full of activities, stressfully and many times funny. The family left on Friday night and I literally spent Saturday in a vegetative state. I moved only to shower and dragged myself out of the house to walk the shortest distance possible to get something to eat. Sunday was spent the same way after returning from church and dinner. As a matter, I actual fell asleep during the preparation of dinner. I was just so tired. But I think I'm reviving now and can start functioning in my old self again.

Lots has been happening in the news with death being the prominent noticia. Things to make you wonder or at least take a stock of your own mortality. Johnny Chocran went peacefully. I wasn't even aware he was sick. Terri Scharivo went admist of controversy and of course The Pope went admist the modern age of continual news coverage. Here we get the international news of CNNI and BBC World. and beleive me I think I know about everthing possible there is to know about The Pope, the Vatican, and the Catholic religion....well that's from the media point of view. I had to ask, where does CNNI find all the stories to give you full 24hr comprehensive coverage about the same topic for three straight days. It's just amazing. BBC has been giving lots of coverage also, but at least they are breaking periodically to give you other programming. I've gotten to the point now where I'm Poped out. But hey the funeral isn't until Friday and the college of Cardinals still have to meet to choose the new Pope, so the drama continues to unfold on CNN. I've began to make the Discovery channel my favorites.

Now back to my visiting family. When they first came I contemplated writing a blog about bajan words and phrases and cultural habits as they were using many that I hadn't heard or seen in quite some time. Then I changed and thought about writing about their reactions to many things we in modernized societies take for granted but I also changed my mind on that. What I did realize during the visit, is that people are a product of their education, society and socialization and therefore we must not judge them or make light of their upbringing. My family fit into that category.

You see, this particular group of my family are from rural small village in B'dos. They are a product of their society and limited in their exposure to the world. I commend them for making the effort to visit me and the hubby in the various places we have been blessed to live. This gives them some exposure to a world outside their own. It however, makes me realize that we are truly blessed and are among the limited people in the world who live like we do. What I mean is, although we live in a modern society with of all the convinces of modernization. We take this forgranted, but there are many more people in the world who do not live like us in first world countries. Some basic examples, not to degrade, or boast but to show...
  • Seeing bldg over 7 stories was totally amazing to them. One older relative looked at a Bldg that was probably 15 stories up and said "whalosss..looka how tall dah Bldg is..um musse would tek ah whole day tuh get up dey" and this was said in genuine seriousness
  • Our little nephew was quite excited about getting in the elevator, so he would always fight with his sister to push the button.
  • The first day as we were sitting at the table preparing for dinner. I set the table with knives and forks. Set the dinner in the center for self service. Nothing fancy, just the basics. The mother of the nephew commented, look Tom (names changed to protect the innocent) auntie Jane (me) has the table set like we see the white people do on TV. I was shocked.
  • Seeing the mountains was another marvelous sight for them.
  • traveling on the train an experience in itself and the last two comical and interesting observations were..
  • We have a lady who comes occasionally to help out around the house, of course a Spanish lady. When she came, the mother of the the little boy was most astonished because a woman of high color..( to them a Spanish woman is a white woman) was working for a black woman. They couldn't believe it. She spent the morning watching the woman work. And when we finished dinner and the lady came to help remove the dishes..That was another culture shock for them. The comment was... she gine wash de wares ?? yes, was the reply...oh wha I ein know she would do dah too (with raised eyebrows in total amazement)
  • The most comical comment of the week was on our way back to the airport. You have to pass thru two mountain ranges via tunnels. The grandmother looked at me and commented. "Duh got summuch mountains doh, wait, dey couldn't tek a bulldozer and push down some ah dem tuh flatten dem and mek de roads straight" Now, how do you respond to that question with a straight face. I had to say. . Gran, dem mountains made of solid rock, yuh just can't push dem down so, plus dem did standing dey fuh hundreds ah years.

So, I just wanted to give you a lil insight into the two weeks that I had with the family and what I went thru. We love them and we had a great time with them. At their leaving, everyone commented on what a great time they had and are looking forward to visiting again next year. Another batch of family members are schedule to visit next month.


Anonymous said...

Aaah Camp....nice likkle post. First off I going be bad and mek a comment.....you say you spent Saturday in a 'vegetative state'.....I reply....careful, you hubby may decide to tek out you feeding tube! :-0 Lawks me really too terrible.

Indeed the coverage of the Pope's death seems never ending. But, CNN decides what is news. They blew up the Schaivo thing also....but is it news anymore that people are still dying in Iraq? Is it news that people died in yet another earthquake in Asia?

The family thing is so true what you say, but you approached it correctly. Similar things happen with rural people vs their urban relatives in developed nations as well. Here people call it 'country come town'. In essence though, I think many Caribbean people nowadays are pretty well travelled, and hence exposed to other cultures and 'foreign'.

Met a girl a few years ago...from Milwaukee...she came home with a neighbour of mine who was away studying in Milwaukee...came to Ja. for holidays and stayed in my neighbour's home....girl was leaving her hometown in Wisconsin at age 27 for the first time in her life. Had never left her state much less seen the ocean or travel to another place before. It is all relative. The dining table one was good though.

Entertaining people can be a bit stressful, but its worth the effort for the good times that can result. Anyhow, I gone well over limit. Have a good week. Dr. D.

Abeni said...

We have this family joke concerning my Bajan cousin.When she was about 4 years old she was in st Vincent and looking out and seeing the hills she asked her mommy what those were.Some time later my aunt said something was smelling funny to which she replied it must be the hills.Up to this day (and she is my age) we still tease her.

Abeni said...
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Scratchie said...

As you rightly said we are products of our upbringing. can you imagine how many persons in this world have no concept of life outside what they see everyday around them? Serious food for thought. I shudder to think that some people have never seen a car.

Jdid said...

as the dr say the same thing happens with folk in the first world countries. boy i travel through some small towns in ontario and ya shud see how the kids who never see a real live black person behave.

I remember though when i first came to Canada near 15 years ago i didnt know how to use a washing machine, microwave or even a ATM because these where not things I was really familiar with in my household or that I had grown up seeing in Barbados.

Yamfoot said...

nice when you can play tour guide to family, and when family can come and see how people live in other countries.

I'm always intrigued when evidence that we are all so different is shown up in incidents such as you described.