The author is a Jamaican and a naturalized Canadian citizen. He holds a MS in Agricultural Economics (Penn. State ) and BS. in Agriculture (Cornell). He devoted thirty-five years to rural development in simple societies. In the Caribbean, he served in the following positions: as a consultant with the Food and Agriculture Organization for ten years, with a CARICOM sub-regional small farmer development project in the Leeward and Windward islands for four years, and with the Ministry of Agriculture in Jamaica for twenty-one years.
In 1981 he was recruited by the International Human Assistance Program (IHAP) to implement a Rural Development Program in the Cook Islands. That assignment, although lasting only two years, turned out to be the most memorable and interesting period of his life. He was fascinated by the cultural contrasts with the Caribbean and with the rich cultural traditions which the islands sustained.