HE used to live on the beach. The beach was his home until he was driven away. And it is not the deadly sharks that inhabit the water that would chase him away but those two legged ones who walk on land, whose hearts are darker than the deep ocean floors.
They would burn his wooden hut and cause him to flee to the mountains. The spirit of the gods is seemingly everywhere but in the hearts of men. Well, not Augustine Didier. Tin Tin, as he is affectionately known, has re-established himself as the guardian of the sea. This bushman, matted hair and unkempt beard, seemed to me, a lot more civilized and astute than the townsmen. He got a spiritual calling that compelled him to return to the beach some three weeks ago and he has been there every day since. He exudes a respect for life, for nature and other people’s property. He comes with the awareness that the days of green gold are gone and tourism is what the island depends on and that we must do all we can to protect the industry.
Tin Tin recounts a recent incident that is sure to affect the touristic livelihood in Soufriere. “Up to last night the guys went into the dinghy and stole the propeller.” He does all he can to avert tourist harassment and ensure their safety while on the beach. “It’s not looking nice for Soufriere, for Saint Lucia. So when they do this kind of situation, they chasing the people away from the Caribbean, go to the other countries and things are getting harder and harder. And it’s not fair.”
“The Guardian of the Sea” who is a craftsman, a carver by trade and a farmer by occupation is adamant that we must do everything in our power to curb tourist harassment. He says: “I don’t sell my craft too expensive. If they say they don’t want anything, I leave them alone.”
Tin Tin is also a conservationist and has taken it on his own to beautify and clean the beach. He gets some support from The Still and Humming Bird Restaurant and the boatmen from Castries.
He is a very creative craftsman and can make a masterpiece out of rubble. He showed me a carving of a lion that he made from a piece of wood that he was about to burn. He does not condone begging and uses his hands and skills to provide for himself.
There are many lessons to be learnt from an encounter with this sentinel. He is a friendly humble, great person and definitely connected to the Maker. I wish him well in his future endeavours and hope that his examples can be widely emulated. Jah bless.