The result, after couple of hours filling up trash bags, careful walking, clearing the way and digging and planting the trees, was 20 trash bags fed with plastic..
Getting back the Miss Merry Tradition
Globalization has come and joined forces with the World´s New Order that United States leads from almost a centenary. And this globalization and its exponential growth of consumerism and waste has eaten, with the destructive strength of the most dangerous and hungry plague, not only the potentials and resources of the poor countries but also their traditions.
Such is the case of the people living in a small town called Rose Hall, located in the still green-leafy and humid west of the Caribbean island Saint Vincent. From decades its inhabitants and since slavery was abolished in the island, back in the 1834, had a strong tradition that kept their community united, nowadays lost due to different factors, one of them modernization.
From the highest point of the town descends a zig-zaggy road connecting the top after one km with the Miss Merry deep hole. Is the river NAME who fed the well and the Man Water fall, with abundant and great pressure, but also used to connect the multi racial people and the new generations born from African slaves and Caribbean Indians.
For Rose Hall inhabitants walking down through the River Road, as it has been called, had a simple propose: a community meeting, where children, youth, women and men came together and enjoy a day cocking and eating, taking a bath and swimming, refreshing the heat felt on their skins with the cooling water that the river provided and sharing passionate stories from the courageous ancestors that kept the island protected from the invasion of the Europeans until the XVIII century.
Women washed the clothes too and kids took them back up; the men used to place their backs and injured bodies under the potent fall and right down the mango tree were collected wisdom and fruits by old and young generations. A complex but also simple tradition that kept united the people, the community.
Last Saturday, 10th of October of 2015, a group of teachers and students from Richmond Vale Academy together with local activists, decided to come back to the Rivers Road and clean it up. As one of the actions related with the ENO Treelympics ´15, the objective was collecting as much bags as possible of trash, mainly plastic spread downhill, and plant a dozen of trees at the bottom, by the side of the river.
The road, together with the tradition, has been forgotten and almost covered by weed and carelessness. The team was divided in three action groups: The Clearing up the road with machetes Team, the picking up the garbage Team and the planting the trees Team. The result, after couple of hours filling up trash bags, careful walking, clearing the way and digging and planting the trees, was 20 trash bags fed with plastic, 12 new fruit and moringa trees down at the river´s sides, a clean and clear river road, and around 40 young, woman and men and children enjoying the water fall, the Miss Merry deep hole, the work done and the refreshing feeling of being together, once again, at the bottom of this traditional path and celebration.
We came back to Rose Hall and had a drum performance mixed with French and African music and styles, by Selly, one of the most recognized local activists not only at Rose Hall but in the all country. We danced, some with the hands and legs from the chairs, others at the dance floor, but we all followed the rhythm of Selly´s voice and drumming, telling us about his culture, his people, the lost traditions and how important is for us to recover and listen to the old roots and give them a place in these modern and fast times.
It was the tap water implementation that took away from the river the people. The message was about how commodities could bring comfort and better living conditions but at the same time, separate and divide a community by foreign implementations and policies. The message was about awareness and about people and its rights. The message was about the importance and the need of sticking together and protecting our values; bringing back forgotten ethics and justice; It was a message about the power of the community.