Little Cayman, British
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Louie and Junior, the waiters, were very happy to hear that I had been
to church. They were excited to hear that Brother Fernando had asked
me to do a solo. They know Brother Fernando. Everyone pretty much knows
everyone on this island.
“Oooh, he a bad one, Fernando. What he make you sing?”
When I told them I had sung a song from my childhood, they insisted
in hearing it. I said I would only sing for them if they would also
sing for me. And then later, if they taught it to me.
Here is what they taught me:
You know the road is rough
And the goings get tough
And the hills may be hard to climb
But I started out
A long time ago
And I’ve made up my mind
But with Jesus’ strong arms
Where no tempest can harm
I am safe and secure
I’ve decided to make Jesus my choice
Yes, my choice.
These clothes that I’m wearin’
May be tattered and torn
These shoes that I’m wearin’ may be battered and worn
But none of these things
Can hinder me from servin’ my Lord
I’ve decided to make Jesus my choice.
Yes, I’ve decided to make Jesus my choice.
We sang together in the dining porch for a long time after dinner,
learning each other’s songs.
a little like my inspiration poem that I bought when I was 18 at the
Cathedral of St. John the Divine (NYC):
stones that hurt your feet?
Are you fearful whom you’ll meet?
Every stone is hard to wend
Till you reach the final bend.
God will meet you in the end!
Vanetta, the woman who cleans
our room, did not like the previous manager because she says he forbade
the workers to sing. “He say, keep the religion out of the work,”
like a grinch like me, who told a secretary not to proselytize while
on the job.)
He also locked up
the ice maker so no one could put ice in their lunch buckets.
“He din like no one but English. No Jamaican. No Caymanian. No
American. Only English like him,” she said.
The workers apparently got their revenge. They reported him to the immigration
board and his visa was not renewed.
(Kim: I sometimes
wish in my dean’s job that would happen to me!)