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  • Writer's pictureHummingbird Retreat

Week 24

Wildlife wonder- common ground dove

These birds are well named as I often see them around and when I do see them, they are walking along the ground. They are quite amusing as they strut around with their heads bopping back and forth in time with their walk. If I get too close, they will fly a few feet away but then soon continue pottering about looking for seeds and berries to eat.

They are about 15-18cms in length and the male has more pink feathers alongside the grey, on his underside. Ground doves mate for life and they usually produce two white eggs, though they can have 2 or 3 broods a year.

Grenadian Gift- Preserving Grenadian Heritage

Recently I have met two people, at different times, who have belonged to Grenadian heritage organisations. The first is on the board of the non-governmental organisation, the Willie Redhead Foundation and the second is on the executive council of the Grenada National Trust, which was set up by the government. Both organisations work to protect and preserve historical buildings and also the National Trust oversees the Grenada National Museum. Both of the people I met were very knowledgeable about the history of the island and as one of them is my neighbour, I am sure to learn more about my local area in further conversations.

I am currently reading a resource guide that I downloaded from the Grenada National Trust’s website which is also very interesting. It is on ‘intangible culture’ which includes traditions, language, customs, dances, songs, rituals, folktales, and various other cultural treasures passed down the generations. It is interesting to see the fusion of traditions that have come from African roots and then incorporated aspects of French and British culture. For example, there are various proverbs that have African roots and then were adapted during the time of enslavement and there is dancing the maypole and reciting Shakespeare alongside traditional African drum dances and calypso.

Reflections from the Retreat

So the building work continues to make gradual progress here. Last week the guys removed the old kitchen and it is good to finally get rid of the old rotten cupboards and to feel the spaciousness of the room, as we plan the new kitchen.

We are also gradually completing the ensuites for each of the guest bedrooms. The guest apartment had a broken glass cubicle and so I brought a replacement from the UK, because we couldn’t buy one here. However, the shower drainer from the UK doesn’t match the Grenadian water pipes and so we have had a challenge as to how to fit them together. There is a small adapter needed but none of the shops on the island have it at the moment and we are unsure when it will be back in stock. I wonder how many other people on the island are waiting for the same part and how long the wait will be. It may be easier to try and order it in the UK for someone to bring it out but I never know, perhaps it might be back in a shop here next week. This adapter is only a few centimetres in size but it has stopped the work to set up the new shower. There are various jobs like this at the moment and it sometimes feels like some sort of computer game where I have to complete the basic tasks to reach the next level, and there are various paths that I’m trying to complete simultaneously. At various points on the different paths I reach a challenge and so I have to put that on hold and continue working on another path before I can return to complete the original challenge – such is the building work in Grenada!

As August begins, work will slow down as Grenada moves into holiday mode. Schools have been closed for a few weeks now and there are more local families as well as more tourists on the beaches. Carnival vibes are building in the air as shops put up decorations, bunting is strung across the town streets and there are more street stalls opening up, ready for the passing trade. Some households will be busy creating costumes and preparing for the big event whereas others are trying to plan how to avoid the noise and wildness of carnival! I’ve had my own August celebration with the arrival of my children, Hayley and Joshua, from the UK and we are enjoying being together for a three-week holiday in our new family home in Grenada.

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