Welcome to my first post of the New Year. I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year, but I won’t go into my hopes, dreams and resolutions. Lets just say it started as I mean to go on. Positively!
I spent my birthday and the lead up to Christmas in Grenada like a few other famed celebs such as Oprah, Fast and Furious actress Michelle Rodriguez and The Legend of Hercules hot boy Kellan Lutz. All of whom can’t resist our peaceful papz free paradise situated in the Grenadines.
Michelle Rodriguez and Kellan Lutz bringing in the New Year with Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell at Port Louis Picture via @discovergrenada
Now if you’ve been reading ComplexdWoman magazine (formerly Complexd) since inception, you will know that Grenada – a tri-island state that stole my heart is where I go to relax and refresh. You will also know that my upbringing between the UK and Grenada inspired the concept of ComplexdWoman and that I shamelessly plug the island every opportunity I get. Now that my shameless plug is complete, I would like to share my most memorable moments in Grenada.
I found a home away from home
This was the first time I decided not to stay with relatives, so I needed a safe haven in close proximity to the town, shops and beaches. A retreat that would allow me to spend my mornings on the veranda staring at the blue sky and green mountains and my evenings listening to crickets chirp. A place where I could recollect my thoughts and feel inspired again. I found a perfect open plan self-catered apartment on homeaway.co.uk. With all the comforts of home and fab fixtures, we will be telling you more about Elliz Apartment and it’s lovely owner Lizzie who migrated to Grenada from the UK in a ComplexdWoman blog feature.
I discovered Grenada
Even though I grew up in Grenada and I have made annual visits since the age of 8, there is still so much more to be discovered. I met up with Orlando K. Romain – a local island expert/adventurer and photographer who took me on a discovery of the islands hidden treasures. We drove past the tourist attractions, drudged through mud, clambered over rocks and were feasted on by mosquitos all for the awe-inspiring sight of Acoin Waterfalls, who Orlando told me still hasn’t been discovered by many Grenadians (I was well chuffed). And, if that wasn’t exciting enough, I got to photograph him while he captured free-spirited Grenadians we encountered en route.
Acoin Waterfalls photographed by OK Photo
photographed by OK Photo
photographed by OK Photo
photographed by OK Photo
I care about conservation
I visited High Hopes Villa the home of a family friend Aunty Claudette Pitt. I marvel at her view and ornaments every time I visit, but I also leave feeling very inspired by her ‘can do, must do’ mindset.
We talked about her voluntary efforts with SPECTO – a non-profit environmental and community tourism advocacy group based in the parish of St. Patrick’s, Grenada. We also talked about how they planned to reach their goal of engaging the community in the protection and conservation of the endangered leatherback turtle species and ways to develop alternative livelihoods based in environmental conservation and activism. This lead to partaking in a coastal clean up the following Sunday alongside members of the Rotaract Club of Grenada. We got up at 4am to clear Bathway Beach coastline of harmful plastic waste, which could have adverse effects on leatherback turtles and the surrounding environment. It was the first time I had engaged in a clean up operation in Grenada and felt very good about what had been achieved. You can read more about the beach clean up here
I met Artist Stacey Byer
One of the perks of the job I enjoy is meeting the women we feature and watching their careers flourish. Back in 2011 we featured Grenadian artist Stacey Byer in our ComplexdWoman segment here. I was so impressed by the fact she had built her own art studio, I knew it was only a matter of time before a fantastic opportunity was in the clutches of her capable hands. A quick meet and greet turned into a second interview when Stacey told me she had illustrated her first internationally published Children’s book ‘Fun Fun Crab on the Run’. Best-selling author Mario Picayo selected Stacey Byer to create the illustrations after being attracted to the playful style and humour in her work. And, the best part of the commission is the fact that when Stacey met Mario in 2012, she had taken a chance and shown him her portfolio not knowing a year later it would lead to such a collaboration. We will be sharing all the details in a follow-up interview with Stacey on the ComplexdWoman blog.
I ate I-tal food and I liked it
I-tal is a Rastafarian diet based on the belief that the body is a temple and must be kept clean and pure. Very similar to a vegan diet it excludes animal products, meat, dairy and eggs and only includes food that is fresh and grown locally. Our, chef a shy Rastafarian man who came alive in his kitchen at Mango Bay Cottage, (which I like to call a hideaway in the hills) made a heavenly 3-course meal. I won’t bore you with the details, I’ll just let you dribble over the photograph and inform you that I chowed down that meal and didn’t miss my craving for meat.
I appeared on Grenadian TV
I was invited on TV show Chit Chat by the gorgeous host Lexan Fletcher. I have been liaising with Lexan from the UK for the last couple of years and recommending inspiring women for her show. It was such an honour to be a guest and finally meet Lexan. Her mid-morning T.V Show, which feature interviews that aim to educate and inspire, showcases the work and talents of some very interesting Grenadian women. In my interview we talked about my upbringing, the concept and process of conceptualising ComplexdWoman and why I love what I do.