Monday, January 3, 2011

Lirida Garífuna (The Garífuna Bucket)

It is January 3, 2011 on a Monday morning and Labuga is back to the same old ways. The “old ways” is my choice of words because the Garínagu have been doing the same thing over and over again for many years.

This morning while I was sipping on a cup coffee and then I decided to open a book that I borrowed from a good friend of mine, Roman Zuñiga.

Say It Plain: A Century of Great African American Speeches is the first published anthology of African American political oratory designed for the ear and the eyes. Here is something that caught my attention in a speech by Booker T. Washington addressed to the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta in 1895:
A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal, "Water, water; we die of thirst!" The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back, "Cast down your bucket where you are." A second time the signal, "Water, water; send us water!" ran up from the distressed vessel, and was answered, "Cast down your bucket where you are." And a third and fourth signal for water was answered, "Cast down your bucket where you are.” The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket, and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River. 
To those of my race who depend on bettering their condition in a foreign land or who underestimate the importance of cultivating friendly relations with the Southern white man, who is their next door neighbor, I would say: "Cast down your bucket where you are"-cast it down in making friends in every manly way of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded. (Ellis and Smith: 2005)

Here is something I would like to share with you from an article I wrote on the 16th August 2010: “I am calling for attention. But more importantly, I would like to be a gift to anyone who enters my life and to everyone whose life I have entered, I will do my best not to enter anyone’s life, when I cannot give”.

The Garífuna Bucket I am talking about is right here in Livingston (Labuga), Guatemala.  For example, we would like to cast down our bucket to the Tourism Board of Guatemala.  Just to give you an idea, I have been working in the tourism industry for the past nine years and we have been doing the same old thing. We would like to cast down the Garífuna Bucket to the Minister of Education, because there are rumor of strikes even before the date of class is set for this year.  We would like to cast down the Garífuna Bucket down to the Agricultural Department because a nation that can produce what it consumes will get by.

To be continued...

Au le
Lubara Huya

Ellis, Catherine, and Stephen Drury Smith. Say It Plain : A Century of Great African American Speeches. New York: New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton & Co., 2005.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I just left Livingston 2 days ago. I was in Livingston for 2 weeks. I was (supposed to be) a valunteer worker in one Garifuna Culture Center. Before I went to Livingston I was so excited to get to know Garifuna culture but when I was there, I was disappointed. The culture center did nothing and I learnt nothing about the garifuna and I paid for being there.
If I would have met or known you, things could have been different.
I think garifuna culture is very interesting(even I don't know much about it).
So keep it up. Keep doing good things for your kids and community.
All the best from me to you and your community:-)