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. IMG_0001The 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.

IMG_0003The 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!

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