I knew I had been in Montserrat too long when the livestock that constantly crossed the road didn’t make me think twice. I mean if I am driving here, if there is a delivery person or pedestrian or god forbid, a person pushing a baby stroller, I become outraged that they are slowing me down. It’s not that I don’t like babies but it’s just that the people pushing them, at least in my neighborhood, most likely don’t have green cards, are probably not paying into social security or medicare; and probably grew up in a village without a traffic light. And it’s even worse if the uber entitled mother would be pushing the stroller. I can’t tell you how many times Remington and I have almost been run over by their double or triple wide strollers because none of the women in my hood could conceive on their own. Old eggs = IVF = large strollers.
Enough about Tribeca, I meant to be talking to you about Montserrat where the chickens, goats, lamb, iguanas (it’s mating season so they throw themselves on the road in some ritual that’s a cross between porn and nascar (another thing I will never understand but that’s another thing altogether)), agoutis (an endangered species before the volcano erupted and now they are practically in gangs – I swear I saw one in crips colors but again, it could have been the United Bamboo Gang), and frogs ( imported from Dominica which are poisonous and have eaten all of the native frogs and must be destroyed) all cross the road and I don’t blink an eye because they are supposed to be there. They are native (ish) and belong there.
Which brings me to my point: As many of you know, or perhaps don’t know because I don’t think I have ever disclosed this here but I am helping the tiny island recover from the devastating volcano that erupted in 1997 that destroyed 2/3 of the island by helping with the diabetes epidemic and in the planning of the new hospital. The current one is temporarily operating out of an ex-abandoned school building.
Is it just me or did America’s Next Top Model completely jump the shark this year? They are trying too hard. First of all they are using college girls because Tyra is now a graduate of Harvard. Honey, she went to the MBA program, not the business school – it’s not the same thing okay. And, if you are in college you are already too old to be ANTM so give it up already. And besides, who is that social media geek that they have on the show. Not saying anything about stereotypes but he is Asian….
I have been working with Montserrat for a few months now but I really needed to speak with the director of nutrition. The island used to be one of abundance and while most of the good farmland was destroyed and most of the people left (there are less than 5000 (4902 to be exact as the census just came out) people remaining on the island) it is a tropical paradise so there has to be a way of eating that is fresh, local seasonal and organic.
Organic is the easy part because there are no chemicals used in the growing of anything. Local is a battle because right now it is cheaper to import food from Miami or Dominica than it is to grow it or raise it and the variety is better. Dealing with the variety issue is always something that comes up no matter what country I am teaching in. As humans, we were not meant for variety but what we could manage to find, kill, and consume before it rotted. Variety is something that the food manufacturers have twisted our minds into thinking we need to have. Simply prepare the same foods differently and you can have different meals at all times.
I don’t know how many of you have been watching project runway this season but it is one of the best ever. When Christopher referred to the usual bickering “behind the iron curtain” Dmitry and Elena, as Boris and Natasha from Bullwinkle, it was all I could do to contain myself.
Just like trying to contain myself when Montserratians choose to eat cauliflower shipped in from off-island than avocado that was literally dripping off the trees. So, this time was a big discussion about sustainable fishing, using the local chicken man and getting the farms back working up in the mountains. There would be a sharp reduction in the number of people with diabetes if we could just accomplish that.
I wish all of you who are so much more fortunate than any of them could just get this same concept – if you just ate what was grown near you or farmed near you, you would be healthier, you can’t deny that. We are lucky….
Before I let you go, I am not yet sure how I feel about The New Normal yet but I do tend to like anything Ryan Murphy does but the best TV line of the week goes Bryan when he says to his partner David, :”When I saw that miniature person in Barney’s whose skin was flawless, I knew I had to have one.” Kind of like the women in my neighborhood – babies as accessories.
Until next time……