Barbados is the beautiful island in the caribbean we are happy to call home. In comparison to many countries it is quite small being only 21 miles long and 14 miles wide. If you ask me, it takes a very long time to walk all the way from the bottom of the island to the top and so it is big enough for us.
Our island is a tropical and surrounded by the Atlantic ocean. On the Western side of the island, the sea is as calm as a swimming pool and on the Eastern side there are lots of waves. Una and I like to go surfing there. Baby and Monk Monk are learning this too but usually they prefer to play in the sand.
The beaches here are either white or pink sand beaches. This is because most of island is made up coral. Sometimes when we go scuba diving or snorkling on the coral reefs we make new friends. Most fish and turtles are friendly but some are quite mean and those ones we stay far away from.
There is a lot to see and do here in Baarbaados and so we get many tourist here. Soooo many that this is the main way the island earns money. Some come to lie on the beach, to do water sports, play golf or watch cricket and to learn more about the island and enjoy it's friendliness and culture.
In our family we all like to travel but there is really no place like home. Speaking of home, our chattel house (the traditional home style of Barbados), is not so far away from the capital of Barbados, Bridgetown. Bridgetown is in the parish of St. Michael.
Barbados is made up of 11 parishes:
It was the English wooly sheep that divided the island up into parishes. They lived here for many years (since 1627) and the island once belonged to Britain. In 1966 the Queen of England gave Barbados to us locals and so we have our own government and a Prime Minister. The Queen is still our head of state but we can make decision about what happens on the island on our own.
Before the British came here the Spanish were here and the Portuguese. No human has ever found out which of these gave Baarbaados it's name but some say it was named after either the bearded fig trees that we have on the island or after the original inhabitants of the island, the Arawaks whose men wore beards on their faces. The fig trees have long vines that look like a beard and Barbados means the bearded one in both Portuguese and in Spanish.
Actually Grandbaabaa has told us that our Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandbaabaa was a pirate who sailed the Caribbean Sea. It was actually him that first discovered Barbados and named it before settling in Bathsheba, St. Joseph. I will tell you the story one day if you want to hear the real story of how Barbados got it's name.
Anyways, Barbados used to mainly produce sugarcane and so when you go walking or driving around you will still see many of these fields. Sugarcane is very sweet and sugar is made from it and also rum. I have never tasted rum but have heard adults saying that the rum in Barbados is very good especially the rum punch. I will also tell you how it is when I am much older. Right now, Una and I just like to suck on the sugar cane.
It is harvested during one time of the year and when the last canes are sent to the mills we celebrate the end of the season with a carnival called Cropover. There are a few weeks of activities where we get to hear lots of Calypso (our local music) and see cultural displays. At the very end there is a parade and we get to dress up in costumes in parade in the streets to music. It is a really good time and everyone should try it at least once. There is a parade for little ones and one for adults and so that everyone can enjoy the season.
Actually, there is so much to see, do and discover that Barbados is never boring. That's why we love it here.