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Lessons from Mommy

Where all my Nintendo 64 users at? You’re in the middle of an amazing race in Mario Kart and the game freezes, what do you do? That’s right! Take out the cartridge, hit it a couple of times, blow it, put it back in, restart and: “Welcome to Mario Kart!” Well, after two intense weeks of studying for midterms I was a suck-out bag juice and I needed someone to hit restart. That someone was my mommy!

Mommy and I  spent time playing phone-tag this weekend but when we finally connected, we were on the phone for two hours talking about everything and nothing at the same time. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time and that was exactly what I needed. She finally signed up for the floral arrangement course she’d been thinking about since I left for college four years ago. I told her I was proud of her for trying something new and joked that she learned it from me. That’s when it dawned on me that I had actually gotten it from her.

My mom grew up in a poor family and even though she wanted to be adventurous she simply could not afford it. She promised herself that her children would have the life she wanted growing up and she saw that through. I had my first dance class when I was four and I always had some sort of non-academic program every year since I was 6. These included cooking classes, art classes, foreign language classes and my personal favourite, music classes at Edna Manley College. I even went to cricket camp where I realised I was not made for sports.

In my household, getting good grades was very important but my mom taught me there was more to this world than work. She planted in me a desire to try new things and watered it every opportunity she got. Now, I fertilise the product of her hard work frequently by seeking out opportunities for adventures. I’ve taken up ceramics, latin dancing, and drumming, and each activity came with a new set of challenges that made the hard work I put in totally worth it. I have an evergrowing bucket list of things I will try eventually and I promise to take you all on the journey with me.

I would like to challenge you all to try something that scares you. Promise me you will stick to it even if you think you are terrible at it. You will grow, you will improve and your confidence will increase. We all need to find that one thing we absolutely love that can let the light in our darkest days. Wi cya jus a gwan an a guh suh. There’s more to life than the 9-5.

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Witch Bus

My game plan was to take the bus from my apartment to the metaphysical store Terra Blue, and back. This was meant to be the perfect cultural experience. I would get to explore a bit of Greensboro, I would be able to figure out the bus system- a skill that would come in handy for off-campus clinical placements- and I would be exposed to a new culture.

I had everything planned and on Saturday, a little after noon, I made my way to the bus stop. I proudly boarded the bus after waiting ten minutes and watched the street signs attentively so I wouldn’t miss my stop. I came off the bus at my stop, and walked the remainder of the way to Terra Blue.

After getting lost only once, I confidently stepped into the store, where I was greeted by three cats and Sarah, the store’s effervescent owner.  I asked if she practiced Wicca and she told me she was actually a Witch. She explained that Witches practice magick by using spellwork and energies to change themselves or the world while Wicca was a religion. I asked her to recommend an item from her store for me to take with me as a souvenir and she advised that I walk around and whatever caught my eye was probably what I needed. Her rationale was, our souls know what they want but our minds get in the way.

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This sign was all over the store.

I followed her advice and explored her store. I passed daggers, pendants, pendulums, charms, herbs, incense, semi-precious stones, crystals, candles, quills, parchment and potions. I couldn’t help but be amazed that her store had much of the Witch paraphernalia I always saw on tv. I left her store with an amethyst stone for peace, an apetite stone for creativity, an opalite stone for smooth transitions and a selenite desert rose stone for strengthened mental abilities. I can’t wait to see if my soul really knew best.

I left Terra Blue and made my way to the bus stop. I spotted a man in the distance engaged in an animated conversation with either himself or a tree. Mi neva plan fi stop an ask him. I concluded that if I walked confidently and avoided eye contact then he would not see me. It did not work.

“Hello! I’m talking to you!” he yelled. Yes Jah-Jah, a suh it aguh end yah now! My heart kicked into high gear and I glanced around for the nearest escape route. He asked me for money but I told him I didn’t have any cash on me and continued walking. I survived!

When I got to the bus stop, I looked around, realized I was the only person on the street and decided to find another bus stop in a more populated area. I walked the long way around because if I ran into Mr. Tree-man I may not have been so lucky the second time ’round. I eventually found one, checked my bus tracker app and saw that the bus wouldn’t arrive for another hour.

I waited patiently in the sun and one hour and eight minutes later, I watched as my bus drove right by me. I was at the wrong bus stop. I tried to google a number for a cab and my highspeed data conveniently ran out. I was flustered. I walked to the nearest store, asked the clerk for the number of a cab company. My cab arrived in five minutes, I was home in two minutes and I went straight to bed. I was not made for this much drama in one day.

This was my most stressful adventure to date. Mastering the bus system would make me more independent as I would be able to navigate the Greensboro area more freely, but I need time to recover.

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Mr. Edward Christopher Sheeran Pt. 2

Remember when I said part 2 was coming soon… I guess I lied but it’s finally here! It would seem I was waiting for a sign and while I was walking along minding my own business, di sign gimme a rahtid lick. When I caught my breath, di sign drop kick mi!

First I got this notification on Twitter:

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Although it’s not really him, friends, mi hawt cudn’ tek it! Then today as I was walking to class, I walked by a very good looking red-headed fellow and I knew today was the day I’d write Pt. 2


I wouldn’t say I’m overly superstitious but sometimes you come across just the sign you’d been looking for and you can’t do anything but jump at it. Well, the week before my birthday my classmate mentioned how Ed Sheeran was coming to Charlotte in two weeks and James Blunt, whom she fancies, would be his opening act. She was upset she couldn’t buy the tickets yet because her daughter might have a football(soccer) game that same day. Without skipping I beat, I told her to buy me a ticket when she bought hers. This opportunity was not to be missed.

Just like that, I was going to see Ed! It didn’t feel real. It still doesn’t feel real.

On September 3, my classmate, her two daughters and myself drove for two hours blasting Ed Sheeran and James Blunt tunes from Greensboro to the Spectrum Center. Once there I joined the lengthy souvenir line. Of course I had to get a shirt… and an armband.

I missed half of Jame’s Blunt’s set, but of what I caught he’s gotten himself another fan. Check this song out.

Once James Blunt left the stage there was an everlasting break to take his band of the stage and replace them with… A LOOP PEDAL! *squeals!*

Yuh eva smile suh haad yuh lip split? A me dat. I had watched this chubby red-head perform my favorite songs on my computer screen so many times and now here he was in front of me in person. I can’t find the words to describe how magical the moment was.

Pree dis! After his first song, Ed had a heart to heart with us. He told us how he’s been to concerts before where he felt like he had to hold back because he didn’t want anyone to judge him. Then he told us to look at the person beside us and said we’d never see them again so we were to sing as loudly and as off-key as we wanted to because we paid to have a good time.

I didn’t need to be told twice! Mi seh, mi gwaan bad ussi. I swear it’s like he knew I was in there. During his performance of “Don’t” he teased a sample of “New Man”, one of my favourite songs from Divide (because Ed speaks in patois <3).  A little later in the set he says

“I’m going to play what I think is one of the best love songs I’ve ever written. I don’t normally play this one but it’s Labor Day tomorrow so why not.”

Then he started playing “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here”, my absolute favourite song on the album. Did I cry? I can neither confirm nor deny.

He played songs from all of his albums but the highlight of my night had to have been hearing him say “They say I’m up and coming like I’m fxxking in an elevator” live. Monumental! Stupendous! Amazing! Teddilicious! Sheerantastic!

Alright, I’m done fangirling. The whole show was phenomenal, but I don’t think I’ve met my Ed Sheeran quota. I need to see him live a few more times. I really can’t believe this happened. To this day, I occasionally stumble upon a video or recording from the concert and my heart skips several beats. I was there. I saw him. I must see him again.

(Fun-Fact, YouTube’s autoplay just started playing Ed Sheeran’s “Tenerife Sea”, weh mi tell yuh bout sign?)

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Jamaicans Know How fi Live

I guess I’m feeling a bit homesick today, so I’ve been daydreaming about the wonderful summer vacation I had. Can’t wait til I’m back home!


This summer, my mom, my dad, a couple of good friends and I loaded into the car and set off on a journey across Jamaica. Our destination was Boardwalk Village for the tday.tmrw concert featuring Protoje, Sevana and Runkus. We left home at noon, and arrived in Ocho Rios at about 2. We splashed around for a bit at Dunn’s River, did touristy things, had lunch and then we embarked on the second leg of our trip. Next stop, Negril! *cue music*

Yo, Negril far enuh! We were in the car for 3 hours straight and it did feel like wi neva wudda reach. We made it to the concert just in time to see the first act, Runkus, take the stage and it was a fantastic show but that’s not really what this post is about. The day after the concert, we become full-fledged grung tourists. I had only been to Negril once when I was 5 and after the long ass car ride, I don’t think I’ll be back anytime soon so I had to make the most of it.

Every stop we made reminded me; Jamaicans know how fi live! We are a resilient people and that is what this post is about.

7 Mile Beach, Negril

First up was the craft vendor on the 7 mile Beach. So we were walking along minding our business when this man walks up to my father and says: “Long time mi nuh see yuh!” Mind you they had never met before so technically he was right. The man then guides us to a shady spot and starts promoting his friendship bracelets.

Friends, I kid you not, two seconds into our conversation I looked down on my wrist and one of his bracelets was on me. When I looked back up he was asking me for money. I forgot the word no existed. I paid the man his money and four months later, as I sit here typing, I still don’t know how the bracelet ended up on my wrist. But eh, artisans haffi mek a money too and dis man, did know how fi live.

Middle Quarters, St. Elizabeth

Now you can’t pass through St.Bess without stopping at Middle Quarters for peppa shrimp. Our car pulled up on the roadside and they were off! There was a mad dash to the car and hands holding bags of shrimp poked into our window.

Da one ya fi ‘undred 

Then our minds had to work overtime to connect that voice to one of the ten hands in front of us. Oh the chaos! I LOVE IT! So then we tried to support everyone but there was only so much cash. We had to tell someone no 😦

Yuh really nah buy from me? An’ a me run di hardes’? Mi all nearly jap

We’ll carry more money next time, but I’m not worried because the vendors at Middle Quarters all know how fi live. I mean seriously, dem run afta speedin’ cyar like dem tink dem a iron man.

Melrose Hill, Manchester

Somewhere between St. Bess and Manchester a hell rain did buss. Mi seh ,wi drop inna one pothole crater that was masked by the rainwater and di drop did sound expensive. Brejin, mi neva know pothole cudda mek suh. But I digress.

Because it was raining so heavily, we thought our stop at Melrose Hill would have been much more tame than our Middle Quarters stop.

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People ran out balancing bwail cawn, roast cawn, roast yam, saltfish , juice and dem umbrella! The vendors at Melrose hill know that come rain or shine money haffi mek! Dem know how fi live!

Times are hard but day in day out my people are doing what they have to to keep food on the table. So if you’re a DJ, musician, artisan, vendor, lawyer, doctor, student, electrician, whatever it is, keep putting in the hard work! Why? Because, Jamaicans know how fi live.

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Mr. Edward Christopher Sheeran Pt. 1

Friends, tonight when the sun sets I want you to go outside and find the beautiful moon in the night sky. If you look just above the moon, you will see a star shining brightly. That star, will be the brightest star you see tonight and may even be the brightest star you will see in your lifetime. That star… is me. Mi seh mi ova di moon!

In 2012 while my dad was scrolling through the channels one day, he paused at some award show. I watched as this red headed kid walked on stage with a guitar. He was simply dressed in a green t-shirt and jeans. He looked shy and awkward and I was intrigued. My dad promptly changed the channel. I yelled and he quickly switched back. I had no clue who the kid was but as he sang I knew I had to learn more about him.

And out of all these things I’ve done, I’ll love you better now

I memorised that one line of the song and as soon as he walked off the stage, I googled the lyrics and found out his name was Ed Sheeran. I played “Legohouse” for hours on repeat, but I eventually ventured off to songs like “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You”, “Drunk” and “Kiss Me”. I dived deeper and deeper into his music and then the music gods granted me Ed’s full + Deluxe album on youtube. That night, I fell asleep halfway through the album and got the best sleep I’ve ever gotten in my entire life.

I have never been able to fall asleep while listening to music and somehow this Ed Sheeran kid had managed to knock me out. Don’t get me wrong, the album was not boring, it was the opposite. It was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. He was a musical genius. His songs were beautifully written, his voice was soothing and the instrumentals were dynamic and complemented the meanings and emotions behind each song perfectly. Let’s not forget his accent! Oh Lawd that accent!

In 2014, Ed released Deluxe album and I decided to buy both it and the + Deluxe album. I played them on repeat and compared them to see how much he had grown as a musician. I knew it was time to see him perform live, so I bumped him up to #1 on my bucket list. Unfortunately, he’d only tour near Rochester whenever I was in Jamaica. I had to settle with watching his concerts on YouTube but I wanted more!

My heart all but broke at the end of 2015 when he tweeted he’d be going on hiatus for a year. I played his albums on repeat and each time a new song became my favourite. A year without Ed flew by quickly and in January 2017 when he tweeted he was back and an album was on the way, I lost it. Fun fact, Divide Deluxe album was the first album I pre-ordered, the love is real.

Each album was better than the last. This summer, I introduced my mom to her future son-in-law and she approved. I told her one day I’d see him live and she told me to start saving. Little did I know, I’d be seeing him one month later and that my friends is why I’m over the moon.

To be continued.


Side note: I didn’t plan for this to be a two part story but then I decided to give the history of my love for Ed and well, now here we are! Not to worry, part two will be here sooooon!

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Yum Yum Best Ice Cream & Hot Dogs

I left class in a daze as I followed the sweet smell of sauted onions to a simple brick building with white roof. I looked up and saw a sign that read: YUM YUM.  I stepped inside and took in the small building. On my left were families chatting happily between bites of specialty hot dogs and ice cream. On my right was a counter with staff members buzzing about taking orders and handing over brown paper bags with food. There were signs all over that said Cash Only.

I gazed at the menu and the only thing on it I recognized was the word hot dog. It was my turn to cash and I panicked.

“I’ll have one hot dog, All the Way.” I said confidently.

“One more All The Way!”  The cashier yelled back to the other workers.

I had no clue what an All the Way consisted of, but in case you haven’t noticed I have a tendency of jumping in with both feet.

While I waited for the mystery hot dog, I struck up conversation with the gentleman beside me. He bought a drink called “Cheerwine” which I had never encountered in my 22 years. Apparently the drink is native to North Carolina. I asked him what it tasted like and he looked at me like I had just insulted his mother. He handed me his unopened bottle and told me it was mine now.  Mi tell him ‘undred tanks!

I took a sip and it was magical. “It tastes like Dr. Pepper, without the doctor!” The small crowd that had gathered to witness the loss of my Cheerwine virginity chuckled.

Shortly thereafter, I was handed my hot dog so I parted ways with my new friends. When I got back to my room, I greedily ate my All the Way which was a hot dog covered in on mustard, chilli, onions, and slaw. It wasn’t the best hot dog ever, but I’m biased by Jamaica’s Bad Dawg hot dogs. There was something about the combination of the toppings though that made me want to go back for more. Maybe next time, I’ll actually try their ice cream too haha!

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Good Bye New York, Hello North Carolina Pt.II

Welcome back friends! Not sure how you got here? You can find Pt.I here.


We piled all of our stuff into the rental car, programmed the GPS, and we were off. We would be at our hotel in 10 minutes. Our GPS’s name is Nuri by the way because my family names everything. Anywho, daddy opted against updating Nuri before we left home because he did it in May when he came to my graduation. Not much could change in 4 months right?

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We’re driving along and we’re on a highway that Nuri doesn’t recognise. Now she a work overtime and a recalculate out hell and we a drive pon a road weh lead to God he knows where. We decide to get off at the the next exit so we kept going; ever ready for an adventure.

The further we go along this highway though, I’m noticing less and less cars until, I kid you not, it’s just us. Never before have I encountered a highway with just one car. A wah dis? We finally make it to an exit and by this time our ETA is 40 minutes. I assess our surroundings and mi feel mi hawt drop right dung a mi belly bottom.

If I thought I was in country before, Ha! Friends, there were tractors. Tractors!!! Naturally, I start panicking. I have an iron-tight grip on the arm rest and my breathing is shallow. My eyes are darting from one side of the road to the other. This was how I would die. As far as I was concerned, there was a snake seconds away from infiltrating our car.

Never in the history of ever has telling a person to calm down ever aided that person in calming down but that’s exactly what my mother did. She gave me no choice… I bit her head off. She has since recovered.

I soon realised that snakes would be the least of my worries. The trees we passed were covered in huge ass spider webs. Whatever mek dem web deh, cudda draw weh smaddy. I did not sign up for this. These are the kinds of things schools should put in their brochures!

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What the hell is that?

Nuri eventually guided us the hotel. It was in a heavily populated area with an abundance of cars. I knew I’d be safe there for the night so I knocked right out. It has been two weeks since and thankfully, there hasn’t been any snake sightings.

Phobias are exhausting.

Stay tuned for more adventures!

By the way, check out my new logo!!!

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