Bassy - Love Vine
March 8, 2007

Oritsa our Cuban amiga

Ah knew dat once Lie-Za heard dat de Cuban Social Workers were distributing energy saving bulbs in my area on Sat-dey dat she was going to visit, so early o-clock in de evening ah turned on all de lights in de house waiting foh when she showed up. At 7:00 p.m. on de dot ah heard her familiar voice shouting from de road: “ Like Mr. Alexander win Lotto or he got shares in Vinlec, how he house light up so bright tonight”?

Like ah good plaster ah told her ah could afford to light-up because ah get me energy saving Bol from Cuba. Notice ah say Bol and not Bulb, that’s Spanish ah pick up from Oritsa de Cuban Social Worker who came to my house. And what ah lovely young lady she is. From de time ah heard how some people were refusing de Bulbs, ah promised me-self to do like Lie-Za, be warm to dem and keep ah lickle something in de house to eat whenever dey came to put in de bulbs.{{more}} But Oritsa was not very interested in my Sat-dey evening Roast Breadfruit and Pig Foot Souse, actually she had just eaten she said; however, she had ah drink with us while she waited for the transport; ah very cultured young woman and is so de wife loves her. Ah put on ah serious face and asked her to open de Bulb and show me de camera hidden inside, but she has ah good sense ah humor, she smiled and told me ah been watching Mr. Chavez. She’s still in University, her Dad is an Engineer and Mom is a Teacher. Her Spanglish es Buena only she lacks de confidence to speak it; but is her local guide who gave me ah laugh, not ah word in Spanish but by the time de Cubans leave he’ll be speaking his own version of de Spanish. Ah overheard him speaking to Oritsa in English: “ Oreetsar” he said, “I weel goo down de road to meeet de varn”, waving his hands all over making sign language, he concluded: “ den me weel come bark, yuh understand”?

De transport came and we said adios to our new Cuban amiga, then my wife and I reflected ah while on this whole exercise. How brave, dedicated and courageous these young people are. It is indeed ah wonderful gesture by President Castro and de people of Cuba to send their young people around de Caribbean, going house to house on foot, up hill, thru tracks with bags ah Bols, knocking on every door, literally begging us house owners to accept ah lighting device dat will save us money dat we can better use foh food and books and ah hate to say, some unnecessary items. Muchas Gracias Cuba!


Last weekend ah picked up ah copy of Oscar Allen’s book “We want to become wise” and even though ah was only able to read a few pages, ah must agree with Doc Fraser who wrote de introduction, dat the lickle book is student and people friend, and ah would add, ah very unique style, where de writer stops and quizzes yuh brain along de way.

Ah don’t think enough is known of dis Oscar Allen fellar, ah scholar and deep thinker who writes with conviction and passion. He is fearless, says it like he sees it and best of all he does practice what he preach. Oscar’s philosophy is very similar to that of Doc Kirby’s. His primary concern is about people, development for de under-dog, find another word if yuh may, but Oscar de Educator, Oscar de Social Worker, Oscar de Community Leader or Oscar de what have yuh, seem to have dedicated his life to de development of de small man; yuh could ask Solo Butler, Simeon Greene, Otto Sam and de late Earline Horne and others if yuh don’t believe me..

Not many people know dat the Searchlight Newspaper is de brain-child of Oscar Allen; it was all his vision, was his I-dare to summon ah group of us and convinced us that SVG was ready for another paper and that de time was right, and he was so right too.

So I’m happy dat Oscar has finally come around to publishing what most people will admit is ah long over due book. And written by ah man of great Wisdom what better name to call de book dan “We want to become wise”! One criticism though, de publishers should ah never put out dat book without ah picture of Oscar. Ah know dey would have tried but wid Oscar dats ah No! No! I want to suggest dat foh $15. 00 ah copy, nothing should stop Vincentians at home and abroad from purchasing ah copy. Congrats Oscar!


Ah refuse to let Pet Soso’s passing slip by without mentioning de generosity of de man. Soso was one ah dem businessmen who would give to ah cause whether business good or bad with him. Ah would go to him and outline ah worthy cause, he would listen, looking at me with ah straight face and in a very soft tone he would ask: “ tell me what so yuh looking for”? and he would give, concrete blocks, money, pot, stove whatever is needed. Quietly, he was one ah dem political animal, no opportunist, just plain love of party love of country. But nothing meant more to him dan his family, Anselma and dem two boys Michael and Ricky. Once or twice he told me how he prays night and day dat de Good Lord would spare his life to see those two boys finish school, and de Good Lord not only granted him dat wish but de boys did extremely well and did dat ever make him proud. Have ah good rest now Pet.


And Sir Sydney gone to higher service. When we went to play foh him last Christmas, we found it strange dat he did not sing along wid de Band as he normally does whenever we play his favourite Carol “Christians Awake”. Maybe he was giving us ah hint.

Folks my age will always remember de days when money was not all dat matters, when Sir Sydney and his team-mate Dr Harry Munro did every conceivable operation, surgery from head to toe and wid great success, Dey saved many lives And ah don’t recall people complaining bout poor medical service in dem days as dey do now-ah-days. Sir Sydney was not only ah humble man but truly ah man of God who has left us ah legacy dat many of our young doctors need to emulate; we have lost ah great man,

And wid dat ah gone again.

One Love Bassy.