The voyage of discovery of Kirani James, a string-bean teenage kid who had just completed his sprint all the way from the hard streets of Gun Battle, a ghetto area of the coastal fishing village of Gouyave, to world athletics championship glory in the faraway Korean city of Daegu, had ignited an extraordinary outpouring of national pride and exhilaration.
In less time than the 44.60 seconds it had taken James to smoulder round his lap and become, at 18, the youngest-ever sprinter to win a senior individual global title, everyone in Grenada, it seemed, had donned the national colours of red, green and yellow and were all spilling out towards D’Lanse, the road where the kid they called “the Jaguar” had grown up.
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At the same time we also had immediate surveillance problem [sic] – without their knowing it – of what was happening on Cuba to make sure that we could get ahead of them if they were movingl and indeed, they were making some tentative moves.
They sent some kind of command personnel into Grenada.
Though only about two laps around the District, the country is a Gordian knot of squiggly streets, steep inclines, dense rain forest and utter confusion: Ivan swiped most of the road signs, and the government is on a slow track to replacing them.
The most reliable guideposts are the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Caribbean Sea to the west.
Yet when James, a kid running on gloriously raw, unpolished talent, rolled his way past reigning champion La Shawn Merritt to win the 400m title two days before his 19th birthday, we somehow felt as if we had all unearthed a precious new discovery.
Discoveries of pottery tools reveal that Arawaks from South America were the first settlers on the island, followed by various waves and ending with the Kalinago.
The French were the first European settlers in Carriacou around the 1740s.
Hurricane Ivan changed that in 2004, wiping out most of the trees, but there are whiffs of a rebound in the air these days.
(Copyright Chris Caldicott/Axiom Photographic.com) Before departing for the southerly Winward Island, I first checked my spice shelf (low), then contacted a tour guide (a former tourism department official) about a day-long outing.