Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Do you see anything to smile about?"

Have you ever heard the song "Do you see anything to smile about" by Morgan Heritage?  As people back in the states continue to ask me why there are Peace Corps volunteers in a Caribbean "Paradise" Island my response has been to them, "listen to the song".


Here's the song- Most of you aren't used to the Caribbean slang dialect but here it is:

(Intro) 
nuff people come to jamaica and nuh know how we live 
think Seh EVERYTHING nice through we full of vibes and think 
dem say want feelin to dem heart when dem get fi overstand di real thing yeaah 

(verse 1) 
Mi deh ya a town one day 
A par with a white man weh come all the way from norway 
And him turn to mi and say 
How comes Jamaica full of so much screwface 
Same time mi lift mi head to the sky 
And a tear drop fall from mi eye 
Mi Say my youth come we go out for a drive 
Mek mi show you why mi cry 

(chorus) 
Look pon di gully side 
Do you see anything fi smile bout 
Look at that hungry child 
Do you see anything fi smile bout 
Look at the school weh deh youth dem go fi get dem education 
Do you see anything fi smile bout 
Look at the conditions of our police stations 
Do you see anything fi smile bout 

(verse 2) 
Same time the bredda say 
How can a nation believe in this way 
And the next thing him say 
How can the government play so many games 
Same time mi heart fall to the ground 
Cause dis much war where that comes from 
Certain place they are worse dan slum 
Youth man come 

(chorus) 
And take a look pon Riverton 
Do you see anything fi smile bout 
Look pon Payneland 
Do you see anything fi smile bout 
Flankers, Mobay and Saffras Heights in Nos Spain 
Do you see anything fi smile bout 
Hope Flats, Kentiyah, Mottom Bay are all the same 
Do you see anything fi smile bout 

(Intro) 
nuff people come to jamaica and nuh know how we live 
think Say EVERYTHING nice through we full of vibes and think 
dem say want feelin to dem heart when dem get fi overstand di real thing yeaah 


chorus 

(verse 1) 
Mi deh ya a town one day 
A par with a white man weh come all the way from norway 
And him turn to mi and say 
How comes Jamaica full of so much screwface 
Same time mi lift mi head to the sky 
And a tear drop fall from mi eye 
Mi Say my youth come we go out for a drive 
Mek mi show you why mi cry 

(chorus) 
take a look pon Riverton 
Do you see anything fi smile bout 
Look pon Payneland 
Do you see anything fi smile bout 
Canterbury Mobay, March Pen Road ova Spain 
Do you see anything fi smile bout 
Nuff likkle place deh ya inna jamdown today 
Weh nuttin nuh did deh fi smile bout 



As much as I love my new home land, there is still plenty to cry about.  When is everyone going to get real and take the time to realize that there is much more going on here than overly expensive hotels and plenty of rum?  Every time that someone asks me, "How is paradise?" I cringe at how they say it.  Granted, parts of this island truly are paradise...no doubt.  But anywhere you go- you, yourself- can make it paradise.  It's not about the "picture perfect" views or the clear, blue waters.  It's about your mentality and what your vibes of life are.  


I can sit outside on a clear, beautiful day and think nothing of the sights I am seeing.  Or I can sit outside on an unsightful, rainy day and think that this place is the most beautiful place I have ever been.  Truth is, that regardless of the physical beauty in life, if your mentality is not in the same spot- it's not going to be any type of paradise.  


I'm not trying to show off the negatives of St. Lucia, by any means.  But take into context that my work is specifically developmental work in a third world country.  I see things that no one else gets to see sometimes.  I know things that I might have been better off not knowing.  I love things that are impossible for anyone else to love.  I fight for things that I know is never going to happen.  I struggle to make a difference in a nation that may not think that they need to change for their own good.  I give parts of myself to people here that I have never been able to give anyone before in my life.  I experience things that hurt me almost everyday, but I keep on pushing because I vibe with faith.  



St. Lucia has plenty to smile about, yes, unlike the song.  But there are so many things that are overlooked here.  For all of you wondering, yes, I will eventually share with you some of the hardships that I am referring to.  But for now, we will leave it at this.  Listen to the song.

1 comment:

Shawn <--> RUJedi said...

props to you for saying what really needs to be said. You're right, there really is so much to be done--the question of how is a whole different matter.