On the Way to the Cricket Match
Vincentians have a variety of ways to have fun. The average citizen may not be wealthy but in a small island community, there are always special days to look forward to. Today we can tag along as a group of Vincentians travel up from the Grenadines to watch a Cricket match on the main island. Cricket, as you shall discover, is a passion of many Vincentians

On our way from home we might pass a few friends getting "warmed up" for the day. Music is a big part of the culture of the islands and you might be very surprised to know that American "Country and Western" music is very popular is some areas. Friends will get together like this on many a holiday as they get ready for the excursion later on.

As you can see from the picture, people living in the Grenadines, as is the case all over St. Vincent, come from a wide variety of ethnic heritages. They share one thing however, they are all "Vincys" to each other!

The Grenadines also is justly famous for another way of having fun. SAILING! People sail when fishing, for fun, or, like today, as part of the REGATTA festivities!

The regatta attract sailors from around the world, but the "locals" have just as much fun. One part that many young boys and girls love is a race just for them. Most children in the Grenadines learn to swim at a very early age. Some children on the mainland don't learn at such a young age because they live in the interior, away from the beaches.

As you can tell from all the yachts in the background, this is a very popular day. However, that reminds us... in order to get from the Grenadines to St. Vincent, most people catch an inter-island ferry but it only leaves at certain times so we have to make sure we get to the dock!

Great! Just in time. This is Port Elizabeth and people are still going on board. We can take a moment to look around for anyone else who may be going to the cricket match.

As you can see, there are a number of vehicles part by the dock. Many people leave their vehicles parked while they go to the mainland. Some vehicles brought passengers and some vehicles may be taking the trip with us. That's because the ferry we're going on is a "Roll-on," "Roll-off" one that has the capacity to take vehicles.

Here it is now! Today we're going with the M.V. Windward out of Kingstown. Kingstown is the capital of St. Vincent and it's where the owners of the Windward have their offices. As you can see, it even has a crane to help load the bags that its customers need to carry with them.

Many people are carrying fish products for sale on the mainland. In return they buy vegetables and other plants that don't grow well in the dry environment of the Grenadines.

Bequai is close by to St. Vincent, so we're soon in Kingstown harbor. This is always a beautiful sight. The harbor is also where the main port and the main Customs house is located. If you're coming from the Grenadines though, you go to a separate, Grenadines dock.

Unloading doesn't take much time so we should soon be in Kingstown proper and we can show a little bit of the town.

Now we've arrived at Kingstown. Notice how busy it is. That's because it is the central market place for the island. Vincentians from all parts come here to do their major shopping.

Kingstown is also the main political center for the island so it's not surprising that it's so busy.

Before we head out to the cricket field, we need to try and catch up with some friends who live just above Kingstown. A cricket match is a big social occasion and it's always better to bring as many people with you as possible.

Well, we were going to try and catch up with some friends, but it looks as if they left already. You may notice that our friend's house is all wooden. In the USA many houses are wooden, even "expensive" ones. However, in the Caribbean, more and more persons are trying to move away from wooden house to "concrete block" houses like the one in the back of the picture. There is a big debate about this as the concrete or "wall" houses can be quite expensive. The design of this particular wooden house is actually uniquely "Vincentian." Each island tends to have its own unique design.

Well-since we missed everyone, let's grab a ride on a minivan. These are popular because they can get around our VERY NARROW roads easily. They are also relatively cheap as many persons buy them as reconditioned vehicles directly from Japan.

Many persons will register their vans as commercial vehicles and in the morning and afternoons, they bring their neighbors to work for a fee. There is no national, public bus service but this private system works very well.

Hey, look! There's a tractor. The farmer must be taking a break. Tractors are very expensive to import but they do make farming tremendously easier. The other problem though, is that you have to have flat land and most of St. Vincent is mountainous.

Well, we're nearly there.. the cricket field is just around the corner.

Well, here we are. Essentially, cricket is a simple game. One man, the batsman, stands at one end of a runway, and another man, the bowler, runs up to a preselected mark at the other end of the runway with a very hard ball (harder than an American baseball) that he pelts at the batsman.

That's cricket in one sentence. But, just as how Americans can be fanatical about their baseball, Vincentians can be fanatic about cricket. In the picture on the left, the batsman is Carl Hooper who is very special because he's the captain of the West Indies cricket team!

Many young booys want to grow to be like Carl Hooper or like another great Vincy cricketer, Mike Findley. No matter who you are, if you're poor or rich, you have an equal shot to be a great cricketer.

Anyway, it's time to stop talking and watch this game!