We stopped briefly in St. George’s this afternoon en route to our focus group on domestic violence (I’ll post about that later), and these artifacts caught my eye. The first shows damage from Hurricanes Ivan and Emily,in 2004 and 2005, respectively. They’re still recovering from the storms here—when I registered at our hotel I was asked if I’d like to contribute to efforts to rebuild a school damaged in the hurricanes.
The second image is a reminder that Grenada (which includes the islands Carriacou and Petit Martinique) didn’t gain independence from Britain until 1974. I saw a banner this morning celebrating the 60th anniversary, this year, of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.
Both images brought to mind Jamaica Kincaid’s delicate screed of an essay, A Small Place, which I read on the flight down. Remarking on a library in her native Antigua, which, in 1974, had yet to be repaired from an earthquake that struck more than a decade earlier, Kincaid writes: “The library is one of those splendid old buildings from colonial times, and the sign telling of the repairs is a splendid old sign from colonial times. Not very long after The Earthquake Antigua got its independence from Britain, making Antigua a state in its own right, and Antiguans are so proud of this that each year, to mark the day, they go to church and thank God, a British God, for this.”
Look for student posts starting tomorrow!