30 October 2008

King Austin's "Progress"

I have been working and thinking about this particular project, featured below, for a while now. It is my newest "open source music video" featuring a Trinidadian calypso by King Austin (Austin Lewis), from 1980. I owe King Austin an enormous debt. I first heard this song in the pub of the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad, one afternoon in mid-August of 1990. It sucked the wind out of me from the very first time, and the song has stayed in my head ever since then. It shaped my approach to the study of international relations, specifically critiques of the Eurocentricity of international developmentalism, as propagated then by Dr. Herb Addo at UWI. It was further fed by the works of George Aseneiro and then Ashis Nandy. Layered with these extra readings and schools of thought, it eventually formed part of the basis for me to enter anthropology (although it was almost literally a toss up between anthropology and sociology that would make my final choice).

The song is a critique of the ideology and practice of progress, from the vantage points of environmental unsustainability, exploitation, inequality, and the resultant social strife. At least part of the vision is inspired by Christian teaching. Yet, his vision is one that has come to be strongly supported by recent scientific research. Indeed, in the days leading up to my concluding work on this video, a striking item was published by the BBC: "Earth on Course for 'Eco-Crunch'." It seems that we will need two planets to sustain our current level of consumption, environmental degradation, and growth in population.

Austin Lewis is a modest, unassuming man, who has made the most and very best of the learning made available to him. He says in an interview, "I love every human being very much. It doesn't matter where you are from. I love all the people and I want to tell them, God bless and have a happy new year." King Austin asks, as you will hear, some of the primary questions of philosophical importance in what has become an urgent project of utopistics. You can read the complete transcription of the lyrics, as usual, at Guanaguanare's site, where she also links the message of the song to Steel Pulse's "Earth Crisis" (you can see the video there, or in my vodpod).

Enough from me, or at least enough text:

29 October 2008

U.S. Marines in Arima, Trinidad

U.S. Marine Sea Stallion flies low over Barataria on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008

The Mayor of Arima, Adrian Cabralis, and presumably the Deputy Mayor as well (Ricardo Bharath, who is also the head of the Santa Rosa Carib Community) played host to a contingent of U.S. Marines who are in Trinidad for "Operation Continuing Promise" (CP 2008). This mission comes with little in the way of an advance public announcement, most Trinidadians being very surprised to see two U.S. Marine Sea Stallions flying low and scouting areas along the East-West Corridor on Sunday morning. The government of Patrick Manning is aligned with the Bush regime in the U.S., and this "humanitarian exercise" in an island strategically located a mere seven miles from the Venezuelan coast comes as Venezuela prepares to host joint naval exercises with Russia in a matter of days.

Prime Minister Patrick Manning (left) and George W. Bush, June 2007

This exercise represents part of a new thrust on the part of the U.S. military to develop its troops' cultural familiarity with zones of potential military action, so that they are better accustomed to the language, terrain, climate, and broad cultural makeup of the theaters in which they are deployed. This comes as part of the U.S. military's new enchantment with "culture" and the exercise of "soft power," a means of avoiding the costly and messy outcomes of unleashing massive firepower without first enmeshing itself in local networks. Similar efforts are planned as part of the U.S.' new "Africa Command" (AFRICOM), launched this month as well. In addition, the Caribbean region is seeing the reconstitution of the U.S.' Fourth Fleet, a move seen as a threat by a number of governments in the hemisphere, including those of Brazil and Venezuela.

Captain Walt Towns, of the United States Navy and commanding officer of the USS Kearsarge, tries his hand on the steel pan at a welcoming ceremony for the ship and its contingent at the Arima Town Hall, Arima, on Monday, October 27, 2008.

With its obssession with the "global war on terror," and the sheer butchery visited on civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq on the part of American invaders and occupiers, it is disheartening -- to say the least -- to see Arima, and the Carib leader, play host to such forces without a hint of protest, or even simple questioning. It is also disappointing to see those in power turn culture into a playful showcase, forgetting the long role of culture as resistance to colonialism and imperialism. It makes one wonder about the name of the ruling party too -- the People's National Movement: Which people? What "nation" do you serve? What "movement"? And one must wonder why a nation in the middle of a petroleum and natural gas export boom, erecting one new skyscraper after another, suddenly needs a few Marines to come and treat local foot fungus and fill cavities.

Wake up.

For more see:

US ship to provide medical help
NEWSDAY, Tuesday, October 28 2008

US Marines in TT
NEWSDAY, Sunday, October 26 2008

22 October 2008

Indigenous Colombians Protest for Land Rights; Shot & Beaten

POPAYAN, Colombia (CNN) -- Thousands of Colombian Indians plan to protest government policies on Tuesday in the country's second-largest city, marking more than a week of demonstrations against the nation's free-market economic policies.

Indian leaders in the mountains of southwest Colombia announced during the weekend they were gathering as many as 20,000 protesters and would begin to march Tuesday on the city of Cali, an industrial and agricultural hub.

At least two Indians have been killed and more than 80 have been injured in the protests, which began October 10 and have included a blockade of the Pan-American highway. The government says as many as 70 security force members, mainly riot police, have also been injured.

During the past week, protesters throwing rocks and firing sling shots, catapults and Molotov cocktails, have clashed with riot police, who fought back with tear gas, rocks and batons.

The Indians also say the security forces have been shooting at them with rifles and canisters packed with shrapnel. President Alvaro Uribe has denied that police and army forces have been using lethal force against demonstrators, but medics say they have treated scores of Indians injured by bullets and shrapnel.

The protesters allege one of their own, 27-year-old Taurino Ramos, was fatally shot in the head by police. The police have made no official comment.

A formal autopsy was not conducted because the Nasa tribe, to which Ramos belonged, opposes autopsies for cultural reasons.

Seven Indian tribes in southwest Cauca and Valle del Cauca provinces launched the protests to coincide with the date of October 12, known in the United States as Columbus Day and in much of Latin America as Dia de la Raza, or Day of the (Indian) Race.

Latin America's Indian communities equate the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492 as the start of the Spanish colonial invasion, which led to millions of Indian deaths in wars and from disease. The Spanish invaders drove the Indian populations off their ancestral lands and deep into jungles and mountains, as they plundered resources, including gold and silver.

Since then, the Indian population has become an ethnic and economic underclass in Colombia and in most of Latin America. They rank among the poorest sectors of society.

The Indians have called for the government to fulfill previous pledges to give more land to Indian reservations, guarantee better health care and education, and to stop big business and multinational companies from encroaching on their lands.

Under the Colombian constitution, all subsoil rights belong "to the nation," which effectively means the government can, and has, granted mining rights to national and multinational corporations on lands claimed by Indians.

The Indians, whose lifestyle and religion is connected closely with preservation of the environment, are bitterly opposed to unrestricted mining in their territory.

"We oppose these types of indiscriminate mining activities allowed under the new mining code," Luis Fernando Arias, secretary general of the National Indigenous Council of Colombia (ONIC), told CNN by telephone.

Indian leaders describe their protest as "anti-capitalist." They see their struggle as another reflection of growing worldwide concern over free market economic policies and financial management, which they say were to blame for the recent meltdown in global stock markets.

"The capitalist system our government imported from the United States is a failure. The world is bankrupt," Aida Quilcue, a protest leader, told CNN.

"This shouldn't just be a fight by the Indians but by everyone in Colombia and across the world who rejects this deadly capitalist model."

About 1.3 million Indians divided among 102 tribes or ethnic groups are living in Colombia, the government estimates.

The government argues the Indians are well provided for with more than 66 million acres of reservations.

But Indian authorities say the statistic is misleading since much of the land is jungle, mountain or swamp -- and protected as an environmental reserve. They say almost 500,000 Indians have no land at all.

Last week, Indian protesters briefly blocked the Pan-American highway, a symbolic target as well as a major trade route for road cargo traveling the length of South America.

The highway was conceived in 1923 as a way to unite the Americas. It runs some 29,000 miles (48,000 kilometers) from Alaska to Patagonia at the southern tip of South America -- broken only for a few miles between Panama and Colombia in a lawless region of thick jungle.

15 October 2008

Movimiento Indigena Jibaro Boricua

The web site for the non profit organization Movimiento Indigena Jibaro Borica (Movijibo) has moved. The new location can be accessed using this link. You may also find them on FaceBook.

Interesados en adquirir ejemplares del libro “Puerto Rico”: La gran mentira, y/o ejemplares del Disco Compacto de Kassabe, escribir o comunicarse con los autores a:

Uahtibili Baez y Huana Naboli

HC-02 Box 7529

Camuy, PR 00627

(787) 214-5763


14 October 2008

Taino events in the DR

La UASD acoge hoy el Seminario Cultura Aborigen de Quisqueya: Hacer memoria viva del olvido
El Consejo de Ancianos/as de la Sociedad Taína Guabancex Viento y Agua, el Departamento de Historia y Antropología de la Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), y el Honorable Ayuntamiento de San Juan de la Maguana, en ocasión de la rememoración anual mundial del 12 de octubre de 1492, día del llamado Descubrimiento de América, Encuentro o Choque entre Culturas, tienen el honor de invitarle al Seminario Culturas Aborígenes de Kiskeya, que se realizará con el objetivo de continuar los trabajos de revitalización y puesta en valor de nuestras culturas ancestrales.
Estos trabajos se orientan hacia la declaración de nuestras plazas ceremoniales como parte del Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad.
Viernes 10 de octubre, 2008
9:00-9:30 a.m. Registro.
9:30-10:00 Palabras de bienvenida
Mtra. Fátima Portorreal, Antropóloga, Consejo de Ancianos/as, Guabancex Viento y Agua
Dr. Dioris Antigua, Director Departamento de Historia y Antropología, UASD
Arq. Hanoi Sánchez, Alcaldesa Municipio de San Juan de la Maguana
10:00-10:45 ¿Qué pasó en el Santo Cerro? Dra. Lynne Guitar (antropóloga e historiadora), Consejo de Ancianos/as, Guabancex Viento y Agua.
10.45-11:30 Un estudio sobre El Areíto de Anacaona. Lic. Julio César Paulino (antropólogo y etnomusicólogo).
11:30-12:15 p.m. Lecciones de los aborígenes de Kiskeya. Mtro. José E. Guerrero (antropólogo).
12:15-1:00: La agricultura en la época de los aborígenes. Lic. Rafael Puello (antropólogo).1:00-2:30 Tiempo libre2:30-3:15 La herbolaria indígena en Kiskeya. Mtro. Brígido Peguero (etnobotánico).
3:15-4:00 Tras una lógica del arte rupestre aborigen. Sr. Domingo Abreu (espeleólogo).
4:00-4:45 La pertinencia de la herencia indígena en el Caribe. Mtro. Carlos Andújar Persinal (antropólogo).
4:45-5:30 La conquista del cacicazgo de Higüey. Mtro. Amadeo Julián.
5:30-6:15 Niti, un nombre olvidado del territorio del Maguana. Ing. José Enrique Méndez.
6:15-6:30 Cierre. Licda. Glenis Tavarez (antropóloga), Consejo de Ancianos/as, Guabancex Viento y Agua.Maestro de Ceremonia: Mtro. Antonio Yaguarix de Moya (psicólogo social), Consejo de Ancianos/as, Guabancex Viento y Agua.
Sábado 11 de octubre, 2008
Excursión a los centros sagrados de la Geografía Mística de San Juan de la Maguana (cupo limitado)
Para más información escríbanos: guabancex@gmail.com
Fecha de Publicación: 09 de Octubre del 2008

12 October 2008

International Indigenous Peoples Gatherings: 2008

We know from both the blogs of the United Confederation of Taino People and that of the Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples, that October 14, 2008, will see a gathering of the members of COIP in Arima, Trinidad, timed to coincide with the annual Amerindian Heritage Day that was officially instituted by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in 2000. (For more, see "Amerindian Heritage Day to be Celebrated in Trinidad.")

In roughly the same period we are again seeing some large-scale transnational indigenous organization in other nations as well. Of course in the current state of ever more severe financial crisis and heightened air travel costs, one has to wonder how much longer these gatherings can be sustained. In some cases, the state, or international organizations funded by states, or nongovernmental organizations funded by individuals and corporations, have paid for some of these gatherings, and one should expect some "squeeze" to occur. Hopefully, this will mean more organization and communication across the Internet as an alternative.

Here is news of some of the other gatherings to taking place:


10 October 2008

On October 8 Prensa Latina reported that the Second International Congress of Indigenous People of America (Abya Yala) had begun in the Venezuelan state of Zulia, focusing on imperialism. The multi-national event, to be run until October 12, will also debate topics related to the strengthening of Indian-American peoples sovereignty.

It is expected that 100 international delegations and over 500,000 representatives from Venezuelan ethnic groups will attend the meeting. Nicia Maldonado, Venezuelan minister for the Indigenous Peoples, stated that the Congress will start with a caravan from the Cojoro parish church, to support the Bolivian people and President Evo Morales.

The closing ceremony of the event will coincide with festivities for the Day of Indigenous Resistance (which used to be known as the Day of the Discovery of America, to mark the anniversary of Christopher Colombus “discovering” the Americas.

From Prensa Latina itself:


Caracas, Oct 8 (Prensa Latina) The Second International Congress of Indigenous People of America (Abya Yala) starts Wednesday in the Venezuelan state of Zulia, honing in on imperialism and other issues.

The multi-national event, to be run until October 12, will also debate topics related to the strengthening of Indian-American peoples sovereignty, among other key issues for native communities.

The locality of Cojoro is the venue of the congress and it is expected that one hundred international delegations and over 500,000 representatives from Venezuelan ethnic groups attend the meeting.

Nicia Maldonado, Minister for the Indigenous Peoples, stated that the Congress will start today with a caravan from the Cojoro parish church, to support the Bolivian people and President Evo Morales.

Seminars and work groups will also tackle topics like the US empire's attacks against the progressive people for social justice and sovereignty, like Venezuela and Bolivia, spokespeople from the organizing committee said.

The closing ceremony of the event will coincide with the Indigenous Resistance day of festivities, in other places called Day of the Race, marking 516 years since the controversial discovery of America by the Europeans in 1492.

Missions from United States, Surinam, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Venezuela, among others, announced their assistance.


2008 World Indigenous Peoples Conference focuses on education

1 October 2008

Indian Country Today

MELBOURNE, Australia – Preparations are under way for the World Indigenous Peoples Conference: Education (WIPC:E), to be held on the traditional lands of the Kulin Nation in Melbourne Dec. 7 – 11. The conference is a triennial event attracting people from around the world to celebrate and share cultural diversity, traditions and knowledge with a strong focus on world indigenous education.

This year’s conference is expected to bring more than 3,000 people from countries such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Norway, Bangladesh, Botswana, Vanuatu and many others.

WIPC:E provides delegates a forum to come together, share, learn and promote indigenous education policies, programs and practices. Mark Rose, chairman of the conference’s Knowledge Committee, said, “Delegates represent unique communities with their own cultural traditions and differing stories of colonization. But what always strikes me are the overwhelming similarities. We all strive for indigenous self-determination. We all want our indigenous languages recognized and preserved for generations to come. We all live with competing knowledge systems and want our children and our children’s children to achieve academically while remaining strong in their culture. WIPC:E provides a forum where indigenous issues are at the forefront, where indigenous people can drive the agenda.”

The Victorian Aboriginal Education Association is hosting this year’s event, the theme of which is “Indigenous Education in the 21st Century – Respecting Tradition, Shaping the Future.” According to Rose, this is the first year the conference has been hosted by a community-run indigenous organization.

The first day of the conference will begin with an opening ceremony and a traditional welcome by elders of the Kulin Nation and members of the WIPC:E team on behalf of the indigenous peoples of Australia. After the welcome ceremony, indigenous groups and individual delegates will have an opportunity to respond through speech, dance, song or other form of cultural expression. A number of performances by local indigenous musicians will also be part of the opening and closing ceremonies.

WIPC:E has the potential to positively impact the educational outcomes and lives of indigenous peoples across the globe. “Participants can share their experiences of what has and what hasn’t worked in their own communities,” Rose said. “They can learn from each other and discuss how to adapt differing educational models for their own community needs.

“We hope WIPC:E delegates return home with new ideas, new strength and new inspiration. We hear so often about ‘indigenous disadvantage’; WIPC:E is a chance to celebrate indigenous achievement on a global scale.”

Three sub-themes will be explored during the five-day event: “Respecting Tradition,” “Living with Competing Knowledge Systems” and “Beyond the Horizon.” Respecting Tradition will visit issues such as “growing, connecting, celebrating and maintaining traditions through education,” “building history,” “pathways to knowledge” and “language and identity.”

Living with Knowledge Systems will be the second day’s focus and will look at topics such as “defining education,” “the impact of culture and education,” “understanding the present culture of educational institutions” and “exploring knowledge systems.”

Day four will see delegates focusing Beyond the Horizon – building on the themes of WIPC:E 2005. These will include “shaping our own futures,” “thriving in the education system,” “engaging community” and “resilience.”

The closing ceremony will feature a huge concert at Rod Laver Arena, home of the Australian Open Tennis championships. There will be performances by international delegates and some of Australia’s indigenous performing stars. There will also be a handover ceremony, during which One Fire Dance Troupe will hand the honor of hosting WIPC:E to the next nation.

International keynote speakers will include Marie Battiste, a Mi’kmaq educator from Canada. The 2008 recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, she is the director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre at the University of Saskatchewan and co-director of the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre, a national project of the Canadian Council on Learning. She is also a technical expert to the United Nations, Auditor General of Canada, and an executive member of Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Professor Octaviana Valenzuela Trujillo, from the United States, is also a keynote speaker. She was elected the first vice chairwoman of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona. She then became the chairwoman, and during her years on the tribal council established the first Department of Education and played an important role in state and national legislation.

International keynote speaker professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith from New Zealand is a well-known Maori educationalist. He was the first teacher of a Kura Kaupapa Maori school, which has grown to more than 80 publicly funded schools.

Australian indigenous speakers include professor emeritus Colin Bourke, an adjunct professor and council member at Monash University and WIPC:E 2008 patron; Lester Coyne, representing the Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages; Aboriginal Corporation for Languages board member Bruce Pascoe; and Alf Bamblett, an elder and leader within the Victorian Aboriginal community who has been instrumental in shaping many Victorian Aboriginal community organizations.

With the meeting taking place in one of Australia’s largest cities, delegates will have the chance to explore unique bush landscapes during a day of site visits to rural cultural centers, including a volcanic lava flow that houses relics of ancient indigenous farming methods. Delegates will have a chance to network at night with the local aboriginal community and are encouraged to participate in the Parade of Nations during the closing ceremony.

A related seminar being held the day before WIPC:E on Dec. 6 is the Education International Indigenous Educator’s Seminar in South Melbourne, Victoria. This seminar is free of charge and is intended for delegates who are also attending the WIPC:E 2008. For more information on the seminar, visit www.ei-ie.org or contact Rebeca Sevilla at either rebeca.sevilla@ei-ie.org or +32-2-224-0611.

For more information about WIPC:E 2008, or to register, visit www.wipce2008.com.

07 October 2008

A nation imagined...a Caribbean reality

“Becoming a nation is different from and broader than the process of forming a state: a state is a political structure, whereas a nation is a shared culture, a sense of common destiny” (Martin-Barbero)

Cricket has long been the common factor in the English-speaking Caribbean with regional competition dating over a hundred years, and a West Indies cricket team being created as a symbol of the homogenity of the region and a sign of the hegemonic intent of the Empire to form a West Indian nation, the ill fated West Indian Federation being the other manifestation. Following the failure of the Federation and with the advent of independence, the subject of a West Indian identity was played out on the cricket fields of the world, “Calypso cricket” coming to represent a West Indies imagined.
As the independent nations have forged ahead into the international arena independently, in the absence of a unified West Indian position; the relevance of a West Indian culture forged by cricket, the social institutions which are its legacy and the relevance of a sport that is limited by colonial history to societies subject to the effects of globalisation is being questioned not on the fields of play but beyond the boundary, among the spectators.

The way West Indian cricket is consumed both in the media and at the ground has changed, reflecting the shift away from a West Indian identity in the case of the latter while blaming the death of West Indian cricket on the fictional West Indian nation in the case of the former. Cricket continues to form a significant part of the social fabric of the West Indian nation states, however the game itself is no longer the site of conflict, this has been supplanted by the forms of national expression evident in the way each island consumes its cricket.

West Indies cricket was first posited as an expression of West Indian identity, a celebration of the constituent inputs of this region of immigrants; by CLR James in his seminal work ‘Beyond A Boundary’ (1963).The formal study of cricket’s significance to the development of a West Indian society coincides with the Independence movement in the region. In fact, Grimshaw notes “the imminence of independence and the publication of Beyond a Boundary were intimately connected: they were part of the same historical moment.”

In an effort to imbue the region with a sense of identity, cricket was and continues to be seen as a metaphor for social expression in the region. All the societal upheavals as the region moved from crown colony government to self rule through federation to independence were reflected in both the composition and fortunes of the West Indies team, with arguably the greatest of all West Indies teams coming at the end of the region’s independence movement.

By elevating cricket to an artform and concentrating on the aesthetics of the West Indian game, James makes the point that the game itself as played in the colonial West Indies is itself according to Graves (1995) “social resistance against British colonialism.”

Having provided the newly independent West Indian islands with a historical context for their independence struggles, James’ work continues to influence most scholarship on the topic of West Indies cricket. Whereas James and other cultural critics see colonial cricket as a channel of resistance, others see it as “a white cultural re-inscription of black West Indian culture.”

Burdened by James’ observation of the importance of cricket to West Indian society, most contemporary media reports concentrate on the declining success of the West Indies team and conclude that as goes our society so too goes our cricket. The West Indies cricket team, representing as it does the fiction of a West Indian nation is the only sport team that is held up as a reflection of contemporary society. In this era of globalisation, “the claim that cricket is ‘a means of national expression’ is just untenable, especially in the last two decades or so, when capitalism has moved into a globally integrated phase” (Surin).

06 October 2008

On Leaving the Caribbean

Excerpts From a Culture Jumpers Diary...

I woke to the familiar sound of Spanish being spoken in the apartment stairwell. Parents were walking children to the bus stop. The dust had settled after the initial rough landing in our new American city, so far from our Caribbean home. It was time to settle in regardless of how dizzy or out of place we felt. The new sights and sounds were something we would simply have to get used to, after all, we were no longer in Cibao, and over the years culture jumping had become a matter of practice for us.

Smiling Mayan eyes peered out at the bus stop from a tightly wrapped bundle tucked neatly in a baby stroller. The crisp cold morning breeze stung my badly chapped lips, as I turned to face a sun that refused to warm me. These are the contrasts, adding to confusion, that contributes to my dizziness.

The grocery stores in the United States are larger than I had remembered. The range of products spread over a few acres of warehouse shopping included everything from home improvement and clothing, to a shocking display of twelve different kinds of olives. They did not however, have the regular olives or achiote I needed for the arroz con gondules. These were the cultural comforts that I would have to learn to leave behind.

Entering Starbucks was much like taking a passage through time, leaving the bright cold outdoors and being enveloped in a thick aroma of warm cafe while a jazz piano oozed from the speakers above. A menu boasted dozens of drink varieties swimming with corn sweeteners when all I craved was a simple café con leche with a spoon of real cane sugar. Next door to Starbucks was a little 20 by 20 Mexican grocery which carried the olives and a few spices I had unsuccessfully searched for at the larger grocery. There I discovered I could sadly replace the pasteles of Navidad with tamales. …It was going to be a rough Christmas.

The sound of the coquí singing after an afternoon rain has been replaced with the call of Canadian geese soaring above. It was both comforting and confusing to see a family of otters taking a swim. They never seem to take notice of me as I press the button and wait for the walk signal to grant me permission to cross the busy highway. Wild strawberries are planted at the local mall which has a woman's clothing store sporting ''Cacique'' underwear. I inquired within as to how the store got its name. The manager informed me, “I think it is European.” …Of course, isn’t everything?

At times I feel at home in the familiar surroundings and with the expectations of life in a small (and sometimes small minded) US city; like when the apartment manager asked me for my green card. At other times I feel like I have arrived on a new planet to discover life and document sub species for classification. Some things have not changed a bit, racism and ignorance abound here, while other things have changed too rapidly for me to take in, with highways replacing wetlands and nesting grounds. Then there were those twelve different kinds of olives on display at the mega grocery.

Twelve different kinds.