anna brones

writer + artist

Posts Tagged ‘Guadeloupe

Good Music for a Good Cause: French Caribbean

leave a comment »

I never enjoyed the trendy music of Guadeloupe; reggaeton will probably never be my style. But the authentic rhythms that mix traditional Creole and French sounds are one of a kind. French Caribbean is an excellent collection of just that, and Putumayo just re-released it in order to give 100% of proceeds to Haiti Relief efforts. Good music for a good cause.


Article cross-posted from Planet Green.

When a crisis like the recent earthquake in Haiti hits, it’s hard to focus on the positive. Since January 12, 2010 most of us have been consumed with images of devastation. We’ve heard stories of families and communities ripped apart and we’ve discussed how a country that was in a situation of such poverty even before the earthquake struck will ever be able to rebuild itself. But an essential part of having that discussion entails focusing on the positive, moving away from the heart wrenching images of the effects of a natural catastrophe and instead highlighting the creativity and warmth of a people.

That’s what Putumayo World Music believes. In response to the earthquake in Haiti, the label is re-releasing two albums with sounds and rhythms straight from the affected region: French Caribbean and the children’s CD, Caribbean Playground. 100% of the proceeds from each album will be donated to the Red Cross for Haitian relief throughout 2010.

“In 1976, I had the extraordinary experience of visiting this unique country and became a fan of its music, art and people. As a resident of New Orleans, I’ve witnessed how a city can come back from virtual ruin. Haiti will rise again!” – Dan Storper, Founder/CEO

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Anna Brones

February 23, 2010 at 10:18

Why It’s Important to Write About the Destinations You Didn’t Love

with 6 comments

A few years ago I taught English in the Caribbean… Guadeloupe to be exact. And although it’s a sunny island in the middle of the Caribbean, to be perfectly honest, my time spent living there wasn’t the most enjoyable. Actually living on an insular island and having a daily routine is much different than spending a lazy vacation sipping cocktails on the beach, and that everyday livelihood didn’t exactly meet my expectations.

So when I told my mother that I was going to write a story on what not to do while traveling in Guadeloupe she responded with, “What are you going to say? Don’t go there?!” I laughed and gave my usual answer:”even though I didn’t have a good time, doesn’t mean other people can’t.”

Which brings me to my main point: sometimes writing about a place that you don’t love is a fantastic exercise. You’re forced to choose a bit more objectivity over subjectivity, and soon you’re remembering a plethora of positive aspects, putting your negative memories aside and crafting a piece that allows others to be intrigued by your destination.

In the end, travel is about experience, and as travel writers, it’s important to inspire those experiences. It doesn’t matter if travel experiences are positive or negative, they are always going to be eye-opening, educational and shape who we are, and every individual has to discover that on his/her own, which is why it’s perfectly fine to write about those destinations you didn’t love.

So on that note, here’s an excerpt from What Not to Do in Guadeloupe, published over on Matador Trips — an article that made me just a tad bit nostalgic for a place that I never really liked living in to begin with.

Don’t… assume people speak English

As an overseas French department, Guadeloupe’s official language is French, but don’t think this makes visiting the island like traveling in Europe.

Although it’s a common stereotype that the French resist speaking English, getting by in Paris without too much of a grasp of French is definitely doable. On Guadeloupe, English is much harder to find.

Do… learn some key French phrases before you go

The locals will give you a genuine smile if you make an effort to speak French. With a simple “bonjour,” “merci,” some survival phrases like “how much does this cost?” and the obligatory traveler’s hand gestures, you’ll do just fine.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Anna Brones

December 16, 2009 at 09:21