My full name is Odelia Christine Cecelia Deazle. I was born on 2nd June 1999 at Holberton hospital in Antigua, so I am 15 years old. My father is from St Vincent and is a carpenter. My mother works for Barbuda Council and for Barbuda Belle the new hotel resort at Cedar Tree Point. I have eight siblings – four on my fathers and four on my mother’s side.
I went to pre-school and Holy Trinity school and now I'm at Sir Mc Chesney George Secondary school. I have a lot of friends, and I learned a lot. My friend Shaquanza is one of those friends from all that time. I love English literature, English a, Home Economics and History - but I don't like science and maths. I want to be a journalist or news reporter and to use my language and literature skills. I thought I might be a doctor but I am not very good with hospitals and sick people. I am the new intern for this website and this is my first paid job, I do three hours per week and find news for the website and Facebook page. It's inspiring and I'm learning things that will help in my career. I’m also entering the Caribana Teenage Pageant competition on May 23rd. I have travelled to the UK and to St Vincent to visit family. It was a very adventurous and fun and I saw things I never saw before like huge buildings.
In Barbuda I love the beach especially at White Bay. I have done a lot of camping out with my mum, family and friends. My favourite Barbuda food? There's so much, I can't choose! My favourite drink is passionfruit.
My advice to other young people would be – go after your dreams; don't let people get the better of you. When you put your mind to something go for it.
My first piece of journalism for the website is about the meeting I went to at the school to decide on the de Niro project.
There was something about that meeting that made me feel emotional, like it was a decision that would have full effect on all of our lives forever. When I first entered the doors of that public meeting I wasn't surprised at how many persons showed up, they came ready and ready to make a decision. The crowd was so big and loud you couldn't hear yourself speak, there were so many people you couldn't even find yourself a seat. It was overbearing, people stood at the windows to have a peak. From the moment I heard/saw the opposers and the proposers start talking on the mike I was frightened. I mean I expected better! They were like cats and dogs just going at each other not knowing when and how to stop. I was disappointed but at the end of the day they came to a conclusion they should've thought of from the start. They decided to have a vote, and I thought it was a good idea because everyone should have an opinion. They voted and decided to go on with the project.
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.