October 2010


“Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.” ~ Mark Kurlansky, ‘Choice Cuts’ (2002) 

Avocados – Super Food, Super Nutrition 
Avocado season in Dominica starts about June. There are many different kinds of avocado available here; each with its own unique texture and flavor. There is a misconception that avocados are fattening and contain unhealthy oils and cholesterol when actually avocados are super foods.  

Nutrient dense per calorie – packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals such as Vitamins A K and ; high in healthy, monounsaturated fat; a good source of omega 3’s; high in both soluble and insoluble forms of fibre;  a plant based complete protein containing all the amino acids essential for humans.

Nutrient boosters – enabling the body to better absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene as well as lutein…….

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RESPECT to University of West Indies. Our on island campus is a center for learning. Many different degree programs are available through long distance learning and they provide a venue for  all kinds of other interesting lectures, workshops, festivals and conferences to happen there.

Dominica has a very unique volcanic environment!

  • Of the 16 active volcanoes in the Caribbean Dominica has 9!
  • We even have more than one kind of volcano!
  • We live right on an arc of volcanoes where two tectonic plates meet.
  • We are resting on 9 volcanoes or perhaps one volcano with 9 openings.
  • Our island is the most volcanic of any Country in the Caribbean perhaps the world!  

 There are numerous locations that volcanoes can be studied in Dominica: places where hot water or bubbles are floating up out of the ocean floor; places where cold sulphur water bubbles up out of the ground; places where different types of hot waters  flow out of the ground or flow in rivers; the famous and unique in the world Boiling Lake or just drive to a high place and look out over the volcano peaks!

Look for the black volcanic sands and enjoy the flavourful produce we grow in our rich volcanic soil as part of your volcanic experience in Dominica!

Check out my other article on Educating Children in Dominica about volcanoes.

Volcano Resource Links

 

Volcano World

Fumaroles Venting Steam; Valley of Desolation

Valley of Desolation View

Volcanoes; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – What are volcanoes? Why are there volcanoes in the Caribbean. Illustration of Caribbean Plate meeting North American Plate; Map of all the Caribbean islands and their volcanoes.

Volcano Monitoring; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – monitoring volcanoes in the Caribbean.

Volcanic Hazards; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – Hazardous volcanic effects in the Eastern Caribbean.

Volcanic Activity in the Eastern Caribbean; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – eruptions of the past …..

Volcanoes in the Caribbean Frequently Asked Questions; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – are all the volcanos of the Caribbean attached ……

Research Activities in Volcanology; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre

Educational Resources; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – Posters to download

University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – on Twitter

“ For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” ~ Nelson Mandela

 

RESPECT  To all the local corporations, small businesses and private persons who contribute in a multitude of ways to local programmes. They contribute funds, venues, goods and in kind from the good of their hearts as they do not get to count off donations from income for tax purposes as in many other countries. They offer scholarship for children attending school and summer camp; promote local artists and sponsor carnival groups and sports teams. There are very little extra funds available for these projects and a lot of requests hit the same companies over and over again. .………… nuff respect

ACTS OF KINDNESS

Yeah – in Dominica everyone knows your business; just like small communities everywhere. This is part of the culture and environment and in many ways I love it.

I have personally experienced the “Acts of Kindness” that occur in this type of community as compared to London; Toronto; New York where it is a rare occurrence to recognise someone in the crush of humanity.

One morning on my way to work in Roseau from Marigot I got talking to the bus driver. He was a friendly jolly fellow always ready with a laugh and a smile and he loved beff! After only a short time in Marigot I knew that!

He asked me all the normal questions. Where are you from? Do you love Dominica? How long have you been here? I usually answer all the questions; but when people get to the Where are you staying part – I make them work for the answer!

So the conversation that morning went: Bus Driver: “Where are you staying?” I: “Marigot.”. “Where in Marigot?” “Behind Marigot.” “Where behind Marigot?” “Over by Dam.”  “Where over by Dam?” “By 4 roads.” “Where by 4 roads?” “Up the road.” “Where up the road?” “By the pipe.” Where by the pipe?” Oh by a friend.” He looked at me at this point and said “Why don’t you tell me you live by Hillborn Prevost in Rosehill?

Over the next years that same bus driver went out of his way to pick me up in my travels all over the island; every time he picked me up he said “I know you – so I stopped!” Life is nice in Dominica with everyone knowing your business! He has passed away; May He Rest in Peace; but his Acts of Kindness live on in my mind and heart.

 Just think the next “Act of Kindness” you enjoy may keep your memory alive for generations.

 

“In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” ~ Eric Hoffer

                                

RESPECT  to Eleanor Lambert.; a longtime healthy living promoter on island. She dedicated hours to starting a recycled container programme at Ross University Food Court. She introduces incoming students to our local foods through workshops, cookbooks and teaches nutrition at Ross Medical University. Her Healthy Snack Shack provides homemade yogurt; wraps and other healthy foods – vegetarian and non vegetarian. You can always count on a cup of hot oatmeal porridge in the morning……… nuff respect.

 Healthy Lifestyle

Exercise – add a few years to your life!

If we were offered a pill that we took every day to add years to our life and quality to each extra day we live would we take it? Most of us! Exercise is that pill – slightly more time consuming then the seconds it takes to swallow a pill but worth it!

New studies have shown that including exercise into daily life can add years to our lives. How many more times will we be able to hug our children and their children in that time; how much more we can help our community and families when we feel good for our whole lives!

I believe all women should have the right to choose their birth place.  Where ever they feel most comfortable whether it be home, birthing clinic or hospital. – Trudy

In many countries in the world homebirth was the norm in my parents generation. Slowly over the 20th century hosptital birth became mandatory.

When my children were born home birthing was illegal and midwifes who helped happy couples birth healthy babies were always working just outside of the law. My midwife was truly an intricate part of my healthy easy birth for my first child. She provided personal care throughout my pregnancy and for a few weeks after my birth. I will be forever grateful to her even though I ended up having a natural birth in hospital.

Times change and over the years and many provinces in Canada have made it legal to have a home birth. A 4 year baccalaureate midwifery education program has operated at Ryerson University in Ontario since 1993.

There is a wealth of opportunities for women birthing in both hospitals and at home from hypno birthing to water birthing to

A two year study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2002 showed that women who gave birth at home attended by a midwife had fewer procedures during labour compared with women who gave birth in hospital attended by a physician. It was also found that rates of perinatal mortality, 5-minute Apgar scores, meconium aspiration syndrome or need for transfer to a different hospital for specialized newborn care were very similar for the home birth group and for births in hospital attended by a physician.

A more recent  four year study  published in the same journal in August of 2009 found home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions and other adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth.

Now that we have proven that home birth assisted by a midwife is as safe as birthing in a hospital; I hope women will enjoy a wide range of options for their birthing experience.