Banana flower 790 xxx
photos by george billard

4.1.13 Sun Salutation

Just back from Antigua (also known as Wadadli), the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, where I enjoyed the annual family vacation, courtesy of my very generous in-laws. The island was spotted by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493. The land and native people were ultimately colonized by Europeans. Some historians believe that the psychological stress of slavery may have played a part in the massive number of native deaths. Others hold that the enforced starchy, low-protein diet contributed to severe malnutrition of the indigenous residents who had been accustomed to a diet fortified with protein from sealife. Now largely dependent on tourism, Antigua is a stark, poverty-riddled landscape peppered with luxury resorts. The beaches are undeniably beautiful, with crystalline turquoise waters and white sand the texture of cake flour. I'm not into tanning, but I can lie on the beach in a shady spot and read to my heart's content. And I'm always interested in the local flora and fauna. On those fronts, Antigua did not disappoint.
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