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Pain from head to toe

Pain from head to toe


“Pain in me neck! Pain in me Back! Pain in me leg! I have ah pain in me head!” Actually ah had de Chicken-Go-nah ting, and when de pain hit me so, ah remember dah jingle from one ah de New Artist Movement (NAM) production many years ago. De play: “I don’t want to bathe,” was written by Blazer Williams and dealt wid de deplorable Mental Hell’t situation in SVG at de time. Ah tell me-self from de start when de Ministry ah Hell’t announce dat we have ah few cases ah Chicken-go-nah hey in SVG, dat hundreds ah people done get de Virus. Lie-Za ask how on earth dey does come up wid dem names?{{more}} De smallest insect have such ah long and hard-to-spell name like Mosquito? Bite-O or sting-O would ah wuk. Den dey’s de Aedes Aegypti, same mosquito family, carrying ah Virus called Dengue, wid twin brother de Chikungunya. De latest Virus is Ebola, dat’s ah deadly fellar! She say like how every week is an out-break ah corrupt-shun in ah different Guv-ah-mint department, is de same way we getting out-breaks wid Virus and dem. And if she was ah same sex person she would ah object to names like Dengue and Ebola!

But my bout ah Chicken-go-nah began foh me on July 16. Ah heard de Hell’t Ministry “Vector Control” fogging machine making noise coming down de hill towards my home. Years now dat Mosquito killing we in de village and we ain’t see or hear dat fogging machine. Remember dis Go-venom-mint is always on de bawl. Now ah live next to ah gutter dat stays stagnant during de dry season. Ah try Beer-gun, ah try Bop, not even Det wuk, ah bun de coil, but like when de mosquitoes inhale de smoke from de coil, dey does get high like when man smoke weed! Plain and simple “Nothing Wuks!” Some body told me to cut rainbow tree and keep the leaves in the house and that will chase dem.

So de Fogging Machine wid its stinking smell, was like ah breath ah fresh air.

De vehicle stopped at my gate, let loose de fog, smoke or whatever but all de fog took to de sky up to Heaven, while down in de gutter, fifteen feet below the road, de Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes kicking Hell, having dey orgies undisturbed. Ah couldn’t resist teking out ah picture foh de newspaper.

De fogging took place on de Wednesday and by Sun-dey night all over me was in pain. Ah hear people who had de Chicken-go-nah say dey will not wish it foh dey wuss NME, ah beg to agree! Jel-ah-see is ah hell of ah ting, de wife see me cuddle up wid sheet and pillow, next thing ah see her next to me writhing in pain. Two ah we down two to go. Den my daughter Chelsea went down and now our son Akeel spread out. Apparently dey’s no medication except regular pain killers. But ah believe in me bush, so ah boil up ah few leaves ah mint, ah blade ah guinea pepper bush, ah bit ah grated ginger and some sour sop leaves. Drink it warm, but be careful, don’t over-dose yu-self. Ah got some relief but ah still begging it please like Ivan Oneil does say: “Chicken-go-nah, Go back way yuh come from!”


Ah kept my promise to attend de Cocoa Producers Co-Operative (COPCO) meeting and became ah member. To become ah member one has to be actively involved or intend to become involved in Cocoa Production. Well, my biggest credential was when ah stated at de meeting dat ah was ah Cocoa Drinker. Sam Barnwell had given me eight plants last year, ah intend to increase my field by 100 percent wid another eight plantlets from Ras John. De Co-Op is relatively small, 25 registered members, ah counted forty plus persons in attendance, but one is always inspired by de presence and contributions from stalwarts of de Agricultural private community like Hugh Stewart, Clive Bishop, Solomon Butler, Mary Jackson, Audrey Walters, Oscar ‘Ras John’. Of significant presence was former deputy Central Bank Governor, Sir Errol Allen, Sir Errol born and bread pon Cocoa, he has lands wid Cocoa too. Minister So-butt-her Seize-her gave ah short and inspiring address, he was well received, and was also apprised by Cocoa Farmers of de poor responses dished out to dem by his ministry staff. Cools Vanloo, retired Educator now Cocoa Farmer, come-plain dat foh five years, he been trying to get de ministry to assist him in cutting back his Cocoa trees, nothing doing. He went to Alma-Jah-owe, who responded and had it done in two days. Dey was not ah single representative from de Ministry of Agriculture staff at de meeting, not one! Ah doh-no if is lack ah money in de ministry to respond to Farmers; or ah clear “I doh kay attitude by staff, but Minister Soboto who is full of enthusiasm, works hard and earnestly, deserves better treatment, ah think he getting Sobotage! Hugh Stewart was forthright in pointing out to de Meeting, in de presence ah de Minister dat de Guv-ah-mint sets de policies in Agriculture, after dat dey must leave de Farmers to run dey affairs!

De Meeting ended wid snacks and Cocoa Tea. Let me remind us dat Germany is de world’s fourth largest Cocoa consumer, dat de average German drinks or eats two pounds ah Cocoa ah month and dat Germany just won de World Cup.. We must inculcate ah Cocoa Men-tell-at-tea: We must Plant Cocoa, eat, drink, think and sleep Cocoa. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.