For those of you that are residing in the cold cities in the United States, it might be good for you to enjoy my ambience vicariously through this newsletter. I am sitting on the balcony outside my hotel room at the Ambassador Hotel starring out at the mountain range to the north. Directly across from my room I can see the American embassy and residence of the United States ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, and to the right I have a gorgeous view of the Atlantic Ocean with its waves gently beating against the shore, I can imagine. Can you imagine? All you need to do is close your eyes and visualize where I am sitting on pronto you will be out of the cold and into the warm sunshine of this beautiful Caribbean Island.
Mind you, everything comes as the price, so I am in working nonstop since my arrival here a few days ago. For the first two days, my days began before 5:00 AM in the morning. I painstakingly done my makeup for an early morning TV interview with Hema on Morning Brew and after breakfast hasted over to Heartbeat, Women¯s Radio for an hour-long call in program where we discussed relationships and the upcoming conference which will be held tomorrow, Sunday December 1 2013, at the Capital Plaza on Wrighson Road just across from the seafront. The conference begins at 4:00 PM but Hor d¯oeuvres will be served and guest can mingle and meets conference presenters and producers. This conference is being hosted by TV producer of the show ¯Moving On¯, Mrs. Gemma Williams. Moving On is aired every Sunday at 5:30 PM. I have been a guest on this show on several occasions over the past two years. Moving On focuses on individual who have overcome difficult life challenges and who have moved on to improve their circumstances and who have used these challenges to make themselves more viable and better persons. Moving On has affectionately called me their ¯Resident Relationship Specialist¯ and these conferences have been birthed out of the tireless work of Mrs. Gemma Williams and her crew.
Sharing the platform with me at the conference tomorrow is none other than Ft. Dr. Urban Hudlin who came in from Ireland two days ago. Unknown to Gemma Williams, Dr. Hudlin and me grew up together and have a long history. So when we began exchanging files we wondered at the convergence of events that has brought our lives together again. Dr. Hudlin confessed that he had seen some of the shows in which I was featured while he lived in Ireland and had contacted Mrs. Gemma Redman, one of our panelists and board members of Moving On, to let her know he had seen the show and that he knew me personally. I have not yet met Dr. Hudlin because of my busy schedule but I am excited sufficiently to meet with him again and to share things from the past and to begin a re-acquaintance with him.
Again, similar to the day before, my day began before 5:00 AM. This time I was on my way to Chaguanas for an early morning interview with Mr. Hansley Ajouda on WIN TV. However, appearing in the newspaper that morning was a tragic story about a six year old girl, Keyana who had been murdered and whose a little body was discovered by her mother. Little Keyana was reported missing since Monday. She was found stuffed in a shipping barrel hidden under some clothing in the barrel. Interestingly, Keyana went missing on at the same day that was designated by the United Nations as the Day for Ending Violence and Abuse against Women and Girls.
The day before following my interview on Heartbeat Radio, Natacha Jones did a none time - stamped one-hour TV interview with me which will be aired over and over again as an educational program on the government¯s channel. Natacha, a beautiful woman was dressed in a pretty white dress with splashes of orange in support of the United Nations call for people to wear the color orange in support of the call for Ending Violence and Abuse against Women and Girls.
Ironically, on that same day, the body of six-year old Keyana was discovered. And so, because the theme of the conference centered on relationship and I have been asked to put some focus on perpetrators of violence in my presentation, Mr. Hansley Ajouda requested that our morning interview should focus on child abuse. It was an interesting and informative discussion so that Mr. Hansley Ajouda requested that I return to his TV program on Monday the day following the conference so that we can continue our dialogue and present a summation of the conference itself.
I was on my way to my second interview for the day with Mr. Wayne Chance when I passed by a crematorium which brought fresh memories of an incident which occurred years ago when I was a teacher and when I worked as a part time consulate. I had been counseling this female student who was confiding in me concerning alcohol addiction and abuse and violence in her home. However, very soon after I began counseling this student her mother committed suicide. I had attended the mother¯s funeral which was held at that crematorium. As I passed by, I regretted that I did not know the things that I know now because maybe I might¯ve been able to save a life. And, so it was, I entered the studio with Mr. Wayne Chance, Radio Talk Show host, Mr, John Rougier, former Deputy Commissioner of Prisons and Mr. Gordon Husband, Director of a Non- Governmental Agency. The question that was thrown out to the public was whether or not criminal offenders could change. Again the question returned to Keyana and the murder suspect in her killing. I was asked to sit on the panel and provide my opinion for those that called in.
During the 2:00 PM news break, we learned that a former a Government Minister, Mrs. Verna St Rose had staged a one woman protest in the House of Representatives, Mrs. St, Rose burst into a Parliamentary Sitting and demanded that the government address the issue of abuse and violence. Mrs. St. Rose accused the Prime Minister of failing the nation¯s children. Mrs. St. Rose had been the government minister in charge of Women, Children and Gender Affairs before she was fired. I was asked to comments on the Ministers outburst. Mrs. St. Rose, because she no longer Representatives as a Minister was expressing her frustration as a Representative seeing that the murder of this child had taken place in her constituency.
Later in the evening, I met with Sheldon who interviewed me on his TV program during the evening news. Sheldon informed me that several child murders had been taking place over the past few months and over the last several years. Later that evening, as I pondered on what was happening around me my mind went back to two significant events in my experience, involving the honor of a Prime Minister and the previous minister Mrs. Verna St. Rose.
Very soon after the new Prime Minister, the first female to hold the second highest office in this country was elected into power, I was doing some work developing programs for university with respect to providing services for victims of abuse and violence. I attended a function in which she presented and made some remarks. This function held under the auspices of the United Nations, highlighted the lives of twenty eight women that had lost close relatives through violence. At the end of that function, the Prime Minister made a specific request that we should set up an appointment to meet with her to discuss a proposal for addressing abuse and violence among women and children. At that time, Mrs. Ruth Greaves, to whom the Prime Minister had directly spoken her request wasted no time in preparing the letter to take to the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister¯s office, which is the formal procedure for setting appointments with the Honorable Prime Minister. Mrs. Ruth Greaves a very gentle an influential lady did the right thing. We discussed that I would travel back to Trinidad to meet with the Prime Minister as soon as the meeting was arranged. Although, Mrs. Ruth Greaves did not say this to me, I realized that there were other is in the mix, because of their personnel agendas did not want this meeting to take place. And so, this request that the Prime Minister initiated for dialogue on the issue of abuse and violence died a natural death.
About a year later, I was in the island again and I was asked to speak at a program. However, I inadvertently ate something that I should not have had and developed a serious allergic reaction my eyes were so swollen that I could only lay down in a dark room for several days. Mrs. Verna St. Rose had attended program and she was told that I could not attend because of my illness. Mrs. St. Rose made a special request that I should set up a meeting with her to discuss proposals for intervention for ending abuse and violence.
Again, personal ambition and maliciousness stood in the way of this meeting. For a second time I was provided was an opportunity to make some difference in the lives of victims but I was thwarted. At that program, Mrs. St. Rose gave her personal cell phone number to a person that is very close to me. There were two persons that attended the program who were closely related to me. One of these persons informs me of what transpired and told me that the other person had taken Mrs. St. Rose¯s cell phone number and that I should request it from her.
I returned to Florida and prepared an in-depth comprehensive proposal to be implemented across the island. The proposal strictly followed the guidelines and requirements outlined by the United Nations with consideration for the uniqueness and cultural distinctiveness of the island¯in other words I prepared for an integrated, multi-dimensional approach to address issues related to Domestic Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence. However, when I requested Mrs. St. Rose cell phone, this close relation refused to provide the number.
I then appealed to the second close relation hoping that she would become involved to provide me with Mrs. St. Rose¯s cell phone number, but to no avail. I then sent them a candid letter informing them that they were provided with an opportunity to make a difference, however, for whatever reason they decided to stand in the way by refusing to make the connection that would facilitate this. I concluded that letter by stating that if this proposal could make the difference between life and death in the life of an individual and if their refusal to facilitate this opportunity prevented that from happening then the blood of the person that died would be upon their hands.
I considered the life of Joseph. Joseph¯s mother, Rachel, was hated by her sister Leah¯and so much that the hatred might have been responsible for Rachel¯s death in childbirth. This hatred was extended to Joseph so that Joseph¯s brothers attempted to kill him instead rather they sold him into slavery. Joseph struggled for many years and was wrongfully incarcerated. While in prison, Joseph met people who knew the Pharaoh and who could have made in connection on behalf of Joseph, but who for whatever reasons did nothing.
Joseph eventually did meet with the Pharaoh and was able to fulfill his life¯s purpose. It was has shrewd plan that was implemented that saved our lives of many who would otherwise have died during the famine. The men who refused to make the connection so the Joseph could fulfill has life¯s purpose would have been guilty for all of the deaths which you might have occurred had not Joseph¯s plan been implemented.
I am not saying that my plan would have saved Keyana life, but on the other hand who is to say if it could. Mrs. St. Rose might never have responded to me; but who is to say if she would have; who is to say if my plan might have been implemented and if it would have made a difference in Keyana being alive today. Did my two relations thwart what might have been? Did those who were unresponsive to Mrs. Ruth Greaves thwart what might have been? I know that blood is not on my hands, I did what I could have done and what I needed to do, but I know that there were those that wilfully, deliberately, stood in the way to prevent my influence from moving forward ¯ my question today is ¯ do they have blood on their hands.
I have this one client that cry on a daily basis concerning her current situation and she swears that she has done nothing to deserve the mischief that has befallen her. As I reflect on this situation, I considered whether there are small things that I neglected to do which might have made a difference between life and death. I often wondered when I look back at the lives that I have touched and I think that had I been murdered as a victim of Domestic Violence that the gift that I could have been and was to the people whose lives I have touched ¯ who would have been poorer if I did not touch their lives.
Who is to know the contribution that Keyana could have made to society or to the world if she was allowed the gift of life. Those persons who may have stood in the way either directly ¯meaning those who personally and intimately touched how life; and those who you can indirectly stood in the way by refusing to allow others who could have made a difference to do so, then, if Keyana was meant to touch the lives of others then by extension there is blood guiltiness not just for Keyana death, but for the abortion that occurred in the lives of those she might have touched.
I considered Mrs. St. Rose anguished outburst when she stormed into the Parliament ¯ what are the thoughts that she is feeling at this time. She was the Government Minister who was charged with the responsibility to implement change that might have made the difference ¯ nothing was done to effect that change and now right in her back door ¯ she has a death on her hands.
Interestingly, I met with the government minister who has replaced her and he has promised to consider my proposal and this time I will make sure that I do not drop the ball ¯ if anyone is left holding the hot balls it will not be me. And normally I will never speak of these sensitive matters before its fruition ¯but guess what? Feel free to entertain blood on your hands by trying to thwart this ¯ this is my response to the gainsayers and the naysayers.
We may think that this is a simple matter; the butterfly effect, but we need to reevaluate the things that we did and did not do because in the eye of God who sees the bigger picture, selfish, jealous ambitious, spiteful and vindictive motives which we allowed to prevent us from doing the things we should do and which we might think are minor; the butterfly effect is always in effect and we might have caused grave travesty of justice and human suffering simply because we refused to give passage for those who needed to find a way; because we burned the bridges that we could not use simply because we refused to allow others to close those bridges even when we could not use those bridges ourselves.
Keyana¯s autopsy report was released today. Six year old Keyana¯s head was bashed and her skull was split in two while she lay dying her murderer raped her ¯ further tests are being conducted to determine if she had been raped prior to this final time.
Last night, Sheldon in his interview asked me whether we have become desensitized to evil; I pose the same question to you.
For those if you wishing to attend tomorrow¯s conference these are the numbers that you should call
868 628 7110; 868 333 4081; 868 306 7270 or 868 324 1448
It¯s not the glow you feel when stars appear
The little gifts you give on Christmas Day
Will not erase the scars you¯ve caused all year,
My prayer to you is that you carefully consider the things you do and the things that you do not do because everything you do will ricochet into a dynamo effect that will last beyond a lifetime ¯ Life is short, live it right,
Today, I do not have the time to re-edit this newsletter, if there are typos and errors ¯ Please forgive me.