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The Streets of the Caribbean, A Traveling Black Woman

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” - Ibn Battuta.

Trinidad & Tobago really out did themselves with the Design and Set-up of Carifesta XIVp particularly at the Grand Stand in Queens Park. Whether you were entering through the side gates as personnel and staff or to meander through the welcome gate...there was a scenic route and display of color and culture all around.

When you first enter in, you are greeted by mock flight attendants in side of the cabin of a plane, upon exiting the archway is there for picture taking with avenue signs name after the representing countries and islands. There is a vintage cobblestone Victorian town accompanied by colorful Cuban style houses with movie scene revolving lights--really making for the fun and magic of this reunion.

There was much to see, do, taste and experience. The marketplace carried dishes from Haiti, Guyana, Guadelope and more, taking locals on a sensory trip off shores and pulling those who were visiting into Trinidad's specials: doubles, cornsoup, crab and dumbling, shake & bake or roti. In my opinion it was just a taste of what to look forward to on the streets of Port of Spain where I had a nice Veggie Roti with pumpkin & Channa. I was happy about being able to stick to the best dietary choice for body although the chicken beef and goat were enticingly well seasoned and savored. I refrained.
#blessed Check out: Dhops the next time you come in town for a visit or during Carnivale Season

However the most important of it all is the experience that people have and this first comes from within. What most interests you? What do you most gravitate towards? What it there to discover or connect with?
For me, it was anyone who had an interesting story.
You can always tell the difference between those who vend, sale or promote a product for money--they rant off prices and shove items into your hand. And those have a shared identity with their art, craft or material.

One Woman, I saw in near view in my slow and steady strides into the Craft Market. It was actually her painting that I saw first rest on the ground up against the wall of a man--fair skinned, older, strong, agile lugging a pile of wheat or corn indicating that he was a field laborer. Somehow, I felt his soul he came alive to me--I could hear his grunts and moans as he work, felt the heat in that instances and smell the sweat of his back almost as if I were there. I turned around to see the artist carefully etching an image of the image of a building with a tool on black paper. I asked her about her pieces wanted to respect it's sacredness with taking pictures.

Paula Cooper, the Artist's name, shares that she creates depending on how she feels, what inspires her at the time and where she is in life. She teaches the technique to all ages: children to adult. A protege of hers sat nearby peacefully listening in, Afeesha Villafana. It turns out that some of the small paintings were her very own with and she used art making to past the time while waiting to hear back from career applications. What if more young people knew how to apply our time constructively, artistically, humanely?

...there would be no room for anxiety or depression. Not when you're making something beautiful. Observing something in nature or a still object to validating it's existence through this an artistic exchange.

Congratulations to Paula on her inspiring display of work. I wish you all the success and happiness going forth.

My last stop of the day was at: Handmade by Kae all natural soaps, lotion and accessories. A Barbados based Female and Black owned company I was intrigued by the presentation of her marketplace and the various of colors that were used in the product.

As a person with sensitive skin I did inquire about the fun coloring and how she was able to retain the natural properties of in the soap. She replied that the process is one in the same with the way that eye shadows as made and that it is essentially safe and harmless. 

Kudos! Visit them:
Ask for Kae the net time you go to Visit Barbados


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