My Dominica: Vanessa Winston
Vanessa Winston is the president of the Dominica Arts and Crafts Producers Association and a native to the beautiful island. When she’s not creating art, Vanessa is appreciating and exploring her beautiful island. She shares with us what it means to be Dominican.
What does being Dominican mean to you?
Dominica is The Nature-Isle of the Caribbean. “Apres Bondie c’est la terre” (After God, it is the earth). As a proud Dominican, this is what it means to me: I love nature, and I am blessed to have been born, and to have grown up in the land of rich creativity. The beauty and the splendour of the mountains, waterfalls, and marine life here in Dominica, have influenced my work, but also the person I am. People see my work and want to know which island birthed such uniqueness; I am proud to boast the nature, the land and the brilliance of Dominica. Being Dominican means being part of natural richness of spirit and nature.
What is your favourite childhood memory of growing up here?
I love thinking about my days living in Lagoon Portsmouth; having the opportunity to enjoy the sea one day, enjoy the river another, and to explore the forest climbing trees for mangoes and guava another day.
In what other homes/places have you lived?
I lived in Antigua for about 9 months, other than that, nowhere else.
Did you and your friends have a special hangout where you liked to spend time?
On the beach at Bell Hall, Tatan and at De Bay, Anse De Mai.
Where in Dominica do you like to kick back and relax with family and friends?
I like to relax at Purple Turtle Lagoon, Portsmouth or Anse Saul Da.
How is Dominica different from what it was like when you were a child?
Dominica has changed a lot from when I was a child, especially in terms of our richness of culture and unity within our communities. As children we practiced something called Journee Creole, this was a way to express ourselves in Creole. Our traditional crafts and skills which we were taught in school, have been replaced and therefore that richness of tradition and culture has become endangered.
What is your favourite local food?
Fish water with banana, dasheen, potato, white yam, cabbage and a squeeze of lime.