How To Spend Time In Lockdown


Life on the island continues to be interesting in light of all that is ongoing at home and around the world.  Last post I mentioned that Barbados had not recorded any cases of COVID-19 (corona virus).  Well, here we are two weeks later, and our number reaches a staggering 24.  That may not sound like much in the grand scheme of things but that is 24 too many for our little island.   A weight has been superimposed on the island that is neither wanted or bearable.  While stronger countries grapple with this dilemma, our island struggles to maintain an atmosphere and equilibrium of peace and calm.

The fallout effects from the Corona Virus can be viewed in two lights – positive and negative (calm and panic).  How to deal with our current situation is top of mind for everyone.  While many a country is waging war against this disease and have adopted near draconian measures to ensure the safety of their citizens, I have come to realize, that though the measures may seem drastic, that all is not lost.  Many countries have activated curfew laws, limited movement and closed borders to protect those who are free of the bug and to stem the rampant spread of the virus within their populations.  We are no different.

Forced to stay indoors during curfew hours may be new to most and not so to others.  I certainly have never lived under such restrictions.  Therefore, what is a girl on an extended vacation (or man for that matter) to do whose life has be upended by this malady?  Being the perpetual optimist that I am, it was not difficult for me to find things that could occupy my time and attention in a positive way.  Besides taking the necessary cleansing precautions to protect ourselves and others, we have found interesting ways to battle against COVID-19 in our home.   I want to share them with you.  Hope you share yours too.

Family devotion – This is the time when we get together, sing songs, read the Bible.  Discuss the passage of scripture that was read.  This is the best time as we get to share our thoughts in a healthy discussion and enjoy meaningful conversations.  Pray.  (This practice is already a nightly occurrence in my home).

Read a hardcover book – I admit this activity has waned over the years.  I want to blame the use of my gadgets and technology for the decline.  However, I checked the bookshelf recently and discovered they are books from my childhood, books like Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys (Mom’s nostalgia, of course) among others that still line the shelves, and are now at my disposal now that I have more time on my hands.

Board games – It has been a while since I last played a board game like, Monopoly, Scrabble or Ludo.  I haven’t played these in years, and I’ve discovered just how rusty my challenging skills have become.

Telephone a friend – It’s not often I get to have long conversations with friends.  Usually, everyone is busy, but guess what?  We are all in this together and have time now to talk beyond the usual courtesies.  We can really catch up on our different lives.

Start a hobby – This one is an expense but worthwhile, nonetheless.  I have chosen to make a beaded curtain.  It is another manual project I plan to complete in the coming weeks.

Watch a movie – Occasionally, I would opt to watch a movie, catch up on a series that I did not have the time to do in the past, or view DIY projects online.

Limit the amount of COVID-19 news – Even though it is important to know all about the subject, it can become overwhelming to listeners, especially seniors like my Mom.  To prevent her from becoming Covid-19 fatigued, we turn off the television and opt to sit and chat on the front porch and enjoy the gentle breezes of the night and quiet time.

Catch up on sleep – Every night’s activity is not the same.  Consequently, there are times that I may want to go to bed earlier than usual, depending on how tired I may be from the day’s activities.

Community Peeps, these are just a few things that my family and I do during our curfew hours of 8 p.m. – 6 a.m.  Although there may be difficulties suffered because of this dreaded sickness, our response to these trying circumstances may be the determining factor to how well we manage and get through this crisis.  Remain calm and choose to be positive.  Adhere to laws that are implemented for your own safety and maintain social distance to prevent further spread.  I pray all my peeps are safe and well.  It would be interesting to know how you are spending your time in lockdown.  Share in the comment box below

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

 

Laughter Is The Best Medicine


COVID-19 is global news for good reason.  In four short months it has spread around the world to become a pandemic.  Daily news updates are circulating on its origins, progress and how best to manage the dreaded outbreak.  Governments, businesses, organizations and individuals are at wits end to combat the disease and remain healthy.  More and more countries are reporting their first cases.  To date and as of writing, there are no reported cases of the virus on the island of Barbados.  However, statistically speaking and inevitably, it is not a matter of if it will occur but when.   That may not be too far away.  Already our closest neighbor 100 miles away have reported their first case.

This corona virus though not the deadliest of diseases in the world today has thrown the world into a tizzy because of the speed in which it has spread internationally.   I am observing some reactions and have already experienced a few reactions in people locally, but I want to single out just three: mass hysteria and panic, humor, religion.

It would seem a large majority of people belong to the first category.  Panic and hysteria have caused many to swarm supermarkets and pharmacies in an effort to secure products that would help in sanitizing themselves.  Here on the island, large crowds had in no time cleared shelves of items like hand sanitizers, wet wipes, disinfectants, toilet paper (unsure why this product) and other cleansing agents.  Some people bought in bulk to stockpile, especially the hand sanitizers, thereby depleting existing stock, creating an early shortage and limiting or denying other customers from buying the same.

In another incident, while transacting business, I walked up to a glass door and found a young lady standing on the opposite side, I pulled the door open and before I could enter, the young lady practically ran through.  She was standing there (don’t know how long) not wanting to touch the door handles and was waiting for someone to pull the door open for her.

The second category helps to lighten moods and ease tensions.  Not a day goes by without updates of one kind or another via regular news channels and social media.  While the messages are of a serious and precautionary nature, people are still finding the time to joke about it.  Although contracting COVID-19 is no laughing matter, in my opinion, using humor in light of the situation is good diversion therapy.  The jokes, memes, satire and puns are hilarious.  Just yesterday I was thrown into fits of laughter at the barbershop as waiting customers and barbers talked about the peculiar methods people are adopting and the lengths to which they go to protect themselves.  After all, laughter is still the best medicine.

Earlier in the day, I was standing in line and the gentleman in front of me coughed.  I looked at him and he misinterpreted my look, turned to me with a smile on his face to inform me he did not have the corona virus.  I chuckled and told him it did not cross my mind, and it really hadn’t until he mentioned it. I laughed because it made me realize everybody is becoming paranoid.

Currently, the island-wide “We Gatherin 2020” initiative is in full swing calling Bajans around the world to return to its shore.  Well, now as the travel industry faces it worse nightmare and people are reconsidering their travel plans, we may see that many of the crowd drawing events may have to be postponed because if those expats come, as we would say in popular Bajan vernacular “we scattering” 🤣.

The last group are those who believe as the scriptures state that we are living in the last days of earth’s history.  Their concern is not the current virus, but the deadliest virus known to man that is called SIN.  Christians seem to be calmer and more collected in their approach of dealing with the outbreak of the corona virus, and so they are using this opportunity to tell others of the real danger of SIN.  The corona virus can only take the body, but SIN can take both body and soul according to the sacred scriptures.  I too belong to this last group.  While I am paying attention and taking every precaution to safeguard myself and others against COVID-19, I recognize that there is a greater virus that infects mankind and we need to be aware of its deadly nature and accept the only known resistance and cure – Jesus.

Community Peeps, what’s going on around you?  Are you taking all the steps to secure the health and well being of your loved ones and others?  Please share your thoughts on the climate and perspectives around you in the comment box below.  Don’t forget to practice the simple steps I gave in a previous post.  Check the recommendations here.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Ladies, Pack A Little Black Dress


Anyone over the age of 50 would understand and agree with me that Bajans have a peculiar interest in death notices.  Let me explain what I mean and why I mention the age category.  One of the pastimes in the Barbadian culture, morbid though it be, is to check death notices.  First things most people would do on reading the daily newspaper is to check to see who recently died.  The running joke is to make sure you, the reader, is not on the list 🤣🤣.  Every Sunday, about five or more pages of the main newspaper is dedicated to highlighting those who recently died, in memoriam notices of those being remembered and thank you ads for those recently buried.  Within the past two weeks and as recent as this week, a family friend and my next door neighbor have died, respectively.  Their deaths have made me realized that my own interest in the announcements have been reignited.  I am not sure if the younger generation are as interested as the older folk.  My opinion would be to say no, judging from their low attendance at funerals unless the late was one who was popular, died tragically or had lived infamously.

Since coming home, I have observed the process has grown from a small announcement in the newspaper which mentions immediate relatives, place and time of burial to include large colorful photos of the deceased, obituaries, and eulogies.  It is more impressive and celebratory in manner as families attempt to express their love for the decease and to give them an appropriate ‘send off.’  Along with the newspaper announcement, there is a radio announcement too.  ‘The death’ is announced over the airwaves by the announcer in a most solemn voice while somber music is played in the background.  The radio announcement is made at six o’clock in the morning and repeated later in the day in a subsequent announcement.  With the passing of my neighbor, I realize I have subtly fallen back into the practice of reading these notices too (I forego listening, a wee bit too early for me 😊).

What has this to do with my travel interest  or blog you might ask?  Well, even though I am on vacation, I am still prepared to attend a funeral by wearing the appropriate mourning color – grey, black, white, navy blue, etc.  I always pack a little black dress that suits any occasion.  Even though I am not looking forward to this sad time,  I do recognize that attending the obsequies is still an important act of respect to the family members in honor of their dearly departed.

Community Peeps, though the idea of a funeral may be a morbid one, when visiting family and friends it is always good to be prepared for such an event, after all, “in the midst of life we are in death,” the Scriptures say.  Choosing to include in your suitcase a piece of clothing in a monochromatic color which can be used at a solemn or a happy event is wise.  Have you ever been caught off guard, had to attend a funeral and didn’t have the appropriate clothing to wear while you were on the vacation of your dreams?  Tell me about it in the comment box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

More Time Than Money


A recent 2020 poll ranked Barbados the 12th most expensive country to live in.  Without fact checking, I concur.  Don’t get me wrong.  Life on the island is sweet, but the cost of living is very high.  Albeit, I decided to add an extension to my already extended vacation.  Tourists, like me, may be tempted to do the same but they would quickly learn that it could spell disaster to their memorable vacation, especially in their pockets.

The main costs tourists encounter on their travels are accommodation, transportation, entertainment, and food.  Miscellaneous purchases can be controlled.  The four categories can be budgeted for ahead of the trip, but an unplanned extended stay in a country where the cost of living is high can bring stresses, discomforts and unwanted anxieties just to navigate the much needed break until departure time.

Early in January I began a project which I fittingly labeled ‘a labor of love’ since it finished on the scheduled, February 14th date.  I chose to renovate a couple rooms in my mom’s home.  What I thought would be an easy fix has morphed into six weeks of digging, drilling, hammering, pushing and pulling.  On any given day, I have the carpenter and assistant, mason, electrician, tiler, painter, and plumber on the site.  Undertaking the operation has forced me to go shopping for supplies and I am often left aghast at some of the prices.  Thank God I am not burdened with the aforementioned vacation costs and project costs too.  Financially, I would be ‘out to sea’ (which could be an option since I live less than 10 minutes from the seashore 😂) if my current situation  depended only on the foreign currency I brought with me.

Community Peeps, have you ever had more time than money on your vacation?  Well, there are a few things you can do to preempt your holiday going bust.  When organizing your itinerary do the following,

  • Set a budget for the duration of the retreat.
  • Stick to the budget.
  • If you think you might prolong your stay, at least have a financial buffer to withstand any incurred expenses for that period of time.
  • Resolve not to get into debt, but rather go home and come again some other time.

So, have you ever run short of money on a trip?  Share your experience and what you did to survive in the comment box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Vacation And Viruses Make Strange Bedfellows


Vacations are times mostly spent relaxing and enjoying adventures to your liking.  However, a holiday that is carefully planned, anticipated and eagerly embarked on, which turns into hours of precious time lying sick in a hotel room, or far worse, on a hospital bed, is not anyone’s idea of the vacation of their dreams.  Undoubtedly, the onslaught of sudden or gradual illness, which is definitely not a part of the itinerary, could indeed suck the enthusiasm from a trip and turn it into the holiday from hell.  Therefore, in my estimation, vacation and viruses make strange bedfellows.

Today, the Coronavirus is a major concern to countries around the world.  Currently, the deadly disease, though the one thing that does not carry the label ‘made in China’ (pun intended) appears to have no known cure.  It is talked about on every news network and bulletins after bulletins are appearing all over the web.  As more and more information become available, we can safely surmise that this illness is not trifling, nor to be treated with scant interest.  Health agencies have communicated the symptoms and dangers of the disease to the general public.  Precautionary information is readily available on the internet that will help to safeguard against contracting the disease.

The overt concern shown by health officials and governments for their citizens working in foreign countries that have seen cases of the disease, ripples out to also include tourists already on vacation, and those who will soon travel to parts where the disease has surfaced or is prevalent.  Your adherence to and precautionary measures taken as outlined by your host country and accommodation facility will most likely help to keep you in the pink of health.  I’m sure you know this already, but I still want to reiterate a few simple tips you can practice safeguarding against becoming ill with this disease.

  1. Wash hands regularly
  2. Always use an alcohol-base hand sanitizer
  3. Wear a mask to cover nose and mouth especially when in public places where lots of people meet.
  4. Avoid large assemblies or places where people gather such as malls, stadiums, etc.
  5. Avoid, if possible, touching rails and much handled apparatus
  6. Use wipes to clean table surfaces and counter-tops where you sit to eat
  7. Spray room with disinfectant
  8. Wash clothing as often as possible
  9. Drink fluids to hydrate and eat foods that will boost immune system
  10. Incessant sneezing, coughing, or raised temperature seek medical attention immediately

Besides these 10 pointers, you have other options such as:

  1. If already in foreign country where the virus is rampant, shorten the vacation and return home
  2. If about to travel, cancel trip and reschedule for another time, or
  3. Change flight, if possible, to a different location

Community Peeps, becoming sick on a vacation is never a prospect that we like to think of or even anticipate.  However, it can happen in the blink of an eye.  Not too long ago, while on my trip in the Philippines, I caught a bug that caused sneezing, runny nose and left me feeling under the weather.  I curled up in my hotel room and with the aid of the breakfast server, I guzzled down hot cups of lemon tea, drank plenty fluids and ate lots of fruits rich in vitamin C.  Fortunately, within a few short days, I was able to fend off the virus that threatened to incapacitate me.  Thank God I had an observant housekeeping staff who noticed my inactivity, and assisted with my natural remedy so that I could feel better.  What other tips would you add to those above for those on vacation?  Besides a tip,  please feel free to also share an experience in the comment box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

Sounds Of The Night


Are you sleep deprived?  Do you have a sleep deficit?  If you answered “yes” to either of these questions then a vacation is what you need to catch up on your ZZzzzzs.  When planning a bespoke vacation itinerary most people don’t think of outlining the amount of time they will spend sleeping.   That thought sounds like a pure waste of time on a good vacation, right?  Of course, the general idea of every traveler is to squeeze every ounce of excitement, adventure, entertainment and enjoyment that they possibly can, out of the vacation.  Understandably so.  They may have saved for many years for the journey, or the leave might have been in the works for some time before becoming a reality, or yet again, it may be a trip of a lifetime and certainly not a minute should be wasted, especially on something as simple as sleep which could be done at home.

It is logical why tourists seek to maximize on every minute of their custom made itineraries.   Arguably, engaging in sightseeing, adventures and outings are not generally a part of their regular daily lifestyle.  However, it is imperative that some thought be given to obtaining a good night’s rest even while on vacation.  Restful sleep is important and will enhance the holiday experience of the tripper on a whole.

Most tourists that visit my island home come from the major cities of North America and Europe.  They come looking to have a good time, day and night.  While they may choose to burn their candles at both ends and even in the middle here, those who opt to catch a few winks will find their rest, peaceful and invigorating.  Gone are the loud noises of the big cities they left behind like honking horns, jackhammers in construction, sirens, etc., but are replaced with the peaceful sounds of night that help to lull the weary tourist to sleep.  Sounds like the rustle of gentle breezes in the trees, the lapping of the waves on the edge of the seashore, the sound of intermittent showers of rain on a zinc roof, and the chirping of crickets.

Why am I writing on this subject of restful sleep at this time of my visit?  Obviously, my sleep was disturbed by sounds of booming music coming from a well-known plantation ‘Great House’ (recently witnessed fireworks display on New Year’s Eve for the first time there too).   Apparently, this is a sign of creeping changes that are becoming the new norm in my neighborhood.  Therefore, it is my opinion, that the sounds of the night that I am so accustomed to are under threat as entertainment venues are venturing beyond the city and tourist areas limits.  Thank God, this occurrence happens on a weekend and is not a nightly disturbance.

Community Peeps, even though your itinerary may be jam-packed with lots to do and see, make sure to receive enough sleep every night.   It is not wasted time.  Your body will thank you for it after a vigorous, high energy and active day’s outing.  It will make the holiday a memorable experience and, on your return, you won’t feel like you need a vacation from the vacation.  Is there anything you would like to add about the benefits of a good night’s sleep when on holiday?  Please share it in the comment box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Happy New Year, Peace and Joy, Bugs And All


Happy New Year!  Peace and joy to one and all.

2020 is spanking new and beautiful.  I love new things and I eagerly look forward to all that will unfold this year.  It has been a month already that I have been in my tropical paradise, and though I have had a wonderful holiday season, there has been and continues to be moments where I have been uncomfortable.  It’s all because of the pesky bugs, mostly mosquitoes and sand flies.  Other’s laugh at my dilemma and say it’s because I’ve been away from these shores far too long, and the bugs love new blood.”  So how have I been handling the situation?  Let me tell you how.

20200103_102839First, the usual forms of relief from repellent sprays and rubs that were recommended were quickly rejected only because from past experiences, I realized after profuse use of them I would begin to feel lethargic and weary.  I concluded that the anatomical sprays were affecting me physically.  Therefore, I have opted not to use the sprays or lather my skin with strong odorous oils.

My woeful complaints have reached the ears of friends and family who have volunteered their remedies with conviction that if followed to the letter, I would receive quick relief.  In my desperation, I am tempted to throw all reason out and without question try the suggestions just to have a moments peace from these dreaded bugs.  To help the situation I have cleared away thick bush and brush, trimmed tree branches that may have been a haven for the insects and removed pooled collections of rainwater from around the home.

 

Some encouraged me to place citronella scented cotton balls around the corners of the home (that would be a whole lot of cotton balls in my estimation 😂).  Citronella has a strong yet pleasant odor.  It is a scent used in candles to drive away the bugs at summer outdoor outings, day or night.  Another solution would be to burn a coil that releases a slow haze of smoke into the air.

Others recommended rubbing familiar lotions or natural oils as a first line of defense and protection on my skin.  The lists includes Listerine and even Petroleum Jelly.  I don’t know if either works.  The thought of a mouth rinse and a sticky substance is neither appealing nor I imagine comfortable.

20200103_102857Yet another recommendation, and this my mother swears by, is hanging a few branches of Soursop or Neem trees leaves over the bed and around the room for a peaceful night’s rest from the buzzing mosquitoes.  This may sound ludicrous, but these old-wives tales usually have some measure of truth to them.

What have I been doing then?  I simply grin and bear it.  Hours before retiring to bed I spray the room with an insecticide for all flying and crawling creatures.  While sitting on the porch or in wide open spaces, I use the battery powered wand which zaps any that may dare to fly pass.  For any bites and stings I receive, I use the astringent Witch Hazel to soothe my skin.  It is fast acting and provides relief within a short time.

For those traveling to the tropics in 2020, you will undoubtedly encounter a similar circumstance and may want a quick remedy.  You can always opt to bring the repellents sprays, or natural oils that bests suit you.  Packing a mosquito net is not a bad idea either.  Simply remember, the downside to an awesome vacation could be the bugs but you can offset that if you are prepared and willing to combat the situation with remedies that work.

Community Peeps, besides the bugs, in my opinion it is still worth the trip to visit my tropical paradise.  After all, it is just another snippet of life in this beautiful island of sun, sea and sand.  I want to wish all of you an awesome 2020.  May your blessings always exceed your expectations.   Thank you for being a part of mine.  Do you have a remedy that works that you would like to share?  Write it in the comment box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

 

 

 

Bajan Blooms At Christmas


On a trip to Barbados, a visitor can expect to see a variety of flowers in full bloom.  The lush vegetation supports a variety of plants and shrubbery of all colors and hues.  The bright, vivid colors also lend to the gaiety of the festive season.   Expats and foreigners can enjoy particular blooms during the holiday season that they wouldn’t be able to throughout the year.  The first three photos are a few of those foliage and another reason why Barbados is a special place to visit for the holidays.  This beautiful snippet of Bajan blooms may appeal to the traveler who loves adventure and the natural environment, but to all of you who read this post, I hope you enjoy the Christmas flowers as much as I enjoy seeing them resplendently swaying in the tropical breeze.

ROMAN CANDLE

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SNOW ON THE MOUNTAIN

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POINSETTIA

IMG-20191217-WA0002

Besides, the Christmas blooms, below are a wide range of plants and shrubs you would find at the botanical gardens or local nature reserves as you traverse the length and breadth of the island.   The featured image is the notable national flower – “Pride of Barbados” (photo credit below).

Community Peeps, consider these flowers a bouquet of flowers just for you.  May your Christmas holiday be beautiful and bright as these are.  If traveling to your dream destination, do so safely.  Treasure every moment with friends and family and have a happy holiday.  Remember to leave your comments in the box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Credit of featured image  – NB Photography “Pride of Barbados”

 

 

 

Cou-Cou – A Snippet of Bajan Culture


The national dish of Barbados is Cou-Cou and Flying Fish.   To make an authentic Bajan version of cou-cou, one must have corn flour, okra and an implement called a cou-cou stick (the wood stick also doubled as a corrective instrument when we were naughty kids 😂).  Besides flying fish, cou-cou can be paired with other fish or meats that meets the eater’s palate.  Some folk would swear that the choice of meat and gravy is what makes the dish so appetizing, but that is subjective and left up to the diner’s preference.  Even though the staple ingredient is course or finely ground corn flour, other ingredients such as cheese, butter, milk, etc. may be added to enhance the flavor and consistency.

The corn flour meal is known by different names in other places around the world.  In some of the Caribbean islands it is fungi, in others it’s called tun cornmeal, in USA and Canada it’s grits, and as far away as Italy it is called polenta.   In all these countries the variations exhibit a consistency quite different to each other when cooked that may be either firm, soft or runny .

Today we cooked cou-cou with salted codfish gravy.  View the ingredients below.

Want to try your hand at making the dish?  Follow the simple recipe below:

  • 1 pound of finely ground corn flour
  • 12 or more medium sized okras
  • Large onion
  • Salt
  • Water

Cut off the tops and tips of the okras and slice okra into rings.  Place okras, salt and onion in a large saucepan of boiling water.  Cook okras until soft and tender, and until water has a slime.

Strain the okra from the slimy liquid and put in a separate bowl.

Pour half of the remaining liquid into another bowl and leave the balance in the saucepan.

On a medium to low fire, add in the dry corn flour into the liquid that was left in the saucepan.  Use the cou-cou stick to stir the corn flour in a circular motion to avoid lumps.  At intervals, gradually add in small amounts of the slimy liquid from the bowl, stirring continuously to allow the corn flour to steam and cook.

Once corn flour is cooked it will become thicker and stiffer.  Gradually add in the okra to give the cooked corn flour a mellow smooth texture.

Mom’s test for well-cooked cou-cou:  Place the stick in the center of the cou-cou.  Stick should stand upright to show stiffness.  Pull stick from cou-cou.  The stick should come away clean, not with clinging clumps.  If the stick falls when you put it to stand upright and does not come out clean, then it means the mixture still has too much water and needs more steaming.  

20191206_112552Cou-cou is most enjoyable with lots of gravy.  The gravy may be seasoned to suit your specific taste.  Try this tasty dish, you won’t be disappointed.

Community Peeps, now that I am enjoying life in the land of the sand, sea and sun, I also want to share with you snippets of the Bajan culture from time to time that will help you become familiar with my island home.  2020 is around the corner and now would be a good time to plan a bespoke vacation to the shores of Bimshire, if you haven’t already.  Any questions?  Let me know in the comment box below and I’ll gladly assist with your itinerary.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

 

 

 

Homeward Bound


“Nothing good comes without a struggle,” was my go to phrase for encouragement as I transitioned into starting my new life in a different state.   A few other phrases like “change is good,” and “forward ever backward never,” has helped to propel me towards the relocation strategy and planning I have been orchestrating for the past couple months.  Well, I’ve finally made the move and now look forward with eager expectations of all that will unfold in the months and years ahead.

Saying goodbye is always a hard thing to do.  It is never easy leaving family and friends behind.  They tried a variety of ways to change my mind but failed to convince me that I was doing the wrong thing.  Only time will tell.  Also, I had to cut the emotional ties to things I treasured which held sentimental value to me.  Getting rid of my most prized possessions taught me a valuable lesson, and that is, never place so much value on things that will eventually be discarded.  After all, as long as there is life, they can be acquired again.

So, without much ado, I loaded up the rental vehicle with the few items (mostly clothes and my artwork collection) and began my long drive south.  Most road trippers know this already, but I can reiterate it here again.  The best time to travel is at night.  The roads are clear, and you can make great headway before sunrise to your destination.  Pleasingly, I owned the road as I drove from New York through New Jersey, Maryland, District of Columbia and into Virginia before stopping to sleep at a rest stop.  After a two-hour sleep I was back on the road continuing my push further south through North Carolina, South Carolina and finally into Georgia.  Intermittent stops for gas and bathroom break was the only other stops I made.

I arrived early evening at my destination and was able to unload and pack away my belongings.  By this time, I was thanking God I didn’t have to unpack all the other stuff I had given away.  I was exhausted and couldn’t do much else but to get a hot shower and fall into bed.  I have not worked this hard in a long time and it has taken a toll on my body.  I am now fighting off a viral infection which I hope clears up in a matter of days.

To my mind, a vacation would be the perfect remedy for my malaise 😂, and as if God was answering my unspoken thoughts, a situation arose that needs my attention therefore I will be traveling in a few days to my beautiful island home of Barbados.  The timing couldn’t be better even if I had arranged it myself.  This trip was not a part of the original plans but sometimes situations cause plans to change.  One of the reasons I relocated to Georgia was because of its temperate and mild climate, and I was hoping to test that theory for myself this winter.  However, I will spend the holiday season and winter in Barbados instead.  I still believe, it’s the best of both worlds and whether here or there, I will be enjoying fantastic weather, basking in the sun, swimming in the ocean, strolling the beach, eating vegetarian foods, hiking the hills and dales, etc.

Community Peeps, it has been a while since my last post, but I am back in the saddle, and as I am homeward bound, I will keep you apprised of travel interests and expeditions in Bimshire.  I would be re-missed if I did not mention the national call to all Barbadians (Bajans) living abroad to return home to the island.  View the link re the initiative which is called “We Gatherin 2020” for more information on upcoming activities and events.  You may also view the video below.  If a visit to Bim is on your bucket list, as your itinerant travel planner, then I recommend that 2020 should be the year.  Let me know your thoughts or questions, if any, in the comment box below.

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Itinerary Planner

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