Gustav’s 30 plus Hours of Rainfall on Jamaica !!!!

The 7pm news report on television  was just on, and I was left speechless after an update about Gustav’s devastation.

The report revealed that almost 3,000 persons could be homeless tonight, and about 15 people are feared  missing after houses crashed into a few rivers and gully banks. Water is every place with several bridges having collapsed and many people have had to be evacuated to shelters.

I shudder to imagine what is going on for many people tonight who may have lost everything, and their entire house is wet after losing roof tops. While we had some leakage we are well and dry.

Time however will tell, but this is indeed a very sad time.

Gustav’s Fury!!!! 24 Hours of Rainfall & Winds

Last weekend we arrived home to Jamaica after being away for almost three weeks to witness flag waving and Olympic Medal celebrations all over Kingston. It was a fantastic feeling to arrive and see people in such happy spirits.

Then the news of Gustav, the tropical storm came early this week.  This depression was not supposed to be a serious threat to Jamaica, but… fast forward to 48 hours later.

We have had this surprise storm turn on the island and dump 24 hours of heavy rainfall, with 70 miles per hour winds that ripped off many roofs and will leave several people house less.

Parishes such as Portland and St. Thomas were hit pretty severely,  with many down trees on the roads and several damaged bridges. Many homes are water-logged or flooded, and are without electric power and water as I type.

My husband and I made certain we filled up our bath tub and a pail with sufficient water for personal use, and gathered lanterns, battery operated radios, towels, old newspapers for water leaks and sent out as many emails as we could, in the event of a blackout.

Hurricane Dean’s appearance last year lingers in my mind, when we were without electric power for four days and without our phone line for three months. Preparation is a good thing I told myself as I baked banana bread, filled ice trays with water,  made red bean soup and hauled in all  my favorite plants. I was better prepared this time and thank goodness we only suffered some minor leaks that a few trash cans catching water, towels and old newspapers solved.

I am  however very concerned about the people who will now be homeless due to houses washing away (as they say here) because I am fully aware that we will not know the full extent of the  storms damage until later this week. The sad thing is school is scheduled to re-open next week, so I can only hope that several of the schools did not loose roofs as well.

So after a week of joyful celebrations for the medal haul in Beijing our little Island in the sun is faced with heartaches.

Everything however will be alright, as Jamaicans are accustomed to set backs and are great at comebacks. Onward we all go.

Oh What A Medal Haul>From Beijing !!!!!!

Flags Flags and more Jamaican Flags.

My husband and I arrived back to the island after being gone for a few weeks to witness an atmosphere of pure celebrations. As we left the airport, we noticed that almost every vehicle we saw had flags flying from windows.
” Jamaica currently feels like Christmas is what our driver told us” as he proceeded to tell us about all the things he felt we needed to know and may have missed since we were away during the Olympics.

The Jamaicans are all very proud of the Medals that the Olympian athletes will be bringing home in a few days, and the Prime Minster The Honorable Bruce Golding, pleaded with crime dons to put down the weapons, and not embarrass the country anymore by committing more murders.

He has even said “all those criticizing how the Jamaicans celebrate individual wins at the Olympics, should ” tek wey themselves” meaning, get yourself lost.

So all is well on “the rock” as the land is called.

Jamaicans “Stir It Up” in Beijing!!!! 2008

Excitement, Excitement, Pure Excitement as things are “STIRRED” up in China !!!!!

The sun continues to shine on  Jamaica’s athletes and the celebrations will be ongoing, as the “Yardies” continue to blaze trails and win Gold in Beijing. Stephen Francis’ wonder team has been making Jamaicans proud all over the world, as this team soars day after day to make history at the 2008 Olympics.

Bolt or the “Lightning Bolt” as he is being called by the Trinidadians is enjoying himself while making history, and will indeed have the best birthday ever tomorrow. How proud I am to say that I actually saw this talented athlete run two years in a row in Kingston. He was great then, and even better now.If he needs to “showboat” as some NBC commentators  have so maliciously said, this kid deserves to react however he choses is how I feel.

How can I however forget about Asafa Powell? It is my hope that Asafa will find his inner voice to chase like he’s never chased before and grab a medal for himself. I think he deserves a medal, but he has to believe this himself and run like hell.  I am certain Jamaica will love him despite what happens, as Jamaicans by nature are loving patriotic people. One Love

I saw the following piece and wanted to share:

The father and brother of former 100-metre world ecord holder Asafa Powell is due to leave the island this morning for Beijing.

William Powell and his son Nigel are being flown to Beijing to offer support to Asafa, who is said to be in low sprits.

Asafa, who was one of the favourites to win the men’s 100 metre finals on Saturday, was placed fifth behind his countryman and main rival Usain Bolt, who took the event in a record time of 9.69 seconds.

Scotiabank is sponsoring the trip for the Powells.

Senior Vice President of Marketing at Scotiabank, Heather Goldson, said the duo is scheduled to arrive in Beijing tomorrow morning ahead of the 4×100 relay final on Friday morning.

She said it is hoped that the visit by Asafa’s father and brother will lift his spirits.

CaribbeanJobNet > Vacancies

Attached is the August list of vacancies which was recently sent to me.

Apply directly for jobs in the Caribbean via! Tell a friend!

Go to:

Can you or someone you know fill any of these current job vacancies?

Deadline               Job Title
—————-       ———————————————–
Fri, 22-Aug-2008       Human Resource Officer
Fri, 05-Sep-2008       Senior Secretary
Wed, 10-Sep-2008       Lecturer/Assistant Lecturer in Computer Science
Fri, 12-Sep-2008       Lecturer / Assistant Lecturer in Mathematics
Fri, 12-Sep-2008       Computer Information Systems Auditor
Tue, 30-Sep-2008       Lecturer in Communication Studies
Tue, 30-Sep-2008       Director – International Office
Tue, 30-Sep-2008       Lecturer / Assistant Lecturer in Social Work
Fri, 29-Aug-2008       Senior Application Developers
Fri, 29-Aug-2008       Junior Application Developers
Fri, 29-Aug-2008       Account Executive (Sales)
Fri, 29-Aug-2008       Consultants/Lecturers
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Business Development Manager
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Technical Sales Rep
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Technical Sales Manager
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       IT Support & Database Manager
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Senior Network Engineer
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Senior Nortel Engineer
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Web Application Developer / Analyst
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Senior Computer Technician
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Senior Business Analyst
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Senior Microsoft Consultant
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Microsoft Consultant
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Senior Avaya Engineer
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Principal IT Consultant
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Senior Microsoft Dynamics GP Consultant
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Senior IT Consultant
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Financial Assistant
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Portfolio Manager
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Claims Officer
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Claims Account Executive
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       V.P. & Client Development Manager
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Investment Compliance Specialist
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Senior Trust Officer
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Office Equipment Technician
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Electrical Project Manager
Fri, 19-Sep-2008       Assistant Grocery Store & Dept Managers

Full job details available at:
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Jamaicans Hunt For Gold in Beijing!!!!!

Good Times for JA!!!

Pics by:

The excitement has been high in Jamaica for the last few weeks, and the atmosphere has been one of hope and merriment, especially with recent Emancipation Day celebrations on August 1st and Independence Day celebrations on August 6th . The phrase “we likkle but we tallawah” comes to mind. This patois phrase means that while the country  may be small compared to the world, it is great in stature.Kingston, Jamaica

The world will be watching the Jamaican Olympians with intense interest, and I have to admit  that my own sense of pride and support for these awesome athletes is also extremely high.

I will be screaming and cheering along with my husband and our fellow “yardies” as Jamaicans call themselves.  My only regret is that we are currently off the island, so we will not be able to hear firsthand the neighbor’s screams and shouts of support. We will also miss the many Jamaican flags flying high. I will miss the chatter in the supermarkets and from the ladies at the roadside vegetable stands, sharing their opinions of who should win and why. I will also miss Winston, our overly dramatic gardener, whom I know will quote me bible verses upon my return about why “God ah say Jamaicans haffi win.” One has to love Jamaica this month unless, of course, a hurricane arrives and all hell breaks loose.

I had the opportunity earlier this year to tour several of the primary and high schools in rural Jamaica, where many of these athletes come from. I now have a better grasp and insight to what many of these power house athletes had to overcome to make it to Beijing, and so I hold nothing but praise.

Yellow Yam

Yellow Yam

In my mind these athletes have already won Gold medals, but they need to satisfy their fellow Jamaican countrymen, who are now boasting, “dee athlete them eat nuff yellow yam, so run and mek we proud.”

[Usain Bolt ]

Colin Channer, an extremely successful New York-based Jamaican writer, published an excellent piece recently in the Wall Street Journal newspaper on Saturday August 9th about Jamaica and its athletes.

My husband and I, both Colin Channer fans, read the piece with delight and support, as it’s great to read good things in the U.S. news about a country plagued by so many recent not- so-nice things

Read Colin Channer

Expat Shares> Positives & Negatives Of Living In Jamaica

I sent out a survey in May/ June 2008 to expats living in the Kingston area, asking them to share five positive and five negative things they would tell another person considering a move to Jamaica. While all of my responses are currently housed under the tab of Expat stories, I wanted to share this particular response as a blog post. I did not send to persons living outisde Kingston, as I had no means of connecting or finding them. Please feel free to contact me, should you want to share to this survey.

This response is from a single America male who moved to Kingston two years ago for a job.

Positives on living in Jamaica

1. The weather is beautiful year around. I really enjoy waking up every morning and having the option of running, walking or swimming in warm weather.

2. The beaches and mountains are wonderful. A one or two hour drive to the beach or mountain for me is a methodical and costly vacation for others.

3. The culture is very enriching. Jamaican food, dialect, music, and mannerisms are very colorful and unique.

4. The people are great and the women are amazingly beautiful. I am very happy with my lifetime partner, who happens to be Jamaican, but there are some gorgeous women on this island. Jamaica has a thriving upwardly mobile and progressive middle class.

5. There is a variety of restaurants, coffee/dessert shops, night clubs, bars, speak easies, spoken word, and jazz juke joints. You could never run short of adult night life.

Negatives on living in Jamaica :

1. Crime and corruption in Jamaica is pandemic. There has been a sharp increase in the number of murders and violent crimes over the past 12 months, which the Government is not equipped to address. The crime problem needs a multi-faceted approach which should include tougher policing, effective criminal prosecutions, quality education, job opportunities, combating malnutrition, etc. I believe the crime problem has the potential to destabilize the country.

2. The roads are not well maintained which could take a toll on your vehicle. Also, there are numerous road fatalities due to the widespread reckless drivers and speeders.

3. Things get done at a slow pace and there is widespread un-professionalism. I had to lower my expectations when it came to customer service because of poor service and lack of motivation. If you expect North East Coast service, you will grow increasingly frustrated and disenchanted.

4. Like many other post-colonial British/American societies, there are huge social prejudices and economic divides in Jamaica based on hue. Jamaica still suffers from many of the remnants of institutionalize and cyclical racism and discrimination. The economic, social, educational, and professional opportunities are deeply impacted by skin complexion. Jamaican society fosters and facilitates perpetual generational poverty and societal segregation. The middle and upper class plays a subtle yet effective role in ensuring that this well entrenched de-facto caste system is not easily penetrated.

5. The Government of Jamaica’s (GOJ) Gross National Product (GDP) is roughly 10 billion dollars, which is considered non-competitive and relatively small compared to the global economy. The GOJ owes millions of dollars to the World Bank and other nations. Over the past decade, Jamaica’s economy has only grown incrementally by 1 to 2 percent annually, which it has failed to keep pace with the fast growing population. As a result, the cost of living, i.e.. food, gas, real estate, clothes, etc. are over taxed and over priced.

Also, I believe that Jamaica’s real estate market is going to eventually crash due to the recent housing boom. There has been a tremendous amount of expensive real estate development in and around Kingston, Jamaica, which has created a surplus of housing. This housing boom is unexplained because normally when there is a housing boom, it is the result of an economic and financial boom followed by an increase in job opportunities and eventual migration. Unfortunately, none of the above variables exist which would justify the increase in real estate nor expensive pricing. And like the basic principal of Capitalism, whenever there is a shortage of demand and a surplus in supply, the price must drop/crash

Questions; About Future Moves To Jamaica

For the last year and a half, I have been a volunteer mentor with various on line expat exchange services, where I answer questions for expats seeking information about Jamaica. Not sure when the idea first popped into my head to do this, but I realized early on that I get tremendous enjoyment when assisting in this capacity. I often meet individuals who tell me, that they moved to Jamaica  for employment without ever visiting the country, and are now amazed at how challenging life can be in the sun.

I find the concept of moving to a country or place that I had never visited very different, but it happens. Individuals simply fall in love with whatever perceptions they have of Jamaica and the Caribbean, and often times do not have a clue about what day- to- day living is like. They may have heard Bob Marley’s music or saw high performing Jamaican athletes competing, and thought, “oh boy!” I can move to Jamaica for a better life in paradise.

While living in Jamaica is clearly doable and the land is beautiful, I advise doing extensive research before selling everything and moving here, because it is a developing country.

Expats do arrive on the island and live a pretty interesting life, but settling in can often times be a challenge for some families. The following two questions were recently posted at an expat site:

Hi! I am a doctor who is being hired by the Heart Institute of the Caribbean in Kingston, Jamaica. I need help regarding the way of life in Jamaica before I decide to stay there. What is the standard of living there? Safe housing and how much for a car? Please help….I don’t have any idea regarding living in Jamaica. Thanks.

Now, what should my response be to this person? The first thing I would tell him is  to make his first pre-arrival trip to Jamaica, to see where he will be working. Sort of like an informational interview with the management to have a look around at the conditions he will be working with,  to see whether things such as medial equipment is compatible to where he is coming from, etc. He should  also check with his home embassy to see if expats from his home country live on the island and arrange to meet as many of them as possible so he can start asking questions. He should then try to meet a few Realtors to take him around and view housing, schools, etc. In other words, a move of this magnitude should not be taken lightly.

What I would also recommend is that he download the free e-book The 10 1/2 Mistakes People Make When Moving to Jamaica, written by myself and husband Francis Wade. he should then purchase our e-book on My Move To Jamaica; both excellent resources.

Another question posted:

I am a chef living in the U.S. and was thinking of relocating to Negril for maybe a year or so just to get some new experience and have a change of scenery for a little while. I was wondering if some of the resorts would provide housing for employees or at least help with housing. How much would it be for a single male adult to stay and live decently well? What might be a starting salary at a major resort for a sous chef?

I am not sure if this individual is aware, of the current unemployment rate in Jamaica being close to 40 percent . While jobs in the hotel industry may be available, they are hard to come by. Not only will this person be competing with Jamaicans for a job, he would need to have the job before he arrives to live or secure a job within the first three months of being here, and hopefully his employers would assist in getting his work permit. A work permit for non-Jamaicans now cost $108, 000. Jamaican dollars and usually expires in two to three years. The US equivalent is $1500.  which is a recent increase from, about $500.00 US dollars.

This amount does not include the application fees and process, so individuals will need to contact the Jamaican Immigration Department and Ministry of Labor when considering staying on the island for more than a vacation. Individuals married to Jamaican citizens usually get an exemption for work permits, but the process is not automatic and could take as many as six to nine months. Again folks please do you research well.

“No problem mon” is great to here while one is on a holiday, but not when you are trying to figure out how  you will survive on half the salary you made in your home country.

From A Security Specialist Corner: On Living In Jamaica

I decided to ask a Security Consultant to share his views and some tips about living in the sun for people considering moving to Jamaica, as many are often confused by the conflicting reports.

The first thing many people here about Jamaica, is how beautiful it is, but the crime rate and violence is high. Expats here aobut Jamaica the crime rate is high in Jamaica, over 2.7 million people live here and many enjoy a good lifestyle with expats moving in and out of the country yearly. Expats are also rarely ever targeted or harmed.

The following piece is written by our specialist and his name is at the bottom of the article. Please send me a note, should you have direct questions for him.

Traveling to Jamaica:

It is always a good idea to get as much information about a country you are about to visit. For me I usually go as far as getting maps and studying the physical layout of the land, its topography and its communication systems, including roads and river ways. But probably some of the most important areas you want be updated on are the culture of the people and the crime situation as both could impact on you in very significant ways.

This article is especially directed to persons traveling to Jamaica whether it is for vacation, business or relocation. The points which will be highlighted will be general ones mostly pertaining to security; if more detailed information is required I may be contacted through this Blog.

Awareness Points:

Jamaicans in general are a very friendly people however you should endeavour not to misread that friendliness for subservience.

There is much unemployment and poverty in Jamaica at this time and therefore it is advisable that you take all precautions to secure your personal belongings, and be alert at all times so as to deter any attack on your person.

In many depressed areas especially those with high crime rate persons are very wary of strangers and so it is advisable that you keep to the beaten path unless escorted by someone familiar with the area.

Jamaicans tend to be extremely homophobic and it is therefore strongly recommended that if you are a practitioner of such a lifestyle that you do not make a public display of it.

The average Jamaican is very vocal and will often blow a lot of “hot air”. They will, however, quite often relent and even become an instant friend if you hold your ground and reason with them in a no confrontational manner. There is always the exception however and in those cases discretion must be the guiding principle.

More general points:
1. Exercise great caution when entering or exiting your vehicle. Take a few seconds to look around and decide that all is ok.

2. You are at great risk of attack in the area of your home when engaged in routine activities when your movements can be predicted.

3. On arrival at home take a quick look around to ensure that everything is normal if you have a dog that usually greets you and it does not show up be extra careful and on the alert.
4. Do not take threats lightly, report them to the police.

5. If you get a threatening phone call do not hang up, instead, try to keep the person talking as long as possible and get as much information to report to the police.

6. Never agree to receive or meet anybody for any purpose that does not give his name and state his business and never allow yourself to be driven to anyone who is not vouched for or known to you.

7. While driving always keep the doors to your vehicle locked.

8. Avoid narrow and lonely streets.

9. If you suspect that you are being followed, try not to allow yourself to be overtaken or forced off the road. Take a known detour and if still suspicious, attract attention by turning on your lights, honking your horn and drive to a police station or other safe area.

10. In the plaza always have your key in hand when you approach your vehicle and develop the habit of looking around before getting in.

11. While walking on the street, walk near to the curb facing incoming traffic. Avoid passing too close to shrubbery, dark doorways and other places of concealment.

12. If you feel you are being followed cross the street and if you continue to be followed try to draw attention to yourself.

13. If a driver pulls up alongside to ask a question, do not approach the vehicle. In particular beware of suggestion to look at a map.

14. If you find yourself in a situation with a weapon threat, do exactly what you are told.

The above list is not an exhaustive one but as was suggested I may be contacted for further information as it pertains to your special circumstance.

Major Stanley Ford (Ret’d)

Security Consultant/ Trainer

Reggae Marathon 2008 > Negril Jamaica

What a great way to see Jamaica if you are a long distance runner. This running experience will be way memorable and could rank very high on your pleasure list.

Reggae Marathon was recently tagged as one of the ten best Marathons in the world.  This incredibly organized event is hosted each year by the Jamdammers running club of Kingston. Please visit them at or visit

Travel information to the Marathon Entry Requirements A passport is best,and US citizens now need a passport as well. Some countries require a visa. Please check with the Jamaican consulate in your country of residence. Driver’s licenses are not accepted.

Health All drinking water is chlorinated and filtered. Smallpox and yellow fever have been completely eradicated. Medical facilities are average, but personnel are excellent.

Customs Belongings. No firearms, pets, flowers, fruits or vegetables. We have great fruits and veggies in Jamaica. It is illegal to take illegal drugs out of Jamaica or posses them here. * Call Kingston Airport – 924-8320 for info * Call Montego Bay Airport – 952-2850 for info

Money You may bring as much money into the island as necessary. Credit cards and travelers cheques are generally accepted throughout the island. Caution! Change a small amount of money as needed, Jamaica only allows departing tourists to change a limited amount back to foreign currencies. Pests Take this with a ‘wink’ but be wary of the insect kind, much less virulent and the human kind, trying to sell you everything from carvings to tours. The insect kind, mosquitoes succumb easily to a variety of repellents. The human responds easily to a pleasant but firm “No Thank You”.

A Few Tips * Do not follow strangers anywhere! * Marijuana is illegal to posses or use! * Street vendor food is usually fine! * Negril is one of the safest villages!

What to Wear Jamaica has a tropical climate. Shorts are always a great choice as are light pants and shirts. Chinos and a linen shirt is as formal as we get. For our beaches please remember the sun is dangerous. Put on sunscreen at least fifteen minutes before entering the sun. Use a 15 SPF rating with a good sun tan lotion.

Drugs Historically Jamaica has been famous for it’s sensimilia, a fine class of marijuana. There has also been a notion that local authorities wink at the use of marijuana or ‘ganja’, ‘erbs’, ‘weed’, ‘collie’ as it is known locally. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many innocent youngsters have had to spend time incarcerated in Jamaica for violating our laws in the possession and use of drugs.

TV & Radio Jamaica has two TV stations and nine radio stations. Cable TV is also available in almost every city and village in the island.

Post Office Almost every Jamaican village has it’s own Post Office no matter of small and intimate. Postal deliveries are fairly reliable.


Encouraged – Accepted – 10-15% usually

To Get Here * Air Jamaica * American Airlines * Spirit Air * Delta Airlines * Continental Airlines * U.S. Airways After this initial trip you may want to return, and maybe come into Kingston and run with Jamdammers the running club. Living in Jamaica means you will need a social network system very early on as most things are shared Re: word of mouth. Do visit