Taken by Natalie Thompson

Thursday, 10 December 2015

[ESTA POST 4] Don't fret Esta God wit yuh / Don't worry Esta God is with you.(Esther Approximately...)

Afta Esta walk in mi hear Tunky a call to me from in a di house. Tunky, did a one ole lady weh did in charge a everyting we do weh involve Mass Xerxes, an any a him poeple dem.
"Cum outa d leaf dem, clean off yuh han an go roun a di back!" she did halla out, so is dat me did hurry up an do.

 After Esta walked in I heard Tunky shouting inside the house.  Tunky, was an old lady who was in charge of all that was done by  us, for Lord Xerxes and his  people.                                    
"Esta leave the leaves, clean your hands and go around the back!" she shouted, I quickly did as she said.

 Inna di garden roun a di back, whole a di ooman dem did a sidung an a drink tea. Di one wah look like she did a guh one funeral a gi everybody bad eye an mek up har face. Mi nuh kno a wah she did fava. 
When me did a walk an a fill up back di people tea, mi hear di ooman weh did wrap up inna d sheet a whispa to anodda ooman.
"Why on earth is Lord Xerxes thinking of marrying that black one?" Di ooman inna di sheet seh
"This is utter rubbish. Who does she think she is, does she not know of her colour" di odda ooman did seh. Hmm.. A suh nuff a dem  did stay man; tink dem betta dan people. Did bun me fi dem.

All the women were seated on the backyard furniture drinking tea. The one who was dressed as though she was to going to funeral was giving everyone the side eye coupled with a look of distaste. I dont even know what to say she looked like. A dammed fool. As I was walking around refilling the women's cups of tea; as I was expected to. I heard the woman who looked like she was wrapped up in a sheet whispering to another woman.                       
"Why on earth is Lord Xerxes thinking of marrying dat black one?"
"Who does she think she is, does she not know of her colour? " said the other woman. That's how they thought back then, thinking they were better than people. Boy, sometimes people are so foolish. 


"Mas Xerxes seh now dat everyone is here, we goin start". Tunky did seh as she walk out.  All di ooman dem start grin an a fix up demself. *Hmt* Mi nuh know weh sum a dem did  a fix up seh.
"Alright, Mass Xerxes seh him will call uno one one; an yuh will talk to him fi one likkle while fi get to know uno betta. Miss Tamas, him waan yuh come now" Tunky did seh to di lady inna di sheet looking ting. She grin an run inna house leff har escart. What a way she did excited!

Tunky walked out the house and stood just outside the door way.
 "Lord Xerxes said now that everyone is here, we are going to start" she said. Instantly many of the women faces lit up grinning while they looking over their dresses. Stupid, I thought to myself as I looked at them checking their appearance. It wasnt as though that was going to make a difference; they already looked... how they looked.                                                             
"Alright, Lord Xerxes said he will call on you one by one and you will have a conversation where he can get to know you a little better. Misss Thomas, he wants to see you now." Tunky said to the lady in the sheet looking thing. She ran off grinning leaving her escort behind. Man she was excited!

Afta Miss Tamas gone inside mi jus tun roun look pan di ress a di ooman dem an shake mi head. A wen mi did look up mi see Esta by harself a luk a look pan di red Christmas flowas dem. Suh mi did walk up to har an ask har if she waan more tea
 but in trut mi really did waan si if she did alright.
" No thanks I'm quite alright" shi seh when mi did ask har.
"Alright Miss"  mi did seh an ready fi walk aff
"Yuh know me feel outa place" she seh an tun an look pan me, mi tek one step an stop walk. Mi did frighten, mi neva did hear har chat patwa yet before! Mi did jus tun roun an look pan di flowas dem side a har head.
"Mi know yuh can do it Miss Esta afta none a dem nuh betta dan yuh" Me seh me eye dem still pan di flowas.

After Miss Thomas went inside,I looked at all the other women and shook my head. Then I saw Esther standing alone off to the side looking at the red Poinsettias. So I walked up and asked her if she wanted more tea, but I really wanted to see if was ok.            
"No thanks I'm quite alright" she responded.                     
 "Alright Miss" I said beginning to walk off                       
 "You know I feel out of place", she said in Patwa. I've never heard her speak in Patwa before shocked, I froze mid step.  I turned and look at the flowers to the left of her head. 
"I know you can do it Miss Esta, no one here is more important than you are" I replied still looking at the red flowers.  


"Miss Esta is fi yuh tun now" Tunky seh fram di door way, wen me look roun me realise two odda ooman did guh already.
"Yuh will be alright Miss Esta, God is wit yuh. Jus smile be nice, be wise an mek sure yuh talk bout music, him love music yuh hear. Yuh will be alright man." Me did seh a look inna har eye now an tell fi gwaan.
"Tanks" she seh an smile den she walk aff to guh si Mass Xerxes.
Mi did walk up to Tunky and we dis watch har walk inna Maas Xerxes room. 
"Mi hope she do good"  Tunky seh, a fret.
"God a watch ova har, she alright.  Fi him will, will be dun." mi tell har.
Tunky nod had head an look pan di door Esta jus shut.

"Miss Esta it's your turn now" Tunkey said from the door way. I looked around and realised two women were missing, they already went to see Lord Xerxes.                  
"God is with you Miss Esta, you will be alright. be friendly, smart and be sure to mention music alright. He loves music. You will be ok man." I said motioning for her to go quickly.                                                     "Thanks" she said smiling as she walked off to speak with Mr. Xerxes.
I walked up to Tunky and we watched her enter Lord Xerxes room. 
"I hope she does well", Tunky said.
"She will be fine God is with her. His will will be done" I replied.
Tunky nodded and continued staring at the door Esta just closed. 

Thanks for reading :)

Friday, 4 December 2015

[ESTA POST 3] Mass Xerxes fi pick a wife! / Lord Xerxes has to choose a wife! (Esther Approximately...)

Yeah suh mi did deh a di door a form like mi a mop right. *Heh!*, Likkle mos mi drop di mop wen mi hear Mass Xerxes fren dem a tell him seh all him need fi do is get a nedda wife, a betta wife. Dem seh a man a fi him status an age need fi married.
Yes! An yuh waan know seh did Xerxes agree! So dis a wah dem seh dem did a do. Dem was goin mek Mass Xerxes pick a ooman outa di bess set a ooman roun Mobay. Suh dem say brah; an a suh him get him new wife.

Yeah, so like I was saying I was at the door pretending to be mopping. Man! I almost dropped the mop when I heard Lord Xerxes friends telling him,"all he needed to do was get a better wife, a newer wife"."A man of his status," they said, "needs to be married". yow,would you believe Xerxes agreed! So, they decided they were going to have Lord Xerxes choose the most suited woman. Mhm that's what they said and that's how he got his new wife.

*Heh heya* U nuh know wah di man dem do, tink dem easy? Who nuh put up dem daughta, put up dem sista. Mi wuldnt surprise if mi did hear seh dem did all mek dem fambily come down from England. Everybody did well waan a likkle a Maas Xerxes money enuh even more him status.

 *Haaaa!* Do you know what the men did? No,for real it's like they were con men. You see,many wanting some of Xerxes money and status; sent up their family members. So there were men sent their sisters and daughters, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that some had family come down from England.

Yes, but yuh know mi mema dis one girl, Esta. Bwoy, she did a one nice, pretty girl. Ya man, nice, nice girl.  An she did a one a wi yuh know? Yes man she did black! Esta did mix yuh si, mhm she did slim an have a nice cooool coco butter cohla. An har eye dem  jus pretty; dem did black, an bright, an big.  Esta doe, roun dem time deh she did live wit har Uncle Mardiki. Him now, did a one free black man. Now yuh a wonder why Mass Xerxes have a black man in a him group don't? Mi know man! Yuh si Mardiki neva did a one normal man. No Sah! Firs ting him did wise, mi mean well wise. Nex ting, him did know him people and dem did respek an trus him; suh him wulda talk, n di ppl dem wulda undastan n werk wit him. A suh come Mass Xerxes did valu wah Mardiki seh cah him did know seh a one powaful ting dat. An yuh did know seh Mardiki did a one Christian to? Yes man, but  him an sum him people did praise di Lard wit dem owna traditian wah dem grow up wit, an know bout. Suh dem did sing inna dem owna language mix in wit d English; an pray how dem did waan; an ave sum a dem owna odda custom dem.

Yes, but you know I remember this one girl Esta. Boy, she was a nice pretty girl. Yeah man, a nice girl. She was one of us you know? Yes, she was black! Esta was mixed you see. Mhm she was of slim built and had smoothest looking cocoa butter complexion. And her eyes, they were just lovely; she had big, bright, black almond set eyes.So,in those times, she was living with her Uncle Mardiki, who was a free black man. You are now wondering why Lord Xerxes had a black man in his group right? I knew it! You see Mardiki wasn't a normal man. No, not at all. Mardiki was a very, very wise man; who knew his people well and they trusted and respected him. He was then able to speak to his people and they would listen and work with him. Lord Xerxes saw that as a powerful thing; and valued what Mardiki had to say about the happenings in his own life and the lives of the black people.Mhm it's the truth. Did you know to though that Mardiki was a Christian? Yes man, but some of the customs he and some of his people had were a bit different that those you might know of; because, they praised the Lord with their own traditions. Traditions taught to them by their family. So they sang songs in their own language a mixture of West African and English vernaculars, I believe. They also prayed how they wanted to and had other customs that were their own.

But  anyway Mek we get back to Esta an di day she n di odda girl dem go a di plantation house fi Mass Xerxes pick him wife... 
Da day der now all a di ooman dem come some did pretty some neva suh pretty. One wrap up inna sheet; one nex one come dress up inna black, like a funeral she a guh. Bwoy mi neva did understan sum a di style weh some dem did chose. Mi mean how yuh fi come n yuh face paint up like clown. Dis one ooman me did glimpse har tru di window wit dis pink ting pan di side a har face nuh even pink, red me shoulda say. An it did guh from har eye to har jaw bone, mi neva  did undastan it. Man! Dis nex ooman now her hair long suh till it a drag inna d duut, fi why ? Mi nuh kno sah. Ah bwoy! Dis odda one, lass one an mi dun. Far me nuh waan God strike me dung fi a chat people. Dis lass one now did a bawl fo har earing and a run up n dung a look all ova d propaty n a force ppl fi help har look. *Heh heh!* people jus did a faam like dem did a look an a laff afta har. Alright me dun, God figive me yah! Nuh seh me a laff afta dem enuh me jus neva undastan dem fashion deh. Fashion is a hell af a ting eeh!

But any way lets get back to Esta. and the day she and all the women came to the plantation so Lord Xerxes could choose his wife....  On that day all the women came to the property, some were pretty others were not. This one lady was wrapped up in... I think is was a sheet. Another one was in all black; I mean, look like she was going to a funeral. Boy I didn't understand some of the styles they choose to wear. Why would you come to a party with your faces painted like your a clown. There was a woman there who had pink, I mean red blush running from the bottom of her eye to the bottom of her face. I didn't understand it. Man! There was this woman her hair was so long that it dragged in dirt. The dirt! Why? I don't have a clue. *Sigh*, ok the last woman I'll mention was running around searching the ground screaming "My God, my earing!", and attempted to get the black people around to help her look. But, of course they instead pretended to look while silently laughing. Ah boy, God forgive me. its not that I'm laughing at the women. It's just that I didn't understand the fashions. Man fashion is a funny thing.

A when mi did outside a clean up d yard mi si dis pretty black girl a walk in inna dis plain off di shoulda white pretty looking dress. When mi luk good an nuh Esta! Yes man she did look nice, mi did feel good yuh si. She an Mardiki tek dem time and walk tru di door an go inside.

 Later that evening, I was outside cleaning the yard and saw a pretty black girl wearing a beautiful off the shoulder white dress walking up the walkway. Squinting I realized it was Esta. Man she looked so beautiful! I was so proud of her. Mardiki escorted her up the path and they both entered the plantation house.

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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

[ESTA POST 2] Rah, U nuh Si Dem Dash Weh Mrs. Xerxes?! / Man,You Know They Banished Lady Xerxes! (Esther Approximately...)

Mhm Mek we continue... Weh mi did deh? Oh yes! Mrs. Xerxes say she neva did a go guh to Maas Xerxes. Alright, yes suh...

Ok, So lets continue... Where were we? Oh yes! Lady Xerxes sent to tell Lord Xerxes she wasn't coming.

Wen di slave guh back to Maas Xerxes now an tell him weh she seh. Him start get Mad! Tun red red!You should a si him! Mi neva kno people coulda get suh red. An a suh di sweet sweet party pap dung; *hiss mi teet* It bun me you si!*chuh*. Likkle afta dat happ'n me ongle si Maas Xerxes and him fren dem start walk inna di house n lock up inna him werk room. Yes, suh unu dun know how me stay, me jus tek time an ich up a di door n gwaan like me a mop me did hear EVEERYTIIING.*Heh heh*

When the slave returned and told Lord Xerxes what his wife had said; he got so angry he became a deep shade of red. You know,I didn't know people could become that shade of red. Sadly though,that was the end of the lovely celebration. Darn it, I was really enjoying myself! It was then Lord Xerxes and his friends left to his den. But you know how I am,I wasn't going to miss out on what was happening. So I pretended to be mopping and heard every word *ha ha ha*.

Mi hear Maas Xerxes start halla  "How is it that I sent for her and she refused me?  Does she not know who I am? How dare she!" Backfoot, Mrs. Xerxses salt now! "You must send her back to England!" One a di man dem shout out. A nex one bawl out "You must remind of her status, you are the man, head of the house; she is the woman" Den everybody start shout out an a bang pan di dex. All heap a tings did a happ'n! Afta a while it did get quiet an mi hear Lord Xerxes say "She will return to England... tonight!".

"How is it that I sent for and she refused me? Does she not know who I am? How dare she!", shouted Lord Xerxes. Oooh, she's in trouble now! "You must send her back to England!", shouted one of his colleagues. "You must remind her of her status, you are the man of the house; she is the woman.", another
shouted. Then it seemed as though all hell broke lose,sounded like they were banging on desks and every one was trying to out shout each other.It then suddenly became quiet and Lord Xerxes calmly said "she will return to England... tonight".

Hol on a minute! Pause d story. Cu pan dem to, bout him muss remind har bout har status. *Hmt* .... Har role in d house nuh; she shoulda dash likkle sumting inna him food like how is har role...BRITE!  Ahem, ahem...  Sarry, sarry hignore dat. Mout get weh fram mi you know.

*Children dont falla me yuh hear dat a nuh one good ting to do.*
Yes as me did a seh.... di story

Hold on a minute! Let's pause the story. Really though! Did you hear that, He should remind her of her status? Disgusting! Her role is in the house huh? She should have placed something in his food; you know since it is her role and all. Ridiculous! Ahem, Ahem... I mean excuse me, ignore the out burst. The words just flew out of my mouth.

*Children don't do what I just said, it isn't right*
Yes right, As i was saying... the story

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Sunday, 29 November 2015

[ESTA POST 1] A who tell har fi seh dat?!! / Who told her to say that? (Esther Approximately...)

*Alright, this story isn't historically accurate and isn't trying to be.

Den suppose it did happen at Rose Hall Great house, roun about slavery time. What if di house did bill up before Annie Palmer an har wickedniss. You see it? alright Good! Add on now seh a man deh deh. One rich riiich man, right. Richest one roun a Mobay. Dat rich man now, him have a wife, a pretty pretty wife enuh. Everybody say she a di prettiest ooman from deh side deh. But har attitude did stink....

Set in Montego Bay Jamaica in the year 1909 The events take place on the plantation owned by a Lord Thomas Xerxes; the story centers around Esther the mulatto Jamaican heroine who courageously saves her people.

Me did deh deh enuh, yeah man me did deh deh. Maas Xerxes plantation house did deh pan one hill, and it look ova dis whole heap a land. It was di terd year him did own di plantation an him did waan sho off seh him rich, an hol one biiig biiig party. You waan know seh everybody did deh deh. Him white fren dem, who did have dem owna plantation did deh deh. Di man who watch the slave dem did deh deh. All him slave dem did deh deh. Yeah man it did niiice! Di place all fix up nice. Him did set up some table and chair inna d garden an string up some nice claut through di tree dem; and dem time deh di flowers did come out. Di place did jus pretty.  Yes, sun shining bright n ting was a wondaful day. Man! Mek me tell you dem did have whole heap a food chicken, fish, some sweet tings, potato, bread... Man nuff tings did deh deh an dem did put it a pan a stooch silva plate an we drink from some stooch cup. Rum and wine did a pour!Man mi seh di music did sweet yuh si.

Lord Xerxes plantation house overlooked a wide expanse of land. In his third year of ownership, he housed a celebratory event wanting to flaunt his wealth. All were in attendance all his colleagues,fellow plantation owners from neighboring properties, overseers and all his slaves. It was grand party the expensive fabrics woven through the branches of the trees; coupled with the flowers in bloom, was a lovely sight.  Lord and Lady Xerxes had made sure to put their expensive furniture out on display; lovely carved wooden chairs and tables. Oh, on that day we had a feast. There was chicken, fish, potatoes,pastries and so much more. I vividly remember being given a silver up of wine and being awe struck by how shiny the it was, it sparkled. And the music; yes the music, it was just divine.

Mrs. Xerxes now did in a har owna room. She and di odda wife dem did a have dem owna party; a suh mi fren did tell me. Mhm, she did deh ova deh side deh, Yeah. So, di ooman dem a gwaan enjoy dem self man a drink n a chat n a ... Dem a do dem ting man, when Maas Xerxes call fi har. It look like seh him did waan show har off to him fren dem. Yeah man!, like how she did a di pretties ooman n ting. But she nuh tell di house slave seh she nah go. Yes! You shoulda hear har. 
"I am not going out there, For what reason? Am I his play thing, to do with what he wishes?  No!"

Meanwhile in the parlor room Lady Xerxes was celebrating with all the wives. They were having there own celebration. That's what my friend told me she was there. The women were drinking, talking you know enjoying themselves. When Xerxes sent for her, he wanted to show her off. knowing she was a woman of great beauty. the most beautiful around. However Lady Xerxes when fetched told the slave She wasnt going. Her exact words were,
"For what reason am I his play thing, to do with what he wishes? No!"

Baxide!!! Mi nuh kno a wah did do she but Maass Xerxes get VEX. A who tell har fi seh dat!

Woah! I don't know what she was thinking.Lord Xerxes was very angry. Who told her to say that!

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