Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dominica Health and Wellness Events, May 2011

Growing up in Dominica, it was hard NOT to stay healthy. Luckily for me I had parents, siblings and relatives who made sure our weekends and holidays were filled with river baths, trips to the beach or some rainforest adventure. We walked a lot back then, to school, to friends and relatives homes, to the river and beach, so obesity was not a word heard very often.
Wholesome, home cooked food was the norm (I wish I had paid more attention), normally comprising of vegetables from a relatives "back yard" garden or farm. Not forgetting the juicy fresh fruit, picked straight from trees (don't even get me started on mango season) and the appropriate herbal "bush" tea selected depending on the emotional or physical need at the time. All this formed part of our normal routine and was something many of us took for granted until those things were no longer part of our lives.
But in our race not to be seen as "poor little Dominica" we are fast ditching common sense and adopting some seriously unhealthy habits and lifestyles, imitating countries like USA and UK that we regard as more sophisticated and developed. Meanwhile these countries that we are desperately trying to play catch up with are ironically jogging their way back to a lifetsyle that looks a lot like the one I remember from childhood.
The percentage of our population suffering from chronic non-communicable diseases are rapidly increasing, younger ages as well, and in a country so small, many of us personally know someone suffering from hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes etc. See DNO article - CNCD's in Dominica
Caricom article - CNCD's Alarming Facts
All this makes the promotion of "Health and Wellness" in Dominica a great idea I think. Not only to make us more aware of and appreciate our natural assets but to also promote these to potential visitors and non-exploiting investment partners.
Dominica's 3rd Annual Health and Wellness event was held in May this year and formed part of the Discover Dominica Authority's Tourism awareness month of activities.
I love this event and organiser Terri Henry's passionate determination, sincerity and enthusiastic energy is infectious, so it is always a pleasure to be involved.
This year, chef and best selling author of Caribbean Vegan, Taymer Mason, was the inspirational invited guest and a major part of the 3 day series of events. Another extremely hard working and driven individual, Taymer held various workshops demonstrating how creative and tasty, vegan dishes can be.
A great thing about events held in Dominica is that often they are intimate affairs, so you can usually "connect", meet and talk to people you might not get a chance to at larger events. It was a pleasure to meet Taymer and learn more about the frustrations and advantages she has experienced living in some of the other Caribbean islands. I hope partnerning with others from the region is something Dominica can do more of. We talk of Caribbean unity and I think there is so much we can share and learn from our neighbours and vice versa, they can learn from us too.
Another aspect of the event that I particulary applaud, is that it highlights those who are quietly doing their "little thing" in the background, often for many years. The herb sellers you might pass by without a glance, the vegetarian cafe you never realised existed, the yoga practioners and massage therapists you won't see in the yellow pages etc. It was also nice to see families at the event too; kids with boundless amounts of energy on the bouncy castle.
So the Health and Wellness event overcame it's many challenges and was a success on many levels again this year. But for us who live here, to truly embody healthier living and for "Health and Wellness" to mean something more than the latest trendy tag line that tries to define Dominica to the tourist market, we all need to pay more than just lip service to staying healthy, both emotionally and physically and to take personal responsibilty for keeping Dominica healthy too.
That includes me, so after posting this blog, I'm heading off for a sea bath. See you there!! :-)
Thanks to all those who supported and sponsored the event through financial assistance and long hard working hours behind the scenes. Please do check out who they all were in the various links below.

Some photos from the various events.
YouTube photo slideshow - Fri 13th May Anchorage Event

YouTube photo slideshow - Sat 14th May JTAS Event

YouTube photo slideshow - Sun 15th May UWI Expo

For more information on the 2011 Health & Wellness event in Dominica see the following links:
Taymer Mason's website
Dominica Wellness Events Health and Wellness posts
Martha Cuffy's Primal Beauty blog

For more general information see the following links:
Discover Dominica's Health and Wellness directory
Dominica Health and Wellness website
Dominica the healing island by Terri Henry
Health Tourism by Dr. Emanuel Finn (2002)
Terri Henry's website

Friday, June 24, 2011

Carnival Queen Show, March 2011, Dominica

My posts are seriously out of wack date wise so apologies.
One of our long standing events as part of Carnival season is our Queen Show or Miss Dominica pageant. While few will deny that the winners are hard working ambassadors for Dominica and the contestants all say that taking part in the event is very challenging and great for confidence building and personal development, it may be time to update the format if the event is to remain positive, relevant and uplifting for young woman today.
I'm not sure that scoring women for walking around in a swimming costume is something we still ought to be doing.
What do you think?

BBC News - In pictures: The modern-day beauty contest

Click for photos from this years event

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Creole & All That Jazz Event, May 2010, Dominica

I'm STILL processing photos from last year but wanted to get these uploaded as the Creole and Jazz Event is on again this Sunday 12th June (click link for DDA flyer). Last year was a fun, family event and the Cabrits setting was nice. The event line-up was a cool mix of local and international talent - Arturo Tappin, Christian Laviso, Conjunto Puerto Rico, Fanatik and Marie-Claire. Kudos to the DDA team and sponsors for adding something a little different to the annual musical events calendar.
I know many of us are feeling it financially at the moment so it's a shame about the price increase this year to $60EC ($50EC in advance) plus the charge for bringing your own cooler but I'm sure it will still be a relaxed and entertaining event, especially with the fab weather we've been having.

Creole & All That Jazz Event, Dominica
Creole & All That Jazz Event, Dominica
Creole & All That Jazz Event, Dominica
Creole & All That Jazz Event, Dominica
Creole & All That Jazz Event, Dominica
Creole & All That Jazz Event, Dominica
Creole & All That Jazz Event, Dominica

Click for Slideshow - Creole And All That Jazz Event

Click for photos from this years event