Tag Archives: Jamaica

Heights by Great Men…

As National Heroes Day approaches in Jamaica, the theme for this year’s celebrations “A Great Heritage…A Great Legacy” got me thinking. Not many of us Jamaicans really know why we celebrate our National Heroes each year. Not many Jamaicans can relate to the struggle of the times the heroes lived in and can appreciate the feat they accomplished in their own ways.

Earlier this year I had the privilege of hiking to the Blue Mountain peak in Jamaica. This was my second time hiking to the top but my first time hiking it in daylight. Climbing 7,402 ft to the peak is no easy feat but this time I had been exercising leading up to the that hike date so that the task would not be insurmountable.

Among the clouds at the Blue Mountain peak, Jamaica.

It took several hours to get to the peak and on more occasions than one I felt like the peak could not be reached and I would never stop hiking. In those moments I thought of my National Heroes, two in particular and what it must have been like for them to have done something similar to this. Nanny of the Maroons and Paul Bogle hiked and walked for miles and days but that is not something often spoken about.

Nanny of the Maroons is known as the Warrior Queen who outsmarted British soldiers and fought to maintain her people’s freedom. Paul Bogle is known as the peasant farmer who after not getting an audience with the then Governor, Edward Eyre, started a rebellion that led to more favourable conditions for Jamaicans of that time.

Yes, they both did what we said they did but on this particular day in May of 2017 I put myself in both their shoes. Paul Bogle saw the injustices being met out to his fellow brothers and sisters and wanted to do something to help especially since (albeit marginally) he was in a position to help. Imagine the food shortage and drought that was being faced. I imagined walking in the hot sun (and oh, how the sun can be hot) 45 miles (a little over 72 km) from Stony Gut to Spanish Town. I imagined being thirsty and hungry and not having enough food to fully satisfy me. I imagined sweating and starting to smell a bit. I imagined how the stone would be jabbing and hurting the soles of my feet with each step I took. I only imagined that last part thinking Paul’s shoe was his ‘Sunday best’ and that he wouldn’t walk the soles out on such a long journey. He definitely did not have hiking boots or sneakers like I did. I want you to feel that and then imagine how it would feel to arrive in Spanish Town after all that walking, only to be told that the Governor has no time for you, you peasant. Listen to me. How Bogle kept his cool to not start a rebellion right there and then is worthy of commendation.

I imagined hiking through the dangerous terrain of the Blue Mountains, no trail to follow, with babies, children, elderly people and those who were sick or injured. I imagined being the one that everyone looked to for guidance and assurance that “it’s not too far now” when it would take weeks to get to our destination. I imagine having to carry a child in my arms as I climbed. I imagined having to lift a person up who couldn’t manoeuvre the terrain well. I imagined hearing the constant complaints of tiredness, thirst and hunger. I imagined hearing the cries of the babies who were just frustrated with the constant movement. I imagined having to stop or slow the pace to facilitate someone who had fallen and badly injured themselves on the path I led them. I imagined it raining and my only shelter being the leaves of trees. How did she not give up? How did Nanny not throw in the towel and say it was all too much for her to deal with? I can only guess that after all that she endured with the Maroons as they moved cross-country gave her even more determination for it to not all be for naught.

At the top, the feeling of it all being worth it; the feeling of it now coming to an end, welled up in my chest. I took a moment and looked around and saluted Nanny and Paul Bogle for digging past the voice that says we can’t do it or that it is too much for us to handle. I saluted them because:

  1. I can now relate to what it was like to have done one thing they did in their lives and appreciate it was not easy and no small feat.
  2. They embodied spirits living in us today, justifying our strength as a people – as a Black race.
  3. It doesn’t have to be National Heroes Day for me to pay respects to my heroes.

What our Heroes did was to ACT. They acted get the change they wanted to see instead of just talking about it. That is why they are our Heroes.

If you are Jamaican having trouble relating to our National Heroes or understanding why they are recognised as heroes, try walking in their shoes. Take some time to do something they did and strip away the luxuries we enjoy today.

Which Hero do you most relate to and why? tell me in the comments below.

Onward!

Sugarplum Box: Tropical Jamboree

Get Excited!
Thats the tagline of Sugarplum Box and boy was I ever for this one!

This box is my third and I can say the excitement is way up with each. They definitely know how to build anticipation.

The Tropical Jamboree Box featured several things and I was excited about this box for more reasons than one (Are you ready for them?)

Inside the Tropical Jamboree box were:

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  1.  #Corkcicle Canteen – The best thing for this heat. Keeps drinks cold for 20 hr and hot for 25 hours (I tried it, it works)
  2. Wild Cherry BBQ Sauce #BountyAndFull – I was definitely looking forward to this one because I have a pork-lover in my life and I couldn’t wait for him to try this. As a matter of fact, the very day the box arrived, we bought jerked pork just for this sauce. And it was Awesome-sauce (yh, I said it.) Chef Kelis done did it!
  3.  Coconut Glow Bronzing Mask – I was skeptical about this because I am a woman of colour, why would I need a bronzing moisturizer? It so happens to be very sheer, mess free, easy to rinse off AANNDD smells delicious!
  4. Sugar Sunshine Soap #TheCoiffedCafe – This smells great. A natural soap that smells like ginger (and I get a whiff of sugarcane too). My only problem with this is that ants love it and it doesn’t sud easily.
  5.  2 scented Shea Body Butters #ChizzledOrganics – Opening the additional parcel to see these just made me feel like Christmas came early. Who doesn’t like brawta? Two cute little jars of whipped shea butter. My scents are Stressless and Butter Love.
  6. #PolkaDotSwim bikini wrap – I wish you could see my facial expression. I am so ready for the beach!
  7. Mini Mag with recipes and such – The mini mag was brought back for this box and (that should be an extended and) I submitted content for it which was ultimately featured. Yes! Now you can see why I was overly excited. For my full list of Must Do Activities for the summer, just give its a lil click-sy 😉

The SugarPlum Box team have out-done themselves. They ship their boxes internationally so be sure to go reserve a box for yourself.

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Sugarplum Box: Mission Possible II

Hi guys!

I know I have been MIA for a long while and all I can say is “Sometimes life throws bricks at you.”

Anyway, today I want to tell you about a local (Jamaican) subscription box service called Sugarplum Box.

Sugarplum box can only be described as a young girl’s excitement waiting to climax.  I first came across the box through Bella Blair’s unboxing and review and then later by seeing a re-posted picture of Chunchi doing something in relation to the box.

Of course my interest was piqued! I had to find out about this box and the hype it was building. The box is a compilation of lifestyle items and brands carefully sought and put together for you. The items are not known until you get your own box. The best part about it is that shipping/delivery is free and the box only cost J$3500. I found the box and inquired how to subscribe. The list had already closed but the administrator (I’m just gonna call her that) was nice enough to let me subscribe to the list for my first experience of the excitement!

I ordered a regular box. There is the option of getting your items delivered in a carton or a metal, re-usable box.DSC00320 When I opened the box I immediately smelled sweetness!
DSC00321 I was greeted by the Mission Possible II card which congratulated me and listed the items inside. I received the following things in my box:DSC00322DSC00329DSC00324  DSC00325DSC00323DSC00328DSC00327

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Items in my box were:

1. Shea Shea Bakery Strawberry Cheesecake Body Butter

2. Satin sleep mask (in my fav colour)

3. Three Farmers Roasted Chickpeas in Barbeque

4. Bronzer from Nicka-K Cosmetics (which I now use daily)

5. Ceramic handmade Grip Cup by Johnathan Castro

I am totally pleased with the box and have subscribed to others. Can’t wait to see what they roll out with over the coming months. If you would like your very own Sugarplum Box just head on over to their website and dive right in.

 

 

Photo Friday: Outside Interests

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When I thought about outside interests the first thing that came to my mind was the moon. Then I remembered that today is Emancipation Day. Today I stand with the spirit of my ancestors as they held their heads high so many many years ago as free men and women.

This is my outside interest since not only is this outside but it is outside the immediate theme of my blog. Its history.

Stop by Kay’s blog and view her beautiful pics.

Enjoy the weekend!

My mother is a teacher. She teaches Grade 3; that’s age 8 students for the most part.

As it is nearing the end of the school year, tests are administered and it is a practise (or regulation) that certain papers (those sent from the Ministry of Education) be marked by teachers from another school in the area.

My mom brought home her batch of papers to go over and see if the marks given were accurate or deserved or should be queried. I need to state here about my mother that she rarely does anything in silence. The composition/creative writing papers were first. The students had a series of pictures to write a story based off. She began to read  aloud and the story by one boy made me fall to the floor in laughter.

The pictures show 3 boys playing what would seem to be a game of cricket when they notice a bird and its nest in the tree above their heads. One boy climbs the tree while the others are saying something. The limb that the boy reaches to breaks and he falls from the tree. The remaining two boys gather and one holds his arm. The last picture shows the boy with his arm in a sling and a woman with her arms around him.

Most of the students stuck to the theme of playing a game, climbing the tree, falling and getting injured BUT this student that mom calls ‘Garvey’ spiced his story with his choice of words. The story was just too real!

Mom reads the story with his standard sentence structures and then I hear her say “He hold on to a rattin limb” I started to chuckle. She continues and I hear “Jesus! Boy, hold on to the next limb!” and “Tim put his hand on his head“. But what floored me was when the hand was discovered broken and one of the other boys said “Oh shit! We inna trouble now“.

I almost cried! Yes, he did write ‘oh shit’ granted his spelling was off. That little 8 yr old boy understood the need to preserve the authenticity of dialogue in prose. He wrote the story as he knew it would go if he and his peers were the actual characters and “Jesus!” and “Oh shit!” are real life exclamations they would use. Considering that every child is given a warning from parents when they play, his statement about being in trouble makes sense.

The story ended with “‘I am not going to play cricket again.’ said the boy. ‘Don’t worry son, you’ll play cricket again’ said his mother“.

I don’t know what the teacher who marked that story thought but my mother and I loved the honesty, use of exclamation and exclamation mark and the fact that he placed himself into the story to get essence out of the story.

No teacher tells their students that “Oh shit” is acceptable in their stories  and no one really expects it from an 8 year old. All the other stories sounded generic like text book stories but little Garvey took his from ‘textbook’ to ‘my community’.

Even though he will no longer be in my mother’s class come next school year, I hope his next teacher fosters and develops that creative writing skill he has.

 

Re-post: Will ‘Star-Boy’, K.D. Knight, prevail? | Daily Veritas

Will ‘Star-Boy’, K.D. Knight, prevail? | Daily Veritas.

We all remember the former Minister of Justice and National Security, and Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator K.D. Knight, Q.C. If not, think tall man, crown of ashy-white hair, with a stern face saying “you are pathologically mendacious”. That should ring a bell.

Take a look at my article published on Daily Veritas. Get to know a little more about the non-personal things that go through my mind. From time to time I will be posting current affairs issues on that site. Feel free to comment, like and share and start a discussion on what the outcome might be! I’d love to hear from you!

Day 29: What’s Your Favourite Time of the Year and Why?

It’s Christmas! Isn’t it everybody’s (well for those of us who don’t have to contend with snow and sub-zero temperatures)?

Why: Because *cue music* It’s the most wonderful time of the year! *bells jingling and background singers*

Ever since I was a child it has been the time of year filled with some of my best memories. It’s also the one time of the year I see majority of my family together. My family (on both sides) is pretty big and widespread but we all try to come home (to Jamaica) for Christmas.