Monday, July 28, 2014

Labuga, Livingston

Mon. 28/7/14 it is 5:04 in the morning at this precise moment I am looking at the cover of a book that I am reading since yesterday. Speaking of books, the first book I ever read on my own was in prison in Blythe, California in 1990 the same year Nelson Mandela was released. It is important to me for the reader to understand that I will never use my experience about going to prison as a badge of honor; from my point of view it is totally the opposite. However I will not deny that it has been one of the most profound experiences in my life. In prison I learned that your “word” is your honor.

The book I started reading yesterday is, Livingston “El Paraiso” donde nació el amor by Carlos Humberto Pontaza Izeppi. If my translation is correct it goes like this Livingston, “The Paradise” Where Love Was Born.

The story behind the first book I read started with watching a talk show a few years earlier on television while I was living in the state of California. The book was about the life a boy in South Africa during the apartheid, it is a book by the name of Kaffir Boy. Since then, I have read my share of books and would like to write a book one day.

In relation to the book I came across on the 26th July 2014 is something unusual. To begin with the book is a novel in both senses of the word. In this case, I can see myself in the background as a Garifuna living in Livingston and able to continue the novel with some of the main characters in this novel; first by thanking Manfred for his kindness because he gave me the book as a gift. I met Manfred about ten years ago when the cruise ships were the main subject of the time and he had recently moved to Labuga as the general manager of Villa Caribe. Later I was able to meet Rebecca and became an English teacher for the employees of the hotel for a few months. I say this because Villa Caribe is one of the focal points.  In this case, Salvador Gaviota and Doña Lizette is real, she is someone that has a deep connection with the Garifuna community in Labuga. Then we have Los Altares and Carnal who has been a friend for more than thirty years, this is the same area where the largest and most expensive Dabuyaba is built in our history as a Nation.

My visit to Villa Caribe on Saturday had nothing to do with the book, I was there as a guest for a dinner in recognition of the Garifuna Women of Guatemala. It has been four years since I wrote Wonderful, because it has been the only words that come close to the meaning of what a Garifuna woman means to the Garifuna Nation.

Lúbara Huya.

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