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Roseau cruise ship berth

Like many of the islands in the region, Dominica has placed great emphasis on cruise tourism, while some have pumped more and more money into the sector hoping to see the arrivals continue to rise annually. This to them is a sign showing that the sector is experiencing regular growth, but is it?

It is not that I’m saying the cruise tourism industry is not vital and that the countries of the region should not keep their programme as fit as possible to capitalize. I believe, however, that the emphasis is a bit off balance especially when one looks at what goes into stay over visitors.

These are the visitors who stay and are more likely to spend much more than cruise visitors. But there seems to be no real sense of urgency in dealing with such a matter, and it seems like everyone is out for a quick buck during the cruise season.

The idea should be for tourism to have all its parts working in unison to create one well-oiled and smoothly running plant that offers much more than we have to give up in order to make the industry successful and not to the detriment of certain key elements of the country.

It’s obvious that we are not seeing the balance that would lead cruise visitors to return as stay over visitors and shouldn’t his be a set plan put together by tourism stakeholders for crying out loud?

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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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Editor’s note:This post was written by Jermaine, a contributor to the


I have a serious gripe with drivers who seem to think that the public roads are for their use only.

It can be very frustrating when you are trying to get to another location within a reasonably quick time and you come upon motorists who have pulled alongside each other and are having a casual conversation in the middle of the road.

Meanwhile, all the regular people behind them from both directions have to put on the brakes and wait until the selfish duo would have completed their chat and decide to move on. Then one would have the audacity to wave at you as though to suggest he is thankful that you gave him the opportunity to do his foolishness.

One of these days there is going to be someone who would be having a particularly difficult day and would not be in the mood for this kind of stupidity. And as much as I am hoping it never happens, that person might not be in full control on that day and might do something that will put him in trouble with the law.

I am not suggesting that he would be right to shout and scream and turn to some sort of violent behaviour but I am using this as a warning to motorists who do not take the time to think of the inconvenience they might be causing to others and the danger they might be putting themselves and others in. Most of the roads in this country are wide enough so that if both drivers pull aside and exchange messages. The flow of traffic will not be severely impeded. Further, there are many areas available for them to pull off and have a comfortable enough chat under trying circumstances.

Things can happen at odd times but we have to be careful what we do out of the lack of concern for others. Can you imagine that an ambulance with a sick person is somewhere to the back of the confusion waiting to get by? Maybe it is some businessman trying to get to an all important appointment in good time.

This highway selfishness must stop before somebody has to pay an extremely heavy price.

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