~On Dominica~ (please ignore the part of Christopher Colombus rediscovered )
A Country Like No Other in the World!
by: Thomson Fontaine
Dominica has been described as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. For the distracted observer, this impression is immediately confirmed from the first citing of the Island. Nestled between the French Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, this “Nature Isle ” is steeped in unparalleled natural beauty, a rich Creole culture, and the friendliest people in the World.
Rediscovered(?)* on November 3, 1493 by Christopher Columbus, Dominica was the last of the Caribbean countries to be colonized due in large part to the resistance of the Carib (Kalinago) Indians. Today, Dominica is the only country where the Caribs remain, and they continue to contribute significantly to Dominica’s rich cultural heritage.
France and England fought constantly over Dominica, with the Island changing hands several times during the entire second half of the eighteenth century, leading the Caribs to call the island “Waitukubuli” “land of many battles”.
Because of its mountainous terrain, Dominica remained in the hands of the Caribs longer than any of the other Leeward and Windward islands; although Britain and France had agreed to this arrangement in 1748, France broke the treaty and claimed Dominica.
In 1763 Britain won Dominica, but the French recaptured it in 1778 and again by the British in 1783. Finally, in 1805 France sold Dominica to England for 12,000 British pounds and handed it over after first burning down the capital Roseau.
From its towering 5000 feet peaks to its gushing waterfalls, hundreds of flowing rivers, azure waters of the sea, and black and white sandy beaches, Dominica offers a unique and diverse experience to all who visits its shores.
The 790 km2 Island boasts a population of 71, 000 people, stable government, and an extremely low crime rate. It is also home to the oldest living person in the World, and the most centurinarians per thousand of the population.
With a life expectancy of 82 years for females and 78 for males, and ranked by the United Nations as one of the top 35 countries in the world in terms of quality of health care, the country stands as a veritable monument of calm and tranquility.
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
World's Oldest Person Turns 128
by Thomson Fontaine
Dominicans yesterday celebrated the birthday of the World’s oldest living person Elizabeth (Ma Pampo) Israel who turned 128 even as government vowed to increase pressure on Guinness World record officials to officially confer the title on the Dominican.
Unfortunately, the Guinness World record has not officially recognized Ma Pampo since they are still in the process of verifying the claim. A Baptismal certificate has been issued by the Roman Catholic Church with her birth date stated as January 27, 1875, but since it is not an official record, it cannot be used to authenticate the claim.
The claim was further thrown into doubt when it was learned that at some point in her life she was called Minetta George. Guinness officials have said that it is important to clarify these various issues before the title can be conferred. Given the state of record keeping during that time in Dominica, it may be difficult to collect collaborative evidence to substantiate the claim.
At the age of 128, Elizabeth (Ma Pampo) Israel is considered the World’s oldest living person. Born in Portsmouth, Dominica, and the daughter of a slave, she started working on a plantation at the age of 25 and retired 79 years later. Ma Pampoo ascribes her longevity to her diet--including lots of dumplings and bush tea. She has survived her husband and two children.
There are at least seventeen centenarians in Dominica (with four residing in close proximity to Ma Pampo), from a population of 70,000 making it the country with the highest concentration of centenarians per 1000 of the population.
Dominica’s pristine, largely untouched and unspoilt environment, which lies largely unpolluted, has been cited as the main reason for longevity on the Island.