Category: devalued

A Tale of Two Perspectives: Economic Growth through Environmental Development

Internet use and multi-media documentation has facilitated community education in the recent movement to “Save Mandahl Bay” on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. While opposing stories and letters have been shared in the local online and print newspapers, Mrs. Anna Wallace-Francis of Camp Umoja and Friends of Mandahl Bay are actively strategizing towards preserving the natural environment on St. Thomas.

Anna Wallace-Francis and First Lady CECILLE DEJONGH

Anna Wallace-Francis with First Lady Cecille deJongh during a tour of Camp Umoja and the Mandahl Bay Area. Photo ©SankofaSaturdays

Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Wallace-Francis shared that when attempting to research desired public documents, they still experienced various challenges with obtaining information. Waiting days longer than they felt were necessary for recently filed documents, the repeated inability to reach specific persons and realizing that some documents were unavailable due to being destroyed as a directive from higher authority were a few of their experiences.

Nevertheless, to facilitate educating the public, Friends of Mandahl Bay have pooled their skills and research knowledge to share the public government documents on their blog, including the development agreement, lease agreement and deeds related to Mandahl Bay.

Camp Umoja Welcome Wall

Anna Wallace-Francis with First Lady Cecille deJongh during a tour of Camp Umoja and the Mandahl Bay Area.

Camp Umoja’s Mandahl Bay area tours, similar to one held on Dec 13, 2014 with the Hotel Association and St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce including the First Lady Cecille deJongh, also help to educate the community on concerns of those in favor or opposed to transforming the Mandahl Salt Pond area to build a new “300-room Hyatt Regency Hotel,” according to a VI Daily News story.

If developers are eventually successful with building, a concern is that too often, local people are not qualified to make more than substantial salaries. “If we don’t have the skills or bonds to build a marina, then those jobs wouldn’t come to us. Those jobs would probably go to people flown in from Puerto Rico or elsewhere and the remaining service-oriented jobs would offer low wages, which still leaves Virgin Islands people needing to work two jobs,” shared Wallace-Francis.

Knowing locals who, with support, could start their own eco-tourism, agri-tourism and culture-tourism businesses almost immediately, Wallace-Francis shared that she felt entrepreneurship instead is in the best interest of helping the community.

Wallace-Francis provides eco-tours as well as kayaking, snorkeling and other environmental or educational activities. Local youth programs including student interns from the University of the Virgin Islands and Syracuse University’s collaborations have already benefitted from workshops on the campground’s location. She also envisions the ability to add horseback riding, sustainable cottage industries as well as cultural productions, performances, along with more educational marine-life and sustainable agriculture workshops.

Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Wallace-Francis shared that when attempting to research desired public documents, they still experienced various challenges with obtaining information. Waiting days longer than they felt were necessary for recently filed documents, the repeated inability to reach specific persons and realizing that some documents were unavailable due to being destroyed as a directive from higher authority were a few of their experiences.

Port of Mandahl Project New Jobs List

Proposed New Jobs with the Port of Mandahl Proj

Nevertheless, to facilitate educating the public, Friends of Mandahl Bay have pooled their skills and research knowledge to share the public government documents on their blog, including the development agreement, lease agreement and deeds related to Mandahl Bay.

Photo/Video Footage Collage from the Tour on Dec 13, 2014

V.I. Seeking Solutions in Solidarity with Ferguson

handsup

Saving Our Sons, Healing Ourselves: Reflecting on Michael Brown. Photo by Jalani Horton

Daily News Story on the Gathering

Virgin Islands Daily News Story on the Gathering in Case you Missed it…

On a day like today all I care to do is write
The sound of my own voice instigates a useless internal fight
Why does it surprise us when we know where we are
We should’ve already had a plan before the distraction got this far

Now we’re falling right into the senseless master plan
They don’t have to see your cards if you’re always showing them your hand
Is it really that impossible to think outside the box?
The strategy should be easier to see, we’re the ones that made the locks

But just because we did it’s the end of the discussion
We also make the keys so why we accepting this concussion
Wake up my people, it’s not time to act off of emotion
Let’s use this as a reminder, to ourselves we need devotion

It’s not that I don’t care or don’t see the reason to speak out
Sometimes when the noise is so loud, I’d just rather listen than shout

I’ve learned through our confusion; in the silence comes the solution

Get to the core, constant contact now needed even more
ReBuild. We are the resounding resolution

©DaraMonifah

Giving ThAnkhs for siStarQueens like Dena & Jahweh for bringing the V.I. solidarity gathering to life for the sake of our listening, learning, healing and re-building.

Saving Our Sons, Healing Ourselves | Their Lives Matter; Our Lives Count! Headed down to Brewer’s Beach #Solidarity #BrownFriday#blackfridayblackout #BlackLivesMatter #FergusonDecision #KWANZAA365Sankofa Saturdays Unsung Sheroes VI

saving saving1 saving2 saving3

Internal Healing from within our Shores: Profile of Naturopathic Healer Ras Bobby Olivacce

Back to Basics: “Non”-traditional or “Alternative” Healing | A Natural Oxymoron

Ras Bobby Vending at Farmer's Market_AishaZakiyaBoydphoto

Ras Bobby Vending at Farmer’s Market Photo credit @AishaZakiyaBoyd

A natural healer indeed, Ras Bobby Olivacce, residing in the Virgin Islands, was born to heal. If nothing else proves it, his family lineage allowed for him to be born into healing with the use of herbs and plants as the primary source for encouraging healing and the life experiences that followed confirmed his fate to this day.

Raised in Dominica, a central Caribbean island from age of 4, most people had farms where Ras Bobby grew up and he went to their farms daily and herbs were taught to him by his family. His parents gave him herbs first thing in the morning in the form of teas for general well-being or colds and fevers.

“In 1978, a Rastafarian was the first person who spoke to me about the therapeutic uses of healing herbs.”

He travelled for a few weeks to other French Caribbean islands and on his last day, the end of the trip was Martinique. At the airport leaving, he met Dr. Sebi, a world renowned pathologist, herbalist, biochemist, and naturalist from Spanish Honduras. Someone in California had encouraged Dr. Sebi to visit Dominica.

“It was like a calling, like I just had to be doing this.”

“Meeting Sebi at 22, I was already seeing what herbs were doing,”

…experientially himself by using recommended herbs from childhood for various conditions. Within a few minutes of using the first herbs ever suggested to him by Dr. Sebi, Ras Bobby’s headache was gone. This was Dr. Sebi’s first time ever visiting so Bobby became his tour guide to Dominica. So receiving the Back to Eden book from the Rastafarian man, meeting Dr. Sebi three weeks later, then becoming his tour guide back to Dominica and experiencing the effects for himself led to Ras Bobby’s revelation that he as destined to become a healer.

According to Dr. Chenzira Davis Kahina, a Naturopathic Healer, Psychotherapist, Midwife and commonly consulted resource on natural healers, Ras Bobby’s qualifications are based on his experiential background.

“His area falls under a non-traditional or alternative medicine approach.”

She’s experienced some of his presentations, met with some of his clients/patients and witnessed the work that he’s done here in the Virgin Islands as well as in Dominica.

“He’s had a chance to learn from his family line and do the research and educational reinforcement as well as practical use of the various elixirs and herbal medicinal products that he’s produced over the years.”

Though he didn’t spend clinical hours per se in a contemporary collegiate setting going through clinical evaluative processes, “his evaluative processes were learned from what was passed down through his family lineage as well as his actual practical experiences.” He has alliances with international herbal and traditional healing organizations and learned directly from the onset of his training from noted Naturopaths including Dr. Sebi.

Ras BobbyBobby has successfully assisted with the healing of severe ailments including cancer, kidney stones, fibroids insulin use and others. What makes him more unique from other healers is his open and public desire to highlight and support all other healers and healing art forms. Ras Bobby has been the driving force of the highly anticipated International Healers Symposium. Held annually on St. Thomas, a major focus on September 21st, 2014 will be the use of local herbs to aid in the healing from the Chikungunya virus.

As he shared, some call him a Naturopathic Healer, Traditional Healer, “some people call me a Rasta Shaman.”

Whichever the terms, which to him are synonymous, the story of Healer Ras Bobby Olivacce, would make anyone question the need for the prefix “non” in the expression, non-traditional healer.

Ras Bobby Interview at Farmer's Market_SankofaSaturdaysphoto

DaraMonifah interviewing Ras Bobby at the Bordeaux Farmer’s Market on St. Thomas, VI @SankofaSaturdays photo by Majestik Freedom and Harmony Olivacce

For more info about Ras Bobby and the Healing Symposium, call 340-775-0851 or email rasbobby2000@yahoo.com

LIVE Radio Interview:
http://tinyurl.com/TuneIn2SankofaSaturdays for the full LIVE radio interview and the #SoundCloud.com upload immediately after on Saturday, September 20th during the 2nd hour of our weekly radio program. Listen live on http://www.wuvi.am or #TuneIn at http://tun.in/seqFx

d’Shelled.

Dried bones worn as jewelry
Back bones used as decoration
Who or what did these once clothe?
Does it even matter or do we just use them as we see fit
As long as it pleases us
Do we even ask permission to selfishly distance them
Or do we appreciate…

Their journeys
And give thanks for their sacrifices
Before we bore yet another hole in

To dangle from our person

As if we have conquered them all on our own.

And so now they are trophies to be worn by Kings and Queens
Who Labor not.

I too sing America… I am the darker sister
They send me to eat in the kitchen, when company comes
But I laugh, and eat well and grow strong
Tomorrow…

They’ll get it

Or they won’t
And I will keep on keepin’ on
With my external smile
And my internal tears
Will flow no more
For shame of their perceptions of my abused beauty

I appreciate the stones, the shells, the broken smoothed glass
For I know not their Journeys

And should I choose to request their presence on my person?
I will do so wearing the pride of their accomplishments

And the awareness of their struggles

So that I will not be adding to their demise
But strengthening their story
With my own

As they in turn
Strengthen mine
With theirs

©DaraMonifah

Unconditionally yours

If you do no more than touch me
do it from the depth of you

If you do no more than hold me
embrace me like I’m priceless

if you do nothing more than look at me
see me for my innermost beauty, pain, fears, love

if you do nothing
just love me
from a distance

but do it so that I know
how you truly adore me
how you know I cherish you, and us
and appreciate you as you are
even with all the unknown complexities that you hold dear
to yourself
know that I am truth

and that if nothing else
I love you
for trying

©DaraMonifah

Need to write my own song

I woke up hearing a song in my head
“Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Just stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re use to…”

A similar pain as I had the morning right before
but this time, the tears were trying to follow close behind

Why do we set our selves up for disappointment
and take it even further and put ourselves out to be hung?

I feel like I opened up my vest,
exposed my chest
and was shot in the back of my head

I feel like I wore my heart on my sleeve
and you walked around to my other shoulder
pretended it wasn’t there
and never looked me in the eye

are my tears even worth shedding for this?
or should I just go back and continue focusing on
my rivers…

lakes stand waiting for me
staying available whenever I need to use them

and rivers just run through me

but at least they’re not like the rain from your blue skies
showering all around me as if I’m not even there

every now and then allowing me a little sunlight
rays warming me like the golden warmth of comfort and promise
rising in the morning after a storm

only to last occasionally
before it again
begins to rain

“I wanna go outside….
in the rain.”
your rain
“…cause I…”
“it’s so crazy, it’s so crazy.”

your music drowns out my own existence sometimes
i need to write
my own song

©DaraMonifah
10/08/10

D-valued.

Trying not 2 have a melt down

I don’t know how 2 release this. I feel like bawling but the tears won’t come out

Wanna scream, but my tight throat won’t let me shout

And I’ve been in the bed from before the sun went down and I can’t fall asleep

I feel so betrayed, Angry, hurt, …and so unbelievably weak

What did I do to deserve this kind of treatment from people that were supposed to be my closest friends?

Finally I feel a tear forming…. Hopefully this will begin the end

How else can I release? How much more should I take?

What else will relax my gut muscles and soothe this head/heart ache?

Sex?
Music?
A long, breathless, underwater shout?

Well, one has to work… about 2 find out.

D-valued.

Releasing pain constructively continued…

Dried bones worn as jewelry
Back bones used as decoration
Who or what did these once clothe?
Does it even matter or do we just use them as we see fit
As long as it pleases us
Do we even ask permission to selfishly distance them
Or do we appreciate…

Their journeys
And give thanks for their sacrifices
Before we bore yet another hole in

To dangle from our person
As if we have conquered them all on our own.

And so now they are trophies to be worn by Kings and Queens
Who Labor not.

I too sing America… I am the darker sister
They send me to eat in the kitchen, when company comes
But I laugh, and eat well and grow strong
Tomorrow…

They’ll get it

Or they won’t
And I will keep on keepin’ on
With my external smile
And my internal tears
Will flow no more
For shame of their perceptions of my abused beauty

I appreciate the stones, the shells, the broken smoothed glass
For I know not their Journeys

And should I choose to request their presence on my person?
I will do so wearing the pride of their accomplishments

And the awareness of their struggles
So that I will not be adding to their demise
But strengthening their story
With my own

As they in turn
Strengthen mine
With theirs

©DaraMonifah