As told by Akilah Meulens
To many she’s known as Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, Rhoda Arrindell, or just Rhoda. To my brother and I, she’s “mumz” or “ma”. If I absolutely had to choose just one word to describe her, it would be superwoman, because it best sums up all that she is. She is hard working, strong-minded, and graceful in everything she does.
On the rare occasions that she’s angry, she speaks in the same language/dialect she speaks when she’s happy, calm, etc. In “S’matin English”. She’s usually just happy with anything my brother and I do to express our appreciation/love for her. But the most I’ve seen her smile was when I was around 11, and he was 4 and we cooked or at least tried to cook something for her so she could come from work and get something to eat. Needless to say, whatever it was that we made was inedible to say the least, and she made us dinner, but it put such a smile on her face.
I admire just about everything about my mother, but the most I admire about her is her love and willingness to help those in her community (especially the young people) in any way she think will make them better versions of themselves, regardless of the resistance and/or obstacles she may face along the way. I am like her in every way.
My mom’s always been a hardworking woman and still is today. For my whole twenty years of life, I’ve never seen her not working, even when she doesn’t have to. Her strong work ethics has made us appreciate all she has done to always make sure we have everything we need to become successful individuals throughout life, especially these days while I'm away at college. It has also taught my brother and I to be very independent individuals. The greatest benefit from her working would have to be how close we are to her because of it. Anyone that knows her, knows her as Rhoda and her “Georgie bundle” (right behind her) because she’d take us anywhere work calls her so we got to see many places all over the world and were exposed to different cultures.
She has served the St. Martin community in just about every aspect.She has spent over twenty years as an educator, both on secondary and tertiary level education. She also plays a key role in the development of a youth volleyball program that has helped youngsters (including myself) use sports as an opportunity to further their educational careers past the secondary level. Culturally, she has been involved in anything that promotes the identity and culture of St. Martin and its people as a whole. This includes her thesis which is dedicated to the people of St. Martin.
Who is her inspiration? My brother and I. For us, she is there at all times, especially now when I am away at school and have spent so much time away from home. Whenever she senses the slightest sign of “down days” or even just because, she picks up the phone and calls, even if its just to give reassuring words, which I appreciate VERY much.
She's taught me to always push to be the very best I can at whatever I decide to, while remaining true to myself, always.
I’d continue to say how truly proud I am of her (though it’s usually the other way). And how thankful I am to have such an inspiration for the woman and mother I hope to one day be.
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Hello, I'm Rochelle, curator of saltfish & Lace, a St.Martin lifestyle blog that oozes with the sticky sweet love for the written and spoken word, natural Caribbean living and of course, natural hair.
Learn More About My Debut Poetry Collection HERE