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Father, Lord, Creator of all things,
Permit me once again as I kneel on that bruised and calloused Patella of mine; this time, with arms opened wide; reaching towards the Heavens as I embark on this mission of disturbance to that humble servant of yours, Ms. Genevieve Smith.
Father, in keeping with the theme established of your messenger, I pray that your guidance would afford me the luxury of a challenge to her words as it is not my intention to offend thee nor any of your chosen Disciples while on their mission but to seek knowledge and forever remove the curse of ignorance that plague many of us mortals on this earth.
For my Darling Godmother, Nen Lima George of Loretto (God rest your soul), who on a moon lit night visit to her home with my Mother, had blessed me that plate of Oil-Down with Titiri; I pray that your travel to Heaven was not disturbed by an interrupted stay in Purgatory for that alleged sin of the Titiri consumption that night.
Father, God I ask that you not delay her entrance through the Pearly Gate as her intentions were well-meaning and the Titiri that night was indeed delicious. Continue to rest her soul, dear Lord and spear her the indignity of knowing that her good name and character may have been besmirched in the interest of ecological preservation.
For “Tan Jane”, Miss Nathaniel, Miss Cyrilia, Miss Essy, Nen Elli and my dear loving Cousin Idora,(God bless your souls); I will continue to defend your acts of graciousness as you had provided us with the most tastiest of Titiri treats, may it be Curried or Fried for our enjoyment.
Master, Savior, I ask that you continue to protect the souls of these loving people because their efforts were not in vein. And though your conservationist and protector of the earth’s bounty may have taken out a posthumous warrant for their arrest, their acts and deeds were well within line of your teachings and guidance.
For Yvonne Fleming (ne) Bernadine (aka,Tita), I pray also that you may continue to enjoy good health so that you would one day be able to bless us again with you Fried Titiri, Bakes and Cocoa Tea that had become customary for consumption by the Fishermen by the bayside.
For the Gogouyave Talkshop departed “species” like LBM, Lyinka, Santopee, Paulita, Teacher Yep, Mango Dog, Mikey and others, who because of the effects of global warming (._.) may have disappeared from the watering hole, never to be seen again.
Father they too should not be punished for indulging in the act of being seen at one time or another, with a Titiri Fritters tucked between their Thumb and Index Finger as they voraciously devoured the treat; licking their fingers in the process.
For the Mortal Sin of my good friend Tony DeCoteau and his confession, attesting to his penchant for enjoying another delicacy of ours, the Roe/Caviar of the Tuna (Turgeon Eggs in our Gouyave vernacular). This wonton act (according to our preservationist/ conservationist belief) is tantamount to his contributing to the destruction of possible thousands, if not millions of Tuna thus creating an imbalance in the natural order of that specie of fish. This one act alone by him they would argue, is enough for a condemnation and a declaration of “persona non grata” to our island.
Oh Gracious Father, I humbly appeal to you as a just God to exercise your power of pardon and humility in bestowing guidance to your preservationist in their quest to persecute him for this malevolent act of criminality (as they see it); I pray in your name, dear Lord.
Father, Lord, I stayed humbly silent as I see the proposal of your servant to remove the emblem of the fish on Lower Depradine Street as the Gouyave Mascot and replace it with “a Guava”. This, said she, was in remembrance of the Gouyave she once knew and her lust for a delicious glass of Guava Juice which seems to have disappeared.
And Father, when a few forthnight after, she returned inquiring about the status of the Guava Tree planting initiative that she had proposed earlier, I remained silent again, knowing full well, that in the halls of Bluggoe, Breadfruit, Dasheen and Yam, Guava would not get a partner in the survival dance in Gouyave.
But when I saw this (below) in her post and particularly as it was pertaining to my favorite culinary delight, I had to make an appeal to The Master and pray….. and pray…. and pray again for an epiphany of some kind; one that would show me the error in my thinking and practices and afford me the knowledge necessary to elevate myself to that thinking process.
(To be continued below)
(Continuing from previous post)
Said Ms. Genevieve,
……..>>>>> In these days of what nations call Global Warming and Climate Change, and I believe God have his own names - for what nations have done to this place we call home, planet Earth. From a Conservation perspective, commonsense dictates to me, that if we think of connectivity dependence of land, sea and air, the elements - this fauna is essential in waters be it, salty or freshwater to provide ecological balance, no one in the right mind should be encouraging the taking of Titiri from the estuary or as they battle to make their way upstream, - with me thinking along the line whilst taking into account, a part of a long sentence written on every passport, of which I quote….… ‘to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford such assistance and protection as may be necessary’……<<<<<
Father, Lord God and Master, it would be an act of sacrilegious for me as a Gouyaveman, to remain quiet, while continuing to repeat this abomination in violation of your intent and meaning of what we have interpreted as your gift of survival to us. In your name, I pray that this homily of mine would be received as a prelude to whatever penance that awaits me for saying that “the Titiri would continue to be stopped at the border (Gouyave’s Bushyri), searched, seized and consumed for its nutritional contents.
Father, in your infinite wisdom, you have blessed most creatures on this earth with the survivability mechanism of being able to abundantly multiply. This gift protects them in perpetuity, providing that we exercise prudence in our practice –as in the case of harvesting the Titiri and provide a “free pass” only to a few-thousands, so they may continue to replenish themselves. Their ability to rapidly multiply in the millions to restock that measly loss is what has directed them to their annual migration back up the river in Gouyave and Sauters every year in their abundance.
Father, I fail to see any evidence of how this biblical practice of harvesting on such a small, if not infinite scale can impact “the connectivity dependence of land, sea and air” that Ms. Genevieve speaks about. And if so, Master, can we not make the same case for all the resources you provide us with? And as we have maintained consistency in our practice well over two hundred years and not followed in the foot-steps of China and Japan in their mass harvesting efforts for all things alive in our oceans, should we not be praised for our preservation practices in Gouyave/Grenada?
And when I saw this again in Ms. Genevieve’s post,
>>>>>>…… Small Island states river flooding, maybe due to several factors of course, but one may have been the 'titiri' over-catching/removal from the river or rivers - for titiri fritters moneymaking rituals. Lets open an ecological equation: titiri fritters = declining population of fishes in sea/freshwater habitats…..<<<<<
Father, by now you must know that those out-stretched arms of mine must be tiring but please give me the strength and endurance to keep them uplifted as they are my only symbol of an appeal for your wisdom.
Father, much to my chagrin but with a sense of responsibility and concern for our ecosystem, it is difficult for me to imagine how a few stones placed on a Crocus Bag in our Bushyri once a year to catch the Titiri can so severely impact our eco system, enough to be accountable for the river over-flowing and flooding our town. Father, it is only you alone that can point me to interpreting this equation of MS. Genevieve above.
Father, I had already recognized my shortcomings, in that you had placed great limitation on my ability to comprehend the subtle nuances of an ecological system and the inter-relationship/dependencies of all living things for survival. However, the little knowledge you have given me to prevent my hard-headiness tells me a decline must be measured from a central point of reference, one which was not provide in Ms. Genevieve’s theory. The only reference that can be made is to support the point of the aggregate (more fish in the sea that is). But in the context of the impact on the Titiri population based on our consumption I would argue, means that the lives of the Tuna, Ocean Gyah and Dolphin which ordinarily would have been on our plates would be speared when replaced by the Titiri, thus maintaining the order of equilibrium consumption among all the fish species.
So Father, as the quantity of Titiri seems to bear out a growth in numbers based on visual accounts of the harvest, it seems to support an increased population of that specie of fish rather than a decline. How then can the equation hold-up irrespective of the measly profit she associates with this practice?
And why should we not make a plea for the Passport carrying Dolphin, Bonita, Cuvali and Butter Fish and Small Jacks?
Are they not entitled to th
(In closing )
Should have been,
"Are they not eentitled to the same free pass as the Titiri?
And how then would our Gouyave survive?
Gouyaveman, on remebering devotion period at Schaper School in honor of the Titiri."
First of all, I'm assuming Gouyaveman and Vernon Louison are one and the same person. Imagine all this time you had most of us wondering who on earth was the real person behind the sobriquet who makes us laugh and think, and enjoy his writing style as few others could. So very often I had to plead ignorance of your identity when countless persons were asking me who is this Gouyaveman character? Now they and I finally know!
Btw, I'm so glad that you also have a personal contact with our Maker. So please accept my thanks for soliciting God's forgiveness for my mortal sin of loving to devour what I thought was His way of providing sustenance to our human bodies during our sojourn on this earth. And as you are at it, please ask Him to forgive my many other salacious indulgences.
Tell Him that it is all due to my ignorance of not knowing what I as a human being is supposed to eat without destroying the eco-system!
Tony unlike you and Gouyaveman, a lot of water has flowed into the boucheree since I have found it necessary to go to confession. Particularly so because many of the personnel to which confessions are made, have displayed scant regard of treading a moral path themselves but I am enthused to learn of Gouyaveman's intervention on behalf of us sinners because of our ignorance.
I have, though, to jump to the defence of Genevieve, acting as her Sir Galahad if you wish.
Long may she continue to articulate her opposition to the wanton consumption of vulnerable defenceless creatures, our disregard of fragile life or the paucity of guava trees in Gouyave. Her determined denunciation has not only educated me and you about the evils of this horrific culinary practice but more importantly it has served the purpose of arousing Gouyaveman. A practice few of us dare to undertake, and to quote Ajamu, "when the lion sleeping, you shouldn't wake him", because once roused Gouyaveman will deliver his customary literary lashes with gusto and I could sit here in comfort, in contented amusement and enjoy it all, smug and safe in the knowledge that I am not the target. He he he
Mangodog, it seems to me that by her response Lady Genevieve can stand her own against the equally erudite Gouyaveman. lol At this time, though, I beg to stand in Lady G's corner, and look across at my pardner G'man. I have read the titiri arguments and had a good giggle whilst saying nothing.
"Father, in your infinite wisdom, you have blessed most creatures on this earth with the survivability mechanism of being able to abundantly multiply. This gift protects them in perpetuity, providing that we exercise prudence in our practice –as in the case of harvesting the Titiri and provide a “free pass” only to a few-thousands, so they may continue to replenish themselves. Their ability to rapidly multiply in the millions to restock that measly loss is what has directed them to their annual migration back up the river in Gouyave and Sauters every year in their abundance."
Well, well, well, as the saying goes, even the devil can cite scripture for his own purpose. tee hee If it would help me out, though, he can say a novena or a hail Mary for me any day!
He also stated "it is difficult for me to imagine how a few stones placed on a Crocus Bag in our Bushyri once a year to catch the Titiri can so severely impact our eco system"
One can but imagine how much this impacts the growth of adult fish, do we really know? Do we in Grenada have any studies in place? I assume the crocus bag habit is still there and that Genevieve is correct when she mentions that instead of a few crocus bags people now use fine mesh nets to capture more of the spawn, which is more like "none shall escape?"
G'man, as much as you say the titiri can be protected into perpetuity, yet I would say that the adult fish and the titiri can be decimated to a point that it can affect the eco system and ultimately the livelihood of fishermen and food supply. Who knows if God's gift was not for us to eat the tiny young 'uns as much as it is to be food in the form of adult fish. Remember to the adult and the spawn we fit into the category of predator. I myself would rather eat the adult fish. How many titiri go into one fishcake? If fifteen, ten of these could have become adults. You asked how would Gouyave survive. Quite well, actually, because the "titiri season" is very short. Admittedly, however, for those who sell the titiri it is money they look forward to having that week. I doubt it is that cheap now if you have to purchase it. Nowadays, I imagine, it is considered more as a delicacy (at least to those abroad) than what it can be - food/meat during the few days of titiri harvesting. Just maybe if the fisherman knew the implication of the spawn vs adult fish they woud not be too happy about the fine-mesh-titiri catchers? :-)
To eat or not to eat titiri that is the question! A few years age, my cousin had a guy drop off a bag of frozen titiri to my home as an expensive gift. Apparently he imports vegetables, fish, etc. from his island country, St. Lucia. I thawed them out but simply threw them out after looking at their limp tiny bodies. Not saying I never would eat titiri again, goodness knows I had enough titiri, especially, and of course naturally, curried down (lol) - which I hated but had to eat, in my young life, but I really can do without it now. Not too learned about spawn and titiri species either and when I was really small I thought titiri were just itty bitty fishies. lol
Other countries go through much trouble to protect their spawn even if it can be a costly undertaking:
In the case of following one species of fish, salmon, and reading about how things work, Mother Nature is a mind-boggling heck of a lady:
Maybe we should be allowed to harvest titiri on one day only - to balance things off? With education on the matter people would be more accepting. After all, Greanadians are now more aware of why turtles come up on the sand and why they should be left alone while they lay their eggs. When they do indeed come back to they were hatched they are like Grenadians too as they are coming back to Grenadian shores to have their young. One can only eat or need to eat that much titiri!
Many thanks for your kind words, which has resulted in a 'temporary' change of my personal forum name status - isued as a one off, just for this post, however, not sure, because I am sure the Good Lord has his own titles for us, so I may get a choice, who knows, its all part of the hidden mysteries, I think! Very briefly, a titiri research academic study was completed on a neighbouring small island state, around middle 1990's but it was with regard to titiris migration upriver, and not revolving on the ecological impact of titiris due to feasting on titiris as a delicacy from overcatching to make culinary dishes such as titiri fritters.
I enjoyed reading your excellent well written and beautifully angled from 'the middle ground overlapping area' post on this subject. Take care and best wishes for a peaceful rest of the year full of the richest blessings from our Father above. Amen.