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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


Dominica independence

Happy 31st Birthday, Dominica!

Thirty-one years as an Independent nation may be considered as an insignificant stage in the life of any nation, but by this period we should have develop a basic concept as to the general direction in which we want to go as an island nation. We have not.

Today, as we celebrate the 31st anniversary of independence, we need to ask ourselves whether we have made the best use of political self-governance or whether we’ve squandered it? And if we’re to survive the next 31 years and beyond, our leaders must create a more vibrant economy. We need to also take advantage of the fact that our nature island has unique natural features which are in great demand worldwide and we need to come-up with new cost-effective ways to market that image.

Besides the fact we’ve occasionally slid and stumble along the path to development, Dominica is still one of the most peaceful countries in the world and one of the most naturally beautiful. Whether you believe it or not, we Dominicans enjoy a quality of life that is envy of many countries in the world.

Let’s use this 31st Independence anniversary as an opportunity to give thank to the Almighty for the blessings He has bestowed upon our land.

Finally, we at Dominica Weekly would like to extend happy 31st Independence greetings and best wishes to all Dominicans everywhere.

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Released just in time for Dominica’s 31st Anniversary of Independence and 13th Annual Creole Music Festival; Doo Doo Mwen is a Creole song with a hint of Latin flavor. Composed by Dominican Artist, Barbara Bully-Thomas and performed /interpreted by Maxine Alleyne-Esprit.

Produced by Cornell Phillip; Lead guitar by Julie Martin; Bass guitar by Freddie Nicolas. Keyboard and other instrumentation by Cornell “Fingers” Phillip, a founding member of the WCK band, originators of Bouyon music. The cover was designed by Dominican Artist Earl Ettienne.

Doo Doo Mwen is sure to become a hit during this independence season, considering the amount of positive feedback coming from Dominicans at home and abroad.

Please listen to the song, and lets know us what you think…Enjoy!

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girls_dan

Editor’s note:I’m not a complainer. Really, I’m not. But having lived my first 68 years in the USA, I find that things being different take me some getting used to. Understand, please, I’m not asserting that “different” is wrong. It’s probably right for here; only I’m unused to it.

So, I’m sucking it up and learning to accept those different things. Still, I think it may amuse Dominicans reading this and help inform and prepare Americans, and Europeans and other “1st-worlders” wishing to settle here as well.

I’ll write about those differences – big and small – from time to time, and will preface it with this paragraph so that you know I’m not complaining.

Difference # 3: Sand at the beach.

This one is silly and trivial, and there’s certainly no right or wrong, but it’s something I’ve noticed. Americans (grown-ups anyhow) tend to avoid getting sand on their bodies at the beach. Sometimes they’ll allow their children to bury them with toy shovels, but that’s a game and also keeps the sun off one’s body. But immediately afterward the person buried will go into the water and wash the sand off. But generally Americans have an aversion to getting sand on their bodies. Perhaps it’s because most of us use a protective sun-block, which feels greasy and sticky enough, thank you, without sand on it too. But I’ve noticed that Black Americans have the same attitude towards beach sand as the Whites.

Here in Dominica I observe people of all ages rolling in the sand, even in wet clothes. It’s just a Dominican “thing”, I suppose.

Difference #4: Interacting with dogs.

I’ve had miniature schnauzers since the mid-1960s. And as a boy I always had a dog. Among other things, I love training them. I train them using reward, repetition and patience. No dog of mine has ever been hit. Ranger (the gray dog jumping the cane is 9½ years old and has performed his 18-trick repertoire for the Calibishie school twice and also for the Paix Bouche school. Lyla, the black one that is with my wife Ruth is 5½ and knows about 14 tricks.

I could say a lot, but I don’t want to offend anyone. I just want to make this point: Love works. There is no need to hit a dog or throw stones at it, etc when training it. I will give one example: Someone needed to train a small dog no to jump onto chairs, sofas and the bed. The person thought that hitting the dog when caught in the forbidden places was the way to do that. I explained that the dog would simply learn to go up when nobody is watching and would listen and jump down when it heard someone coming.

My method involves no punishment, and it works: Simply place a newspaper with a set mousetrap on the furniture. The dog will jump up once; the trap will go off and make a loud noise striking the paper (but not hurting the dog). The dog will think that there is something scary about the place it jumped to and won’t do it again.

Use love, patience, repetition and reward, never punishment, to train your dog. If you have a question, send it to me.

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