October 2008

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alex's life book

  • In early 2006, I began creating a life book for my daughter, Alex. Click here for links to articles describing my experience.
  • And for those of you who are more digitally inclined, in late 2006, I recreated key pages of Alex's lifebook for an article I wrote for AlphaMom, using Scrapblog.

    You can see the final digital result (and leave comments, if you'd like!) here.

what's been on my nikon lately

  • And you can view my favourites here.

if i'm not here, i'm here

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Perusing your blog and seeing your pictures makes me more inclined to visit the Caribbean. Now that I think of it, though, I've never really had any negative thoughts about the islands in the first place. Your blog really highlights the beauty of the region.

By the way, I'll be speaking on Day 2 of Blogher also. Hopefully I'll be able to attend your session, especially since identity covers so much of the work I do online.


I'll try to answer (1) and even keep it out of the realm of "if you start going on about the mangoes and limes again, I'm going to smack you." ;)

For me, I suffer from an embarrassing global ignorance (I haven't done much travelling and I'm a stupid American). I knew NOTHING about the Caribbean before I started reading you. I think my perception of island living was completely 1-dimensional and assumed a culture with which I would have nothing in common.

On the plus side, I've learned (through you) a great deal about what makes Trinidad special, including (but not limited to) an appreciation of the culture in a multidimensional way. To wit: I love how often you bring up the concept of folks "liming." It highlights the slower (and perhaps more appreciative!) pace of island living without leaving me with the stereotypes in the travel brochures. ;)

On the more sobering side, I really didn't understand what the crime in your area is like until reading about it here and talking about it with you. I can't decide if I find it inspiring or terrifying that you live in a place where you need to be so vigilant about where you go, when. I'll confess that I still have trouble wrapping my brain around how one navigates an area that is at once both beautiful and dangerous. :( I worry for you.

I love the perspective you're able to lend, having lived so many places, and now being back in your homeland. Sometimes when I read your posts I wish I felt so strongly about where I grew up... or anywhere, really. You seem to have a powerful connection with the area/people, and I envy it. And I thank you for sharing it with us.


"If you're not from the Caribbean, has what you've read here on Chookooloonks shaped any perceptions you have of the Caribbean or Trinidad? How has your thinking about the region changed -- either positively or negatively?"

Well, I hadn't really thought much about the Caribbean to be honest. I assumed that there was the tourist-y places and the places that the "real" people lived. I admit that I kind of assumed that the "real" people were primarily very poor and was surprised to learn that there is a bigger population of middle class people native to the islands. People who have a different culture and perspective on life, but who also have many things in common with me. The more that I learn about different people, the more I learn that we aren't really so different after all.

I, like Mir, didn't realize that the crime was so very troubling. Again, it's just something I didn't think about. The Carribean is tropical paradise - in my narrow view of the world I couldn't imagine it.

As always, thanks for your lovely, funny, touching, insightful online journal. I count you among my blessings.


When I started reading blogs, I started reading a LOT of blogs, I just don't have that time to spare anymore and whittled it down to YOURS only and the occasional other blog (naked ovary, by the other Karen, you know her "virtually"). Anyways, you have a way of seeing Trinidad in a different way from how I saw it. I left there when I was just starting to find myself and came to Canada, so I guess I never had an opportunity to really appreciate the country for what it is. I've found a really deeper appreciation for the country of my birth, due to your blog and partly I guess due to my maturity.

I do wonder however, when you first left Trinidad and moved to was it London first or Houston? Anyways, I wonder if you had the connection then. I think you may not have for obvious reasons, being younger maybe? or wanting to do more with your life perhaps. I think as we get older however that apprecition and 'connectedness' to our birth country just becomes more apparent.

Sorry for the ramble. Thought provoking post.



Candy --

I left Trinidad at the age of 16 and moved to Houston with my family. I didn't leave for London until I was 33.

I returned to Trinidad at 37. I'll be 39 this year.

And I would say that my "connectedness" to Trinidad has definitely grown since returning home.


Emily G.

I am a Midwesterner. My perceptions of the Caribbean have definitely been given more form by your blog, but I didn't really have an opinion about the region before reading your blog (aside from knowing it was out there and dreaming of the nicer weather) so my perceptions weren't exactly changed. Now I want to visit, just to taste and smell and feel the differences in culture and way of life.


2. If you are from the Caribbean, have any of my thoughts expressed here surprised you? Have any rung true?

They have surprised me because they rung so true. I mean, yes, we both live in the Caribbean, but our islands are so different in climate, ethnic makeup, language, etc....
However, a lot of the things that you write about, especially social life I can totally recognize.

Bron from Oz

Being an Aussie most of what I knew about the Caribbean before your blog was cricket related! I now know that the Caribbean is not one place with one identity; more about your multi-ethnic, multi-generational families; things I didn't know about crime and personal safety; and things I expected involving rum and limes! Glad to see that your fame and renown is growing!!


I'm a second generation West Indian living in NYC. Reading your blog gave me insight on what it's really like, apart from those ancient "back home" stories I heard from my relatives.


I'm not from the Carribean, and never gave it much serious thought (AMERICAN enough for ya? Sorry), but reading your blog has shown me that you're not all that different from me. There, in your exotic locale, you're just another woman I have a mom crush on.


As a Trini-in-exile who goes home as much as she can, I have to say your blog is spot on. Half the time I have to stop myself from emailing you with yet another "Exactly!" note. I read you because it gives me hope that (1) I can go home again and find a place to fit in, and (2) it's never to late to make enormous changes in your life and end up much happier than you could ever have dreamed. I also like to start my day with a picture of Alex.


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