Sunday, October 24, 2010

What a Week!

What a week – Monday was the last of a number of days that were tied up in knots that somehow made themselves into bits n pieces of jewelry that made it to The Inner Gallery for our exhibition opening on Tuesday evening…that went off well and it’s my first exhibition in, well, far, far too long! This one is in the company of a good number of other talented souls too – will post separately on it soon…
Kus-Kus Grass  and various stones pendant, Finola Prescott
But before I got to the exhibition opening, there was Graduation in Choiseul – of the 33 crafters who’d attended the OPSR Entrepreneurial and Skills Development Training that had been keeping me busy during August and September…I had to leave early sadly, but I had to be back up the windy roads and in Bois d’Orange by 7pm…
Natalie Cooper plaits kus-kus as the youngest trainee Alicia Cooper (R) looks on
Inspired by a picture of a recycled paper bowl - Jean Cooper Kus-Kus
The graduation was lovely though – I was seriously touched when the MC McArthur Phillip introduced me as “the loved one of the crafters, Finola” WoW. There are moments you’ll remember for many, many, years – that was one of them. This training was challenging, as so many times these things are. But it was oh, so successful at the end…I’ll have to write a separate post about it on Explore Arts, so I can do justice to the results!
At the Graduation, they’d done a great job decorating the Old Boys’ School in Reunion - Barbara Jacobs-Small of Right Angle Imaging (the agency who carried out the whole project) spoke so enthusiastically about the whole project. I spoke as well as I could as I was exhausted and was showing it! Not my best speech, but I hope it said what I wanted to convey. The parliamentary rep Rufus Bousquet was enthused by the whole thing and well, I hope some of it shows up in continued support…The Minster of Commerce, Hon. Tessa Mangal was also very impressed and buoyed by the prospects.
The graduands, well, they are the stars. When I got there I was greeted with more new examples of beautiful pieces, it’s hard to describe the feeling that this brings…I’ll have to tell the whole story soon, but those who know St. Lucia traditional crafts and crafters will know that achieving change and active self-motivated enthusiasm and experimentation in the crafters does not happen easily! They are outdoing everyone’s expectations. They deserve to be seriously proud.

Now, let me just say, the Exhibition Opening at The Inner Gallery was great - it was a tough set up - a few ruffled feathers and very tired exhibitees, but in the end, the crowds showed and we all sold items! Congrats to all...and to top it off, courtesy of Adline Eudovic (daughter of St. Lucia's famous sculptor Joseph Eudovic) had brought back a box of grasshoppers from Japan, so a number of us brave(?) souls topped off the night with a munch on a grasshopper...

A very tired me eating
So, what else happened this week – well I finally have nearly finished my report for my current work…a follow on, partially, to the other training. That feels good as it is also not an end, but just the first part leading to even more good works to be taken on for the Choiseul (and beyond) crafts communities.
I squeezed in a visit to Lina & Family Seamoss Delight as I’ve been asked to help improve their packaging. What a delight that family is too – living way up in Cacao, Vieux Fort, of course they know my sister Sarah, who’s Deputy Chief Fisheries Officer and I realized I’d probably messed with (er, I mean assisted with :-) their seamoss lines at Savannes Bay nearly 20 yrs ago when they first started; I’d ‘helped out’ my sister with surveying the lines for nursery fish and other sealife during one summer vacation from college. Small world.
Then back to writing the report on Thursday and at about 10pm realizing that my shoulders just really, really hurt and that report just was not going to get finished that night…but it’s looking good. So off to bed to get up early and pack to come to Barbados for a few days…
Landing in Barbados...hmm, it's flat there...
Well trips to Bim are always interesting – this one’s been no different. Caught up a bit with old friend and now, client Liz Defrietas-Field – she has a lovely kiosk at the Holetown Mall – Hot Stuff – and she sells some of my jewelry there. Got some supplies shopping done and once again marvelled at how much more is available in Barbados than St. Lucia – and at pretty good prices too!
Visit Cashack in Black Rock for great beads and beading supplies, incuding Artistic Wire, silver & copper wires and findings, BeadSmith tools, polymer clay. Visit Laurie Dash on Bay St. for Jacquard paints and dyes, good glues and loads n loads of other stuff.
But then my International Visa Debit Card would not work…and my shopping was therefore rudely interrupted. Ah! Probably better that way anyway, but very inconvenient as I had to scramble up some help getting taxi fare / ride and food money for the last 24hrs….Modern conveniences – credit and international debit cards, computers, blackberries…so great when they work, so utterly inconvenient when they don’t!
Broad St. Barbados from Big John's - great local fast food
 But the real news of today is the very sad and untimely passing of David Thompson, the Prime Minister of Barbados and Leader of the Barbados Democratic Labour Party. Barbados is my second home – I live between Bim and Lucia and love them both for their own special charms. I was SO happy when David Thompson became Prime Minister here, and I watched many a time, especially through the saga of the Amnesty for Illegal Caribbean Nationals that sparked the most remarkable furore from all corners of the Caribbean and political spectrum, watched David Thompson maintain a truly remarkable composure, rational line of thought, patience and compassion imbued with fairness…a rare, rare thing to see in politics anywhere and certainly in my fair Caribbean.
So today is a sad day here in Barbados. People are showing it. The nation and indeed the Caribbean has lost a special person today. And too young too – only 48.
the Late David Thompson, Prime Minister of Barbados 1961-2010
We Lucians are feeling it specially too as his wife Mara Giraudy-Thomspon is a daughter of St. Lucia and for many of us, she was a school friend too.
May the family find comfort in the love of their extended family, friends and the peoples of Barbados and St. Lucia.
And that’s my week. An event and a half I think.  I’m back in Lucia now…wishing I had a hammock so I could doze in the dappled light of the evening sun and the gorgeous breeze…
Was it just me that has a Week with a capital W, or is it one of those global occurrences? What was your week like out there?

Black Sea Urchin in the Sky, Wed 20, 10, 2010, Soufriere, St. Lucia
The Inner Gallery
Right Angle Imaging