Today we celebrate 37 years of the independence of a small island nation in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean affectionately known as “Wai’tu Kubuli.”
“Wai’tu Kubuli” means “Tall is her body” and it was the name given to this island by one of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean called the “Kalinago” or Carib Indians. It is the island presently known as The Commonwealth of Dominica. And what a befitting name for the indigenous people to give the island! [FUN FACT #1] Dominica is the most mountainous island of the Lesser Antilles due to its volcanic nature. In addition, its volcanic soil gives life to its stunning, lush green rainforests and, because of this and the fact that Dominica is the most pristine of the Caribbean islands, it is nicknamed “The Nature Isle of the Caribbean.”
The island has remained so pristine because [FUN FACT #2] Dominica was the last island to be colonized due to the fierce resistance of the Caribs and the difficulties that its mountainous and rugged terrain posed for the Europeans. The Caribs knew the terrain and it protected them from the Europeans who were not familiar with it. For this reason, [FUN FACT #3] Dominica is the only Eastern Caribbean Island that has a population of the indigenous Caribs.
Wai’tu Kubuli has been a sanctuary for its people ever since colonialism; protecting them from invaders, providing their basic needs and keeping out the destructive commercialism of today’s tourism industry.
Dominica is one of the most naturally beautiful Caribbean islands I’ve ever seen! I can spend all day talking about this jewel of an island but since “a picture says a thousand words”, I’ll let some of my photographed memories of the island and some videos I came across speak for me. Trust me though, nothing captures the true beauty of the island more than seeing it with your own eyes!
…and here are some captivating videos…
…and some more ‘FUN FACTS’ about Dominica:
- FUN FACT #4: Dominica is NOT the Dominican Republic.
- FUN FACT #5: Dominica has 365 rivers. A river for every day of the year.
- FUN FACT #6: Dominica is home to the world’s 2nd largest Boiling Lake.
- FUN FACT #7: Dominica was one of the filming locations for the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean 2”.
- FUN FACT #8: Dominica has the highest concentration of live volcanoes in the world.
- FUN FACT #9: Dominica became the first British Caribbean colony to have a legislature controlled by an African majority.
- FUN FACT #10: Dominica had the first female Prime Minister in the Caribbean: Dame Eugenia Charles.
On a more personal note, the island holds a special place in my heart. It is the home of my ancestors and immediate family. The land, the people and the culture helped raise me and have had such a great impact on my life and who I am today. I have made wonderful memories and life long friendships there and I am proud to be of Dominican descent.
On August 27th, 2015, Dominica was devastated by the flooding waters of Tropical Storm Erika. My heart was crushed when I found out and saw the devastation that took place.
Lives and property were lost and infrastructure was destroyed leaving Dominica with millions of dollars in damage and, in the words of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, the storm “set the island back 20 years.” However, our people are a resilient bunch and close knit. Dominicans, home and abroad, have worked together to get the word out of the damage and to assist, in whatever way they could, to aid in the recovery of Dominica. In addition, because of social media, the international community has gotten on board and has assisted us so greatly in our recovery efforts.
Though there is still a lot to be done and we have a long way to go, by the grace and mercy of “Papa Bondie”, Wai’tu Kubuli… Still. Stands. Tall.
So, I would like to wish Dominica and all Dominicans a Happy 37th Independence Day.
I will leave you all with these words of encouragement from the National Anthem of Dominica:
Come ye forward, sons and daughters
Of this gem beyond compare
Fight for honors, sons and daughters
Do the right, be firm, be fair
Fight for honor, sons and daughters
Toil with hearts and hands and voices.
We must prosper! Sound the call,
In which ev’ryone rejoices,
“All for Each and Each for All.
If you would like to assist the island of Dominica and its people in their recovery efforts check out this website for more details: Dominica Relief
If you are interested in taking a fun filled trip to Dominica check out this website for more details: Dominica, The Nature Isle of the Caribbean. Tell them Brown Girl Wild World sent you. 🙂