Monday, July 11, 2011
I had the pleasure of being in the presence of two wonderful guests last weekend, Ali Moussa Iye, Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Sheila S. Walker, Ph.D, (Executive Director, Afrodiaspora, Inc.). They were also in the company of Bencho, Mariano and two representatives from the office of UNESCO in Guatemala City.
The first part of my role was to take them on a tour through the Garífuna neighborhood in Labuga. We took the main street from Villa Caribe, Hotel to Barique beach on our way to Barrio Paris to visit Escuelita Wamilito, which is a Garífuna educational project. We were able to stop by Belüba Lüba Fürendie a community library, before we arrived at the Garífuna Cultural Center for a brief presentation at the end of the day.
Saturday, July 9, 2011 is another day which will mark history, because it was the day Facundo Cabral, famed Argentinean singer and songwriter, was assassinated in Guatemala City.
The next day we took a taxi from the hotel to Marian Gotay’s place, where we boarded a small canoe attached to a small motor on our way to the Garífuna Temple in Milinda. During the first half of this year, I have seen that indeed Mariano’s Place has something special and to be more descriptive I will call it by this word lasusu. Speakers of the French language might be familiar with this word, in Garífuna it is related with a soup. However, lasusu within the Garífuna cuisine is something that unifies the body, soul and mind. Like what my good friend would say, it is about a triangular relationship. The word lasusu caught my attention, because while we were having dinner at Gotay’s Place, our guests were speaking in French and I overheard something like lasusu in their conversation, however it was the impression on their faces that woke me up. I saw that soul food is not a figment of the imagination. To give you an idea Mr. Ali Moussa Iye is from Somalia and Dr. Sheila Walker is from the United States and yours truly from Labuga. The lasusu that was on our table brought together the concept of mind, body and soul; I was able to experience that food is more than just food.