75-year-old Perryman Bougouneau found shelter in his father’s old and decrepit bakery after Hurricane Maria destroyed his home in Balizier, La Plaine since 2017. Interestingly, a stone’s throw away from Perryman’s leaky tarpaulin ‘cave’ are the majestic, modern, and swanky homes of the former Parliamentary representative and the pastor of the La Plaine Pentecostal church.
Also, a few yards from Perryman’s cave hut is his older brother’s modest but secure government issued house. Perryman’s primitive and squalid living conditions with a dirt floor begs the question, why is this man’s condition so deplorable compared to his brother?
Despite Perryman’s checkered past and current behavior, he is a Dominican citizen and a human being deserving of compassion and our humanity. Perryman may not be selected as one’s ‘BFF’ (Best Friend Forever), nor be invited to the Sunday brunch due to this situation. Some describe him with colourful and distasteful adjectives and adverbs saying that he deserves what he is getting.
However, his older brother’s past is not that of an eagle scout either. In fact, he has spent some ‘vacation time’ at the big house in Stock Farm on a couple of occasions. So, he will probably not be invited to the family’s back yard cookout either.
So why was Perryman not given a house or apartment like his brother? The dichotomy is glaring and cannot be ignored. The difference is that Perryman wears blue (associated with the Opposition), while his brother not only wears red (associated with the ruling party) but also drinks red.
But the larger question persists; is Dominica still a nation with Judeo-Christian values? Or have the Catholic and Protestant religions lost their moral authority? Have they been compromised and relinquished their high ground to new and powerful political factions?
What about the traditional and popular village ‘koudmen’ system to help Perryman? A villager told me that folks are afraid to be associated with anyone who does not support red’ for fear of victimization. If that is the case, then the Golden Rule has shifted and is: ‘He who has the gold makes the rules.’ Despite this reality, this is a deterioration and shameful indictment of leadership both political and religious, community and Dominican society.
The video caused me to reach back deep into some nostalgic memories of my La Plaine youth at the bakery while waiting to buy hot bread. Perryman’s late father, Mr. Rogles (nicknamed ‘Day- Bar’) owned and baked in that bakery for a very long time with the help of his sons.
The heart wrenching video quickly transformed these fun times to grief, pity, shame, and pain. It also evoked visceral reactions for many including people in Dominica and across the world. Some people were enraged while others wept uncontrollably vowing to assist in whatever way they can. One lady said that she will assist him, but she is deeply confused with the island’s new value system because we were raised differently.
So, what is the authenticity of the government’s housing revolution when people are “existing”- (not living) like were-wolves? Well, the revolution appears to be true but only if you are ‘red’. If you are not ‘red’ then you might not be dead, but you will certainly be homeless, jobless, ridiculed and marginalized if you are poor and down and out.
In March 2018, the government announced that the La Plaine apartments are the state-of-the-art housing project and will house 64 families with funds sourced from the CBI Program. The former Parl Rep said the project will radically transform the La Plaine constituency and they are for those residents who were affected by Hurricane Maria. The gentleman forgot to mention that non-red party supporters will not to be considered and need not apply.
In addition to the in-your-face insult to the poor La Plaine folks who are not ‘red’, it is alleged that some were given apartments who hold high and well-paying jobs and positions. It has also been alleged that a citizen residing in the United States who is planning to contest in the next elections in La Plaine is a guest or tenant in the apartments. Meanwhile Perryman and others in the country suffer and languish as sub-human beings.
But there is a silver lining as Mr. Sherlon Guiste, the young man who made and posted the video, has created a GoFundMe page and is accepting donations to build a small house for Perryman.
Hi, I’d really appreciate it if you would share or donate to this GoFundMe.
*Perryman Bougouneau find shelter*
This fundraiser has been set up to help an elderly homeless 75-year-old La Plaine man, Mr. Perryman Bougouneau, build a small house which was destroyed by the Hurricane.
Read more here https://gofund.me/32b1554b
Forward this message to your contacts to help this campaign reach its goal!
*Editor’s note* The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the management and staff of Dominica News Online, its parent company or its advertisers.