Downtown Kingston

This is a video done by an expat Ria Bacon back in 2006. She has since moved on and is no longer in Kingston..

It is now April of 2017 and unfortunately, Downtown Kingston still looks pretty much the same way. Digicel a large International company, recently moved it’s headquarters to the area in hopes of revitalizing it all…I think many are hopeful that new changes will come to this area over the next few years.

Homophobia in the Caribbean varies widely:

For those considering a move to the Island of Jamaica, be mindful of  ongoing  homophobic attitudes.

Read the following post from:  Caribbean 360.com forum.

HAVANA, Cuba, Tuesday May 17, 2011 (By Dalia Acosta) – While homosexuality is punishable by law in nine Caribbean island nations, gay activism is increasingly taking root in countries like Cuba.

“The situation in the Caribbean today is one of contrasts,” Gloria Careaga, co-secretary general of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), founded in 1978 and with close to 700 member groups in over 110 countries, told IPS.

Differences are greatest between the Spanish-speaking and English-speaking areas of the Caribbean, Careaga, a Mexican psychologist who is also in charge of the Latin American and Caribbean region (ILGA-LAC), said by email on the occasion of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Tuesday May 17.

Careaga said “clear” signs of progress were the work of Cuban institutions in favour of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and of strengthening their groups, the growing presence of studies on sexual diversity in Puerto Rican universities, and the emergence of lesbian organisations in the Dominican Republic.

However, “the English-speaking Caribbean seems to be unable to shake off the influence of Victorian morality, and not only maintains laws that criminalise gays and lesbians, but also argues the case for homophobia, for instance in Jamaica,” she said.

A national survey carried out in Jamaica by the University of the West Indies in 2010 found that 89 percent of respondents were homophobic. The study polled 1,007 adults from 231 communities in the island nation.

Jamaican courts often sentence men who have sex with men (MSM) to prison terms with hard labour.

Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago ban relations between same-sex couples, especially men. Penalties for this crime vary between 10 and 50 years, depending on the laws of each country.

Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica and Saint Lucia only punish male homosexuality while allowing, or simply making no pronouncement on, lesbianism. Since 1976, Trinidad and Tobago has even forbidden homosexual persons from entering its territory.

Institutionalised homophobia is also a health problem. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) indicates that penalisation of homosexuality in the Caribbean is one of the main obstacles to controlling the epidemic that affects some 240,000 people in the Greater and Lesser Antilles.

Against that backdrop, the few groups and individuals fighting for social acceptance of sexual diversity come up against a high degree of homophobia and the risk of hate crimes. They can even be accused of illegality, even though the constitution defends the universal right to free association.

Wilfred Labiosa, a Puerto Rican activist who lives in the United States and is visiting Cuba to take part in the Fourth Cuban Day Against Homophobia, told IPS that the region’s major challenge is to consolidate unity among people struggling for respect for freely chosen sexual orientation and gender identity.

In socialist Cuba, which lived through several decades of institutionalised homophobia, outstanding efforts have been made by institutions and civil society sectors to raise public awareness in favour of the rights of all persons, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We want a new society,” said Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro and head of the state National Centre for Sex Education (CENESEX), during a May 10 conference on “Why a Cuban campaign against homophobia?” Fighting this problem is part of the struggle against all kinds of discrimination, she emphasised.

The experiences of Cuba and Puerto Rico, which hold around four Gay Pride parades, including educational activities, every year, should be disseminated throughout the Caribbean LGBTI community, Labiosa, a leader of [email protected], the National Latino/a LGBT Human Rights Organisation in the United States, suggested.

But factors like the criminalisation of homosexuality in nine English-speaking Caribbean island nations, and Belize and Guyana, and the lack of historical links between the region’s peoples mean that sexual rights activists remain dispersed in the region, he said.

Labiosa, a psychologist, said that so far, exchanges between civil society organisations in the island nations of the Caribbean and other countries have been “informal and personal.” In his view, this form of contact is more effective than institutional links in terms of building concrete action in favour of the LGBT community.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) bloc hosts the Regional Meeting of LGBT activists from member countries, a space where proposals for sexual rights and HIV prevention can be made.

The United Gays and Lesbians Against AIDS Barbados (UGLAAB), the Jamaican Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) and the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO) of Trinidad and Tobago all converge there with other activist groups.

In 2010, ILGA-LAC was able to bring together eight activists from eight different countries where homosexuality is still a crime, at its biennial conference held in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba.

“We have established increasingly close ties with LGBT organisations in the Caribbean,” said Careaga, praising the work of activists who, “with our support and recognition, maintain an active and courageous presence, organising themselves and carrying out public demonstrations, in spite of the risks.”

The achievements of the activist community, according to Careaga, include blocking performances by musical groups who foment homophobia through their song lyrics.

“In spite of the blinkered attitudes, we are closely monitoring the actions of governments and we seek dialogue with their representatives at intergovernment forums. We hope one day these efforts will lead to the repeal of those laws that penalise LGBT persons,” she said. (IPS)

From Caribbean360.

Humorous Jamaican Men> One Love

Last week I had the pleasure of spending a few days outside of Kingston the city, and was in Ocho Rios which is what they call “the country” here on the island. Most places outside of Kingston is generally labelled as ” the country, he or she is from the country”

I have never been particularly fond of Ocho Rios, mainly because I  have often felt that I am hassled far to often by men as I walk through the streets. To make matters worst, about three weeks ago there was an article in the Sunday newspaper discussing the exact topic, about men hassling the tourist on the streets. Something needs to be done about it, is what the article concluded.

Jamaica wants to succeed in branding itself as a sort after tourist destination, and the tourist board realizes, that the locals living in the tourist towns who attempt to sell goods or services, will need some sensitivity training on how to approach potential customers/ clients.What can be done is the a real ongoing question.

So last week while doing some banking etc. in Ocho Rios, I was approached by about five different men in less than 10mins. offering me everything thing but the kitchen sink. The sentences are as such;

“Queen, yuh wah ahh taxi” ( Do you want a taxi)

“Yuh wah Ganja” (Do you want Ganga-weed)

“Yuh want ahh man, if not now mummy then maybe lata” ( would you like me to get you a man, if not for now honey, maybe for later)

I was amazed and walked to my car shacking my head. While these men may think it’s appropriate behavior the tourist may not think so is my point….

Women moving to this soil, will need to  quickly adapt and navigate these types of behaviors. You may initially find these sentences  inappropriate or disrespectful and you could choose to be miserable, but learning to ignore the tirade is perhaps best. I generally smile and say ” no thanks” as firmly as I can…. or “no thanks Sir” or ” no thanks Big Chief” anything to throw them off and bring laughter. All this is done while briskly walking away, but I’ve have found that laughter can generally diffuse these characters.

I read an article today that supported my ideas about how some of the local men speak to women on the streets. I was not wearing anything tight or clingy was my immediate thought, so why this trouble;

A Jamaica woman shares her own ideas on the given topic : “http://www.jamaicans.com”
Lyrics-De Jamaican Way
By Darnatz Darnatz
Published Apr 4, 2011

I have always been amazed at how bold, bright, brazen and bumptious our Jamaican men are when it comes to dropping lyrics. I am convinced that the things that women have to endure from some of these men happen only in Jamaica.

Now if you thought I was talking about the regular “browning”, “empress or “my size” that some men use to get a woman’s attention, then you would be wrong. I am talking about those men who are actually convinced that they have what it takes to make a woman give them their number.  What makes it even more ridiculous is that when you look at the type of man calling to some of these well-put-together women yuh jus waan pap up, cause nowhere inna him wildest dream would she even give him the time of day, but does he care.

One of my earliest experiences was at the tender age of sixteen when I was keen on showing my “belly-skin” and was proud of the fact that it was cute.  Now here I was walking in Half Way Tree minding my own business when a man comes up to me and says, “Bwai baby, mi woulda drink some rum outta yuh navel enuh”. Can you imagine the horror? Not only was I embarrassed but I was also furious because even if I were going to engage in any romantic liaisons, I sure would not want anyone to drink rum from my navel.  I wondered couldn’t he had said wine or some other drink, but rum-so not sexy. But then again, rum is the choice drink of many Jamaican men, so he was simply staying in familiar territory.

I thought that things couldn’t get any worse, but over the years men have said some things to me that have made me blush and I sure could not repeat them here for fear of making yuh eyelash curl up-so mi ago keep it PG-16.

Gotta luv the Island….

Some years ago I was at Hellshire, relaxing and trying to complete a chapter for my upcoming exams when a man who sells fish and festival came over to me and said “Babes, mi a watch yuh from ova dey so. How you do? I quickly mumbled “I’m okay” hoping that he would get the message and leave me alone. But he was persistent. Next thing I know missa man is telling me “yuh know seh mi can tek care a yuh. Is a man like me yuh want inna yuh life”.  For the first time, I took a good look at him and it was all I could do from laughing out loud.  I wondered if he intended to maintain me on the money he made from his livelihood, cause my studies no come cheap.  He also didn’t seem put off by the fact that I was married and that my husband was swimming a few feet away.  He even suggested that he could be the ‘man pan di side’ and kept insisting that he was the right man for me. Now can you imagine me exchanging my good good husband fi him-no sah. Eventually, I had to let him down easy and I just silently laughed at the episode.

If that weren’t bad enough, I made the mistake of going out in the front yard in a very short shorts some time ago and almost immediately a man named Blacka who has no abiding city and who literally hangs around construction sites in the hope of getting a job walked by and said “Psst, sexy-yuh look good enuh. A shoulda you a my ooman”. I began to cringe because Blacka no stay prappa yuh nuh and I wondered if that was the kind of man I was attracting.  Yuh know seh mi go in go tek off di shorts caah mi couldn’t tek another lecherous soul like Blacka lusting afta mi.  But later when I had some time to think it over I realized that Blacka was just one of many as there are many Jamaican men who nuh have dry trash inna dem name but believe that they can get any Miss World.  I applaud their ambition.

Enough about me though, here are a few of the things that have been said to some of my girlfriends.

“Yuh machine look good”
“Baby yuh know seh mi spirit tek yuh”
“Mi would gi yuh a bwai pickney now”-so romantic
“Champion”
“Yuh chassy set good enuh”

Anyway, the stories are never-ending and could fill a book, so mi ago lef some fi lata.  Tek care till next time.

Moving Back to Jamaica from a First World Country

Moving Back to Jamaica from a First World Country
By Francis Wade

Hubby Shares;

After visiting South Africa (and especially after touring the Alexandria and Soweto Townships), I am facing the fact that my Move back to Jamaica has a lot to do with moving from First World to Third.

In Johannesburg, it is possible to move from First to Third and back again at will, simply by driving a few miles down a road, or by crossing a highway. The transformation is complete, entire and total — almost like entering an airplane in one country and exiting via the stairs into another.

Everything was instantly different — the buildings, the signage, the colour of the people, the poverty, the way the cars drove, the smells, the dust. I liken it to flying from Washington DC to Accra on a direct flight.

Moving Back to Jamaica is not very different.

Essentially a Move Back to Jamaica is not only an economic move from First World to Third, but a cultural move from the U.S./Canada/England (mostly Anglo-European countries) to an African-Anglo country.

As an economic move, Moving Back to Jamaica is like moving to live in any developing country in the world. I have visited a few, and there are just ways in which life is conducted in the developing world (which happens to comprise the vast majority) that are quite common, and widespread.

From my unscientific and limited experience, I can expect the following when I visit a Third World country:

* some people living in shacks, barely subsisting
* high crime
* income disparity
* bad roads and crazy driving
* corruption in the police force
* a lot of cheap goods being sold on the streets (most from the Far East)
* power cuts
* government bureaucracy and obstacles to doing business
* illiteracy
* rampant incompetence
* heat, humidity and weak air conditioning

Basically, anyone Moving Back to Jamaica from a First World Country must deal with all of the above elements. Although they might have existed in Miami, Toronto or London, here they will undoubtedly find them heightened here.

But this is no different from Moving Back to Lagos, Mumbai, Caracas or St. George.

Each country has its nuances, but the move from First World to Third is bound to be accompanied by a culture shock that comes with a radical adjustment.

Here, we like to say “only in Jamaica,” when encountering some aspect of life that doesn’t work as it should. However, the truth is that most of what we think is hard about life in Jamaica, is harder someplace else…
For example:

* Crime > compared to > South Africa’s murders, Colombia’s internal strife. (And we still don’t have the kidnappings that Trinidad has experienced)
* Poverty > compared to > Haiti (we should be thanking our blessings)
* Corruption > compared to > Nigeria (we are ranked at #61 out of #163 in our corruption index)
* Income Disparity > compared to > Brazil (we are ranked with a score of 37 on a scale of countries with Gini coefficients ranging from 29 to 100)
* Literacy -> compared to> Pakistan (our literacy rate puts us at #99 of 173)

The point is that we are quite an average Third World Country as these combined measures go (except for our exceptional murder rate.)

And we are definitely not a First World country.

Moving Back to Jamaica means accepting wholeheartedly that a move from First to Third World is difficult for anyone who expects the new country to be like the first. I have met people who have moved here to Jamaica and struggled to fit in, not because Jamaica is particularly difficult, but just because they are unwilling to accept the difference.

They dearly miss the shopping (Target! Marks and Spencer! Canadian Tire!), the roads (I-95! 417! A1! ) and the security of living in a developed country, among other things.

The part that many seem to miss is the fact that when they leave the First World, to live in the Third, they are actually leaving the elite of humanity to join in the majority, and that the life lived in New York, Mississauga and Manchester is not typical of the way most people in the world live.

In fact, according to the website Causes of Poverty:

* Half the world — nearly three billion people — live on less than two dollars a day
* The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48 nations (i.e. a quarter of the world’s countries) is less than the wealth of the world’s three richest people combined.
* 20% of the population in the developed nations, consume 86% of the world’s goods.
* A mere 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and these 12 percent do not live in the Third World.

The hard thing to face, for those of us who left Jamaica to live in the First World, is that we often become accustomed to the privilege of living in an elite country, completely forgetting that we are enjoying a rare and unique privilege. Instead, we follow the crowd and take the wealth that is around us for granted, and come to expect it as some kind of norm.

The indignant cries that “you just can’t buy good quality clothes anywhere on the island” from those who move to live in Jamaica, therefore sound to me like a complaint based in an ignorance of how most people in the world live, rather than in an inconvenience.

A move to live in Jamaica is bound to be a hardship unless the reality of world poverty is embraced, and the fact of First World privilege is acknowledged.

I’d recommend that, long before the Move Back to Jamaica occurs, a returnee should:

* become acquainted with the statistics on world poverty
* travel to other Third World countries
* start to acquaint themselves with the depths of poverty in Jamaica

When I hear of people who have failed in their Move Back to Jamaica, and I hear the reasons, I often wonder… what did they expect?

A successful move relies on having the right kind of expectation, and being able to deal with the reality of life in this particular, not but so peculiar, poor country.

Francis Wade is the author of the blog “Moving Back to Jamaica” which can be read at http://francismove.blogspot.com. When he began the blog in 2005 the move seemed to be a matter of containers, shipping companies and customs brokers. Now, it is about much more.

Podcast: Tips On Moving To Jamaica

I was recently contacted by a blogger  from an on line forum called Jamaicans.com

He asked  if I would be interested in doing a 60 minute  telephone interview, about my life and tips to those considering a move to Jamaica.

I think this Podcast information may be helpful to those considering a move to Jamaica and may make  for some good listening!

I have been in Jamaica for abit over three years, and have a small business where I assist individual expats settle into Jamaica. I also provide assitance for Companies relocating staff to Jamaica for employment.

Listen when time allows.

http://attendthisevent.com/Classic/?eventid=9913710

Open Ackee Fruit


Learning Jamaican Patois

I had two very interesting conversations this past weekend with two different individuals about Jamaican patois, a language that is often discussed on the island.

One person, (a Jamaican) was explaining that many Jamaican children are not learning standard English because, many of them live in households where only patois is spoken and several more attend schools where many teachers also only speak patois. His point, is that by the time these children are required to take formal exams they may be in trouble, mainly because all of the standard examinations are written in standard English and the expectation is that school children will be able to respond in standard English.

The debate then, is where are these children to learn standard English. The second conversation was with an expat pal, who is currently trying to understand patois in the work place. She comes from a culture where Jamaica patois is described as ” they speak terrible” or “the Jamaicans speak badly.” I found myself explaining to her, “it’s not that Jamaicans speak badly, but they are speaking another language.” I found it all very amusing as I described this to her.This is a subject which I clearly did not fully comprehend  during my first year on the island.

Before  I moved to Jamaica, I was always aware that there were Jamaicans that I understood and some  that I did not, but I never knew the real reason until listening to the language while living here. My first experience with getting a haircut at a local barber shop in Kingston was interesting, as I remember sitting in the chair, closing my eyes and asking myself, ” what are these guys saying ? ” it honestly felt like I was in Haiti with French Creole being spoken around me. I remember asking my barber a question, and he responded by speaking very slowly in English for me to understand, but a few minutes later I could not follow his sentences. I have now come to learn that all Jamaicans are multilingual, and while some may not speak patois, they all understand it.

The switch back and forth between patios and standard English goes back to slavery days is what I was told, when the slaves were not allowed to use their native language.The rebellion against that was that the slaves simply used English when they wanted to be understood and used patois ( which has English words thrown in here and there) so passing listeners might assume the language being spoken is English.

I also remember thinking during my first year here, that women in the stores and shops were unfriendly,  because they would not respond to small talk. As I would walk into bakeries and ice cream shops, very cheerful and friendly asking ” so how are you, what is this made of, etc etc.”  I now realize  that often times, these women were not being mean or unfriendly but may have been dealing with several difficult day to day occurrences, and they would also need to respond to me by speaking English which could be a problem, so it was easier to not say anything, than to end up in a standard English conversation  with ” farrina and dem plenty questions” meaning foreign people who ask a great deal of questions. I found the following videos very interesting and wanted to share.

Visit when Time allows. http://www.jamaicans.com/speakja/talk.htm

The following vidoes are By Xavier Murphy http://www.jamaicans.com

Whose Mouse Are You read in Jamaican Patois

Dr Suess ABC read in Jamaican Patois


Downtown Kingston:What Expats rarely see

I saw the following video on facebook last week and wanted to share with you the readers. This is certainly not a side of Jamaica promoted by the Tourist board, as they usually show the beautiful beaches of Negril, Montego-bay, Portland or the panoramic views of the Blue Mountains. I cannot say I blame them, as there are so many beautiful parts of the island to showcase for tourist.

I also need to admit that I have never been to the areas shown in the video, but I here enough  daily about Uptown and Downtown people to know different lifestyles exist, and if one lives on the Island long enough, you will come across many differences as well.

People considering a move to the Island however, need to look at the Island as a whole. So research, research, is my ongoing advice.

Note: Rarely seen by tourist

This is the side of Jamaica which is often viewed by Tourist:

. .

Another Day In Jamaica: Water Lock Offs

The last  few months have  been extremely dry across most the Island of Jamaica. Not only has the heat been an issue, but many people are singing and praying for the rains to fall soon. Many places have been on water lock offs/ rationed water, meaning ” no water in taps” and if you do not own a large tank you may be in for serious trouble. We are in Kingston on a schedule where we receive water in our taps three days a week.This experience has been extremely painful, but somehow we manage, with me now rushing to accomplish as many taks as possible on the water days

Hurricanes which usually bring heavy rainfalls speared Jamaica  in 2009, which was a good thing, but now a severe drought is facing the country with two of the major dams in Kingston almost near empty.

Last year for the first time in my life, I got acquainted with the dreaded “heat rash” due to the daily heat. This was clearly not a friendly experience. This year I have now been exposed to daily water “Shut offs” as taps are on go slow with “NO” water until 6am when I hear that ” trickle, trickle”

Another fun day in the tropics is my conclusion, as in two weeks time I may forget all about dry season and water lock offs, and start worrying about too much rain/ mud slides or whatever else shows up in my space

Read On:

Jamaicans have been urged to conserve water.

KINGSTON, Jamaica,  – Water restrictions are in effect in Jamaica as the country experiences a prolonged and worsening drought. Islands throughout the Caribbean are forced to deal with a similar situation with St. Lucia and Trinidad also suffering from daily water lock offs.

The National Water Commission (NWC) in Jamaica said it had introduced the rationing programme to meet the demands of consumers as some of its reservoirs were severely affected by the dry weather conditions.

One of the main reservoirs, Heritage Dam, which normally holds about 393 million gallons, is at  25 per cent capacity and the NWC said it was “a critically low level”.

In a prohibition notice, the Commission warned customers against using water for non-essential purposes such as irrigation and watering gardens, lawns and grounds; filling or supplying tanks, ponds, baths or swimming pools other than dipping tanks for cattle, elevated reserve tanks that do not exceed 200 gallons and are connected to household sewerage or water supply system; watering or washing roadways, pavements, paths, garages, out rooms or vehicles; or any other purpose which may require the use of a considerable or excessive quantity of water.

The tightened measures are in addition to restrictions implemented earlier this month which have seen customers experiencing no water or low water pressure conditions from 8pm to 5:30 am and 10 am to 4 pm daily.

Anyone who does not abide by the prohibition notice could be fined by the court or face up to 30 days in jail.

The Office of Disaster and Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has also urged all Jamaicans to conserve water.


Jamaicans Concerned> The Haitians are coming

I saw the following Cartoon character in today’s’ newspaper ( Jamaican Observer Jan.19th 2010), in sunny Jamaica and wanted to share.

I strongly believe that the average Jamaican is very concerned and saddened by the recent tragedy which occurred for the people of Haiti,  but the following sentiment may also be on the minds of many.

Today’s Cartoon

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/tools/cartoons/Ed-cartoon-jan-19

Oh Boy!!!! was my thought.

On A lighter note;  Bob Marleys’ Memory

A Simple Jamaican Weekend In “Country”

After 6 months on the island, I learned the meaning of the phrase, “Ah going country dis weekend.” For Jamaicans, this usually means that they are leaving the bustling city of Kingston and traveling to an area where the pace of life is usually slower. “Kingston,” I tell my friends, “is a unique, dynamic city with an edge” and it’s always great to get away on a trip to the countryside.

When I now hear the word “country”, I immediately envision the coastlines of Port Maria, Port Antonio, Negril, or Treasure Beach, all places outside of Kingston where the beaches are simply picturesque and life has a way of meandering like a brook alongside mountains and narrow country roads.

I rarely ever offer to drive on our country excursions, mainly because I like being able to stare at the houses, animals, fruit stands, billboard signs or men pushing carts through the little towns. I get excited when my husband says, “Let’s go away to the country for the weekend,” as my mind fills with thoughts of shrimp soup (or “janga soup” as it’s called here), fresh fruits and  huge ripe plantains that we will be purchasing at the roadside stalls along the way.

I am not sure why I enjoy my country outings as much as I do; perhaps because it involves the interaction with the vendors who share fun stories while I purchase their produce. “Mek sure you nuh overcharge me, or sell me fruit wid worms,” I say. This is often greeted with a big smile followed by the answer, “No miss, de fruit dem nuh ‘ave nuh worm,” meaning, “The fruits do not have any worms in them.” This statement is usually accompanied with the look of, “Oh, she’s chatting Patois.”  At this point, we both silently establish that no “foolishness” will occur, and while I am from “farrin”, I know what could happen.

These transactions are usually very funny, and I will honestly say to readers that you may be overcharged while making roadside purchases during your early months of living on the island. This is largely due to the fact that an assumption is made that you can afford to pay more. The fact that they may never see you again also facilitates the hike in price. While this does not occur in all incidences, it occurs often enough for me to mention it.

This trip was particularly exciting as I was curious to see how the land or countryside had been affected by the passing Hurricane Gustav. Heavy rainfalls usually bring a change in the land mass as trees fall, boulders move around, rivers expand and entire roads disappear. Sad but all true.  We saw where several of the houses along the river banks were no longer there as they had moved or crashed into half.

As we arrived in a place called Port Maria, is was obvious that the storm had left many people feeling tired and weather beaten. The banana fields in a place called Agultavale looked wind blown.  “Bananas may soon become sparse,” flashed through my head.

Our first night included the usual great jerk chicken , roasted sweet potatoes and festival from a place called Scotchies in Ocho Rios, followed by a few good hours at James Bond beach in Oracabessa the next morning. We even had the coconut man cut open fresh coconuts for us to drink, and it was great.

We then returned to the house to consume fresh papayas and bananas I had purchased earlier at the local marketplace. “How beautiful the morning was” I told myself, as the breeze was blowing. Outside you could see large avocado pears, red ackee pods, juneplums and guineps holding firm to the branches of trees knowing that their days of survival were numbered, as the school children would be soon raiding the fruit crops.

“Life in the country is not too bad,” I told myself. I wonder what I would say had we decided to live in Ocho Rios or Oracabessa rather than Kingston. How would I have adjusted to living in the “country” of a developing country? “Oh well, I said to myself”  as the next thought was how can I go about finding expats to interview.

Last weekend was a good Jamaican weekend I concluded. In fact, I ranked it as a nine on a scale of ten as a good  time spent in beauty.

Guineps