green economy 101

No, I don’t want to come inside your AC room. I’m fine outside here without any walls around me, a tree at my back, the sky and clouds over head, nice breeze. Do you want a seedling? You selling them? No, they free. Ok then. She takes three for her yard. Security guard at gate- a big woman, working the usual 12hr shift for a pittance. Note to self- come back w salt bag; there’re lots of lovely cow pies on campus- i filled up my bucket with manure minutes after arriving. Speaking of shit- a bunch of economists hector me; economics is about making rational decisions, one says, dealing with finite resources, a necessary something. One of them is wearing a dark suit. He swelters in the tropical sun. He is one of the ones in charge. I laugh. Rational decision making my bamzee! She’s just throwing shit at the fan, another says dismissively. Well there’s definitely a lot of shit around here to shie, that’s for sure. I smile winningly. This time- unlike the last time I engaged in shit talking w a big man- we don’t end up in court ;). He stays outside and gyaffs with me for over an hour, after all the others have drifted back inside. What kind of academic training do I have? What work do I do? What’s my vision of the world? It’s always entertaining, the expressions on people’s faces at this point. Wage slavery, environmental justice, intersectionality- it’s like speaking a different language to some folks. He stares, says something about enigmas and puzzles. He left Guyana in 1976, didn’t come back til 2010. This trip tho, has been something else. Has made me reevaluate how I was doing everything. I couldn’t live here tho, he says. Yes, it’s not easy, I agree. But you can live in the States? That’s madness too. Silence. Of course there are those who ignore, like they’re used to, like the plague, those who walk past then turn back and snap a quick pic, those who aren’t sure what’s going on and don’t care enough to find out. Mr Griffith in his big tinted SUV, for one, being driven like Ms. Daisy. Of course I hear from the CI Guyana stalwarts- they aren’t co-sponsoring w Exxon, they just gave scholarships to students. They don’t seem to mind how things appear. Mr organizer is pleased that Exxon responded to him and is participating; he bemoans the “blackout” other agencies have given his workshop. The $250 fee is no big thing, several of them say. I get asked again to come inside and participate. I am participating, I say, in my way. Inside, they’re still talking about sustainable development and handing out plastic water bottles. When the coconut water man is right outside the gate, cutlass at the ready.. $250USD to interact w them about rational decision making and the green economy. UH HUH. I stay outside for two and a half hours, talking with whoever talks to me. I’m not anti-dialogue, and, maybe surprising to some- I can engage without ‘busing. I had cussed up a storm when I first saw the flyer for the event; my friends who saw that rant are surprised no doubt, that there were no expletives on my placard today. My initial burst of anger has given way to sadness at this point tho- some of these people are the same ones who were running behind Jagdeo and the LCDS. They’re supposed to be the big brain intellectuals but they continue to be misled, sadly, and tragically, continue to mislead others. Then GPHell blackout hits, like clockwork, and is confusion. They scramble to open the windows. We can see each other clearly now. What does it mean, your sign? Just reminders I say. Just some reminders. As you make your rational decisions and conversate/partner w evil Exxon.. #only1Earthhabitableplanet

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grow more

how many can you identify? how many do you have growing by you? this is some of what’s growing in the backyard of the one ‘family property’ remaining in Lusignan.. blessed by the ancestors even tho most of their descendants have long beat out for better pastures- i mean bright lights n big cities.. me- i happy to be mobilizing downward, into the ground.

lemongrass

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a tale of two mothers

a tale of two mothers. the first is trying to slow down time. she gets a year with her newborn before the child is taken away. these simpletons think its better to sever the maternal-offspring bond than bring the child up in prison. but children are born and raised in brothels, sweatshops, and shantytowns the world over. #hypocrisymuch The second mother is trying to speed up time. She’s got a release date, see? she has 3 children- a girl and 2 boys who are both in the GDF (Army). She was busted at the airport with cocaine. She plead guilty right away and has already served 2/3 of her time. She lived 10 minutes away from the prison, she said. She used to exercise around it when she was young; she’d run past early in the morning, tantalizing the big women inside. Now, funnily enough, many years later, she’s a captive, staring out at life going by. #ataleof2mothers #Guyana2017

jubilee +1- Guyana 2017

Sometimes I decide to go to things. Sometimes I get to thinking I should engage/participate more in the larger society out there. So I leave my hammock and my yard of growing things, and- risking my life in the minibuses- I go. Sometimes I’m glad, pleasantly surprised, meet cool people, feel stimulated. This being Independence eve and all, I made the effort. The event description mentioned young people and an environmental organization- that’s why I went; Earth and the future is in peril- I wanted to hear what young people thought and were doing about that. But it turns out that was just the first 15 minutes; the rest of the time was devoted to the Constitution and blah blah blah. There weren’t that many people there- there were competing events- the flag raising, something about oil and gas- undoubtedly more people were at those events. So i forced myself to stay. It was hard for me to sit there though. I twitched my fingers and toes, slumped then pulled myself back up, closed my eyes, rested my head in my hands, just fidgeted. All I kept thinking while man after man droned on about the Constitution and politricks was the little girl I had spent the previous hours of the afternoon with. She was 7 going on 8, in Grade 2, and she couldn’t write a proper sentence. In fact, she was at the ‘cat, bat, rat, hat’ stage of reading/writing. At 7 going on 8. She has never not been in school. It’s public school tho, not private; she’s not from a wealthy family. They have had their share of troubles actually, but she hasn’t been the one directly affected. Physically- as far as the eye can see- she’s fine, healthy. But the learning deficits are unmistakable. 20170525_165731

She’s never been assessed though- where does one even go to get that done in Guyana, another colleague/friend and I pondered the other day? I thought of one person who might know; after the holiday we’ll reach out and see (Karen H- is you I thinking of). 51 years of independence. 7 yr olds who can’t read. She’s not alone- when I was volunteering at the Drop In Center- before it burned down killing Joshua and Antonio George- I found many children who were going to school every day, who had notebooks full of notes, but who struggled to read and write basic sentences in English <Charlene, you have to give me tips on how to assess Creolese fluency in writing>. I stopped volunteering after the fire- there wasn’t any suitable place for that at the new location where the surviving children were re-located to, I was told when I visited there. Besides, they reported, most of the children had been sent back to their families. I see them around regularly actually- usually it’s they who “Miss” me. I saw one of the boys last Friday, unloading thrushes of water coconuts from the back of a pickup truck at my weekly neighborhood market. It was around 11am, time when he should have been in school. But instead, he was child laboring. When I asked if he was going to school, he dropped his eyes and lied. “Yes Miss. I just didn’t go today.” I stood there for a few minutes, just watching him silently. When the backs of the adult men directing the operation were turned, I asked him softly if they were paying him. He nodded. These children are everywhere- you don’t have to know or look hard to see them; they are everywhere; clearly visible every day. They’re at the intersections and road corners selling water, soda, and beer. They’re pushing bales of stuff in the market and climbing into storage bonds. They’re running errands for big people and engaging in all kinds of hustles. The girls are a bit more invisible- unless you’re in the bush or a bottomhouse bar. 51 years of independence. And these men are talking about the readability of the Constitution and all the beautiful things it promises the Guyanese people. The environmental organization man talks about how happy he is to have found a job he likes and the awesomeness of nature. About the pristineness of Guyana’s environment and the difficulty getting coastlanders to appreciate it. The young woman on the panel- the only one, someone i know, who blew a kiss to me earlier- talks about love. Love of country and the awesomeness of nature. The other young man talks about his love of the law, and youth coupling with wisdom. He is careful, too careful, already lawyerly-careful, to not blame anyone (the government) for anything. 20170525_185101The veteran trade unionist’s 15 minutes feels like an hour and at the end of it I’m completely discombobulated.  I want to scream. I want to cry. I leave when another comrade of sorts asks about the lack of a strong civil society response to the abuses of power. My head feels like it’s going to explode; I bolt outside- if it does, I want to at least get one last glimpse of the stars before oblivion. Instead I’m greeted by the sight of overflowing garbage bins and piles of garbage strewn about the pathway. On the other side, inside the GuyOil compound, nice Jamaican music plays and people dance, enjoying the pre-Independence. 20170525_191846

I walk to the National Library, to check on the banner I put up there day before yesterday. It says LGBT and Guyanese on the same line and it was a minor dream of mine to get a banner like this in this position. LGBT event at Natl Library- signThis being Guyana though, anything could have happened to it. So I’m going to check on it. I have some more wire in my bag to secure it more if necessary. I hear a sound behind me and turn; it’s just a dog. Still, I’m on the alert. I am a woman, walking alone. I have been mugged before and have no desire for a repeat. Another block and another sound, this one human. Turning I see a man in slippers, one of the numerous street dwellers of Georgetown. Shit. I pick up my pace and search the wire out of my bag, wrapping it around my fist. I could poke him with it if necessary, or strangle him maybe? Yes, these are the things women walking alone on darkened streets think.  Under a streetlight I see that he is of indigenous heritage. It’s funny- I had been thinking, in the event earlier, when the environment organization people were talking, about how I would have liked  to see/hear an indigenous person’s perspective. So now the universe had sent me someone. Real funny. I cross the street, looking back still. I know he sees me looking at him, judging him a threat. I feel like shit but this is life. Fucked up shit. As we near the library, he greets me. “Exercising huh?” he says inanely. I just grunt. My head still feels like it’s going to explode.

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FREE Dr Stella Nyanzi- sign & share Support/Solidarity Statement #education4girls #fukrespectabilitypolitricks #downwiththepatriarchy

Sign Support and Solidarity Statement here: https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSdOqmpYkQi-2ghPiN…/viewform <The arrest of Dr. Stella Nyanzi in light of her campaign to provide sanitary pads to young students is an affront, to the fundamental right of all students to continuous education. The arrest seeks to shift focus from the urgent issue of getting sanitary pads to girls who need them so that their education is not disrupted, to respectability and the hurt egos of powerful political elites and people in power.>

More here: https://qz.com/956379/uganda-has-thrown-an-academic-in-jail-over-a-buttocks-insult-to-president-museveni/

solidarity across gender binaries

to be lesbian, bisexual, or questioning is not the same as being transgender, i know- BUT in societies set up and dedicated to maintaining heteronormativity and the gender binary/status quo, all who do not conform are stigmatized. i share the following quotes from a LBQ survey i conducted last Nov/Dec in observance and solidarity with my trans family. #similarstruggles #bridgebuilding #transgendervisibilitydaycommemoration

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