The Garifuna Cultural Retrieval Workshop ended on Aug. 16 and the last of the three concerts following the workshop ending on Aug. 19.
After reflecting on the miracle that is taking place in our historic homeland, St.Vincent &The Grenadines, we decided to travel to Balliceaux — the barren island where our Ancestors were tortured and held as prisoners, to give thanks and praise to them and to ask for their continued guidance and blessings.
We chartered a boat and sailed over the rough channel towards the island. It was different than I had imagined, being much bigger than I thought and having some wildlife: cattle, sheep, land-turtles and iguanas.
As we entered the island, everyone was asked to kiss the ground and be mindful that it was the site where thousands of our Garifuna Ancestors died at the hands of the British, from hunger, ill-treatment, disease and exposure to the elements.
We thanked the Ancestors for their blessings and guidance and asked for their continued blessings and support of our efforts to restore our language and culture to our homeland. We honored them with gifts of food and water, and after the brief ceremony James Lovell conducted a performance of Walamiserun (Our sad Experience) with dancing and drumming by the children.
We thank God Almighty and the Ancestors for taking us safely over the wild and treacherous waters to and from Balliceaux.
Please keep us in your prayers as we continue on this historic cultural retrieval journey.
Trish St. Hill