I happen to work and live in a society where, sometimes, you’re treated better depending on what last name you have.
So this morning, I was very happy to be given a new name, with a surname that is very popular around here. 😀
As I approached the courtyard of the church, the pleasant aroma of food cooking hit me. As I got close to the kitchen, I heard chopping sounds, and the quiet chatter of women – mostly members of the Methodist Women’s league. I knew I was in for great conversations and possibly a bowl of soup.
As I predicted, they were very gracious in explaining how the soup kitchen works, how they wake up early each Saturday to prepare food for the sick and less privileged. Such an honorable thing to do for 13 years.
After I gathered material for my story, including interviews and photos, we began to chat about other non important things like, where I’m from, how long I’ve lived in the BVI and why I should make these beautiful islands my home.
“You know, now that you’ve lived with us for many years, you need to have a BVI name,” said the leader of the group.
To my surprise, a few of the other women agreed.
“You look like an ‘Angela,’ or a ‘Janet,'” another added.
In the end, the not very palatable -in my opinion- Janet stuck.
Now all that was left to do was give me a very Virgin Islands last name.
After tossing in names like Christopher, Smith, and Young, the godly women settled on Dawson.
“So from now on, every time you hear the name Janet Dawson, you must answer,” the leader instructed.
And true to her word, as soon as I left the hall, she walked after me and yelled “Janet, next time you come, we will make sure you sit down to have a bowl of soup too.”
It’s cemented. Along with Ngovou Gyang, my name is Janet Dawson. You just can’t refuse a lovely name the good Methodist Church women coin out for you.
Watch out Labour and Immigration Departments, a daughter of the soil is coming – please don’t waste my time. If you do, I won’t hesitate to whip out my new name and remind you which family I come from.