Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wallilabou Falls

We took the chicken wing lunches up to Wallilabou Falls, where there is a nice spot to pull off the road and picnic. There has been some deadwood fallen into the paths to the falls themselves, but you can find several pictures on Flickr ( Sally looked for some nutmegs that dropped to the ground (the way you know they are ripe), and my eye was caught by the flowering tree half way up the mountain on the other side of the road.


Pembroke is on the Leeward Highway. These pictures were taken on a side road while we were waiting to get a car part. Just down the road is a grocery and gas station. The grocery has a food shop where we bought lunch: a fried chicken wing (at 1USD) and a "Bake" (fried bun)(at 0.19USD) and an imported bottle of Lipton tea (at 1.40USD). We took them on down the road.

French's Gate

This was the boundary between the town and private land. What is now Murray Road and the Windward Highway was probably an estate road, and this was the location of the gate to the estate. In addition to a few shops (and a good place to get roti) the neighborhood has institutions like the schools complex, the craft center and the National Archives. It will also be the location for an expanded library facility. "Peace Mo'", or Peace Memorial Hall, is just up Murray Road, as is the Government office where you can buy maps of St. Vincent.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

E. T. Joshua

I'm interested in the history of E. T. Joshua, especially in reference to the cane cutter's strike around 1959-61 in which Sonny Child was hospitalized and Joshua was supposed to have "...gone Barbados, living in a big hotel..." If anyone has information about these events please email me at

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

These are the friends. Sally is sitting with Winnie King, a neighbor who also grows orchids. The Kungs are (clockwise) Emily, Penny, Philip and Catherine. Philip is senior staff on the Taiwanese Agricultural Project and started here with orchids. Aquila, our tenant, is showing the girls a photograph. Conroy Dacon, who takes care of the place when we aren't here (and when we are, too) is sitting with Sally & Winnie and the girls. We have known all of them for several years.

Thanksgiving Turkey 2006

Thanksgiving is not a legal holiday in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines but we like our turkey and we like to share it with friends. This is the turkey.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Governor General

Governor General.JPG
Originally uploaded by Karlek.
Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, the current incumbent of that position, as displayed in the Hall of Fame. There are also portraits of prior Governors and Governors General.

Hall of Fame.JPG

Hall of Fame.JPG
Originally uploaded by Karlek.
Part of the Hall of Fame at Russell's Plaza. There are picture of notable people in the history of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Russell's Plaza Is just beyond the hospital and Victoria Park on the road (the Leeward Highway) to the Botanical Garden and the Leeward Side. Besides the Hall of Fame, Russell's Plaza has a supermarket ("Aunt Jobe's"), some smaller shops and a gallery for exhibits of local artists.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Dr. Ian Earle Ayrton Kirby

Earle Kirby.jpg
Originally uploaded by Karlek.
Dr. Kirby was the prehistorian of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines until his recent death. Here he is shown with an archaeological artifact on the cover of the 2006/2007 directory of Cable & Wireless. This was taken from a painting made for the National Trust. Dr. Kirby collected many specimens of prehistoric artifacts that were displayed in the museum in the botanical garden, where he was often available to discuss them with visitors. You can see some of these by going to the "tag" page and clicking on "Museum". Some of these are displayed at Fort Charlotte and some at the National Trust Headquarters at the Carnagie Library.

Luncheon At Roy's Inn

Originally uploaded by Karlek.
From L to R: Shirley, Honey and Sally having lunch at Roy's Inn. I later sat back down in the vacant chair.

Roy's Inn

Originally uploaded by Karlek.
A fairly fancy hotel within walking distance of the center of Kingstown.


DSCN5910a (Bat)
Originally uploaded by Karlek.
They fly around just after dark (after 6pm) eating mosquitos and other flying insects. Sometimes one wanders into the house. Eventually it wanders out again. We have bead doorcurtains to discourage this kind of visiting.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Independence Day

Independence Day 001.jpg
Originally uploaded by Karlek.
Picture by Nelson Ho of the Independence Day cerimonies at Victoria Park, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Cable & Wireless Customer Service

Open Letter to Daryl Jackson, Cable and Wireless.

In April 2006 I was using regular telephone service on 457-5416 and ADSL internet service.

In May 2006 I spoke to your customer service and told them my wife and I had to go to the US for medical reasons and would not be using the internet service. I needed to continue the phone service so our caretaker could call us in the US in case of emergency, and I wanted to retain the email address ( for future use. The best thing to do seemed to be to change the ADSL to the minimum plan dial-up, and then have it transferred back to ADSL on our return.

While we were gone our caretaker noticed that our bills were very high, and that we were being billed for BOTH dial-up AND ADSL even though neither was being used. When he brought that to the attention of your customer service, they cut off my access to webmail from our US internet connection. I wrote him about that and he notified your people and, in a few days, webmail service was resumed. Later I found my bill had a credit of 700ECD for the overcharges.

On October 4th we returned and, in a few days, I was able to access the web by dial-up. I then went to your customer care people and requested that my ADSL service be restored. They immediately cut off my dial-up and it took more than two weeks to get a technician to come out to activate the ADSL.

I had no access to the internet for that two weeks during which I needed to transfer funds in my US Bank Account, be in touch with my agent who was writing checks that might have bounced, be in touch with our attorney who was finalizing a quarter-million dollar real estate deal, and could not receive an urgent email message from my doctor. It was not only frustrating but totally unnecessary since they should have left my dialup service on until the ADSL was connected.

I have a Macbook laptop with an intel chip so it could not connect with your old modem, but by connecting with ethernet it took just 30 seconds to get connected. They had also changed the username and password of my ADSL access from the setup I had used last May. No explanation was given for the change.

We lost telephone service one day that week. It simply came back on after several hours without explanation.

I then lost access to my webmail again and last Thursday, Nov. 2, we lost regular telephone service. I reported that by using a neighbor's phone and also reported that I could not access my webmail. Friday, November 3, I went in and talked to your customer service people and they said the phone service fault would be reported and they printed out a copy of the internet data that had a new username and password.

The username I had in May was "eklund.svg" on Nov.3 they told me it was "eklund"
The password I had in May was "c.....eur" on Nov. 3 they told me it was "c.....6vr".

I was given no explanation of why it was changed.

When I returned home I tried to get access to the webmail. Neither the old username and password, nor the one that was just given to me workd, so I still have no access to my webmail as of Nov. 7.

Our regular phones service continued to be out from Thursday Nov. 3 to Tuesday, November 7. About 10AM on Nov. 6, the ADSL, which had been in service since it was turned on simply went off. It had been on earlier that morning.

I went to our neighbors and this time reported the situation to someone who claimed to be "management". She said that technicians would be working on the situation that day, Nov. 6, but you can understand that I had little trust in that promise. There is no indication that anyone did anything to restore either telephone or ADSL service on Nov. 6, or since.

We have been back in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for more than a month, we made special efforts to continue our service during our absence and get it restored when we returned, and we still don't have telephone service or internet access.

I can understand mechanical failure. But my telephone connection is the only one coming to this building that failed, the ADSL service continued even after the phone stopped, and then it stopped with no reason, so I an entitled to believe that someone in your office is deliberately harassing me. These are less likely to be random faults than deliberate entries in your computer. Considering that you already owe me 700ECD for over-billing, don't you think you should be able to provide some service?

Because there was no evidence that anyone had made any attempt to restore any service, I tried to figure out how to access the web page that the technician had used to install the ADSL. When I found it using the history section of my browser I found that the ADSL had simply been turned off, so I turned it back on again. After I discovered the procedure that the technician would have used it only took a few seconds to restore service. A technician could have done that from your office or your service people could have simply instructed me how to do it, without requiring me to discover the procedure for myself.

I am going to put this open letter on my blog at to be available to all customers and government officials on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to warn them of the quality of service that Cable & Wireless provides.

Karl Eklund