Welcome to It’s My Life! We are so pleased to hear a bit about your life here in Barbuda as the first person for the new website.
bb: Where were you born Smurf?
JJ: I was born in Antigua, on July 9th 1986, but came straight to live in Barbuda, where I have lived since. I am twenty-seven years old.
bb: Did you go to school in Barbuda?
JJ: Yes, but I had problems at school and was asked to leave when I was a teenager, so I left too early to get any exams. I started to work for Council at a young age and was in the Works department with Keithy Thomas as my manager. I learned carpentry there.
bb: And do you still work for Council?
JJ: Yes but now I work in the Fisheries department, as a processing assistant, checking the size of lobsters with a special tool, for export. They have to be over 9.5 centimetres wide to be legal. We weigh the conchs too, and store them in a specially air conditioned room in the new Fisheries building until they are ready for sale.
bb: And you have your own business too? We know this because we are your customers! You mend all our punctures…
JJ: Yes I have a bike repair business and I also make bikes for sale, depending on the size, from about $200ec. I have one person who works with me, but other people come and go and use the tools and so on. I rent bikes out by the day or the hour.
bb: This is a really smart business to have as nearly all of Barbuda has a bike. Do you have a family in Barbuda, Smurf?
JJ: Yes, I have a girlfriend, and a child aged two. I live with my older brother Captain, but I have nine sisters and seven brothers altogether, three of each are here in Barbuda.
bb: So what is your favourite Barbudan food and drink?
JJ: I love lobster cooked any way, but especially served with the sauce and cheese – lobster Thermidor. And I like Passion fruit drink.
bb: And what is your favourite place?
JJ: Being at home, and riding my bike around the village.
bb: If you had a message to the younger people of Barbuda, what would you say?
JJ: I would tell them be careful of alcohol, which is why I don’t drink. It leads to too much trouble.