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Oye Deh Sah!

Hey friends!

It’s been a while, I know and boy do I have a story for you!!!

You’re going to have to wait a little longer though because I’m swimming in a sea of assignments and I’m barely managing to keep my head above water. Barely managing is better than not managing at all though, so I’ll take that and run with it.

Consider this an “Adventures of a Jamaican Girl in North Carolina Telling You What You Needed to Hear on Thursday but I’ve Been Busy So You’re Hearing It On Tuesday” post. That title kind of reminds me of a Panic! At the Disco song.

I was scrolling through Twitter and stumbled upon the quote below and I knew I had to share it. Suh mi drop mi homework an’ fly pon RerdPress come mek di post  (I really only opened a new tab).

Trying times are not the times to stop trying

Well folks, that’s all for now. Mi gawn back guh try some more.

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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.

No.gif

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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The Story of the Puss Roll

Today I’ll be returning to my Yaad (Jamaica). I love being in airports but this wasn’t always the case. I felt it was only fitting that I shared the traumatic story of my first time being at the airport. I wrote the story a year ago for my public speaking class. Enjoy!


Crisp white socks; folded neatly at the ankles. Shiny black shoes. A denim dress that flared at the waist with a rounded lapel. My mother completed the look by putting my hair in four evenly parted braids. There wasn’t a crease in sight or a hair out of place. I was ready. I was 1½ years and I was ready for my first trip by airplane.

While my mother and father juggled two suitcases and my diaper bag, my lone responsibility was to guard my stuffed kitten. This was no ordinary kitten. Pink fur, a white under belly and a long white string, courtesy of my grandmother, for a leash. After a 30 minute journey, we arrived at the airport. Mommy kissed daddy goodbye. He then kissed me on both cheeks and gently clunked our foreheads together so I wouldn’t feel left out. It was just mommy, me and my kitty now.

Despite what my mother would say, I was a well behaved baby. I walked beside her in silence taking in the hustle and bustle of the airport. This was probably my first introduction to the concept of “waiting in line”. That’s the thing with airports; lots of opportunities to wait in line. We had to queue to check in our luggage, then we had to queue for the security check.

We waited and waited until it was finally our turn. Mommy lifted her carry on and my diaper bag onto the conveyer belt. While mommy balanced monitoring her bags and conversing with security, some woman snatched my kitty. My jaw dropped as I tried to process what happened. I looked to my mother, waiting for her to defend me but she was busy with the bags. I had to take matters into my own hands.

In one swift motion, I dropped to the ground with a splat. I simultaneously kicked my feet, exposing Huggies underneath so they knew I meant business. I kicked and rolled to the right and I kicked and rolled to the left. They still hadn’t returned my kitty. I added a new move to my tantrum combo. I hollered. I had a pair of lungs and I knew how to use them. The entire airport waited with baited breath for my stuffed animal to be returned.

The conveyer belt had swallowed my kitten and was taking its own sweet time with the digestion process. I was kicking and rolling and screaming at the top of my lungs. My mother was frozen in shock and appreciative of the sympathetic looks she was receiving. The poor attendants ran from my mother to myself then the conveyer belt, unsure of what to do next.

The scanner finally spat out my kitty and the security personnel passed it around like a game of hot potato to get it back to me as quickly as possible. The same woman who had taken my toy returned it and apologized profusely. I stopped my tantrum mid-roll, got up and took it from her. Wearing one shoe, I hopped passed my mother. She scrambled to retrieve my other shoe and any other article of clothing I might have dislodged in my fit.I didn’t know where I was going but I knew it was away from catnappers, stuffed toy eating machines and baffled onlookers. My mother chased behind me and swiftly pulled the back of my dress down to cover my diaper.

Despite what my mother would say, I was a well behaved baby… unless provoked.

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globalFEST On the Road: Creole Carnival

Imagine my surprise when I saw that a Jamaican entertainer I knew was coming to my little college. I wanted to ask him the question so many have asked me: How did you find your way here?

My college was one of the stops of the globalFEST tour. The tour featured performances from Brushy One Sting, a Jamaican man who plays a guitar with one string; Casuarina, a samba group and Emeline Michel, “The reigning queen of Haitian song”. I knew I had to be at the show just to give Brushy my support. However, I enjoyed it even more than I had anticipated.

The show opened with Emeline and even though all her songs were in the Haitian French Creole, her soulful voice conveyed her powerful messages in a way words never could. It is for this reason that I say music is a universal language.

After Emeline and her band left the stage, a small, slender man in a hat took their place. He had no backing band, just one guitar with one string. Brushy One String didn’t need much more. He captivated the audience with his powerful voice and equally powerful messages of love and unity.

Casaurina was last to take the stage. They played and sang traditional Brazilian songs and once again language did not create a barrier. Their music conveyed happiness and sadness effectively. Once they were through with their set, Emeline and Brushy returned to the stage for the grand finale. Together, they sang Bob Marley’s Get Up Stand Up with a Samba twist. They brought everyone to their feet and received thunderous applause for their amazing performance.

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Yes Grandma!

Wanty wanty nuh get i’ and getty getty nuh want i’

Translation: Those who want it the most won’t get it and those who get it in abundance won’t want it/ appreciate it.

If you have ever been in a position where you watched someone waste something knowing in your heart that if you had half of what they did you would put it to better use, then this is an expression for you. This saying pretty common  in Jamaica. There is even a song about it.

Thanks for stopping by!

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