Jamaica, No Problem!

Last month, I wrote an open letter to Jamaica out of concern for the people.  The country was experiencing a time of turmoil, chaos, corruption and violence.  The cause, Christopher Dudus Coke, the famed drug lord who was captured by Jamaican police and turned over to United States officials.  As I stated then in my open letter, one man should not and will not tarnish the reputation of an amazing island; the beautiful island of Jamaica.

IMG_0258Jamaica is simply breathtaking!  There are not enough words that can be used to describe the island’s beauty.  I had the opportunity to visit the parish of Westmoreland a few weeks ago.  I would like to take you on a trip with me through my memories.  Through my eyes, I would like to welcome you to Jamaica.

The water is cold, refreshing and healing to the body.  Most days I opted to bathe in the river/springs rather than indoors in the shower.  The fish swam and nipped at my toes, heightening my experience.  Like a tourist, I was bathing in the springs in my bathing suit.  The cars and vans would drive by honking their horns as they looked on.  Also looking on were P7081360the other women showering in the springs. While they were topless and in their underwear I was in a bathing suit.  I think assessed that I was not use to living in Jamaica’s country.

The river -the parts where people do not bathe- is also used for washing clothing and cars.  Many Jamaicans do not own washers and dryers because of the high cost. IMG_0280 Bare hands, soap, fabric softner, a clothing line and pins are the only tools needed.  Oh, and of course the sun to dry the clothes.  The “squishy squishy” sound indicates that the clothing is squeaky clean.

The trees are bright green and are bountiful with fruit.  Mangoes, green bananas, guava, breadfruit and ackee-the national fruit- were all in abundance. IMG_0205 DSCN2966DSCN3027 DSCN2938 IMG_0618

The food is picked directly from the trees and is prepared for the plate or gathered and sold on the streets or in markets.

During the week that I was there I ate very, very well.  I might have even gained a few pounds.  Curried IMG_0628 lobster and rice and peas; ackee and saltfish with fried dumplingIMG_0298, green bananas and breadfruit; escoveitch fish; cow skin soup(don’t knock it until you try it;) manish water(goat  head soup;) and jerk chicken (which is cooked on a smoked pimento wood) were some of the meals I ate.  Yum!  My mouth is watering just at the thought.

Check out my uncle’s neighbor climbing my grandpa’s mango tree barefoot. IMG_0353 Trust me, you’d climb that tree too for those juicy, sweet, east indian mangoes.

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Living in Westmoreland requires a lot of exercise and walking, at  least in the Cave district where I  resided.  Cave looks just as it sounds- lots of rocks and hills.  I saw very few obese Jamaicans while at Cave because there is so much hard-labor work to do.  Not to mention the walking up and down hills and rocky roads in scorching temperatures.  No gym is necessary.IMG_0341

My brother and I would walk approximately a mile and a half to Bluefield’s Beach on a narrow road.  The roads there would equate to a one way street with non-existent side walks.  The roads became more narrow as we traveled further up in the mountains.  Cars would overtake one another as they speed down the street even driving on opposite sides of the road, leaving my brother and I to run into the bushes until the cars passed.

But when we finally got there, the walk was worth it.  I will never step foot in New York’s Jones Beach again.  The water was clear and the sand soft.  I could very well get used to this life.

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What I can’t get used to is all the mosquitos, red ants and bullfrogs.  But those insects and reptiles come with the island so  maybe I can work around them.

I observed no violence, no chaos, no fear and no turmoil as portrayed world-wide through television sets and internet screens last month.  Jamaica seems to be recovering.  Don’t just take my word to it; go and see Jamaica for yourself.

Jamaica, No problem!

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19 responses to “Jamaica, No Problem!

  1. Wow! I feel as though I was there along with you…Great job sis! Continue to make me proud.

  2. Well written Taisha! The memories, the photos, and most of all being there with the whole family. Let’s try to make it back next year for the family reunion.

    • Chris, is that really you? Wow! My first comment from you. I knew writing about Jamaica would reel you in. It was a great experience and I hope we can experience it again next year. Although you vowed never to come back. As always, thanks for reading!

      • If the reunion is on and YOU go, then I’ll bend my rule/vow to never return. How’s that?

  3. This is so breath taking and beautiful! Girl u need 2 take this seriously I am loving it ! U have talent

  4. Omg! You make me want to go right now. Oh, but I am. Good job sis. You need to help me write my book,lol.

  5. Love Jamaica, I stay in orange bay, portland at a place called Almond lodge. I had a wicked time, and would suggest that anyone staying on that side of the island drop into Almond Lodge, trust me you won’t regret it. And when you’re there have a rum for me…..

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