Duh Soh, Nuh Like Duh Soh by Fayemarie Anderson Carter


It is a sunny morning in the Jewel and children all over are rushing to school. Some stop at the Chineyman shop to buy haadtimes and sweets or pencils and erasers. Others dawdle on corners waiting for their friends to catch up so they can walk the rest of the way together. On the junction of Fortification and Judgement Streets, passersby can hear the screeching of a frustrated Dodes as she hustles the children out the door. 

Marion! Marion! Get your little sister and get your bottoms out of here NOW!” screamed Dodes.

“But MOOOOM! She is so slow dis morning and she will make me late. Can’t you take her?” asked Marion.

“Marion, if you backansa mi one mo time, ah wa wahm you lee rass fi be suh rude,” responds a very visibly angry Dodes.

Bernie hails the children from her perch trying to distract them and Dodes from escalating and also to signal to Dodes that the neighbours are hearing everything.

Morning, Marion, Lyndsey. You bettah run a little to catch up on time, girls. You only have 20 minutes. Hold her hand Lyndsey and don’t give Marion any trouble ok? See you dis evening girls. Maybe you come visit me and I’ll have some treats fuh yu ok?” said Bernie kindly.

She didn’t deal with this in the morning at all. Their driver took her children to school and she had time then to chat with Dodes over a cup of tea before she had to go to the factory. The bus passed by their street around 8:45 am. She was the last one the company driver picked up. She was close to the highway and it was only five miles to the factory. They usually made it with about six minutes to spare, just enough for a last bathroom run before she clocked in at 9:00 on the dot.

Dodes looked especially flustered as she sidled next to Bernie. “Aye, gial. Sumtimes, deya pickney just tek it outta mi. My day staat at 5 in the mawning. By di time da damn bus come? Ah ready fi lay down again.” Dodes sighed heavily.

“Come Dodes. Ah have yu tea ready fi yu. Ah cud call Maisy and have her bring us some fresh tortillas if you want, with some dutch cheese? guava jelly?”

“Thanks, Bernie. Ah mek breakfast fi di pickney but den dey staat fight and of course, ah nevah finish mines.” Bernie calls to her housekeeper, Maisy and instructs her to bring Dodes some breakfast.

“Now Dodes. Tell mi whe happen. All ah heah da lata railin up and screamin. Who do what now?”

“Well da Marion and Darnell again. Ah nevah know what wa set off Marion these days. Shi so quiet and moody and her mouth di staat to sting.” Dodes looks up at her friend with tears glistening in her eyes. “Sometimes, I wonder if ah mek a mistake kicking her daddy out. Ah mean at least he would be here now fi help me.”

“Dodes. Nuh duh dat tuh yuself gial. You did what you felt was best at the time. He was cheating on you and withholding money and spending it on the other women. How you know anything would be better or even different now? 10 years later? Maybe you guys would be fighting so much, it would be worse. And then he has five more children pan top. What if he mi have dey while he mideh wid u still? How u miwa deal wid dat? And what bout Melanie and Lyndsey? They wouldn’t be here now, would they?

Dodes smiled weakly and shook her head. “Anyways, suh Darnell have dis habit fuh nuh duh his chores and den po Marion end up di hafi do dem bc by di time I get home, da time fi Darnell duh ih homework. You know he nuh as smaat as di girls and so he tek twice as long fi duh anyting. Suh Marion decide dat she wa staat get back afta Darnell and stop wash ih clothes and shi di hide dey anda di bed stuck up all in between di bodes dem. I di look fi days everywhere befo ah finally find dey. Darnell di wear di same unifahm fi neahly a week now. Ah haftu di wash it da nite and heng it inna di bathroom. Suh dis mawnin, Marion squirt tootpaste pan di shirt and po Darnell had to goh da school wid a wet shirt cause ah had to rinse out di spot. And we use Close Up cause da di cheapest and da rass red. So po Darnell shut gat dis pink lookin stain crass and crass it. Aye.”

Bernie is laughing now as she imagines Marion doing this to her brother. “But Dodes, gial. Why yu nuh mek Darnell wash ih own cothes fi tru? He di get big unuh? Even lee Melanie wash clothes with Marion pan Saturday.’

“Really? Ah nevah know she midi actually wash di clothes. Ah know dey go dungstayz tugeddah but ah mi tink shi just di kip Marion company,’ said Dodes. “Ah feel like sumtimes my life jus outta control Bernie. Ah feel like day in and day out, ah just work and work and work and fi what? Ah di lose mi pickney. Sumtimes di look whe Marion give me, ah wah slap ah but den ah jus wah dissapear eena wah hole. Dah like shi hate mi. Anyway,” Dodes chewed a piece of her tortilla and swallowed before continuing,” Ah di try explain tuh Marion dat even doh Darnell wrong fi nuh duh ih chores and ih nuh wash ih own clothes and she hafi end up di duh it, shi just as wrong for hiding his clothes and ruining his shirt. Shi tell me how whe she do nuh as bad as whe hi duh and plus top, he get everything fuh duh absolutely nutting and shi get nutting fi duh absolutely everything. When dey wah lawn dat in di meantime, di two ah dey di mek it haad pan me! Ah just di try mek a life fuh all a wi you know? and ih feel like nuh mattah whe ah try duh, ah ciant get head and all dey duh dah fight di mek it woss!”

Dodes starts to smile. “Sound like friggin UDP and PUP huh? ‘you tief’ ‘no yu tief!’ Dodes moves from side to side changing her voice to represent each side.

“well, at least ah nuh as teifah as u!”

“Who seh so? wi still nuh know how much yu tief! At least when we tief, we pass it on to the people! Ask evibadi whe get turkey and ham fi krismus. At least dat da sumting!”

“Ha! what people? fi u people? O wait! da nuh even fi we people! Da di bloody alien whe uno just hurry friggin give citizenship!”

“Well when election time cum, u always drag out alla your votahs dem, even di one whe dead fuh 20 yeahs! At least ah nevah tek money fram Ashcroft fu mi campaign! Go google da shit! Ih deh ret deh pan wikipedia! And a bet dah only di million whe uno cop tu! Who knows how much ih reaaaaaalllly give uno!”

“Well look pan kettle di cuss pat! Who u fi seh jack shit? You represent di man den tun rung and sue ah??? Conflict of interest much? u lucky u nuh dead! You sure hitman nuh deh afta u?”

At this Dodes looked squarely at her friend,” Meanwhile me and you di get busup like pinata, right Bernie? Ah mean really? Put puss eena bag which one cum out fus? And dey one pa tv! O my lord!” Dodes puts her hands on her hips and imitates the tv personalities they all knew so well. ” I know my party nuh perfect but that is in the past! We are talking about this government today! They promise to do bettah and they haven’t! They are just as corrupt so out they must go!'” At this, Dodes cut her eye and sucked her teeth. “Da stupid di tawk but nuh stupid di listen. Ah mean who dey di fool? How I supposed to vote dem back in when demi worse and dey di actually agree da demi worse?? Soh dis govament tief tuh suh let’s vote een di one whe tiefarah! My goodness!”

By this time Bernie is laughing heartily. She loved it when Dodes got funny. “Aye, Dodes. Stop! U wah mek ah drop off ah disya wiyah. Hmmmmm.” She catches her breath. “Dodes. Dodes! Di bus di cum! Go lock u doh hurry!”

Dodes flies off to lock her door before the bus stops on her street.

“See you latah, Berns! whooohooo!” waved Dodes.

“Bye Dodes! See u latah fi tea!” waved back Bernie.

Dodes seemed in much higher spirits as she made her way to work. Another day, another win against unemployment and poverty. She made a silent promise that she wouldn’t lose her focus and determination even when her children questioned her actions. She needed to talk to Marion. She couldn’t stand the thought of losing her best ally, her best friend in this world. If she only knew that is exactly why Marion resents her.

Reunion by Fayemarie A Carter


Faye 1Bernie Toucan and Doo Doo Chickadee are sitting on their usual spot by the junction of Fortification and Judgement Streets, having a bit of tea. It is a lovely afternoon and the long time friends are enjoying a lighthearted chat when they feel the wire dip. Both of them look over and give shrieks of surprise.

“Milli!!!! Millicent Audrey Avocet!”, exclaimed Bernie.

“Blue Shanks! Gial! Whe u di du ya?” asked Dodes excitedly. The friends come together for a warm embrace and kisses.

“Well girls. I’m here to bury my grandmother, Aurelia Avocet, memba shi? Granny Ray? She passed a few days ago and I brought her home. She insisted that she be buried here in Belize. U membah how shi does goh? Always have to have shi own way,” Mili smiled wistfully.

“I’m sorry to hear that Milli. I hope it wasn’t too difficult for you and your family?” asked Bernie.

“Well, she was almost 100 so we knew this was coming and the past few months, she was going in and out of the hospital. That was hard because it felt like I never left work, you know? Nurse at work, nurse at home,” said Milli.

“I’m sure she appreciated it, Milli,” said Bernie as she touched her friend reassuring on the shoulder.

“Gial but hmmm! Comin home da neva no joke! Dey harass me every step ah di way. Dey act like ah midi try smuggle drugs or something. Dey nuh know dat if a midi do dat, di coffin mi gwein di opposite direction? What di hell ah wa smuggle into Belize from States?” Milli’s eyes danced as she giggled. “Yu wud tink dey glad dat the immigrant di lef di country, right? Dey stop my rass da every station! Ah neahly miss mi connecting flight home. Ah tell di lady if shi nevah let mi goh, mi granny miya haunt shi rass sake a lef ah fi travel by shi self,’ said Milli.

“Haha!” laughed Dodes.”U nuh change nuh gial. U still di give trouble, big time lady and all.”

“Well! Dey piss mi off man! Ih does be dat I mi glad fi have a Belizean passport. I used to joke that I would nevah want a American one cause dey wa tek mi mek hostage. But hell! Ah di change mi mind. Ah mean, who wahn go thru da process da states? You have to pay almost a thousand dollahs den you hafi study and tek exam. Hmph! But lately, I might prefer be American.”

“Well, u know Milli, lately, wha latta pipple di rail up bout fi we citizenship. How easy it is fi get it and dat anybody could get it fi leebit a money or a simple vote inna elections. Jus di oddah day, PM give hundreds a pipple citizenship. Pipple nevah tek tu kindly. Seh how dey only di du it fi get votes cause dey desperate.” Dodes shook her head. “Milli gial. You might glad u live da States fi tru. Dis country jus di go to rass. Ah mean, why d hell u wa give a bunch a Guatemalans citizenship? Dey don tink we da fi dey? Now dey could vote and buy land and send dey pickney da fi wi school. Ih just bun mi when ah tink bout it.”

“Shit! Ah neva know tings get so bad gial Dodes,” said Milli. But dis rass nuh new mein. When ah midi go da SJC, dey used to talk bout di Chiney di pay like $45,000 fuh wa passport. At least den wi mid get something firit, right? But dis? Dey just di come tek whe dey done tink da fi dey already and we jus give it to dey!” Milli looked over at Bernie who had gotten very quiet, just sipping her tea every now and again. “Bernie. Whe di goh tru da maze a yourns?”

“Ahh.” Bernie sighed.”Ah jus di tink fi tru Milli. Ah mean, what do you do when something like this happen? Who u call? Is there even a process of inquiry?”

“Hey Milli,” said Dodes. “Di one good thing whe come outta dis? Dey gat deya 2 gial name Aria Lightfoot and Fayemarie Carter. Dey two deh awn gial. You know whe Aria seh bout di passport ting? Shi call Belize a prostitute! Something bout open fi business with evibady!” Dodes’ body shakes as she heartily laughs.

“Buwahahahahaha!” laughed Milli. “Dat da wa gud one Dodes! Suh wi da still ‘soldier taffy’? Wi jus do it legal like now. Wow!” Milli sobered as the thoughts swirled around her head. The Belize of her Granny Ray’s days definitely seem to be gone with her. This is one of the major conflicts she struggles with deeply. How can she, Milli, say anything about what is happening in Belize when she lives in a nice house and has a nice job in sunny California? She thinks of coming home often but she knows she is not ready to face this type of life where politics and one’s existence were one and the same. She shook her head as if to shake the thoughts right out. “Anyway, Dodes. Tell mi bout whe deya gial di seh.”

The friends sat on the wire for the next hour, until the sun sprayed its golden tendrils across the land, closing one more day, signalling one more triumph of survival over continued difficulties and challenges to all the good these friends knew as home.

Daily Dingleberry 01-15-12


I don’t like when people make sweeping generalizations about entire groups of people. Those generalizations become nothing more than veiled accusations of the most dastardly kind and it just serves no purpose but to spread hatred and angst. Rebel! It is our duty to change that which we can but rebel FOR something. Today is Sunday, a day of rest for most of us. Give your maleficence a break and smile with your enemy. He’s hurting just as much as you.

Da whe da gial Aria seh? by Fayemarie Anderson Carter


Bernie Toucan is sitting on her perch high in the tree when Doo Doo Chickadee calls to her from her perch on the electricity wires crisscrossing the road.

“Hey Bernie…yu heah bout di new blog whe suh gial name Aria something write bout dem politicians?”

“Yeah gial…what bout it?” answered Bernie Toucan.

“Well, shi talk bout all a deh…suh ah nuh really andastand whe shi di try do. Ah midi hope u coulda explain it bettah to mi?” asked Doo Doo Chickadee.

Just then, Buster and Paulie Piam Piam, the twins, landed next to Doo Doo.

”Happy New Year’s Bernie and Dodes. Whe di go awn?”

Doo Doo looked at Buster and said, “Well, ah midi ask Bernie if she know whe dis gial Aria di talk bout pan dis new blog bout di politicians dem. She talk bout all a dem so ah nuh know whe shi di try seh.” Doo Doo Chickadee shook her head with a look of true consternation.

Buster put his arms akimbo and looked up and down at Doo Doo, “Whe deh fi know Doo Doo?” and then in a sing song voice he bellowed, “Times haaad fi true!”

“Don’t give a damn; don’t give a damn, “ chorused  Paulie Piam Piam. The twins busted into a fit of giggles and nearly fell off the wire laughing at their own joke.

“Aye uno two,” said Bernie Toucan. “Well, mek a si di blog Dodes. Ah could go through it wid u and si if we come up wid something.”

Bernie reads quietly for a bit and then says as she continues to read, Well di  fus paat look like shi just di seh  dat neither one a di paaty dem do whe dey promise fi do. Hmmm, shi seh dat dem liad and tief and dat wi all tyad ah the same shit, different liar approach.”

At this the twins start to giggle again.

“Shi tell di PUP basically dat dey di fight like sum two year olds and dat deh nuh have no leadership, no direction…den shi tell di UDP dat dey no do when dey seh dey miya do but dey still di blame PUP fuh eviting and how dey da big cover artists and dey need fi fix dis shit and be mo responsible”

“Ooooooooooooh,” sing songed the twins.

“Hmmm, Bernie gial. Da who dis Aria person? Dey wa fire fi shi rass quick ting fi di seh alla dat stuff inuh?” said Paulie Piam Piam.

“Well u know dat da tru if shi mi live ya but shi deh da faren soh ah tink shi wa be ok. Shi family? Ah nuh know bout deh!” said  Buster Piam Piam.

“Si dis da di  rass ret deh!” exclaimed Bernie. “Evibady tu gaddamn fraid fi seh what needs to be said rung dese parts.” She shakes her head with indignation. “Da why uno so damn coward fa? If evibady tell dey rass off like dis, maybe dey wouldn’t do stupidness!”

Silence settles for a second or two as the birds shake their heads in agreement.

“Shi seh anyting bout VIP, Bernie?” asked Buster quietly.

“Well…no much inuh. Shi just seh dat dey got a good grip a di situation wid di corruption and ting but shi ask if dey religious. Ah wanda why shi seh dat?”

Just then Charles “Charlie” Crow sat next to Bernie and injected his usually highly respected opinion.

Well I think that that is a very valid question. We have to be very careful how we allow religious agendas to infiltrate our politics and consequently our laws.”

“But den Mr. Charles, we da wa Christian nation. How we nuh wa bring God into di convasation?” asked Dodes. “Look pan di United States. Dey gat gay people inna di army and now dey cud get married! Dat ciant be right? Ah mean, I nuh gat nuttin genst gay people…do whe uno want inna di privacy ah yu own bed but ah nuh wa my pickney di si dat. Wat if my pickney decide he gay tu?”

Paulie Piam Piam snickered and looked at Dodes like he could kick her off the wire. “Now dat just stupid Dodes. And ah surprised at u. U, whe goh da church evi Sunday and talk bout acceptance for all. “

“Nuh get mi wrong Paul. I nuh want dey get hurt or nutting but really…ih jus gross mi out mein” Doo Doo made a shivering noise and ruffeled her feathers.

“Well but si. Da pipple like u allow dey cracked ones fi do whe dey do! Cas u turn wa blind eye and pretend dat dey one whe seh dey religious jus really di spread hate and fear. Come on Dodes. You bettah dan dat!” Paulie hawked and spat as if to emphasize his point. “Anyway Bernie, what else shi seh?”

“You really wa continue? Dis bloody depressin inuh,” asked Bernie.

The friends look down but they all shake their heads yes.

“Well, shi jus seh dat di media nuh di help cas dey belong to di diffrant paaties dem so how wi fi know what da what?”

“Tru ting mein. Ah hafi turn it off sumtimes. And wuss di newspapahs dem. Ah tink ah rather read ‘The Enquirer’!” chuckled Buster Piam Piam.

“It looks pretty dire,” said Charles. “I’m not sure what to say or think about our future as a nation.”

The friends looked out towards the setting sun as they each pondered Charlie’s heavy words.