In 1986, I volunteered in the rural Caribbean community of Barrouallie, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I played a small part in developing a preschool that is still helping kids get a better start, and for that opportunity I’m grateful. Just over thirty years and change later, I returned.
I sometimes felt the presence of my younger self, like seeing the ghost image in a rangefinder camera. The occasional person remembered me, calling out ‘hey teacha, welcome back’, sprinkled with the affectionate ‘you be balder and bigger now.’ No argument here. A few offered me Hairoun beer, so no complaints either…
Welcome to this gallery of some photographs from my time working in international development. Scroll/swipe down to see the photos. You can also read Go South Young Man, reflections on a time in the development sector.
‘Teacha Jill’ Defreitas is in the background. She ran the preschool for many, many years and influenced a generation of kids. She now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Cassita, one of our students in ’86, now lives in Barbados. Out-migration is a very common theme in many Caribbean nations, but it’s fluid – many come back home too.
Kahunda and Zacky at their snack shop. I’d often buy local ginger beer and plantain chips, and on occasion some I-tal food there as well.
Several moms and their kids in Glebe Hill. I went past this house everyday on the footpath to the preschool.
Sharon lived near our preschool and taught me how to roast breadfruit.
I don’t know the names of these two gentlemen, but this was taken during carnival. They stood liked they owned the town.
Carnival, or Vincy Mass, is a wild celebration of music and heritage with street parties, steel pan calypso performances, costume parades. It goes on for a few days. I was the photographer for one of the floats. I remember that day, but Sunset rum might have obscured the others.