SH: All our lives, we played together outside school and now work together for the Barbuda Council.
bb: are you the same age?
JD: I am older. I was born on 16 July 1980 under the sign of Cancer. My mother is Angela Deazle and I have two sisters, one works for the Barbuda Council and the other will be going into Form V in September.
SH: I was born at the Springview Hospital on 9 August 1984. I am a Leo. My parents are Ruth and George Hopkins, who live in Barbuda. I am the youngest in my family, I have six brothers and six sisters, who live here and overseas.
bb: you both attended school here I know
SH: Yes I entered the Holy Trinity School in 1989 and Jessica in 1985. Mrs James and Mrs Adams were my teachers in lower school and Miss Henry was the principal. My favourite subjects were English and office procedures.
I was taught by Mrs Brenda Webber, who was in the infants then. Father Williams was the principal. I enjoyed the maths and accounts classes at Holy Trinity.
bb: i remember you as basketball players
SH: At first we played basketball outside of school hours and then in 1999 we formed the first girls’ basketball teams at the Holy Trinity School. I played in all positions, while Jessica played as a forward or a guard.
JD: We organised junior and senior teams and competed in the Inter-Schools Basketball for the first time with teams from Antigua. We came second or third in the competition.
bb: do you still play?
JD: Oh yes. We belong to the New Era women’s basketball team. Earlier this year we represented Barbuda in the Fifth Annual Gillian Blazer Tournament in Antigua. We won the title, beating Antigua and St Kitts in the final.
SH: We have eight players on the team, three are still in school. We have training sessions regularly and work out at the gym three evenings a week.
bb: when did you graduate from the Holy Trinity School?
SH: I graduated in 2002 with 4 CXC passes in office procedures, integrated science, home management, and social studies. I have taken English again this year.
JD: I graduated in 1999 with two CXC passes in integrated science and home management. I am going to take CXC accounts and information technology in May 2006.
bb: And life after school?
JD: I spent 8 months in Canada after leaving school. I worked at the old Palmetto Hotel and then moved to the Barbuda Council, initially as an assistant cashier and more recently as a junior clerk.
SH: I spent 6 months in New York, relaxing with my family. I used to work at KB Supplies as a junior clerk before becoming assistant cashier at the Barbuda Council.
bb: tell us about your children
SH: I have two children, a little boy and a little girl. The boy is Zaiquan, who is two years old and the girl, Somyjah, is 10 months old. I hope they will be successful in school and happy in life. As to a career – I want them to make up their own minds.
JD: I have a little girl, Rodejha, who is two years old. I would like her to be happy and successful also, perhaps to become a doctor. I see her going away to study, but coming back to Barbuda of course and being our doctor here.
bb: what are your plans for the future?
SH: My long term goal is to become an entrepreneur. I plan to study business administration in college in St Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands. Jessica and I want to start a business together.
JD: We have looked around and decided that Barbuda needs a photo studio. A proper studio where Barbudans can go to have formal and informal pictures taken. We would process and print the photos here, so no one would have to go to Antigua for this service any more.
bb: how would you describe one another?
SH: Jessica is a hilarious, fun person to be around. She is never dull, never loses her temper.
JD: Samantha is friendly, happy, and outspoken. And my best friend.
bb: Thank you Jessica and Samantha, we wish you well for the future