Sweet Jamaica and The Bus Stop Mission ‘Sunchimes’

Whilst browsing online recently I came across an advertisement for an enterprise called ‘The Bus Stop Mission’, based in Salem, Runaway Bay, Jamaica. Intrigued by the accompanying images I clicked the link to see what it was all about. I was so inspired by what I was reading that I reached out to them to see how I could get involved and help spread the word. So here it is! I am really pleased to introduce them to you all and to tell the story of Sweet Jamaica and The Bus Stop Mission ‘Sunchimes’.

What is The Bus Stop Mission all About?

The Bus Stop Mission is a charitable organisation that provides a time exchange service for Jamaicans who have no employment, and as an alternative to begging. They have a variety of tasks that can be carried out in exchange for vouchers,  which are redeemable in the discount shop, or which can be used for inclusion into the various programs that they run. Adults and children can earn food, clothing, toiletries and school supplies to fulfill an immediate need, by creating the most beautiful hand-made crafts from recycled materials. These hand-made creations are then offered to local gift shops for sale, so that the profits can be used to buy more craft materials and to (re)stock the Discount Shop. I really think this is such a wonderful idea, creating employment opportunities where there are none and using recycled materials is good for the environment too – double bubble!… and Totally Genius!

Mission Statement of ‘The Bus Stop Mission’

The Bus Stop Mission will provide training and opportunities for people to learn that they are greatly blessed and their time, talents, and resources are a blessing, which can benefit themselves and others.

Most people who don’t have food to eat or clothes to wear, do have time to share. The Bus Stop Mission offers an alternative to begging. We offer low-cost food, school supplies, necessities, and classes to help you stretch your dollar as far as it will go. Those who don’t have the money to afford what we offer can trade their time and/or talents for store and program vouchers.

Our classes and activities are offered to teach new skills and help each student recognize the value of their own time and talents.

We are located at the Stop Light/Bus Stop in Salem, Runaway Bay p.o. St. Ann, Jamaica

– Each Day is a Gift from God, how we use it should honor Him!
 
Bus Stop Mission Making Crafts
Bus Stop Mission Making Crafts

How Does The Time Exchange Program Work?

The best part is that everyone is welcome to come to the Mission to exchange their time for goods or educational courses. Adults are invited to stop by the Mission to work and be involved in learning a new skill in a social and happy environment where they can earn items they need from the Discount Shop. Mothers are welcome to bring their young children with them to the Mission and can work for diapers, baby clothes and food, while their children play in a fun and safe haven. School age children can turn up before or after school and on Saturdays, before joining the Saturday Camp activities after 11:00am, where they can work towards a voucher to be redeemed for items from the shop, or a weeks worth of school lunches.

What ‘Tasks’ can be Carried Out on the Time Exchange Program?

The main activity and the one I am most excited by is the making of beautiful and original ‘Sunchimes’. These glistening, twinkling beauties are crafted using recycled tumbled (sea) glass, craft wire and beads artfully strung from a piece of wood. They are designed to not only look beautiful but also to sound beautiful. As the breeze hits them they make the most soothing and mood enhancing sounds that add to the eye catching and decorative looks. The beauty is that everyone who makes these ‘Sunchimes’ is known as an ‘Artisan’ and deservedly so. They provide a creative outlet for the artisan making the Sunchime and they are welcomed to include their name and age (if they are under 18) on the tag, so that they can get recognition for their work.

If you or anyone you know would benefit from this scheme, just turn up at The Bus Stop Mission and join the Time Exchange Program to earn vouchers too! Please pass on this information to others if you feel they would benefit from the scheme too.

There is a variety of tasks you can perform if you don’t want to make the Sunchimes, which include:

  • Sweeping, raking or picking up trash
  • Working in the vegetable garden
  • Collecting and cracking almonds from trees on their property
  • Sorting, washing, mending, ironing or folding clothes for the Discount Shop
  • Collecting glass bottles that can be recycled and used for crafts
  • Assisting with the making of meals for our kids lunch program and our wobye meal program  wobye = work for the bread you eat
  • Mentoring or tutoring a child in the homework help program
  • Making crafts that will be sold in their shop or to craft vendors around the island
  • Teaching or assisting with a Saturday or evening class
  • Assisting with their Saturday youth program or movie night

Please Note: Each task will be assigned a voucher amount.  No cash is offered.  Voucher amounts for each task will be determined based on a reasonable time expectation for completion of that task.

Making Sunchimes at The Bus Stop Mission
Making Sunchimes at The Bus Stop Mission

The Bus Stop Missions’s Discount Shop

The discount shop provides low-cost necessities to the community, including food, clothing, toiletries, shoes, school supplies and basic work tools.  Used clothing and shoes will be the main items available in the Discount Shop. This shop is the primary income source to support all other aspects of the Bus Stop Mission.  The major operating expense is the cost of inventory and shipping for items sent from the United States, as well as the salary of their employees.  (100% of all money remaining after expenses are paid is used to support the other projects of the Mission).

Available Courses at The Bus Stop Mission

The Bus Stop Mission also offers a range of low-cost, fun, hands-on, night and weekend classes that can be exchanged for vouchers. The courses include:

  • Sellable crafts
  • Sewing
  • Child care
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Basic accounting and money management
  • Swimming lessons
  • Kayaking for beginners
  • Snorkeling for beginners
  • Basic reading
  • Basic maths
  • Cooking

Giving a Donation to The Bus Stop Mission

If you wish to make a donation to The Bus Stop Mission, they have this list of items that they would be happy to receive and that would assist in the daily running of the Mission. These items can be brought directly to The Bus Stop Mission, in Jamaica,  or sent to Mission Control at: 16795 State Route E, Rolla, MO  65401,USA; where it will be shipped to Jamaica in their next shipping container.

This list of needs has been copied directly from The Bus Stop Mission website:

“For The Bus Stop Mission to achieve its goals we ask, (we need) your prayers, your time, your talents and your unwanted or unneeded items.”

  • Glass Bottles – These will be used to make a variety of crafts.  Even broken glass of unusual color or pattern is welcome
  • Plastic shopping bags – We crochet these into mats
  • Newspapers – To cover our tables when making crafts
  • Outgrown or unwanted clothing – These will be sold in our discount shop.  (and yes we need belts, clean underwear, bras and socks)
  • Shoes – While school is free in Jamaica, every child is required to wear a school uniform including black or brown shoes (not tennis shoes) There are no cheap school shoes available in Jamaica and one pair can cost a weeks wages.
  • Books – We have the greatest need for children and teen reading books.  (It is hard to develop a love of reading if you don’t have a single book.)
  • Home & Kitchen necessities including sheets, blankets, pots, pans, utensils, etc.
  • Folding chairs
  • Beach towels
  • Masks, fins and snorkels
  • clothes washer
  • clothes drier
  • 2 burner gas stove
  • refrigerator
  • Solar panels
  • sewing machine

The Bus Stop Mission on the beach
The Bus Stop Mission on the beach

Volunteering with The Bus Stop Mission

If you would like to contribute some of your free time and skills to others, then why not think about volunteering? The Bus Stop Mission is seeking volunteers, and values the hands-on assistance.  Their mantra is that ‘ Your time is a blessing and we would be blessed to have your assistance in any of the following areas ‘:

  • Sort, wash, iron, or mend clothing
  • Help at out Saturday Kids Camp
  • Help keep the grounds clean
  • Help at our Movie Night
  • Assist a child with his/ her homework

Assist with or teach one of our classes.  Can you teach others to:

  • Sew
  • Crochet
  • Count money
  • Weave a basket
  • Make a craft
  • Be patient with children
  • Use a computer
  • Perform basic math
  • Recognise basic words

Sweet Jamaica and The Bus Stop Mission Join Forces…

I am really pleased to announce that I am joining forces with The Bus Stop Mission through my sister company LonJam Trading. We wanted to get involved a help the Mission with their on-going fund raising and employment opportunity scheme by becoming a stockist of the ‘Sunchimes’ and the other craft items that they make. The sale of these items serves two important roles, firstly it enables the Mission to continue offering work opportunities to unemployed Jamaican’s and secondly the money raised through the sale of these items pumps back into the Mission to keep the Discount Shop stocked and to buy more craft materials…. And so the circle continues.

I would really appreciate if you could help me to support the Mission by browsing through the selection of the most beautiful and unusual ‘Sunchimes’  that I have on offer. These beauties are a real talking point and make an ideal decoration to hang where the breeze and  sun will catch them, as they sound as good as they look. They also look beautiful hanging on a wall, tree, outdoor garden structures, veranda’s, decking, ceilings and more. Why not get creative and share you pictures of places you have hung them in your home? These items come directly from the Jamaican artisan’s hands and each piece is individual and original, so no two pieces are the same. Act fast to get the piece that you love the best, as once it’s gone, it’s gone! You can help to raise funds for this amazing enterprise by getting in touch with me if you wish to buy one of the pieces I have on offer and by spreading the word to others who may be interested.

Thank you! Bless Up Yourself!

Sunchimes For Sale!

If you would like to help support The Bus Stop Mission you can buy a Sunchime from me! Click the link to my Facebook Page, or check out the next post, to view the images. The retail prices are:

  • 9 Strand Sunchimes –  Priced at:  JA$6,000 Or, £33.50 Or, US$50.00
  • 7 Strand Sunchimes – Priced at: JA$4,800 Or, £27.00 Or, US$40.00
  • 5 Strand Sunchimes – Priced at JA$3,600 Or, £20.00 Or, US$30.00
  • 3 Strand Sunchimes – Priced at JA$2,400 Or, £13.50 Or, US$20.00
  • 1 Strand Sunchimes – Priced at JA$1,200 Or, £7.00 Or, US$10.00

Please Note: These prices are NOT including postage. Please send me an email with the #Number that you like and I will give you a price for postage and packaging to your worldwide address.

Beautiful Sunchimes
LonJam Trading Beautiful B.S.M. Sunchimes

 

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Keep the Conversation Going…

Send me your inquiries below, I look forward to hearing from you to support this worthy cause. Have you bought a ‘Sunchime’ and want to share a photograph of how you have displayed it? Get in touch below we look forward to hearing from you…




Paradise Lost Jamaica – EDM and Reggae Festival Spring Break 2016

Paradise Lost Jamaica – EDM Festival

In case you haven’t noticed EDM or Electronic Dance Music is slowly taking over the globe and where better to party than the tropical haven of Jamaica. Paradise Lost is a 3 day, 3 night, Spring Break EDM (electronic dance music) and Reggae Festival taking place in Ocho Rios, Jamaica from 10th to 12th March 2016. Organisers are hoping that patrons will be dazzled with the star line up including big name DJ’s, international Pop Stars and home-grown Jamaican Acts that are gracing the stage. There will be 3 stages offering acts on a scenic beach location, with on-site camping, a festival village full of vendors, water sports activities, excursions and more.  All of this to contribute to an explosive and enjoyable Spring Break 2016!

BassNectar at Paradise Lost Jamaica
BassNectar at Paradise Lost Jamaica

Paradise Lost Jamaica – Musical Line Up

Paradise Lost Jamaica will play host to international and local grown talent with a line up that includes both EDM and Reggae acts on the rostra. International acts ‘Big Gigantic’, ‘Bassnectar’ and ‘Tiesto’ are headlining the event on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night respectively and will be offering up pulsating EDM Beats. Sean Paul and Busy Signal, both Jamaican Reggae / Dancehall artists,  who had musical success with their EDM song releases, also make a much-anticipated appearance. Check out one of my favourite Jamaican artists, the Grammy nominated ‘Jah Cure’ who will be performing  Friday night (1:00am) on the main stage. Look out for other acts booked including: Alric and Boyd, Arif Cooper, Electra, Kamal Bankay, King Jammy’s, Audian, AlunaGeorge and Titans of Sound. This event is an all day and all night event, so get ready for some serious partying at Paradise Lost Jamaica.

  • Thursday – Acts start at 3:00pm, with the last act coming on stage at 4:00am.

  • Friday – Acts start at 2:30pm, with the last act coming on stage at 5:00am.

  • Saturday – Acts start at 1:00pm, with the last act coming on stage at 5:00am.

 

Tiesto at Paradise Lost Jamaica
Tiesto at Paradise Lost Jamaica

Paradise Lost Jamaica – The Location

Jamaica not only benefits from a tropical climate, the verdant island with its wealth of breathtaking natural beauty will feed all the senses as soon as you arrive. Paradise Lost Jamaica makes the most of the scenery by taking over ‘Grissly’s Plantation Grove’ in Richmond, St. Ann, some 20 minutes drive outside of Ocho Rios town centre. With a complete festival ‘village’ centered around private beaches you will have the opportunity to eat, sleep and breathe the atmosphere for 3 days. If you are camping on-site you get to enjoy the festival experience for 5 days, as patrons are welcome to arrive at the festival on the 9th March and can leave on the 13th March.

Additional Extras at Paradise Lost Jamaica

The organisers of Paradise Lost Jamaica have thought of everything, including some of these additional extras to make your stay easier and more enjoyable.

  1. The Meal Plan – For US$25.00 a day you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in one of the hospitality tents. Eat all you can, buffet style dining with a delicious hot meal in the evenings
  2. Shuttles – The organisers have arranged daily shuttles to the venue from Negril, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Kingston
  3. Parking – Purchase a parking spot at the venue
  4.  Merchandise Pack. For US$59.00 the official Paradise Lost Jamaica 2016 merchandise pack comes with festival t-shirt, beach towel, beach bag, sunscreen, sunglasses, and other great items!
  5. Camping – Stay right on-site in a beach location with 24hr security. You can even rent a tent if you don’t want to bring your own.

EDM Roots in Jamaican Dub Music

Although you wouldn’t immediately associate Jamaica with EDM Music, it isn’t as unfamiliar as you may initially believe. The early predecessor to EDM, Dub Music was originally started in Jamaica in 1966, some 50 years ago with Dub Step artists including, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Osbourne ‘King Tubby’ Ruddock and Errol Thompson dominating the music scene. Some of these early artists are still producing new material today and today EDM is all over the music scene.

Welcome to Paradise Lost.

 

Paradise Lost Jamaica – Ticket Prices

General Admission: 1 Day – Thursday US$79

1-Day ONLY entry to Paradise Lost
1-Day Access to all Stages
1-Day Access to Vendor Village
Access to Exclusive Package Discounts

General Admission: 1 Day – Friday or Saturday US$149

1-Day ONLY entry to Paradise Lost
1-Day Access to all Stages
1-Day Access to Vendor Village
Access to Exclusive Package Discounts

General Admission: 3 Day – Weekend Pass US$299

Weekend entry to Paradise Lost
Access to all Stages all weekend
Access to Vendor Village
Access to Exclusive Package Discounts

VIP Admission Passes to Paradise Lost Jamaica

VIP Admission: 1 Day Pass US$249

Choose Friday or Saturday
VIP Only Entrance
VIP Beachfront Stage
Access to Private VIP Beach
VIP Lounge (with full cash bar)
Private VIP Restrooms
Souvenir Laminate and Lanyard
Parking Pass for one car

VIP Admission: 3 Day Weekend Pass US$479

Weekend Pass
VIP Only Entrance
VIP Beachfront Stage
Access to Private VIP Beach
VIP Lounge (with full cash bar)
Private VIP Restrooms
Souvenir Laminate and Lanyard
Parking Pass for one car

VIP Admission: 3 Day Weekend Pass 4 Person Group US$1999

4 x Weekend Passes
All Weekend VIP Package Inclusions
Separate VIP Package Check-In Only Tent
Reserved table in VIP Lounge (with full cash bar)
Golf Cart ride to your table
Exclusive VIP Level Discounts and Offers
Complimentary Parking Passes

VIP Admission: 3 Day Weekend Pass 8 Person Group US$4250

8 x Weekend Passes
All Weekend VIP Package Plus
Private Evening Sunset Cruise
Reserved table in VIP Lounge (with full cash bar)
Golf Cart ride to your table
Separate VIP Package Check-in Tent
Exclusive VIP Level Discounts and Offers
Complimentary Parking Passes

For further ticket information please click here to go to the Paradise Lost Jamaica website.

Disclaimer:

All images and videos copyright and credited to ‘Paradise Lost Jamaica’. All images are reproduced from the ‘Paradise Lost Jamaica’ website. https://paradiselostjamaica.com/

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Looking forward to hearing from you.

Bless up, Jules

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Calabash Ital Rastarant – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

If you want to try authentic Jamaican food with a twist, then you must try ‘Ital Food’. Nowadays following a ‘clean diet’ is all the rage, but Ital food has been following these principles since its inception. Tasty, healthy, Vegetarian and Vegan dishes are cooked with a flair that is innately Jamaican. Calabash Ital Rastarant is located in Ocho Rios town centre and offers a selection of dishes for breakfast, through lunch and to dinnertime and beyond.

Calabash Ital Rastarant

I am a Vegetarian, so it is a real treat to go to a restaurant where I can choose anything off the menu. Calabash Ital Rastarant is one of my favourite Vegetarian eating spots in Ocho Rios because of the sheer choice and my hardcore meat eating friends love it here too. They have a wide and varied menu with a lot of familiar Jamaican dishes cooked in a meat free format. Including, Vege Chunks, Tofu, Steamed Vegetables, Curried Chickpeas, Ackee, Porridge, Soups, Stews, Vege Burgers and more. If you can’t decide what to order ask for a mixed box, this is a selection of all the different foods cooked on the day served with rice and peas, or hard food (boiled provisions). The food is fresh and delicious and surprisingly affordable. The restaurant has a clean seating area inside and a few tables out on the balcony, alternatively you can buy take away food and they even do delivery in the Ocho Rios region. They have a selection of natural juices on offer too alongside coconut water and other beverages.

Calabash also sell natural products, supplements, t-shirts, incense, accessories, DVD’s, books, posters and beauty products to name a few of the items on offer.

 

Calabash Ital Rastarant Location and Opening Hours

Shop 8
7 James Avenue
Ocho Rios
Jamaica

Telephone Number: 876-570-5565

Calabash also offer a delivery service in the Ocho Rios region.

Opening Hours

Mondays to Thursday  7:00am- 10:30pm

Friday and Saturday  7:00am- 11:30pm

Sunday  9:00am- 9:00pm

 

Calabash Ital Rastarant
Calabash Ital Rastarant

Food Prices at Calabash Ital Rastarant

  • $380 small food
  • $450 medium food
  • $500 large food

What is ‘Ital Food’?

The word ‘Ital’ is derived from the word vital. As Rastafari believe that food and the health and well being of the consumer are all connected. It is part of the faith of the Rastafari in Jamaica and there are certain ‘rules’ of preparing, serving and cooking certain foods stuffs. ‘Ital Food’ is Vegetarian and Vegan based and is considered a ‘clean’ diet, as it contains no preservatives, colourings, flavourings, tinned foods and in many cases even salt is omitted. The food is delicious, fresh and full of nutrients to increase ‘Livity’, or our life energy.

 

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Looking forward to hearing from you.

Bless up, Jules

 

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JamDung Bar and Grill – Salem, Runaway Bay, Jamaica

JamDung Bar and Grill – Salem, Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Runaway Bay in Jamaica is a one street town that takes in Salem and Priory when traversing between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. Although the town is compact there is a smattering of food and drink outlets and establishments that are worth a mention and JamDung Bar and Grill is one of them.

Location of JamDung Bar and Grill

Okay, so the location isn’t exactly picturesque as it’s situated along the busy A1 Highway, Main Street, Salem. If you are driving it’s located on the OPPOSITE side of the road to the ocean. You can drive inside the JamDung Bar and Grill compound and enjoy yourself within eyesight of your vehicle. The main road is screened with tropical planting and once you sit down and take it the drinks, food, tunes and vibes you will forget the sound of the vehicular traffic trundling along. There are several resorts that are nearby including Jewel Hotel which is within an easy 10 minutes walk along a flat and straight road. Just keep your eyes on the road and look both ways twice, before stepping out into the road and crossing; be aware of motorbikes which may be in your blind spot.

JamDung Bar and Grill
JamDung Bar and Grill

What’s Happening at JamDung Bar and Grill

All the staff at JamDung Bar and Grill are super friendly and the other patrons make visitors feel welcome. They are open in the daytime and is it a much more sedate affair with a few locals hanging out and taking in lunch or a cool drink. The evenings are when things get hyped up and busier. Monday is Karaoke Night and Friday is Old School and Retro Music Night both of which are popular, as they are fun and entertaining nights which draw in a lively crowd.

The kitchen is nearly always open and you have to try the Roast Yam, a speciality of the venue. I also recommend the Fried Breadfruit, which is an absolute favourite of mine (check out my Breadfruit recipes here!). They also have a selection of barbecue and cooked meats and fish, if you are lucky and the fish hasn’t sold out. There is seating both under cover around the bar area and out in the open where parasol’s keep the sun off the tables and chairs.

JamDung Bar and Grill - Roast Breadfruit
JamDung Bar and Grill – Roast Breadfruit

 

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Like our FaceBook Page to get the latest news, photo’s, music, events, competitions and offers from Sweet Jamaica https://www.facebook.com/sweetjamaica.co.uk

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Looking forward to hearing from you.

Bless up, Jules

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Road Running Races in Jamaica 2016

Running Events Ltd – Rule. The. Road.

Road Race Running in Jamaica is fun, lively, safe and enjoyable way to take in the sights and help charities in Jamaica. The events are well organised and warmly received by the participants walking and running around the routes. For the 2016 road race calendar Running Events Ltd is staging a total of 18 road races throughout the year (and growing), with the road races supporting various charities. Running Events Ltd isn’t only for fun and exercise. The company reported that it raised over J$100,000,000 (one hundred, million Jamaican dollars) throughout its 2015 road racing calendar for education, healthcare, special needs, youth development and help for the homeless. If you are looking for a way to keep fit, make new friends and do good for charity then check out the race calendar below for Road Race events across Jamaica in 2016.

Running Events Calendar 2016
Running Events Calendar 2016

Sagicor SIGMA Corporate Run

The first road race being held in the Jamaican calendar is the Sigma City Run 2016, being held on the 21st February 2016. If you would like to register to take part go to the Running Events Jamaica website, registration closes on 5th February 2016. The beneficiaries chosen this year are: Children with Cancer, Jamaica Cancer Society Mammography Unit and Black River Hospital pediatric Unit

Sigma City Run 2016
Sigma City Run 2016

Kingston City Run

The second road race in the 2016 Running Events Ltd calendar is the Kingston City Run being held over three days, from 11th to 13th March 2016. Promising to have a carnival atmosphere from the Friday night welcome party, with Bacchanal Jamaica on board providing the pulsating rhythms and vibes for the night. The second day has a more sedate Lifestyle Expo and Pre Race Party being held at The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, from 10:00am to 6:00pm. Race day is held on the 13th March and incorporates a 5k, 10k and Half Marathon road race around the streets of (New) Kingston. The whole weekend can be enjoyed inclusive of registration price for those entering the race. For more details check out the Kingston City Run website.

Kingston City Run
Kingston City Run

Contact Details for Running Events Limited

Mailing Address:
Running Events Limited
87-89 Tower Street
Kingston, Jamaica

Phone: (876) 967-4903
Fax: (876) 922-0155

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Like our FaceBook Page to get the latest news, photo’s, music, events, competitions and offers from Sweet Jamaica https://www.facebook.com/sweetjamaica.co.uk

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Looking forward to hearing from you.

Bless up, Jules

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One Love Music Festival Jamaica 2016

One Love Music Festival Jamaica 2016

This year the memory of the One Love Peace Concert lives on as Cedella Marley (daughter of Bob Marley) the CEO of Tuff Gong International stages the first annual One Love Music Festival in Jamaica. The event is hosted over two days from 4th to 5th February 2016, at Rose Hall Great House Lawns and Aqueduct, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The event is a celebration of Bob Marley’s life and legacy, with fundraising for the Bob Marley Foundation at its heart. The Bob Marley Foundation works in partnership with the Rose Town Foundation and the Sandals Foundation to support projects in poverty relief, the environment and education.

The One Love Peace Concert 1978

The One Love Peace Concert is synonymous with Bob Marley’s impromptu unification of bitter rivals and political leaders Michael Manley (PNP) and Edward Seaga (JLP) in 1978. There was political warfare on the streets of Jamaica and Bob Marley was in exile in London, England following an assassination attempt in 1976. It was decided to hold a Peace Concert, with Bob Marley agreeing to headline the show being staged at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. On landing in Jamaica his aircraft was swamped with revellers ecstatic that he had returned back to Jamaican soil. During the concert Bob called the two political leaders on stage and encouraged them to shake hands. Bob then lifted their joined hands above his head in triumph and as a plea to the people of Jamaica to unite in the name of peace and love. Following this unprecedented act Bob Marley was later awarded the Third World Peace Medal by The United Nations in New York.

 

 

The One Love Music Festival Charity Gala Cocktail Reception

The One Love Music Festival starts off with a Charity Gala Cocktail Reception on the lawns at Rose Hall on the 4th February 2016. Here you will be able to hobnob with international celebrities whilst taking in the culinary delights of top name celebrity chefs gourmet food stations. The day will be capped off with intimate live performances from Marcia Griffiths and Benjy Myaz, amongst others.

 

Charity Gala Cocktail Reception
Charity Gala Cocktail Reception

One Love Concert

The second day of the One Love Music Festival will see a star studded concert taking place at The Rose Hall Aqueduct. The gates open at 7:00pm and the concert kicks off at 8:00pm. The concert boasts a host of Jamaican and International favourites and up and coming acts, including Morgan Heritage, Akon, Kymani Marley, Skip Marley,  and a host of other performers.

One Love Music Festival
One Love Music Festival

 

The Bob Marley Foundation

The Bob Marley Foundation was started in 1986 as a means of providing much needed resources and financial, educational and cultural assistance to projects, communities and organisations in Jamaica. Funded by proceeds from donations and the charitable outlets of both The Bob Marley Museum and Tuff Gong International, the foundation serves to continue Bob’s legacy for uplifting the people of Jamaica, the land of his birth. The Honourable Robert Nesta Marley O.M had an opinion on life unlike most others, unperturbed by the glamour and riches of fame he was selfless and preferred to help others and use his name to make a change and give hope to the lives of many. The Foundation has social interventions at its core, such as: The Marley for Education, School Support, and Marley for Health and Marley Social Welfare projects among others.

 

The Vision for The Bob Marley Foundation is to positively impact those around us

through Education, Culture, Healthcare and Sustainable Development enacting lasting

change through One Love, One Voice, One Heart

 

 

 

 

One Love Music Festival and Bob Marley Foundation Links and Websites

If you want more information about Bob Marley,  the One Love Music Festival and the Bob Marley Foundation check out the websites listed below:

The Bob Marley website can be found here: Bob Marley

The Bob Marley Foundation website can be found here: Bob Marley Foundation

The One Love Music Festival Facebook page can be found here: One Love Music Festival

BUY TICKETS ONLINE for the One Love Music Festival here: One Love Music Festival Tickets

BUY TICKETS in person for the One Love Music Festival at Fontana Pharmacy islandwide and Spice World Supermarket, Montego Bay.

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Disclaimer:

All images and videos copyright and credited to the ‘One Love Music Festival’, Bob Marley Foundation and Tuff Gong International. All images are reproduced from the Bob Marley Foundation, Tuff Gong International and One Love Music Festival archives.

 

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Get More From Sweet Jamaica – Join Us Here…

Want to get updates on the move then join our FaceBook Page and Twitter Feed so you don’t miss out!

Like our FaceBook Page to get the latest news, photo’s, music, events, competitions and offers from Sweet Jamaica https://www.facebook.com/sweetjamaica.co.uk

Join our twitter feed @sweetjamaicajul for up to date happenings, information and fun from Sweet Jamaica https://twitter.com/sweetjamaicajul

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Bless up, Jules

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Keep the Conversation Going….

Are you going to this event and want to share your experience? Who is your favourite artist to appear at One Love Music Festival – Jamaica? Join the Comments Below….

 

‘Reggae Mekyah’ – Reggae Month 2016 Jamaica

If you love reggae music and are going to be in Jamaica in February 2016, you are in for a treat. Check out the Jamaican Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) annual Reggae Month activities on offer. JaRIA  plays host to the staging of the ninth annual Reggae Month festivities in February 2016 in Jamaica, the birthplace of Reggae music.

Reggae Month celebrates reggae music in all its facets throughout the month of February with events, lectures, tribute concerts, nightclub events and more. Culminating in the JaRIA Honour Awards on the 28th February 2016 where finalists will be chosen from a plethora of awards across many categories.

 

Reggae Month Event Schedule 2016

reggae month 2016 calendar
reggae month 2016 calendar

 

Reggae Open University Schedule – Reggae Month 2016

Every Tuesday and Thursday in February, Reggae Open University takes place at the Vera Moody Concert Hall, located at the School of Music, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. Engaging the community on issues affecting the music industry and creative arts as a whole the forums serve to provide a medium for debate. Media briefing begins at 5:30pm for the first Tuesday ONLY with panel discussions beginning each week at 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

  • February 2nd: Reggae Music Mekya – Creative City Status.
  • February 4th: The Debate of Foreign Acts outselling Local Acts – Reggae Mekyah Buy Nah Sell Yah
  • February 9th: Talking Drums
  • February 11th: Colour Museum presents Jamaican African Dance Art
  • February 16th: Towards National Models for Music Industry development
  • February 18th: Immigration, Trade & Terroism…
  • February 23rd: The Music of the NDTC
  • February 25th: From Vinyl, CDs, to Cyberspace

Reggae Wednesdays

Each and every Wednesday at 5.30pm in February a concert will be staged at Mandela Park, Half-Way Tree, Kingston. Commencing on 3rd February 2016, the initial line up will consist of performances from Half Pint, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibblies, U-Roy, Big Youth, Mary Isaacs, Grace Thrillers, Lloyd Parks and the We People Band. With sets being played by Radio 1 Extras, David Rodigan, Toddla T and Seani B, the Akwaaba Drummers and Stone Love. One of the highlights of Reggae Month, every Wednesday throughout February a different line up will perform live at Mandela Park.

 

reggae wednesday banner
reggae wednesday banner

Reggae Month 2016 Concerts and Tributes

There are also concerts and tributes to enjoy from the JaRIA endorsed Bob Marley celebrations at The Bob Marley Museum on the 6th February, to the Bob Marley Tribute Concert at Sabina Park on the 7th February. Another legend Dennis Brown is also honoured with an annual concert being held at the Waterfront, in downtown Kingston on 27th February.

JaRIA Honour Awards 2016

Reggae Month 2016 culminates at a high profile event the ‘JaRIA Honour Awards’ being staged at The Courtleigh Auditorium on the 28th February 2016. Whereby 24 individuals in 17 categories will be honoured for their outstanding contributions to reggae music, ‘the heartbeat of Jamaica’.

 

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Get More From Sweet Jamaica – Join Us Here…

Want to get updates on the move then join our FaceBook Page and Twitter Feed so you don’t miss out!

Like our FaceBook Page to get the latest news, photo’s, music, events, competitions and offers from Sweet Jamaica https://www.facebook.com/sweetjamaica.co.uk

Join our twitter feed @sweetjamaicajul for up to date happenings, information and fun from Sweet Jamaica https://twitter.com/sweetjamaicajul

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Bless up, Jules

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Keep the Conversation Going….

Have you visited this event before and want to share your experience? What is your favourite part of Reggae Month in Jamaica? Join the Comments Below….

 

Jamaican Mango Punch Recipe

Jamaica has an abundance of tropical fruits and vegetables on offer and making a punch or juice is a sure fire way to get a hit of goodness in your system. Drink this Jamaican Mango Punch Recipe as a healthy snack, or enjoy a glass with a meal for a fruity, naturally sweet beverage.

‘Natural Punches’

This recipe is taken from a soon to be published eBook ‘Natural Punches’ from an aspiring Jamaican chef and mixologist, called Olando Hutton. Olando has a flair for making the most of the readily available seasonal Jamaican fruits and vegetables in mouth-watering and body enhancing drink recipes. He is also a talented chef and has a series of eBooks coming out that showcase his Jamaican recipes with a twist.  Hailing from the parish of St Ann on the north coast of Jamaica, Olando’s Jamaican Mango Punch Recipe will bring your taste buds straight to the Caribbean!

Jamaican Mango Punch Recipe

You Will Need:

  • A sharp knife
  • A blender
  • A chopping board
  • A bowl

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb sweet Mangoes – preferably Julie Mango or East Indian Mango
  • 1/2 litre of ice cold water / or just ice

 

Method:

  • First wash your hands and get all of your ingredients and tools ready
  • Peel the skin from the Mango and remove any imperfections from the flesh
  • Cut the meat from the seed
  • Add Mango flesh and ice cold water to the blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Serve in a tall glass
  • Enjoy!
  • If your Mangoes aren’t sweet enough you can always add a little sugar to taste…

Makes 1 and 1/4 litres of Jamaican Mango Punch

 

Jamaican Mango Punch
Jamaican Mango Punch

 

 

Introducing NEW Rising Star Petraa and her single ‘Love is Eternal’

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing my friend and up and coming Reggae, R’n’B and Dancehall artist, Petraa. With links to the UK, Canada and the Caribbean, she is set to be an international superstar making her mark in the industry within the coming year. Multi-faceted and vocally talented, Petraa’s musical style ranges from sweet and sensual to raw, real talk, story telling.  A singer, song writer and outgoing performer, Petraa has grown as an artist with a passion for singing since a tender age. Petraa re-started her musical journey anew in 2015 in Jamaica, the land of the great and the glorious in the music scene. Here we share her story and get an insight into what she is all about and what you can expect from her in 2016 and beyond.

 

Petraa’s Interview with ‘Sweet Jamaica Jules’

Hi and welcome to ‘Sweet Jamaica’ Petraa, it’s great to get a chance to sit down and have a chat so that we can introduce you and your newly released single to our readers. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Please introduce yourself…

Hi Readers and Fans! My name is Petraa. I am an Up and coming Reggae, R’n’B and Dancehall artist currently living in Jamaica but originating from Leeds, in the U.K. I moved to Canada after growing up in England but due to my love and passion for music I recently moved to Jamaica to pursue my music career.

 

What brought you to Jamaica specifically?

Music! My love, passion and drive for it. I like to compare myself to a hungry Rottweiler waiting to be let off my leash lol. I love music, especially Reggae and Dancehall, and because I am an artist practising the craft, it only seemed fit that I do this in the land of where it originated, Jamaica.  

 

What do you most like about living in Jamaica?

Waking up to sunshine, fresh air, green trees and happy people. I love to just be immersed in Jamaican culture, especially when it comes to the music. I love how serious people take the craft of music in Jamaica. To be an artist in Jamaica, is to be very well respected. You can’t be an artist here and not take it seriously. I’ve also found that when it comes to the music scene here, as long as you have the talent, passion and drive, you will meet like -minded individuals to share and grow your music with.

 

What have you been up to in Jamaica in 2015?

This year has been a great year for me, jumping into the Jamaican music scene. Prior to this year, I had  taken some time out of the music industry to pursue other non musical ventures. Being back on the scene this year and in Jamaica, I have had the opportunity to meet and perform with a lot of great artists such as Lady Saw, D’ Angel,  Producers, Radio hosts and  DJs and had the chance to perform in a few shows.

While here I have also been going to the studio. I recently recorded my single ‘Love is Eternal’ with ‘Di Lab Records’, a studio based in Exchange, St. Ann. While there, I also recorded a number of dub plates and  jingles. Due to its success, ‘Love is Eternal’ has been featured on a variety of mix-tapes throughout Jamaica. Currently, ‘Love is Eternal’ is playing on radio stations in Jamaica, including Irie FM. The song has also been getting air play in the UK and I recently  did an interview with VRL Radio to promote the single.

How much creative control do you have over your music?

As an unsigned artist, I have full control over my music and sound, especially when it comes to style, lyrics, rhythms and direction. I think it’s important for an artist to be able to exercise this right because it’s that freedom that allows a person’s artistry to show and can be related to by their fans. When it comes to my music, I work with producers to custom make sounds that represent and showcases  the many sides of Petraa. Also because I write my own songs, it allows me to be able to discuss topics and issues close to me and my fans.

What sort of image does your music portray?

My music portrays a sweet, sexy, rude gyal style.  Because I grew up experiencing both sides of the track. I’ve experienced struggle and success and my style, sound, and swag is a representation of that. When it comes to my image, how I am is a true representation of who I am.

As an Artist, is there anything special you would like to accomplish?

Yea, there is a lot I would love to accomplish, just wanna make sure there is enough time lol… Honestly, I would love to accomplish and create a great body of musical works, with the type of sound that can be played and enjoyed by people in years to come. Also I want to use my artistry to do some philanthropic pursuits, starting with giving back and making donations to schools and educational institutions in Jamaica.  

 

What can people expect to see at your live performances?

Well,  fans can expect to see an energetic, lively stage show. I’m an artist that likes to go hard with my performances. I want my fans to not only hear me, but feel me. Whether I’m accompanied by a live band or  backing track,  you’re gonna see an artist that isn’t afraid to bring it and be immersed in the music. When I go on stage I try to put myself in the shoes of my audience and bring them the kind of performance I would go and pay money to see myself.

 

Tell us about your single?

‘Love is Eternal’ is a R’n’B and Reggae song influenced by the genre of Lovers rock. It talks about the innocence of meeting someone and enjoying that real connection.

What was your inspiration for the track?

Lol, Mmmm, it’s based on a past relationship. It was written at a time when I was very much in love. Even though the relationship didn’t last, at least I have a song capturing what it was.

Why did you choose to record this track in Jamaica?

I felt Jamaica was the best place to record because nowhere in the world knows reggae music and its sound like Jamaica. Because my music is heavily influenced by Reggae and Dancehall, it only seemed fitting that I recorded my music in the land of where it originated. Not to mention, the Sound quality is amazing in Jamaica. When it comes to making sound recordings, the engineers are great at creating that live sound using various music programmes.

Where did you record the track and who are you currently working with?

I recorded the track  with Christopher Coombs at ‘Di Lab Records’ in Exchange, St. Ann, Jamaica. I am currently working with Raymond Dizzle from ‘Dizzle Entertainment’ to set the wheels in motion to promote ‘Love is Eternal’ and other up and coming ‘Petraa’ releases.

 

Petraa Love is Eternal
Petraa Love is Eternal

 

What do you have planned for 2016?

I would like to travel  with my music, and hopefully get a chance to do performances and shows in other countries. My aim is to release my singles and do a few collaborations with more established artists in Jamaica, allowing me to showcase my versatility. By the end of the year, I would like to be able to look back and see my accomplishments for the year.  I also would like to increase my fan support online and on road, to be able to build a relationship with them so they can go on this musical journey with me.

 

When and where can we buy the Song?

Well, the song is currently available for listening on YouTube. Type in ‘Petraa  ‘Love is Eternal’ (new reggae 2016)’ and it will pop up.  The single will be available for download on iTunes and other musical distribution sites in the next few weeks.

 

Petraa in the beginning
Petraa in the beginning

 

What artists do you enjoy listening to?

That’s like one of the hardest questions to ask me, I listen to such a variety of artists. Let me see… I enjoy listening to Marcia Griffiths, Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, Chronixx, Aidonia, Popcaan, Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Nikki Minaj, Drake, Rihanna, Future. I also love eras of music like the jazz, rhythm and blues era of the 1930s in America like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald,  Motown, Reggae from the 50s to 70s and  R’n’B  from the 90s.

 

If you could perform with 10 artists dead or alive who would it be?

  1. Marcia Griffiths
  2. Bob Marley
  3. Jah Cure
  4. Mavado
  5. Aidonia
  6. Popcaan
  7. Chronixx
  8. Erykah Badu
  9. Nikki Minaj
  10. Drake

 

Name your Top 10 favourite tracks of all time?

  1. Marcia Griffiths – Dreamland
  2. Stevie Wonder – Ribbon in the sky
  3.  Lauryn Hill – Zion
  4. Bob Marley – Forever loving Jah
  5. Erykah Badu – Tyrone
  6. Floetry – Say Yes
  7. Mary J Blige – Share my World
  8. Maxwell – This Woman’s Work
  9. Luther Vandross – If Only for One Night
  10. Minnie Riperton – Loving You

 

How can fans keep up to date with what you are doing next?

Well, my fans are welcome to stay in touch through social media to keep up to date with everything I am doing, be it shows, single releases or Petraa News in general. They can do this by following me on:

Official Website: www.petraamusic.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/petraamusic

Twitter: www.twitter.com/petraamusic

Instagram: www.instagram.com/petraamusic

 

 

The National Gallery of Jamaica

National Art Gallery of Jamaica

The National Gallery of Jamaica is located on the Waterfront in Downtown Kingston and is well worth a visit. The entrance is found on Orange Street, where a large statue sits outside the entrance. Internally the layout of the Gallery is light and airy with an open plan area downstairs with double height ceiling which is utilised for exhibitions. There is an unusual double staircase leading up to the second floor which due to the double height ceiling, forms a mezzanine floor, come wrap around balcony effect, enabling you to look down to the open plan floor below. This would give a great birds eye view of the proceedings when an exhibition is being held. The mezzanine floor has artworks along all the walls, with several rooms extending from it that house the permanent collections. The National Gallery houses different genres of art to appeal to all ages and tastes, from Taino artworks and artifacts, to work from Edna Manley and the great Mallica ‘Kapo’ Reynolds, to modern and contemporary artworks.

The permanent Galleries include:

Art in Jamaica, c1000 – c1900.
Jamaican Art – The Twentieth Century.
The Edna Manley Gallery.
The ‘Kapo’ Gallery.
The AD Scott Collection.

 

Where to get the National Gallery of Jamaica Latest Updates

There is also a regular exhibition programme, which is advertised on the National Gallery of Jamaica Blog which compliments the Permanent Galleries and takes over the main space in the gallery. You can also check out the newly refurbished National Gallery of Jamaica Website which gives more information about the galleries and the artists. Although the National Gallery is not vast in size, the overall quality of the content of the Gallery more than makes up for it, and the visit can easily be tacked onto a day of sight seeing in Kingston. Depending on how much of an art aficionado you are you could view the Gallery in a couple of hours, non-withstanding visits to the Coffee Shop, come Gift Shop, which you pass through on the way out. I love this Gallery and cannot wait to visit again.

 

Copyright National Gallery of Jamaica
Copyright National Gallery of Jamaica

 

General Information about the National Gallery of Jamaica

Opening hours:

Tuesdays to Thursdays: 10 am to 4:30 pm
Fridays: 10 am to 4 pm
Saturdays: 10 am to 3 pm
Last Sundays: the NGJ is open every last Sunday of the month, 11 am to 4 pm

Admission:

Adults: JA$400
Senior Citizens and Teachers accompanying student groups: JA$200
Children and Students with ID: free
Guided tours: JA$3,000 (general); JA$2,000 (schools) – by appointment only

 

Contact Numbers:

1.876.922-1561/3 (Lime fixed line);

1.876.618-0654/5 (Digicel fixed line)

Location of the NATIONAL GALLERY OF JAMAICA

12 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston (entrance on Orange Street). On the waterfront in Kingston, look out for the large Digicel building which is located nearby.

Food and Drinks:

As a general rule, food and drinks are not allowed in the galleries and refreshments can be bought and consumed in our coffee shop. During receptions and other functions, food and drinks may be allowed in certain designated areas.

Bags:

Large bags and backpacks are not allowed inside the NGJ and must be left with the security desk. Our Security Staff is authorised to search handbags, parcels or other items being taken into or out of the NGJ and we ask for your kind co-operation when a search is requested.

Parking:

Parking is usually available on the adjoining UDC parking lot. An hourly rate applies on weekdays – free on Saturdays. Entrance to the parking lot is on Orange street, first entrance on the left after passing the NGJ building.

Curbside parking is not permitted in most of the areas around the NGJ.

Copyright National Gallery of Jamaica
Copyright National Gallery of Jamaica

 

Disclaimer:

ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT OF THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF JAMAICA AND HAVE BEEN REPRODUCED ON THIS WEBSITE FOR PURPOSES OF ILLUSTRATION ONLY. WE TAKE NO CREDIT FOR THESE IMAGES.

2 Bedroom Detached Property in Rose Hall, Montego Bay for Short Term Rental

Sea Views at Rose Hall

If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Montego Bay, Jamaica, then this 2 bedroom detached property maybe ideal for you.

This tastefully decorated detached property boasts sea views and modern, comfortable furniture for your entertainment and relaxation during your stay. Located in a picturesque area just outside of Montego Bay, known as Rose Hall, it is a pleasant 20 minute drive from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The property is situated in a large and safe housing scheme that is quiet and secluded and gives you a home away from home feel, as you are integrated into a community setting. It is ideal for a family, or two couples who want to experience Jamaica from the comfort and privacy of their own setting away from the crowds in a hotel.

The property is fully tiled and grilled and has a small grilled veranda to the front where you can sit and chill out and catch a cool breeze! There is a gate and driveway at the front of the property and there is a lawn that wraps around all sides of the house to chill out in and play games; please note the fence at the sides of the property is made of wire and posts and may not be suitable for under 5 year olds, without supervision.

There is a large master bedroom with a King-size Bed, ample storage space and a ceiling fan. The second bedroom is also a good size and has a double bed and a single bed, storage closet and a ceiling fan. The large open living area runs the length of the house and has front and back doors and a ceiling fan to keep you cool and breezy. The Sitting Area includes a large L shaped sofa that is ideal for spreading out and relaxing on, whilst watching the wide-screen TV and Cable, or whilst surfing the Wireless Internet. There is a modern glass dining table and six chairs to enjoy home cooked meals with family and friends, ideally located next to the open plan Kitchen. The fully fitted kitchen includes an electric oven, microwave, toaster, kettle and fridge / freezer, alongside all the essentials for creating and consuming self-catering meals. The bathroom has a bath with shower attachment, with the convenience of a water pump and hot water; there is a solar-powered water heater on the roof and a back-up water tank on the premises.

Local Amenities

There is a small local shop located less than 5 minute’s walk away from the property, where you can buy all your kitchen basics and a cool beer, or a drink of Jamaican Rum! There is also a business area located a 5 minute drive away in the scheme, that has a medical centre, a couple of Jamaican Cook Shops (Take Away), a small shop, hairdresser and so on.  If you drive out of the scheme in a westerly direction, towards Montego Bay you will find The Half Moon Golf Club and Shopping Centre located 3 minutes’ drive away from the house, along with a Gas Station (Petrol Station). Less than one minute further you will find the famous Scotchies Restaurant, a Police Station and numerous beach bars. The crossroads at Ironshore is 4 minutes’ drive away and has Burger King and an ATM Machine on one corner, a Gas Station on another, the Blue Diamond Shopping Centre on another, and finally the large and modern Whitter Village Shopping Centre, where you will find many stores and a Dentist. Continue a further 12 minutes’ drive and you will reach the airport. The Hip Strip in the town, which includes Aqua Sol (water and amusement park), Doctor’s Cave Beach, Margaritaville, and many other restaurants, shops and bars is less than a 5 minute drive from the Airport.

If you drive out of the scheme the other way, in an Easterly direction towards Falmouth and Ocho Rios, you will reach the nearest beach ‘Chill Out Beach Hut’, a beach bar and grill. There are other beach bars along this strip, some not as fancy as others. The nearest Gas Station (petrol station) in this direction is 8 minutes’ drive away, you will need to pull off the highway on the left hand side of the road, where you see the sign for ‘Chill Out Beach Hut’ and drive down the slip road until you reach it. The attractions of Ocho Rios are about 2 hours’ drive away, if you are cruising and taking in the scenery.

The Fine Print!

Please note: As the hot water is solar heated it is in limited supply and can be less in times of cloudy weather. On occasions there is water and electricity outages in Jamaica. The property has a water tank that supplies water to the house in times of water outages, which uses a pump to supply the kitchen and bathroom. We have some emergency lighting in the house in case of power outages. Please help us be more sustainable by turning off the ceiling fans when not in use or when leaving the property.

 

Montego Bay

Montego Bay in Jamaica is one of the top resort destination towns in the Caribbean. The modern and airy International Airport is located just 20 minutes drive away from the property, creating easy links to travellers from all over the world. Montego Bay has a thriving hip-strip where you can enjoy dining, shopping, drinking and other amusements and of course the beach. There is also downtown Montego Bay with its bustling shops, banks, craft and food markets and other amenities. Rose Hall is a picturesque area just outside of Montego Bay which boasts several Golf courses, horse riding and further shopping malls and amenities with easy driving distance. There are the historic sites of  Rose Hall Great House and the top 5 Trip Advisor rated things to do in Rose hall are, Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, Half Moon Beach, Tennis and Golf Club, Half Moon Tennis Club and Half Moon, Rose Hall Spa.

 

 

If you are interested in booking this modern, spacious detached house in Montego Bay get in touch below!

Jamaica Recycles Rubber Tyres!

I was excited to read that an existing Jamaican company based in Discovery Bay, St Ann is going to spread its wings into the recycling of tyres. This is brilliant news for Jamaica as an epidemic of discarded tyres, which mainly end up languishing at the Riverton Landfill site in Kingston are overtaking our Land of Wood and Water! This huge pile of tyres has been disposed of ‘responsibly’  and is estimated to cover some 5 acres of land. But, tyres take decades to breakdown and it has often been the source of air clogging fires. By recycling the tyres it will free up Jamaica’s landfill space and hopefully end the illegal disposal of tyres into the rivers, gulleys, beaches and other areas of natural beauty which create greater environmental hazards. Therefore may I present another brilliant Jamaican company that deserves to be highlighted in the SUPPORT JAMAICA BUY JAMAICAN! campaign for environmental goodness all round!

Who is behind the Tyre Recycling in Jamaica?

SKDP Haulage and Distribution Limited have set up Jamaica Rubber Products, or JRP to tackle tyre recycling in Jamaica. They not taken this initiative lightly as they have researched waste tyre disposal for two years and have come up with a solution that is viable in terms of the ‘way’ the tyres are recycled and it  is an innovative use of an otherwise unwanted commodity. JRP are now ready and in the process of  sourcing tyres, installing manufacturing equipment and they plan to start production in mid-July. They hope to of disposed of 40% to 60% of Jamaica’s waste tyres in the next 10 years.

How will the Tyres be Recycled?

The tyres will be separated from their rims in a process known as ‘de-beading’, then they are ground into a rubber powder, which is commonly known as ‘rubber crumb’. This can be made in an assortment of sizes and is planned for use in Jamaica, with the excess expected to be exported overseas.

The rubber crumb can be used in a number of applications, such as the repair of roadways. When the rubber crumb is added to an asphalt mix it not only means that less asphalt is needed, it also increases the elasticity of the road surface, making it more durable and  less brittle, which lengthens the lifespan of the road. Other benefits include that the road is made stronger, safer, is quieter to drive over, it can greater strains and lasts up to twice as long as asphalt without the rubber crumb added.

Copyright Bryan Cummings
Copyright Bryan Cummings

 

Why is the Recycling of Tyres a Good Idea?

Many old tyres are left lying around creating an eyesore and providing an ideal breeding ground for mosquitos when stagnant water collects inside, creating a risk of Malaria and Dengue Fever. The vast majority of the rest are burnt as a means of disposal. This method causes noxious (poisonous) gases to be leached into the air which can be a leading component in respiratory disease like Asthma and Cancer. As each tyre contains lead and about a gallon of oil the fire can burn uncontrollably and the fire is hard to put out. All these chemicals are bad for the air we breathe and the environment.

What is there not to love about this initiative?!

How can I Get my old Tyres Recycled in Jamaica?

If you have any old tyres or work in the automotive industry you can contact JRP on the details below:

S.K.D.P. Haulage & Distribution Ltd 

P.O. Box 160

Discovery Bay

St. Ann

Mr. Sherold Philbert

Managing Director

Tel:       (876) 973-9346/9345

Fax:      (876) 973-9346

Email:  phili@cwjamaica.com

 

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Come on Jamaica! Get involved in Recycling Today!

 

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Keep the Conversation Going…

What do you think about this recycling idea? Get in touch below we look forward to hearing from you…

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 NOTICE: The images used in this post are copyright of Bryan Cummings and where originally featured in the Gleaner.

Jamaican ‘Patwa Apparel’ Speaks Out!

Heneka is a bona-fide Jamaican success story, starting her business empire in 2007 with a clothing line where she cleverly fused her love for Jamaican Patois with fashion.  Aware of the constraints and hurdles faced in tough economic times, Heneka strived forward where many would have drawn back and has since diversified to credit literature, broadcasting and manufacturing to her portfolio. I admire Heneka’s strong business and personal ethics, as although Heneka is modest, her integrity and awareness of self and others is clear in the brilliant and inspirational way she explains her company philosophy.

Jamaica is famed for many things and it is tropical, colourful, vibrant and full of vibes just like it’s people and the dialect they speak. Although the official language of Jamaica is English, the local dialect spoken in Jamaica is known as patois or patwa, a multi-lingual mixing pot of several languages that draws references from all the different inhabitants of Jamaica since the Tainos. It may take a little getting used to for the uninitiated, but when you get into the flow you will find it is powerful, direct, literal, fun and very infectious!

I am pleased to have had the chance to learn about Heneka’s journey and share it with you in this interview….

Interview

1. Introduce yourself and your role in the company?

I’m Heneka Watkis-Porter, owner and operator of Patwa Apparel. My role has over the years been one of ‘head cook and bottle washer’ but I’m slowly moving away from that to concentrate more on strategy, operations and sales/marketing.

2. When was your company established and why did you choose this career path?

 We began on 7th August, 2007. I’ve always wanted to have my own business; I thought about the area of choice for sometime and then settled on a clothing line. But I have evolved more into a full-fledged entrepreneur, spreading my wings to more than just clothing. Now I have a sauce line aptly called 10 Fyah Side, 2 radio programmes – The Entrepreneurial You and Living on Purpose; a book entitled” 15 Hints To Entrepreneurial Success: Lessons From A Caribbean Woman

3. Tell me about your typical working day?

Oh where do I start… My day though is never typical. It usually start with devotions. Some days there are meetings, volunteer projects, training, planning, travelling, planning, writing proposals, working at the shop. Tuesday is the only day that has some sort of order which includes pre-recording one of my radio programmes, tea and muffin by Bookophillia (cell-phone goes in the off position), Toastmasters club, prayer meeting.

Patwa Apparel
Patwa Apparel

4. What is your company philosophy?

Patwa Apparel operates on 14 points of culture i.e. commitment, community, volunteerism, consistency, efficiency, empowerment, creativity, integrity, leadership, accountability, passion, quality, respect and abundance.

5. Where is your Head Office based and do you manufacture / produce your products in Jamaica?

We are based at shop # 12 Devon House, 26 Hope Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica. Our products are manufactured in Jamaica.

6. Do you use Jamaican raw materials in your products?

Yes

7. Are you Jamaican?

Born and bred…

8. Tell me your top 3 likes and dislikes about Jamaica?

Likes:

the strength of brand Jamaica and our culture; our passion; our creativity

Dislikes:

crime; political tribalism; bureaucracy

Patwa Apparel
Patwa Apparel

 9. What new company plans and visions are you working on?

Well the company is now going through an intense period of planning for re-branding, restructuring and development and growth. Part of the change will see us attracting a wider range of international customers. There will be changes to our website and social media interaction; design, etc.

10. What is your personal favourite project you are working on and why?

I am working on so many projects right now and I love them all. I think if I have to give an answer, I’d say restructuring the company, building a team and generally implementing changes to grow the company.

11. Who or what, is your inspiration or role model?

My inspiration comes primarily from God. I also read books, watch videos and attend seminars to keep myself motivated. I also draw inspiration from life in general and the people within especially I travel.

12. Where can we buy your products in Jamaica and overseas?

We are located at shop # 12 Devon House, 26 Hope Road; our website outlines our locations (www.patwaapparel.com); our sauces are available at supermarkets in Kingston as well as the Patwa outlet in Devon House. My book is available online on Amazon and Barnes & Noble (15 Hints To Entrepreneurial Success).

Patwa Apparel
Patwa Apparel

13. How do you love to spend your free time in Jamaica?

Free time? J I’m always working, but I enjoy every moment of it. I try to find time for the beach, and go to the country every once in a while…I read sometimes too.

14. If you could be Prime Minister of Jamaica for a day, what would you do?

As the Prime Minister for the day I’d fire most of the Members of Parliament.

15. Which Jamaican, dead or alive, do you feel made the biggest contribution to Jamaica and why?

As someone who is in the business of monetizing from Patois, I’m indebted to the late Louise Bennett-Coverley for her work on the Jamaican language. She has enabled a wider acceptance of the way we speak of Jamaicans. Her contribution to Jamaica is simply priceless.

16. If you could impart one piece of advice to inspire young Jamaicans to start their own businesses or succeed in their chosen career, what would it be?

It is important to belief in yourself and your God-given abilities. Find your purpose, know your why, write your vision down and work the plan. But most importantly, trust in God.

17. If you could change jobs, what would you do?

 If I could change jobs (and I can), I wouldn’t change anything. I absolutely love what I do and as such don’t view it as work.

Patwa Apparel
Patwa Apparel

18. Apart from your own company, what is your favourite Jamaican company and why?

I admire the work of the Lascelles Chin-led LASCO. Chin had a very humble beginning yet his impact globally is undeniable. He was determined to make it.

19. What do you believe contributes most to your company’s ongoing success?

My company’s success has been attributed to my faith, my core values and the 15 Hints I speak about in my book. The main one is ‘finding my purpose’. Everything I do is purpose driven.

20. What do you feel your company has to offer the international and home markets, over and above your competitors?

Our uniqueness, simple yet creative design set us apart from our competitors. This is backed by our customer service as is evidenced by comments in our guest book and on tripadvisor.com.

 Brand Jamaica is at the heart of everything we do.

21. How do you believe as a nation we can help to build Jamaica?

We can help to build Jamaica by being job creators instead of everyone seeking jobs. Our socialization has messed up our psyche; we are taught to go to school and get a good education so that in turn we can get a good job. This is where most of our problems are as there aren’t enough jobs to cater to the needs of the mass.

22. What are your aspirations for Jamaica?

I really want Jamaica to be the place of choice to live, do business and raise families. I dream of a Jamaica where neighbours look out for each other and the Government of the day is selfless.

Heneka Watkis-Porter
Heneka Watkis-Porter

Contact Details for Patwa Apparel

Patwa Apparel

Shop # 12 Devon House

26 Hope Road

Kingston 10

876-849-2571; 876-906-7461

Facebook – Patwa Apparel; 10 Fyah Side; The Entrepreneurial You

Twitter: @patwaapparel @10fyahside @TheEntrepYou

email: Heneka@patwaapparel.com

Website: www.patwaapparel.com

 

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Which is your favourite piece in the Patwa Apparel collection? What do you love to eat your 10 Fyah Side sauces with? Get in touch below we look forward to hearing from you.

 

Green Age World taking over the Caribbean

There is a lot of ‘hype’ around at the moment about Going Green or Being Green, but what does it all mean?  Being considered ‘Green’ is a lifestyle choice, where you have to get involved to make a difference by making changes to the way you live your life. It is all very well to interject this latest buzz word into conversations to make us seem to be ‘in the know’, but to make a quantifiable difference to the environment it takes more effort than just shedding some hot air on the topic. Tackling environmental issues goes wider than just looking at what is happening in Jamaica alone, it is a Caribbean issue, it is a global issue and it is an issue that we should all take a keen interest in. Which is why I have sought out a shining star in the making to give us all a greater insight into what Being Green really means and how it affects us…

Jamaica is a part of the wider Caribbean, a collection of islands brimming with beauty and brains. Not content with becoming a forward thinker within her own demographics, Jamilia Parris is a Barbadian on a mission to educate, inform and transform our lives. With a plan to make a difference that was hatched on the floor in her mother’s house over half a decade ago, Jamilia has been steadfast in her dream to get the message across. Green Age World is a fresh, young and green brand that is actually part of a portfolio of companies that Jamilia is heading to get people and organisations involved in Green issues. Jamilia took some time out from her busy schedule to answer some questions and I hope that her words will inspire you to jump to the ‘Green side’ with conviction!

 

Interview questions

1. Introduce yourself and your role in the company?

My name is Jamilia Parris. I am Founder and CEO of Green Age World and everything Green Age Caribbean (GAC).  Currently, I wear all the hats. I do get some help and advice from experienced and capable friends and colleagues though.

2. When was your company established and why did you choose this career path?

I feel more like this career path chose me, I just accepted it.

 

3. What can we expect from your portfolio of companies?

People can expect to see a young and cool brand that’s all about living green. Don’t expect another NGO site or some boring execution. Nope. We’re going to pop up on your streets, or in your markets, you can interact with us on your smartphones and tablets and come for a chill with us on our website. We’re going to be everywhere you are and we’re going to give you things to check out, things to do, make you feel good and make you smarter, and most importantly, inspire and motivate you to take it green. The people are it, and we believe that, I believe that and our Caribbean people know that. Green is a conscious lifestyle not a task to save the World.

Green Age World I
Green Age World I

4. Where is your Head Office based and how do you serve Jamaica and the wider Caribbean?

There is no head office and I don’t intend for there to be one really in the foreseeable future. The office is wherever I and my future employees are. Green Age World serves not only Jamaicans but all our Caribbean people. The company is a social enterprise, meaning that while we operate for profit, we do so for the people. The brand belongs to Caribbean people and it is EXTREMELY important for them to know and enjoy that. 🙂 Check out the About section on our Facebook page to see what I’m talking about. We are a “Virtual Enterprise”, this keeps costs down and saves on elements that will make us as green as we want to be.

 

5. How do you involve Jamaica(n’s) in your projects?

Remember I said the brand is for the people, it’s an entity our Caribbean people are a part of, truly, for they are and are the ones who will make Green Age Caribbean a reality. The company/brand is not just your normal entity who wants to accumulate patronage; Green Age Caribbean needs a lot more than that to become a reality. I have great things in store for our people in the future, and we’re all going to love it when they happen.

 

GAC: It needs small steps by its people, acceptance, determination, and a burning love for ALL our little worlds that make up this region we live in and so love. How we involve Jamaicans? The company wants its GAC citizens (Caribbean people) to actively play a role in deciding where and to whom the company distributes its social funds and support. As a social enterprise, social responsibility is actually a part of our cost structure, why the company is in business. Jamaicans say “out of many, one people”, well I 100% agree, we are all one people in the Caribbean so we will make this a Green Caribbean and show the rest of the World how forward thinking we can be.

 

Green Age World III
Green Age World III

 

6.  Where are you from, are you Jamaican?

I am from the Caribbean, that’s how I feel. I was born and raised in Barbados, but I am the dictionary definition of Caribbean.

 

7. What new company plans and visions are you working on?

Well our Caribbean and global launch is the biggest plan. There are basic things still to be done and after that will be our awesome website. In between all that there is much to be done to build awareness among Caribbean people.  There’s going to be a cool Green Age Caribbean (GAC) interactive e-magazine that I expect shall be well-received. A youth program is critical to the success of the company mission and we shall be working with NGO’s as much as possible to realize and develop that. Our future holds a big touring company event and even an innovative housing solution, YES, really.

8. What is your personal favourite project you are working on and why?

Besides Green Age World? 🙂

9. Who or what, is your inspiration or role model? 

I observe a lot and I also dream a lot. The latter’s the reason I’m working on this whole thing. I also have an unquenchable thirst for “the better”. Those 3 things combined inspire me and continue to do so. I have a vision for how thriving the people of the Caribbean can be and I just want to help to make that happen. Green Age World was conceptualized 6 years ago around 8pm on my mother’s living room floor and from then I knew it just HAD to be. How could it not? In no way did I have the skill-set then that I do now though, and I’m glad for the people I have supporting me and that I have the knowledge that I do to even attempt to execute my dream that is one for the people and our nations, not just myself.  I can’t say that I have a role model, I never really thought about it honestly. I have a standard for myself and certain expectations I live by and I guess these were informed by watching and interacting with other people as I grew up.

Besides family, lots of people have “touched” me and influenced and contributed to the person I am today. Those people on the streets that were strangers to me (and there have been many throughout my life) and whom said stuff like, “I’m going to see you in the papers someday doing something great” or “You are going to do something big with your life”, I never forget them. That something big and that greatness is my current project, this is my belief. Today I remember and I think they are incredible because they didn’t know me and they just clearly saw things in me I didn’t embrace nor know I had in me then. So among other things are they, those strangers and my people who help drive me every day to continue working on my initiative and seeing it through and I don’t even know their names.

10. Where can we get information about your company projects, in Jamaica and overseas?

We’re on Facebook so find us and talk to us there also people can follow us on Twitter to show their support. When we get it up and running there shall be interactive group boards on Pinterest for the brand so if you’re not there yet, get an account and follow us for now because we’ll be following back and pinning together soon. There will be newsletters; I’ll be actively trying and forging deals with Caribbean brands, all so that the company can help provide people with special offers on their favourite products and services to make green things more accessible and affordable to the masses. That’s important. I’m pushing an ideal but people in any situation need to be able to take it and run with it. That’s the key. I hope those green brands out there are listening.

Subscribers also get inside information on the company’s developments and there are exciting things to come. So, people really need to subscribe with us to access these benefits in the future. Right now there’s an email tab on our Facebook page which people can use to subscribe quickly with us. There’s an email requirement but I also have an option for people to give us their mobile information (to support future SMS/MMS communications) to stay in touch with each other-company and people.

11. How do you love to spend your free time? 

I’ll answer that according to my life now. I love reading. I read a perfectly fictional fantasy adventure book that takes me out of this world and into another for just a little bit. Sometimes I may just watch a movie. That’s the easiest escape I have nowadays. If I could carry the beach everywhere, well now, that would be it. I spend my entire time, whether free or not, GREEN.

Blue Mountains - Green Age World
Blue Mountains – Green Age World

12. Which Jamaican, dead or alive, do you feel made the biggest contribution to Jamaica and why?

Bob Marley. Basically, he put Jamaica on the global map, proving that a small island, one small good thing, can have a decade’s long, a lasting impact on the ENTIRE world.



14. If you could impart one piece of advice to inspire young people to start their own businesses or succeed in their chosen career, what would it be? 

Be resilient. Be determined. Be Creative. Also, don’t ever let ANYONE make you believe that you can’t do something or won’t get something regardless of who they are to you, parents and family included. Seriously. If I listened and followed all the negative things that were said to me or the things I heard, I would not have made some of my dreams and goals come true so far and I certainly would not have become a Founder of a social enterprise right now trying to do what it’s doing. This advice refers to positive things, of course. 🙂 Take the warnings. Appreciate the fact that this path (entrepreneurship) means sacrifice and risk and go for it. Somebody somewhere has your back. I sure do. Jamaicans have impacted the World in many ways including education, sports and certainly music and culture, there is absolutely nothing that could stop you if you’re truly determined to a higher level of life.

15. If you could change jobs, what would you do?

I wouldn’t change jobs, or career paths I should say. I’m better off being an entrepreneur. That said, I never dream of giving up on Green Age World and all its activities. It’s hard and overwhelming but the vision is big so I’m OK with that. However, if I didn’t have this drive and passion, I probably would have become a lawyer, an environmental lawyer.

16. What do you believe will contribute most to your company’s ongoing success? 

My company’s success will depend on a combination of things. One of the most critical things is that the brand needs to be embraced by Caribbean people in a true way. In this case the word ‘people’ refers to our free users and our prospective sponsors, advertisers, and donors.

17. What do you feel your company has to offer the international and home markets, over and above your competitors?

The brand is one that the Caribbean people can literally belong to and that’s a great, powerful thing. It’s meaningful. It’s a sense of ownership in changing the World into a better place; we can be leaders in this race. Perhaps many about to read this may say I’m looking through rose-coloured glasses here; I don’t acknowledge my competitors or potential ones as truly that. Green Age World is an era, an attitude, a behavior, a lifestyle. Green Age Caribbean or a green Caribbean is an ideal and region we all now need to create one home or one step at a time. I’m trying to execute a great, necessary thing here, building something that’s owned by not me as I see it, but by the Caribbean people. I therefore consider my competitors as partners and potential partners anyway, and I hope they see me as such. We cannot be competitively green; we have to be collectively green.

 

18. How do you believe as a nation we can help to build the Caribbean?


You kind of just said it. Caribbean people need to unite, truly unite. People within our countries need also to unite and embrace each other. We all have our differences but we still need to live together. Traveling as much as I have has shown me that our waters are our blessing; it gives us the diversity and nuances of culture and norms from island to island. That’s what’s so fun and priceless about the region. Our waters though, to me, are also our limitation in some ways. Ever thought of what the Caribbean would be like if it were a single land mass like our continental neighbours, especially our northern neighbours? See the advantage yet? There would be more stable or, at least, stronger economies perhaps? There would probably or most certainly be a more mobile people in every sense of the word, greater self-reliance, one economy or fewer ones anyways, instead of several all trying to make it on their own at various stages of economic development or prosperity…? Those are but few of the innumerable positive possibilities if it were so. But it’s not. We need to come together. We need to ensure our people the ability to be able to do so. Our people need to be able to “hop around” with ease, there is much to be gained by movement but I shall not get into that now. To say the least and reiterate, we all need to unite, genuinely, and that starts mentally.

 

19. What are your aspirations for the future of the wider Caribbean?

A Green Caribbean of course. Basically, that’s a healthy, thriving people within green economies of resilient nations of the Caribbean. We have a paradise that people around the world dream of and spend thousands just to see and experience. We need to protect that and inspire them to protect their own nations when they go back home. We need to make our cultures, environment and creativity work for us in a big way. Caribbean people are creative, it’s in us, not something that’s learned, yet our creative industries lack so much infrastructure and support it is with great misfortune. And youth suffer because of this. We are forcing right brain thinkers to be academic when they should be creatively entrepreneurial. I believe our creative genius is a gold mine, just like our beautiful waters and lush nations and I wish the industry was stronger and taken more seriously. We can do we and survive from it. Beyond that, I’m a U.W.I. graduate and I’ve always believed in the idea that universities are pioneers of their societies. Pioneers. I want to see a Caribbean that is a direct effect of the University of the West Indies that it owns. Simple.

Green Age World II
Green Age World II

 

20. How can people get to contribute or get involved with Green Age World?

There is much work to be done if people wish to join me in executing this beauty of mine and theirs. I welcome it so they can contact me if interested. Again, the brand is and shall be very much a social one so people can choose to play a supportive role. We have an aim to be interactive, so, Caribbean people can stay in touch with us via the media and email mentioned earlier or, offer a donation or sponsorship if they wish to help with start-up and other operational costs. The brand is theirs and ours. I welcome any contribution and requests for involvement.

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Contact Details for Jamilia Parris at Green Age World

 

Jamilia Parris

CEO/Founder

Green Age World

Email:  contact@greenageworld.com

Our website is http://www.greenageworld.com

FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/greenageworld

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/greenageworld

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Conserving Energy in Jamaica with Avenir Energy Solutions

Jason Patterson is one of a new generation of young Jamaican’s shining a beacon of hope over Jamaica. Through his entrepreneurial spirit he has formed a forward thinking company ‘Avenir Energy Solutions’ which is helping to build a greener Jamaica. The company works at grass-roots level,  re-educating Jamaican’s on sustainable development practises and green issues and offers solutions to combat them.  Jason’s portfolio also covers auditing a building’s energy consumption and providing sustainable ways to cut it. Not content with this, philanthropic tendencies have also seen him providing pro-bono assistance to a Kingston Boys’ School among other projects.

Here we are pleased to share Jason’s story with our readers and hope to inspire others to become green and to take up the challenge of being a young entrepreneur in Jamaica…

Interview questions

 

1. Introduce yourself and your role in the company?

My name is Jason Patterson, and I am the Founder and Managing Director of Avenir Energy Solutions.

2. When was your company established and why did you choose this career path?

Avenir Energy Solutions was founded in 2013 as a result of my interest in Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development to me is about creating long-term solutions for a number of problems such as poverty reduction, environmental issues etc.

3.What is your company philosophy?

  • We put our Customers first and strive to secure their loyalty through top quality products and service.
  • We value our Employees and seek to help them achieve their full potential.
  • We embrace Professionalism and seek Excellence in everything we do.
  • We do our best to help our Communities be better places in which to live, work and grow.

4. Tell me about your typical working day?

My typical day usually starts at 6:00am. I start by reading online articles related to my fields of interest – some of which I schedule for sharing throughout the day across our social media channels. Since we are constantly focused on providing our clients with the latest and most effective solutions, I spend a couple of hours reading product reviews and contacting potential suppliers. After this, I review my to-do-list (keeps me sane!) and I try to start by “eating the frog” – which translates to executing the hardest task on my to-do-list first.

I try to schedule all conference calls and/or meetings with clients and suppliers for early to mid-afternoon. Since we are currently in pre-launch phase, contact with my mentor and marketing personnel is also crucial as we are working to devise strategies and marketing material. Following this, my focus switches to completing any outstanding project proposals and reports for our clients.

My late evenings are usually reserved for friends and family.

5. Where is your Head Office based and do you manufacture / produce your products in Jamaica?

We currently operate from my home office in Mandeville, Manchester. As a result of the technical requirements associated with our current business model, all of our products are imported from the United States and Asia.

6. Are you Jamaican?

Yes.

7. What new company plans and visions are you working on?

Education plays a crucial role in increasing awareness of the benefits of Sustainable Development. Therefore, we are currently focused on developing material and campaigns to educate people of these benefits, as well as inform them of no-cost/low-cost strategies which can be easily implemented.

Avenir Infographic
Avenir Infographic

8. What is your personal favourite project you are working on and why?

We recently partnered with Dennergy Solutions and the Kimroy Bailey Foundation to design and implement a pro bono project for the Alpha Boys’ School in Kingston, Jamaica. The Alpha Boys’ School is a catholic owned institution which is committed to the development and care of exposed and underprivileged young men. The school has and continues to benefit thousands of young boys in Jamaica.

Funding to conduct a Level II Energy Audit has already been secured through the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ). We are currently developing a sustainable energy plan for Alpha that is to culminate with implemented technical, behavioural and social interventions that will no doubt see Alpha well on their way to energy sustainability.

This project has the potential to positively impact thousands of lives, and while it is still in the early stages of planning and development, the support from the public has been overwhelming. More updates to come…

9. Who or what, is your inspiration or role model?

Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, is in my opinion the embodiment of real entrepreneurship – vision, creativity, innovation, passion and hard work. While he has amassed great wealth and has founded over 400 companies, he remains committed to his belief that business can be used as a force for good.

I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Sir Richard… Awesome!

Richard Branson and I
Richard Branson and I

10. Where can we buy your products in Jamaica and overseas?

Currently, our products/services are available in Jamaica to persons/organisations on a project basis. Our website is currently under construction and will soon be updated with a full overview of our offering.

11. If you could impart one piece of advice to inspire young Jamaicans to start their own businesses or succeed in their chosen career, what would it be?

Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.

12. If you could change jobs, what would you do?

I enjoy being an entrepreneur and running a company that helps others to achieve their sustainability goals.

13. Apart from your own company, what is your favourite Jamaican company and why?

 Having met Donna Duncan-Scott, the former Managing Director of Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), and listening to her convey her passion for JMMB’s staff and clients, I would have to say that they are one of my favourite companies. JMMB possesses a strong corporate culture (unconditional love and mutual respect) and they embrace social responsibility through initiatives such as the Joan Duncan Foundation. Traits which I also want to convey through my businesses.

14. What do you believe contributes most to your company’s on-going success?

Constant communication with our clients and suppliers. This keeps us attune to our clients needs and the markets offerings. We have an open door policy where our current and potential clients are concerned – no query or concern is too small.

15. What do you feel your company has to offer the international and home markets, over and above your competitors?

While a vast number of competitors exist within our industry, our small size allows us to be flexible and to focus on our clients and provide them with best in class products and service. We pride ourselves on educating our clients and providing the best solutions for their path to sustainable development, and we look forward to growing with them.

16. How do you believe as a nation we can help to build Jamaica?

 I believe that Jamaica possesses a strong potential for growth if our support for local industries and local production is increased. Campaigns such as your ‘SUPPORT JAMAICA BUY JAMAICAN!’ and Neil Curtis’ ‘Farm Up Jamaica’ have the potential to make a significant contribution to our economy and reduce unemployment.

17. What are your aspirations for Jamaica?

I wish to see Jamaica realise its true economic potential, and to see the lives of our citizens improve, especially the underprivileged. I hope to aid in this development through Avenir Energy Solutions, and all of my other business ventures that follow.

18. How can people start getting involved with Green Solutions?

‘Going green’ doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it have to be an inconvenience. There are several low-cost strategies, such as switching to LED lighting, which can make a significant contribution to our journey towards sustainable development. We post no-cost/low-cost tips and tricks to reduce energy consumption on our social media channels on a daily basis.

19. How do you love to spend your free time in Jamaica?

I enjoy reading as well as spending time with friends and family. I have a small circle of close friends that enjoy a good lyme/flex and my family enjoys getting together to preparing large meals and hanging out.

Avenir Flyer
Avenir Flyer

Avenir Energy Solutions Contact Details

Direct: (876)-371-2065

Website: www.avenirenergysolutions.com

Email: info@avenirenergysolutions.com

Facebook: facebook.com/avenirenergysolutions

Twitter: twitter.com/avenirenergy

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What are you doing to Go Green? What do you think about climate change? Get in touch below we look forward to hearing from you…

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CFW Caribbean Fashion Week Kingston Jamaica

Fashionista’s and A-listers will be flocking to the fabulous CFW (Caribbean Fashion Week) being held in Kingston between the 11th and 16th June 2014.  Now in its 13th year the award-winning event promises to be a festival of sights and sounds with Caribbean and International designers showcasing their collections, alongside top-notch musical performances. The organisers ‘Pulse’ have pulled out all the stops and CFW 2014 is lauded to be the best year yet with the launch of ShopCaribbeanFashion and shopping lounges at the event where you can leave with your favourite looks. Stunning runway shows will tantalise the senses, alongside star-studded performances from Sizzla, Ninja Man and Sheila E to name a few.

The opening Night of CFW is 11th June 2014, the collections will be shown at the National Indoor Sports Centre over the preceding nights, with the Wrap Night heralding a full-set from Sizzla and includes performances from Sheila E (legendary Prince Drummer). Many creative African’s will be featured at CFW 2014, including Zambian designer Sabina Mutsvati and two Ethiopian designers Fitkirte and Mahlet. Additionally, Ethiopian model Yardanos and traditional dancer and entertainer “Kuri”, Kuribachew Woldemariam will feature.

The event takes place at a number of Kingston addresses including the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston, the Spanish Court Hotel, PULS8 in New Kingston, Villa Ronai in Stony Hill and the Red Bones Blues Cafe.

CFW Banner
CFW Banner

The Launch of Shop Caribbean Fashion

The latest venture of Pulse, the team behind CFW is the launch of Shop Caribbean Fashion  an e-commerce offering that showcases some of the designers featured. You can buy 6-piece capsule collections from some of the designers showing at CFW, alongside other treasures. Building to the excitement of CFW the site will go live at the opening night of CFW 2014 enabling the fashion hungry to snap up their favourite looks from the shows.

CFW Bio by Shop Caribbean Fashion

Caribbean Fashionweek is produced by Pulse, a fashion and entertainment company which pioneered the development of the fashion and modelling industries in the Caribbean. The company is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange and was the first of its kind to be publicly listed. CFW began in 2001 and one of its essential features is to showcase the fashion design talent of the region to the rest of the world, and drive export opportunities for Caribbean designers. The event has grown in status and attracts world-class entertainment and a plethora of internationally successful models, however the focus in 2014 has returned to creating a platform for designers to monetize their creative enterprise globally.

The launch of ShopCaribbeanfashion.com will allow international fashion lovers to purchase directly from the Caribbean catwalk online or in person by attending the shows.

This Bio information and the images on this post have been reproduced from the Shop Caribbean Fashion website.

Get more information on CFW 2014 on the Pulse Caribbean Fashion Week website….

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CFW
CFW

Plant Sup’n with ‘Farm Up Jamaica’!

Farm Up Jamaica is the vision of Neil Curtis, an inspirational Jamaican living in New York. Like many Jamaicans living abroad, Neil keeps a keen eye on the goings-on back home. Frustrated by the continuing depreciation of the Jamaican Dollar,  high unemployment rates and the decline in home-grown produce, Neil hatched an ambitious plan to help heal Jamaica. The result is ‘Farm Up Jamaica’, a visionary project that is a  many faceted and utterly brilliant master plan to make a quantifiable difference in Jamaica.

What Makes Farm Up Jamaica Special?

Farm Up Jamaica gets its funding from donations, gifts in-kind and through volunteering work, much of which is through the Jamaican diaspora. The Non-Profit Organisation works with the Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture to find gaps in the market contributing to the excessive food importations into Jamaica. It uses this information to channel the donations to offer help, employment, education and empowerment to farmers who had all but given up. The revolutionary concept is breathing new life into Jamaican farming with Organic and Sustainable Farming practices. These Organic crops are then available to buy locally in Jamaica and will also enable greater exportation possibilities, helping to stabilise the gap between imports and exports. Plus, the implementation of Organic and Sustainable farming practices is better for us when we consume the pesticide free food and it’s also really good for the Environment too.  An all-round Win, Win situation!

Sweet Jamaica Interview with Farm Up Jamaica

I am pleased to announce that the CEO of Farm Up Jamaica, Neil Curtis, took some time out of his busy schedule to take part in Sweet Jamaica Jules’ ‘SUPPORT JAMAICA, BUY JAMAICAN!’ interview series. Neil shares his story and views about his organisation with us in this fascinating read!

 

1. Introduce yourself and your role in the company?

Hello, my name is Neil Curtis and I am the founder and CEO of Farm Up Jamaica Limited.

 

2. When was your company established and why did you choose this career path?

Our organisation was founded in July 2013. The reason we chose this path was to create a trustworthy way for diaspora to give back that would have a direct and measurable effect on Jamaica.

3. Tell me about your typical working day?

 A work day in New York consists of:

  • Communicating by phone and email with farmers who want to participate in the program.
  • Diaspora meetings in person, by phone, email and Skype etc
  • Interaction with other organizations who want to partner or help the cause
  • Working with our fundraising co-ordinator to identify or improve ways to raise funds
  • Creating Memorandum of Understanding for organisations that we are partnering with
  • Researching new seeds and best practises for Organic Farming
  • Live television and radio interviews into U.S., U.K. and Canada
  • Consistent communication with our staff and board members

A work day in Jamaica consists of:

  • Visits to our current farmers to make sure they are functioning optimally
  • Meetings with prospective farmers and their families
  • Distribution of Organic seeds and fertilisers to our member farmers
  • Interacting with companies who want to partner or sponsor the cause
  • Meetings with government agencies for agricultural technical advice or administration
  • Negotiating with our vendors to ensure we are receiving the best possible pricing, discounts and incentives
  • Creating work forces in areas of interest and ensuring that it includes the best possible pricing, discounts and incentives
  • Creating work forces in areas of interest and ensuring that it includes local farmers, students, inner city youth and volunteers

 

Young and Old Farmers Getting Involved
Farmers Getting Involved

4. What is your company philosophy?

 Our company philosophy is to reduce the importation of foreign food by planting our own healthy organic food to save a nation in more ways than one.

5. Where is your Head Office based and do you manufacture / produce your products in Jamaica?

Our Head Office is based in New York. We don’t currently manufacture but all crops that are grown in Jamaica.

6. Do you use Jamaican raw materials in your products?

We use as much Jamaican raw material that is available and only go outside if necessary.

7. Are you Jamaican?

I am Jamaican, from St. Catherine.

8. Tell me your top 3 likes and dislikes about Jamaica?

 Likes about Jamaica:

  1. Nature
  2. Music
  3. Food

Dislikes about Jamaica:

  1. 1. Resources taken for granted
  2. 2. Economy
  3. 3. Crime

9. What new company plans and visions are you working on?

Organic onion production to replace the 90 percent of onions being imported into Jamaica. Non-GMO organic corn production for local and export markets. Students growing organic food for a lunch program.

Plant Sup'n Jamaica!
Plant Sup’n Jamaica!

10. What is your personal favourite project you are working on and why?

My favourite project is the organic onion cultivation, because it is a serious Jamaican concern and will have a measurable impact on the importation of onions which is a basic staple in every kitchen.

11. Who or what, is your inspiration or role model?

A true love for Jamaica and wanting to see it recover has inspired me to start this organisation.

12. Where can we buy your products in Jamaica and overseas?

Our products will be available under the Farm Up Jamaica label in your local supermarkets in Jamaica. Overseas supermarkets will also have our products where other Jamaican food products are sold.

13. How do you love to spend your free time in Jamaica?

I spend my free time enjoying nature in Jamaica and visiting places that I’ve never been to.

14. If you could be Prime Minister of Jamaica for a day, what would you do?

If I were Prime Minister for a day I would write a policy to effectively address and reduce crime. This would help to motivate lots of returning residents and tourists and create more income for the Jamaican economy!

15. Which Jamaican, dead or alive, do you feel made the biggest contribution to Jamaica and why?

I believe that Marcus Garvey made the biggest contribution to Jamaica. He believed that anything is possible and proved it. Many Jamaicans wait to travel to other countries to evolve into greatness. I believe we need to evolve at home and make Jamaica a greater country!

16. If you could impart one piece of advice to inspire young Jamaicans to start their own businesses or succeed in their chosen career, what would it be?

 My advice to young Jamaican’s is to firstly learn money management skills and then start their own businesses and grow their companies to become internationally recognised.

17. If you could change jobs, what would you do?

If I could change jobs, I wouldn’t! I love what I do…

18. Apart from your own company, what is your favourite Jamaican company and why?

My favourite company is Grace. I love the way they have been able to show how a Jamaican company can diversify and grow to become an international brand!

19. What do you believe contributes most to your company’s on-going success?

What contributes to my organizations on-going success is being able to teach people that the glass is half full and not half empty. Bringing inspiration to farmers that thought their lives were over and converting them into patriotic food security soldiers keeps Farm Up Jamaica alive.

20. What do you feel your company has to offer the international and home markets, over and above your competitors?

Our company offers a unique product which is organic Jamaican food. It’s what sets us apart.

21. How do you believe as a nation we can help to build Jamaica?

We can help build Jamaica by becoming a part of the solution. Agriculture only represents 6% of the Jamaican GDP. If the whole country would focus on increasing this number we can build a self-sufficient Jamaica. “Plant Sup’n”.

All Organic
All Organic

 22. What are your aspirations for Jamaica?

My aspirations for Jamaica is to see the country live up to its popularity, by not only becoming a great place to visit, but a great place to do business.

23. How can people contribute or get involved with Farm Up Jamaica?

People can contribute funds, time, equipment, training, materials, etc.

Farmers can get involved by calling us at: (USA) 516-376-1626 or (JAMAICA) 876-592-5992.

Check out our website: WWW.FARMUPJAMAICA.ORG

We can also be reached by email at: INFO@FARMUPJAMAICA.ORG

Volunteers can email: VOLUNTEERS@FARMUPJAMAICA.ORG

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What are you doing to celebrate Earth Hour? What do you think about climate change? Get in touch below we look forward to hearing from you…

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Welcome to ‘GATFFEST’ The Jamaican Film Festival

Calling all Film Lovers! If you are a film buff or an aspiring short film-maker get involved with The Greater August Town Film Festival ‘GATFFEST’. Jamaica’s very own Film Festival is being held between the 24th and the 27th April 2014 in Kingston and is hotting up as a ‘Must See’ event in Jamaica. Now in its second year, GATFFEST invites attendees and participants to the event which showcases short films from both local and international film makers, in six categories. The four-day event, mainly being  held at The Courtleigh Auditorium includes an invitation only Red Carpet Premiere Screening, free Film Workshop and August Town Community Town Tour, as well as two $500 entry Film Nights culminating in an Awards Show. GATFFEST is affiliated with the Orlando ‘Love Your Shorts’ Film Festival a respected offering from America.

How did The Greater August Town Film Project Start?

The Centre for Tourism and Policy Research at the University of the West Indies (UWI) conceived the University Township initiative, out of which the Greater August Town Film Project a community tourism project was born. The idea was to find a way to reach out to the unemployed and under achieving youths of the joint communities that make up August Town, Kingston, just south of the UWI campus. After consultation with the community it was decided that introducing the youths to film would give them a way to be uplifted. Opening a creative medium to have their voice heard and stories documented in their own words. Just under 100 young residents have benefitted from being trained in aspects of film and video production through the project aiding their future employment prospects. The project also offers an internationally recognised platform to show off their work among their peers in the film industry and potentially be awarded at GATFFEST. The Film Festival is lauded to become a destination event for tourists interested in indie film making, furthering the reach of the project in the Greater August Town communities.

GATFFEST 2013
GATFFEST 2013

 

How Do I Participate it GATFFEST?

Submissions are welcomed from newcomers and experienced film-makers alike, from both local and international talent. The Application Deadline is midnight on the 4th April 2014. Short films must be between 5 and 30 minutes long and can be submitted in ONE of the following categories:

  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • Animation
  • Documentary
  • Musical and Dance
  • Science Fiction and Horror

 

Come on Jamaica! Get Involved in The GATFFEST…

Big Up Yourself Youths of Jamaica! There is creativity in the hands, hearts and minds of Jamaican’s and I would appeal to any young aspiring Jamaican film makers to submit your short films to GATFFEST and show off your talent!  It is a great way to gain some experience and exposure in the film industry and get your burgeoning talent recognised on the international film circuit.

How is the GATFFEST Awards Judged?

All films accepted by the Review Committee will be reviewed and judged by a panel prior to the start of the festival, with the official winners being announced on the last night.  The People’s Choice awards will be voted for by secret ballot. Each night the audience is asked to vote for their favourite film(s), with the winner being announced after the showing of each block.

 

GATFFEST 2014
GATFFEST 2014

Official Information from GATFFEST

This information has been copied from the GATFFEST website

Rules and Submission Guidelines to GATFFEST

  1. The spirit of GATFFEST is one of social and community upliftment, cooperation and human development. Therefore, we do not accept submissions that ridicule or demean people; incite hatred towards individual or groups; or promote violence.
  2. The Review Committee chooses and invites the films which will be presented in the festival and reserves the right to cancel any submission during the festival.
  3. Each film invited to be a part of the Official Selection by the Review Committee will receive a Certificate of Participation.
  4. Once a film has been selected it cannot be withdrawn by the submitting party from the festival programme during the event without a valid reason.
  5. During the entire duration of GATFFEST, none of the films invited may be shown outside the Festival’s official theatres before its official screening.

 

How to submit your film to GATFFEST

  1. Persons submitting films to GATFFEST may not receive payment for their submissions.
  2. Films not presented in English or Jamaican Creole must have subtitles in English.
  3. Films may be submitted in the following genres: comedy, drama, animation, documentary, musical/dance and sci-fi/horror.
  4. Films submitted to GATFFEST should normally be between 5 and 30 minutes long.
  5. Films may be submitted through the official website: http://www.uwicommuntiyfilmproject.com or to mellissatulloch@yahoo.com.
  6. Films may also be submitted directly to the office on DVD or USB flash drive. Telephone: 1876 970 1467.
  7. Films may also be submitted via Dropbox or Vimeo.
  8. Submission deadline for all films is for April 4, 2014 at Midnight.
  9. Each film can only be submitted to one category.
  10. All films should have the relevant copyright approvals before submission.
  11. Films accepted by GATFFEST may be used in various promotions for the festival.
  12. Each night the audience will be invited to choose the best film/s by secret ballot. People’s Choice awards winners will be announced following the showing of each block.
  13. For the GATFFEST Official awards, a panel of judges will review all films accepted by the Review Committee and choose the winners before the festival and announce winners on the final night during the awards ceremony.
  14. On the final night GATFFEST Official awards will be presented for:
  • Best Directing (Franklyn St Juste Award )
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Local (Lennie Little-White Award)
  • Best International
  • Best Community
  • Best of the spirit of GATFFEST
  • Best of GATTFEST – “Archie” — (Archibald McDonald Award)

 

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Will you be attending or participating in GATFFEST? If you had the opportunity, what topic would you tackle in a 30 minute short film? Get in touch below we look forward to hearing from you…

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Earth Hour Jamaica 2014

What is Earth Hour?

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) conceived the idea for a symbolic event showing a commitment to making positive action for the environment and Earth Hour was born. This campaign encourages governments, businesses and individuals to switch off any non-essential lights for one set hour. The event started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007, but has now spread to include 152 countries participating in the Event, which is being held today, the 29th March 2014.

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Nelson Mandela

 “Let us stand together to make of our world a sustainable source for our

future as humanity on this planet” 

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How is Jamaica Celebrating Earth Hour?

Jamaica is joining the events marking Earth Hour for the second year running and is celebrating the initiative with a free acoustic reggae concert in Kingston at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre. The concert is being used as a medium to show Jamaica’s ongoing commitment to tackling climate change and raise public awareness of the issues. At 8.30pm participants at the concert will release 100 lanterns to officially mark Earth Hour, whilst other Jamaicans across the island are being asked to turn off any non-essential lights.

The concert is being organised by Jamaicansmusic.com, in partnership with Flow and includes acts Rootz Underground, Jesse Royal,  I-Wayne, Iba Mahr, Runkus and the Old Skl Band, Aisha Davis, Sezi, Stephanie, Sevana, Dann-I, SkyGrass, Nature, Jah Bouks, Charmaine, Ikaya, Ruth Royes, BLACKasCOLE, Dburnz, Machu Ezra, Eva Hype, D’Yani, Cali P. The concert will be hosted by Jah9, Bay-C of T.O.K, Stephen Newland of Rootz Underground and Keida.

Earth Hour Jamaica Concert
Earth Hour Jamaica Concert

What do the Organisers Hope to Achieve?

We hope that more companies locally will participate in the fight against climate change and spread the word about this movement. We will print and distribute 1,000 tickets which will allow FREE access to the event. A $500 fee will be charged at the gate for patrons without a ticket. Proceeds from the concert will go to Jamaica Environment Trust, a non-profit, non-governmental membership organization who operate Jamaica’s largest environmental education program, the Schools Environment Programme.

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Soundbites About Earth Hour

Thoughts from some of the people involved in Earth Hour.

 

Andy Ridley, CEO and Co- Founder, Earth Hour.

“People from all walks of life, from all nations around the world, are the lifeblood of the Earth Hour global community. They are true beacons of hope, demonstrating what happens when innovation and passion come together to address the biggest challenges of our time. They have proven time and time again that if you believe in something strongly enough, you can achieve amazing things. These stories aren’t unique, this is happening all over the world,”

Gail Abrahams, director of corporate communications for Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited, operators of the Flow brand.

 “Climate change is one of the most important issues affecting our planet. Our partnership for the Earth Hour concert enables us to demonstrate our commitment to action on climate change via initiatives to minimize our negative impact on the environment. As a technology company, we use this opportunity to highlight the importance of smart and responsible use of technology so that we are solving problems rather than creating more for the future.”

Alex Morrissey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Jamaicansmusic.com

“We’re grateful to have Flow on board again for the second Earth Hour Concert. With Flow’s assistance, we will make progress on our efforts to transcend into a national movement through their reach to a wide cross-section of customers. It’s great to have corporate Jamaica demonstrating their firm commitment and recognition of the importance of efforts to save our planet. Our music has proven time and time again to be one of the most effective ways to convey important messages to Jamaicans. This Earth Hour Concert provides an opportunity to increase awareness of environmental issues in Jamaica. We are excited to join with these talented artistes and the organisers of Earth Hour for this incredible event and encourage as many persons as possible to attend.”

Some of these soundbites were originally from an article in the Jamaican Observer.

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Earth Hour Jamaica 2014
Earth Hour Jamaica 2014

Find out more about the concert at the Jamaicans Music Website Here…

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Two Jamaican Breadfruit Recipes

How to Cook a Breadfruit

Some Jamaican’s believe that eating Breadfruit makes you ‘fraid, or plainly put a coward. However, whether this ‘ol time saying is true or not, I simply love cooking and eating Breadfruit. I have included two Jamaican recipes for roasted and fried breadfruit, that I am sure will keep you coming back for more. Breadfruit can be roasted in the oven, or better still on a fire or barbecue for the real smoky flavour. Afterwards you can remove the heart and slice it into segments, rubbing on a little seasoning before frying it. Trust me, this is so good your belly will buss before you can stop eating it!

 

You Will Need:

  • A long sharp knife
  • An oven, fire pit or barbecue

Ingredients:

  • A good roasting Breadfruit

How to Make Sure the Breadfruit is Good for Roasting…

  1. It should be firm to the touch with a little give when squeezed
  2. Look out for a yellowish colour between the green ‘scales’ of the skin
  3. There are white deposits on the skin

Method:

  • Take a long sharp knife to cut out the stalk of the breadfruit
  • Cut a ‘square’ around the stalk, digging in the knife at an angle to release around two inches into the heart in a ‘v’ shape
  • Cut a cross in the bottom of the breadfruit around 1″ deep to help release steam inside
  • Place on a grill over a fire, in an oven or barbecue
  • Turn the Breadfruit until all sides are blackened and the breadfruit lets out a clean knife when pierced in either end (in the holes)
  • Remove from the fire
  • Wait until it cools and wearing gloves to prevent the hands getting all sooty, use a long knife to cut off the blackened skin
  • Don’t cut too deep to waste the Breadfruit, just enough to remove the blackened outer skin
  • Cut in quarters along the length of the Breadfruit (like an Orange segment) and cut out the heart and the little seeds, discard
  • Eat the roasted Breadfruit as it is… Yummy!

 

Jamaican Fried Breadfruit Recipe

You Will Need:

  • A long sharp knife
  • A frying pan or dutch pot
  • A chopping board
  • A dish to season the Breadfruit

Ingredients:

  • A roasted Breadfruit
  • Dried seasoning; Salt, Black Pepper and Paprika
  • Cooking Oil

 

 

Method:

  • Cut the Breadfruit in quarters along the length, cut out the heart and discard it
  • Using a long knife, cut the quarters into segments around 1″ thick
  • Sprinkle a little of the mixed seasoning in a dish
  • Lightly rub the seasoning on both sides of the Breadfruit slices and drop them into the hot oil
  • Fry on both sides until golden, remove draining on a sheet of paper towelling
  • Serve… So, so, so delicious and a great alternative to fries

WARNING! This recipe for Fried Breadfruit is highly addictive!

You can eat this fried Breadfruit on its own, it is so delicious. Or, if you feeling a little more hungry why not try it with my Jamaican Recipes for:

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Roasted and Fried Breadfruit Slices
Roasted and Fried Breadfruit Slices

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Grow What You Eat – Jamaica Part 3

Container Gardening in Tropical Climates

The idea for my Container Garden came after a combination of missing the pleasure of growing pesticide free foodstuffs and the desire to put some life into my dreary front veranda. As I live in a rented apartment I need to be aware of not changing anything, plus there is little outside space that I can claim so a Container Garden is ideal. Not only are they non-permanent, you can take all the containers, plants and soil with you when you move so it also saves money, time and effort too! It is easy to manage and keep an eye on a container garden and if something doesn’t work out they are inexpensive to replant with something else. As this is my first time container gardening in the tropical climate of Jamaica, it is going to be trial and error with what will work out. But I am encouraged by the results so far as seedlings start sprouting, this is a record of the growth as of 20th March 2014.

My Cucumber, Garden Peas and French (String) Bean Seedlings

The large planter that was sown on the 3rd of March has a selection of seedlings growing, all of which are coming along so well that I am wondering whether there will be enough room.  Although, I had planned to take out the Tomato and potentially the Cucumber when they had put on a few leaves, in order to give the beans and peas more room. The Tomato is growing at a much slower rate than the Peas and Beans and even the Cucumber is bigger, so the Tomato seedlings look too straggly to be moved at the moment. I am hoping that the Peas and Beans can be encouraged to grow up in vines, as they are ‘bush’ varieties and not supposed to get too big.

Making a Recycled Growing Frame

As there is a multitude of creeping vegetables in the large trough planter I have constructed a frame for the vines to grow along. I found three pieces of metal bar with pre-drilled holes along the length that  were unwanted, so I tethered them together in the corners and tied the whole contraption to the trough planter for sturdiness. Using the holes as eyelets I threaded a metal cord vertically across the bars until I had reached the top. I am not sure that it will be large enough to support all the Garden Peas and French (String) Beans in the trough, but I will extend it if need be.

Recycled Growing Frame
Recycled Growing Frame

My Beetroot Seedlings

The recycled 15 litre oil bottle that was planted up with Beetroot on the 11th March, has also seen growth and the seedlings are coming up in neat rows. I have sprinkled some egg-shell among the seedlings to help keep down the slugs and snails and I keep a keen eye on how much water they are getting. The container seems to be working well so far and is easy to slide around the tiny grass patch for the best spot to get rain, shade and sun.

Beetroot 20 MAR 2014
Beetroot 20 MAR 2014

My Lettuce Seedlings

Of the two types of lettuce that I planted up in recycled soda bottles the Oak Leaf seedlings are the biggest, although the Iceberg is making an appearance. There was a torrential rain storm which all but flooded out some of my collection of containers and I was wondering whether they would still germinate, luckily the lettuce wasn’t totally washed away!

My Okra Seedlings

I am really pleased that several of my Okra seeds have germinated in the 10″ pot. I have tried to grow Okra in the greenhouse at my allotment in the UK, but it was never successful. Although they would grow a few leaves and a tiny Okra would appear, the seedling would always die as it never gets enough heat and sunlight. I have high hopes for these seedlings in the tropical heat of Jamaica and hope I will get some proper growth off of them.

Okra 20 MAR 2014
Okra 20 MAR 2014

My Pepper Seedlings

Mmm, this is a bit awkward…. there aren’t any! They also got flooded out in the rain storm, along with the Tomato seeds in the small soda bottles and I am afraid they haven’t sprouted at all. I am disappointed that they haven’t grown, as I love growing peppers and especially hot peppers which bear quickly and ferociously and serve you with plenty of fresh pickings. But it is not to be. The egg boxes got totally waterlogged and then got really dry, it was hard to find a happy medium. The seeds had been taken from peppers that may have been refrigerated at sometime too and this is also not conducive to sprouting seeds.

My Tomato Seedling

My one little Tomato seedling that had hatched randomly in a flower pot has been doing well in its new home. The recycled soda bottle has much softer earth which is a combination of Organic potting soils and after a few days of stabilising its root system, it looks stronger and is standing upright. I am careful not to put it in too much direct sunlight and I make sure it gets just enough water to keep it happy. As I am aware of the damage a sudden rain-pour can cause to small seedlings, I keep it under the shelter of the roof overhang or nestled underneath a larger plant.

Tomato Seedling 20 MAR 2014
Tomato Seedling 20 MAR 2014

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Jamaica Featured in Trip Advisor Awards

Jamaica is becoming a more affordable ‘bucket list’ holiday destination, with the news in the UK Budget about the price of flights reducing next year. All you will need now is somewhere fabulous to stay to suit your needs. Jamaican hotspots have been featured in many of the categories for both the 2013 and 2014 ‘Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Awards’, which could give you a head start in choosing from the huge amount of choice on the island. In case you’re wondering, Trip Advisor is the world’s largest travel website that helps people book trips based on millions of travellers unbiased reviews of the places they have travelled to, including accommodation, food and places to visit.

‘Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Awards’

TripAdvisor collated all the opinions and reviews that travellers have given about each destination and the amenities offered there, which puts them in order of ranking based on points. Each year the highest ranking entries are compiled into Top 10 and Top 25 Award Winners Lists which are published on their site. It is no surprise to me that Jamaican resorts featured favourably throughout the winners, with some resorts and areas being placed in multiple categories.

Here are the Travellers’ Choice Award Winners in Jamaica

 

Top 25 Hotels in the Caribbean 2014

 Jamaica has really put its stamp on this category with four (4) winners placed in the 25 Top Hotels in the Caribbean, all of which are along the north coast.

 

Top 25 Hotels in the Caribbean 2014
Top 25 Hotels in the Caribbean 2014

 

 

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Best 25 Beaches in the Caribbean 2014

The Caribbean has been blessed with a plethora of beautiful beaches, with powder white sand and turquoise water. Negril, on Jamaica’s most western coast has a famous stretch of sand that pleases the senses and was ranked in again, at 10 out of 25 entries.

Best 25 Beaches in the Caribbean 2014

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*NEWS FLASH!*

Update as of 11th April 2014. Another category has been collated and the 2014 Winners announced…

Top 10 Destinations in the Caribbean 2014

Both Ocho Rios and Negril have been voted for by travellers and have even beaten their ranking from last year’s results. Well Done!

Top 10 Destinations in the Caribbean 2014
Top 10 Destinations in the Caribbean 2014

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Top 10 World Hotels for Families 2013

If you are taking advantage of the cost savings on flights for families visiting Jamaica, family friendly accommodation is in order. Negril comes up trumps again for Jamaica, with this resort making it into the Top 10 Hotels in the World.

Top 10 World Hotels for Families 2013

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Top 25 Bargain Hotels in the Caribbean 2013

Budget travellers will be pleased to know they haven’t been left out, as a hotel in Negril has been awarded in the Top Bargain Hotels category.

Top 25 Bargain Hotels in the Caribbean 2013

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Top 25 Small Hotels in the Caribbean 2013

Small boutique hotels are becoming popular as they tend to offer a more intimate setting, with elegant surroundings and are quieter than the mass appeal of the big hotel groups. Jamaica boasts a number of these establishments and has been awarded with four winners in this category. Negril on Jamaica’s West coast is once again featured, alongside Port Antonio which is on Jamaica’s East coast.

Top 25 Small Hotels in the Caribbean 2013
Top 25 Small Hotels in the Caribbean 2013

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Top 25 All-Inclusive Hotels in the Caribbean 2013

When many people think of visiting paradise, it has to include staying in an all-Inclusive resort. These resorts feature heavily in Jamaica and although they are more pricey, the experience can make for an ‘all out’, or ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to be remembered for ever. Three resorts where featured in the Top 25 All-Inclusive Hotels in the Caribbean, spread along the west and north coasts of Jamaica.

Top 25 All-Inclusive Hotels in the Caribbean

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Top 10 Destinations in the Caribbean 2013

With all the destinations in the Caribbean to choose from, it pleases me to announce that Jamaica has been featured twice in the Top 10 destinations in the Caribbean category. My home town of Ocho Rios and the top rated Negril  are on the list.

Top 10 Destinations in the Caribbean

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Top 25 Beaches in the Caribbean 2013

Seven Mile Beach in Negril is a clear favourite in the Caribbean as it is featured in both the 2013 and 2014 Top Beach category.

Top 25 Beaches in the Caribbean 2013
Top 25 Beaches in the Caribbean 2013

 

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Top 10 Landmarks in the Caribbean 2013

With all the Landmarks to visit in the Caribbean, Jamaica’s famous Rose Hall Great House came up in the Top 10 list last year.

 

Rose Hall Great House
Rose Hall Great House

Top 10 Landmarks in the Caribbean

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Sweet Jamaica Jules Contributes on TripAdvisor…

If you would like to read my reviews and opinions about places I have visited then check out the SweetJamaicaJules members page on TripAdvisor here…

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Images

All images used in this post have been copied from TripAdvisor and their partner websites. These images remain the property of this parties and have been used for demonstration purposes only. The link for TripAdvisor website can be found here.

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Trip Advisor Travellers Awards 2014

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Air Passenger Duty From London to Jamaica Reduced

Why Jamaica is a great Destination for Visitors

Jamaica has always been a great destination for a holiday, but now there are more reasons than ever to add it to your bucket list. There has been some good news this week with the changes that are going to be made to the APD, or Air Passenger Duty that is payable when travelling from, or through the UK, when visiting Jamaica. This reduction in tax is not only going to appeal to holiday makers, as it will also affect all the passengers who fly to Jamaica to visit friends and family.

What is APD (Air Passenger Duty)?

The United Kingdom has an excise duty (tax) called APD which is added to the cost of flights flying out of any UK airport and includes passengers who ‘stop over’ in the UK for longer than 24 hours for a connecting flight.  The duty is only applied to aircraft that have an authorised take-off weight of more than ten tonnes, or that are capable of carrying more than 20 passengers. As the levy is calculated in ‘Bands’ dependent on the distance flown, long haul flights have felt the brunt of the charges affecting the price of flights to Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. Although the APD tax was introduced partly as an environmental measure to curb carbon emissions, the charges were set at a flat rate and did not reflect the age or energy efficiency of the aircraft on long haul flights.

How Is APD (Air Passenger Duty) Calculated?

Jamaica currently falls into Band C, this Band includes flights that are between 4,001 and 6,000 miles from London to the capital city of the destination country. Since April 2013 this has meant that up to £300.00 of tax has been added to the cost of the flight. However for the first time in years the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced during his Budget presentation that the Caribbean region will be moved from Band C to Band B with effect from April 2015. The new Band B will be charged at the planned rate in 2015-16 of £71 for reduced rate passengers and £142 for standard rate passengers. The reduction is APD has been long-awaited as the steady increases have pushed Caribbean holidays out of many travellers budgets and especially affected the cost to frequent fliers visiting families and friends.

Why was APD Unfair to People Wanting to Travel to Jamaica?

As the APD was based on the distance from London to a country’s capital city, it made the charges unfair and gave favour to other long haul destinations over the wider Caribbean. For example, a 4,400-mile flight to Trinidad is taxed up to £332, but a trip to Hawaii, 7,000 miles away would cost up to £268 tax, because the US capital is closer to London!

How Did Jamaica Help Secure the Reduction in APD?

A CARICOM High-Level Committee was established to tackle the levy and comprised of select CARICOM High Commissioners, the Caribbean Council and representatives from the private sector. The Honourable Arnold J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade co-chaired by H.E. Mrs. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, Jamaica’s High Commissioner in London, lead the delegation that culminated in a meeting with UK Members of Parliament to raise their concerns about the harmful effect of the high levy on the Jamaican economy. Additionally, a CARICOM Coordinating Committee of Caribbean nationals was set up in the UK to raise awareness of the campaign. Following the move by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK, Minister Nicholson described the budget announcement as “a victory for the economic diplomacy of Jamaica and the entire Caribbean region”.

Take this Opportunity to Book Your Holiday or Flight to Jamaica for 2015!

 

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Walk Good, Jules

Keeping the ‘Green’ in Jamaica

When I was living in the UK, I had the pleasure of working my allotment for three years which included open land, raised beds and a small greenhouse. I won’t say it wasn’t without its trials and tribulations, but the experience was unforgettable. To be working the land, watching as Mother Nature did her thing producing food, with a little care and attention from me was so fulfilling. I ate and shared organically produced vegetables and fruit, and still had plenty to spare.

In the UK we are going full circle and there is a shift towards how we lived years ago when we practised the mantra of ‘Grow What we Eat and Eat What we Grow’. It’s now high fashion to recycle, pursue crafts, Make Do and Mend, keep chickens for eggs and tend vegetable patches, or allotments.  These are all in high demand even in London, where the produce is something to share and warmly boast over with friends. Ironically, I feel that this way of living is the way forward, although it is in fact the way back. Once declining methods, that have been practised for generations and only kept alive in small ‘cottage’ industries, are having their embers stoked to become flourishing with activity again. I believe that it would be beneficial to Jamaican’s, if this way of living was more understood and accepted in Jamaica too.

Grow What You Eat Jamaica

Spending time in Jamaica over the last 7 years I have noticed that very few people have their own vegetable patch, although a fruit tree or two is often present in the yard. This has always occurred to me as something that is strange, as there is so much space, fertile land and more importantly hungry bellies to fill. Even the smallest amount of space can produce a valuable source of organically grown food right on your doorstep, and if done in the right way, there is minimal financial outlay involved. The crops can be planted in containers or raised beds, so that they can harvested as needed and this food source will supplement the diet and the cooking pot.

I appreciate that there is a wealth of information in the UK that directly relates to the merits of recycling, being sustainable, using alternative farming practises and the health benefits associated with ‘going organic’, but that isn’t necessarily widely available in Jamaica. Which is probably why many of these industries are in a developmental stage at the moment and some people burn or throw away plastic and other trash and heavily use chemicals in the production of their crops. In a country where rubbish collection isn’t available island-wide and the marketing of fertilisers and chemicals for the production of food crops is a financial empire, it will take a lot of public awareness campaigns to change this long-held way of thinking in Jamaican lifestyles and farming.

With all these factors in mind I have long been telling friends in the country who farmed about the benefits of farming in a sustainable and organic way, without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers. Instead using water harvesting techniques, composting and crop rotation as a way to produce bumper crops, inhibit bugs and disease and even create energy. I feel it is the only feasible way forward in the future with the state of the Environment and we all should be pushing the idea to others if we have knowledge to share.

Often when I am researching I find that one discovery leads to another and I have found that there are many other concepts and techniques within these genres that are interesting and I feel they could play a part in the recovery of Jamaica. Sustainability, Recycling, Climate Change, Organic Farming and Environmental awareness is the theme and I will be going on a journey of discovery and invite you to come with me…

Jamaica’s Green Industries

First stop Jamaica! I am really pleased to find  a burgeoning ‘Green’ industry growing in Jamaica covering many genres. With this in mind in future posts I will be introducing some of the companies and people involved in these industries, alongside some of the creative ideas and concepts I have come across that could be used in Jamaica. Everything is with the aim of keeping Jamaica beautiful, whilst using its natural resources wisely, recycling, living and building sustainably and producing organic non-genetically modified (GM) food.

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Eat What You Grow – Jamaica Part 2

After sharing my Container Garden this week where I have planted things I love to eat, this post will introduce you to the rest of the edible plants and trees that I am growing on my veranda. As I mentioned before I long to have a piece of land that I can plant up with raised beds and fruit trees using Permaculture techniques. This will keep me well stocked up in organically grown produce. With this plan of having a Food Forest I planted up some fruit tree seeds, as well as some young suckers that I have been gifted from here and there. I figured that as they take years to reach maturity I could grow them in pots until I am ready to plant them out when I move.

Why not give it a try yourself? A container garden is easy to manage and is fun to look after as well as a readily available source of healthy food. Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow… It’s simple really!

My Avocado Pear Tree

I am especially proud of this Pear, or Avocado Pear sapling, as I have grown it from seed. After enjoying an especially tasty Pear I decided to try my luck and dropped the seed into the bottom of an old 2.5 litre bucket with some common dirt inside. A couple of rescued Almond suckers had recently been put in the bucket too and were trying to put on roots. After almost forgetting about the Pear seed, I noticed a thick dark brown shoot pushing through the dirt, with two tiny leaves. It got to be about 6″ high and the leaves were getting much larger in size and the shoot was as thick as my smallest finger.  Under the shade of the Almond suckers this little shoot grew really tall, really fast. It formed about 6 large leaves and the top had reached right under the tallest Almond sucker, and was so tall the leaves were permanently held downwards.

I decided to re-pot it and hoping for the best I carefully turned the bucket with the three saplings upside down, whilst supporting the stems. I prised the tough dirt apart with a little water and slowly released the roots of each sapling. A plastic 10″ pot was the Pear’s new home and after a day the beautiful large leaves were raised skywards and it continued to thrive putting on new leaves. I decided to pinch out the new leaves that were forming in the middle after it had settled down in the pot in the hope it would make it more bushy and control the height. I check the Pear every day and make sure there are no bugs lurking around that can eat it, as I don’t intend to use chemicals in the growth. I noticed some of the leaves were turning brown, but after researching online I discovered that this was most likely caused to the soil being too wet, so I have laid off the watering! I Love it!

Pear (Avocado) Planted Oct 2013
Pear (Avocado) Planted Oct 2013

My Stringy Mango

There are many types of Mango in Jamaica and everyone has their favourite variety. If I am honest my favourite Mango that I have tasted is the East Indian Mango, which is a large Mango with succulent sweet flesh and a tempting aroma. However, I have not been lucky enough to grow or acquire one yet, but I have three little Stringy Mango suckers. Stringy Mangoes are sometimes overlooked as their stringy flesh has a tendency to get stuck between the teeth when eating it. But, the flesh is still delicious and sweet and although they produce a small stringy fruit, you will still be prising the last of it from the seed and flossing afterwards.

These suckers took a few weeks to settle down as the roots were really small when I got them and they started off in common dirt in a recycled bucket. After about 2 months,  one of them still looks a bit poorly but the other two are now  putting on new leaves, I plan to plant them out in 10″ pots with some compost when I spurge again at the farm store.

Stringy Mango Suckers
Stringy Mango Suckers

My Baby Guinep Trees

To be honest I didn’t realise these were Guinep when I got them, as they were growing in sand on the beach. I just thought the leaves looked pretty and they would make a nice addition to my container garden. It has now been verified by a few Jamaican’s living nearby that they are indeed Guinep and I feel a little guilty for planting them up in soda bottles where they cannot properly spread their roots. They are doing much better now that I mixed in a little compost with the common dirt and they are putting on new leaves too. These are also on my wish list for bigger pots, although I have a feeling that the Tomato and Cucumber seedlings might get there first! Guinep is a delicious fruit, and forms like a Lychee, although the fruit is a beautiful orangey colour and tastes and looks much better. Yum!

Guinep Seedlings
Guinep Seedlings

Mint

I am not sure of the variety, but when seeped the leaves make an excellent Mint tea to clear the chest, cleanse the palate and settle the stomach. This little Mint cutting was made up of a small wisened root-stock with two woody wispy strands that were about 2  foot long. To make it more bushy I set about cutting back the strands to just above the lowest budding leaves, so that they formed two upright sticks for the new shoots to wrap around. This has made the whole plant form new stems and leaves that are fresh and not so woody. I am looking forward to it spreading so that I can harvest it, although again I think a bitter pot with better soil is on order.

Mint Bush
Mint Bush

Thyme

If there was ever a herb that was used in Jamaica, it would have to be Thyme. Used daily in nearly every recipe I can think of this herb is synonymous with Jamaican cuisine and is a must have in my kitchen too. As I didn’t want to wait for it to grow from seed, I just bought a large bundle of thyme in the market and made sure that it had a good root-stock attached to it. Bringing it home I planted it up straight away into a 10″ pot with some dead leaves in the bottom and potting compost on top, before liberally watering it. I will keep an eye on it for the next few days to check the soil is not too wet or dry to make sure the roots take sufficiently for it to prosper. Do not try and plant Thyme that has been in the fridge as this will impede the growth.

Thyme Grow from Cuttings
Thyme Grow from Cuttings

Tomato

I found this little Tomato seedling growing randomly in one of the flower pots. We have been known to put seeds in the tops of  the flower pots to see what hatches as I guess this was one of them! As it was growing right at the side of the pot in tough common dirt I decided to carefully prise it out and re-pot in a recycled soda bottle with some potting compost. It looks much better now, but it is early days and I had to rescue it the other night in a downpour as I didn’t want it to get flooded out or damaged by the heavy rainfall.

Re-Potted Tomato Seedling
Re-Potted Tomato Seedling

Basil

This recycled tin had holes punched around the bottom and was filled with potting soil before having Basil seeds scattered all over it. Two weeks later the little seedlings are growing and steadily filling the surface of the tin. There has been a few near mishaps with this Basil and I am pleased to see with some love and attention it is pulling through. Ants tried to take over the tin and I had to flood them (and nearly the Basil) out and a few times I have to run outside and move it under cover when there has been heavy rainfall in the evening. Basil is used in a lot of Italian cooking and I love eating it with cheese and crackers, pear (avocado) Tomato and a splash of Olive Oil, in salads, with pizza and cheese on toast, with pasta dishes. I am hoping to make some pesto sauce when I have a good stock and can find a local alternative to Pine Nuts. Delicious.

Basil grown from seeds
Basil grown from seeds

 

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Get In Touch!

What fruit trees are you growing, or what else are you planting in Containers? Can you give me any other ideas of what to plant, or other ways of using the produce?  Get in touch and share you experiences, we would love to hear from you!

‘Recycle Now Jamaica’

‘Recycle Now Jamaica’

I was so happy to find about the ‘Recycle Now Jamaica’ project that was launched on the 12th February 2014, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston. The team behind the recycling initiative aim to tackle the problem of the plastic bottles that are clogging up drains or being burnt in Jamaica. The organisation will be managed by a Board of Directors made up of the Government, through the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) and private sector representatives. I really respect the fact that a lot of the big players in Jamaica are being responsible and are getting involved in this project, which will help to tackle the problem caused by how to manage their empty and discarded vessels. This group include, the Wisynco Group, Pepsi- Cola Jamaica, GraceKennedy Foods and Services, Jamaica Beverages, Lasco, Trade Winds Citrus, and Seprod.

The three year plan will see more than $300 million being invested in the project and is expected to create a minimum of 300 jobs for local Jamaicans. This investment means that for the next three years the Government is investing $50 million (per annum) and the private sector is investing $23.75 million (per annum) into the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle recycling project. This may seem a lot of money, but there is a growing demand for the sale of recycled PET bottles worldwide. What was once considered ‘waste’ and if often an eyesore across the island, can be utilised as a valuable commodity with economic benefits for Jamaica and help save the environment at the same time.

How Will the ‘Recycle Now Jamaica’ Project Work?

The Government investment will also extend to the construction of four satellite depots placed in strategic locations across the island which will facilitate the collection of the PET bottles.  A team of certified JEEP collectors will be paid on a weight basis (of the plastic bottles) to take the reclaimed PET waste to the depots.

These bottles will be transported to the Consolidation and Logistics Hub which will be paid for by the private investors involved in the project. The Hub will be include a baling line, storage facility for finished products as well as office space and will primarily be used to super compact and consolidate the recycled PET bottles.

What is the Aim of the ‘Recycle Now Jamaica’ Project?

The primary objective of Recycle Now Jamaica is to reclaim 35 per cent of PET bottles placed on the market over the first three years of operation. In the first year it is expected that 15% of the bottles will be processed, which will mean around 4 million bottles will be collected and processed between the four depots each day. To reach this aim there will be a national public awareness campaign to introduce Jamaicans to the idea of recycling and generate interest in the project. A special campaign intended for school children will be rolled out to get the message across the next generation, who will be benefitting from this responsible project in the future.

Why ‘Recycle Now Jamaica’?

Recycling is good for the environment. By taking care of the environment we can ensure that Jamaica remains beautiful and be-fitting of the moniker ‘The land of Wood and Water’ for generations to come. The development of the country and the increasing population creates greater demands on Jamaica’s natural resources and if not managed properly it will continue to damage the delicate eco-system.

By recycling waste that takes years to decompose in landfill, we can help to conserve energy, natural resources and raw materials in Jamaica. To simply throw valuable materials into the ground, or burn it in open heaps, is not only careless and wasteful it also helps to emit dangerous greenhouse gases, like Methane into the atmosphere. Plastic bottles block drains and gulley’s and cause flooding, are a threat to wildlife and cannot decompose at the bottom of the sea bed. It is significantly cheaper to process recycling then sending waste to landfill (the dump) and in most cases can generate an income as it is resold to be used in a secondary life.

Join in and do your bit. Because we All Love Jamaica.

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Walk Good, Jules

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Ocho Rios Bay Beach

The main beach in Ocho Rios, situated on Jamaica’s north coast, is the wide white sand arch of Ocho Rios Bay Beach; which is also known as ‘Turtle Beach’. As many of the hotels along Main Street back onto the sand, it is a heavily used tourist beach and it’s popular with locals too. When the cruise ships are in town the beach also fills up with the passengers that flock to shore from the towering cruise ships that dock on the far side of the beach.

Cruise Ship Pier
Cruise Ship Pier

Directions to Ocho Rios Bay Beach and Entrance Fees

When driving down Main Street you will see Sandcastles Hotel on your left-hand side and then a couple of shopping plazas. Drive past and turn into the first car park on your LEFT, which has a barrier and a guard. The entrance to the beach is via the back of the car park through another gate. There is a fee for parking in the car park.

If you do not have a wrist band from your hotel there is a charge to enter the Ocho Rios Bay Beach (see below for full details of entrance fees). On paying the entrance fee the guard will stamp your wrist which allows you to leave and re-enter the beach later in the day if you choose the take a break and want to wander around the town. If the stamp is rubbing off ask them to re-stamp it before you leave the beach if you intend to return, as suntan lotion and sweaty skin will make it rub off quickly.

Hotels on Ocho Rios Bay Beach
Hotels on Ocho Rios Bay Beach

Ocho Rios Bay Beach Facilities

There are toilets and changing rooms, plus a restaurant and bar serving the beach goers. There are also seats and deck chairs available, where you can lounge or picnic in the shade of an Almond Tree. You will also see vendors plying their trade along the sand, which is convenient if you don’t want to leave your things to walk to the bar or craft market. If you don’t want anything a smile and a polite ‘I’m not shopping today’ or ‘I’m good thanks’, will see them walking on to the next punter.

The sand is regularly raked and is a pristine white colour. The sea has designated swimming areas and is shallow enough near the shoreline for children to play.  If you are into water-sports you will be spoilt for choice and jet ski’s are popular and readily available for rental.

There are two craft markets nearby to the Ocho Rios Bay Beach which can be found if walking along main street. Plus there is the sprawling Island Village complex, which has a huge choice of shops, supermarkets, banks, doctors, dentists, opticians, a post office and so on. Across the street there is also Burger King and KFC if you are wanting a break from Jamaican food.

Hotels on Ocho Rios Bay Beach
Hotels on Ocho Rios Bay Beach

Ocho Rios Bay Beach Entrance Fees and Opening Hours

Opening Hours:

Daily: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Entry Fee:
Residents

Adult J$200
Child (2-11 years old) J$100

Non-residents

Adult US$3 (or equivalent)
Child (2-11 years old) US$1

Contact Details:
Phone

(876) 656-8031 Telefax: (876) 974-2731

Email

cjackson@udcja.com

Contact Details:
Phone

(876) 656-8031 Telefax: (876) 974-2731

Email

cjackson@udcja.com

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Post Updated: January 2016

Grow What You Eat in Jamaica Part One

With every passing year in Jamaica I always plan to grow a few vegetables so that I can enjoy fresh pickings when I want them and be in control of how many chemicals have been used in their growth cycle. Plus, I am a huge fan of farming for myself, the whole ‘Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow’ Campaign really appeals to me. However, these plans have been pretty ‘fruitless’ (if you’ll excuse the pun) so far and I haven’t grown or harvested a thing. When I moved into a new apartment with a small veranda and tiny front lawn I decided to start with some flowers, including some ferns and palms which I grew in containers. When these started to catch in the collection of recycled soda bottles, tin cans and old paint buckets, I bought some plastic flower pots to use for the bigger plants. Coupled with a bag or two of compost and potting soil I went about potting-up some more plant cuttings that I got from here and there, before I knew it I had a handsome collection filling up the front of the veranda.

Introduction to Organic and Sustainable Farming

As I have aspirations of having a ‘permaculture’ garden and a ‘Food Forest’ when I have my own piece of land, I thought about fruits I like to eat too. So I tried my luck with a few fruit tree seeds, with the plan of planting them in the ground when I am living somewhere more permanent. Orange pips were planted in baked beans cans, Ackee seeds in a 2 litre soda bottle and a Pear (Avocado) seed was dropped in the bottom of a bucket housing 2 small Almond tree suckers. All these seeds were taken from fruits that I had eaten with no other preparations made in their planting except pushing them into the dirt and watering them frequently. I have been fortunate in that all of these seeds have caught and are growing very well, the Pear (Avocado) tree is particularly beautiful and is growing at a rate of knots. A couple of Stringy Mango, Guinep and Mint suckers completed the collection on the veranda. I plan to grow all my crops and trees without the use of chemical pesticides and enhancements, only using organic fertilisers.

When researching online I found some information stating that when a tree is not grown from a commercially produced seed, or grafted root stock, that the fruit the tree will later bear will sometimes be inferior in taste to the fruit that it has come from. However, I feel that in the natural environment seeds will germinate and grow from fallen fruit and if left will grow into leafy green food havens. Therefore, I can only hope that my trees will have excellent tasting fruits when the time comes for it to bear fruits and if not, it was a fun and valuable lesson watching them grow in the meantime.

With the excitement of my (literally) growing collection of plants and young fruit tree saplings, the thoughts of growing vegetables crossed my mind again. However the veranda space was limited and the dirt under the ‘lawn’ (a few scraps of grass here and there) was definitely not suitable for growing crops. I thought back to my allotment in London that had kept me (and many others) over flowing with fresh, organically grown crops the three years prior to me moving to Jamaica.  The pangs to grow things again, no matter how limited the space came back to me as one of my neighbours who was emigrating gifted me a large concrete trough shaped planter.

Introduction to Container Gardening

The gifted planter became the first container that I filled with potting soil, I planted neat rows of Garden Peas at one end, with Cucumber seeds in the middle, French / String beans at the other end, with a small section in the front that I placed a few Tomato seeds. I planned to see how everything got on before planting out the Tomato and perhaps the Cucumber, once it had grown to a size. The planter will eventually need to have a trellis fitted for the vines to grow up and I also plan to backfill it with more soil. The finished soil level will reach about an inch or two below the rim of the planter, giving the beans and peas more space to stretch their roots and grow. After one week of sowing the seeds they have successfully hatched and are growing beautifully.

Spurred on by this success, I collected together every container I could find, empty soda bottles large and small, plant pots, egg boxes and a large 15 litre container that was once filled with cooking oil. I placed them in water with a mild soap solution and rinsed out the bottles and caps, before allowing them to dry naturally. I then set about cutting the vessels to make containers in which to plant seeds in and added plenty of drainage holes bored into the bottom. After the vessels where cut to shape I filled the bottom with some dead leaves and then set about filling them up with the potting soil and planted the seeds in a controlled manner. Beetroot was planted in the 15 litre oil bottle, Okra in the 10” plant pot, two different types of Lettuce, one in each of the 2 litre soda bottles, Pepper in the egg boxes, and Tomato in the small soda bottles. The peppers will be a bit of a lucky dip, as I saved some seeds from both hot and sweet peppers and they got mixed up when drying out before planting out! After I planted the seeds I gave them a light watering and sprinkled dried crushed egg shells all over the soil. The egg shell not only is a natural way to deter slugs and snails it also breaks down into the soil and adds nutrients.

Recycling Plastic Soda Bottles

If you have plastic soda bottles you can recycle them to make self-watering pots. Cut off the top of the bottle just above the label to make a ‘cone’ shape. Make some holes, or cut ‘X’s’ around the side and the cap, to allow drainage of the soil. Turn the cone upside down and push it into the bottom of the bottle; if it is tight you can cut some extra 1” deep slashes from the edge of the rim to allow the cone some ‘give’ when being pushed into the bottle. Fill with potting soil and gently push in one or two seeds at the most in the smaller bottles.

A larger 1.5, 2 or 3 litre soda bottle can be recycled into a container garden in a different way. Lay the bottle on its side and carefully cut out a rectangle shape on the side of the bottle, do not cut away the bottle neck or bottle base area. Turn the bottle over and carefully make some drainage holes in the base. Fill with potting soil and gently push in some Lettuce, or Pak Choy seeds; when full grown the bottle will not hold more than one large Lettuce head, or two to three Pak Choy. Thinning’s can be eaten as they grow leaving the strongest one(s) to mature to a full head.

Think about what you are going to grow in the container before cutting it to shape, as some crops are better suited to deep containers whilst over work well in shallow wide containers. You will be surprised at what can grow in a limited space, so get inventive and recycle everything you can to use in your container garden.

Recycling other Containers

In most circumstance, you can safely recycle any vessel that has been used to hold food to grow crops. These containers will be made of some kind of ‘food grade’ plastic, metal or other material, which will not ‘leech’ into the soil and the crops grown within.

‘Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow’

Each week I will write up another post to update the growth (or not) of my seeds, hopefully by the time I write next week there will be some seedlings hatching. I will also explore other methods of container growing including some interesting vertical planting systems that I have seen online. I really hope that this venture into container farming will be productive for me. Not only in terms of providing a fresh and readily available food source, but also in terms of showing a few established and bemused local farmers what you can produced by integrating these unusual farming practices!

Oxford Dictionary (online) Definition

of three of my favourite words used in this Post:

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Recycle

Line breaks: re|cycle

verb

[with object]

1)      Convert (waste) into reusable material:

car hulks were recycled into new steel (as noun recycling)

a call for the recycling of all paper

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Permaculture

Line breaks: perma|cul¦ture

noun

[mass noun]

  • The      development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and      self-sufficient: his forest garden is one of Britain’s best models of      permaculture

Origin: 1970s: blend of permanent and agriculture.

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Organic

Line breaks: or|gan¦ic

noun

(usually organics)

1)      A food produced by organic farming

adjective

1)      Relating to or derived from living matter: organic soils

2)       (Of food or farming methods) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals: organic farming, organic meat

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Jamaican Steamed Cabbage Recipe

Learning to Love Cabbage Again!

Cabbage is a humble vegetable with a bad reputation, but it’s only because it was boiled into a stinky oblivion in the kitchens of our childhoods! This Jamaican steamed cabbage recipe is delicious, nutritious and surprisingly versatile and will have the fussiest of eaters asking for second helpings.

Widely available, Cabbage is a cheap and hardy vegetable that fills up the family for next to nothing. Enjoy this Jamaican Steamed Cabbage Recipe accompanied with fried dumplings, or bread for breakfast or lunch. When served with rice, or ‘hard food’ it becomes an excellent Vegan / Vegetarian main meal, or it can be served as a side dish and accompaniment with meat and fish.

Fall in love with cabbage again with this delicious, healthy and widely used Jamaican Steamed Cabbage Recipe!

 

Thinly slice the cabbage into ribbons
Thinly slice cabbage into ribbons

 

How to make Jamaican Steamed Cabbage

First things first, thoroughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. Then gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top, so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself…

 

You Will Need:

  • a large pot (saucepan) or Dutch Pot for the Cabbage
  • a sharp knife and chopping board
  • a sieve / strainer

 

Ingredients:

  • Cooking Oil
  • 1 Cabbage
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 garlic pegs
  • 1/2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
  • 1 sprig of Thyme
  • 1 Tomato
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp of Butter / Margarine (can be omitted, or substituted  if preferred)

 

Method:

  • Pour enough cooking oil to lightly cover the bottom of the Dutch Pot and set on a medium heat
  • Thoroughly wash the vegetables
  • Slice the Onion, Tomato, Garlic and Scotch Bonnet Pepper, add sliced seasoning and Thyme to the oil and gently fry
  • Meanwhile peel off the outer layers of the cabbage, cut in half, then slice the cabbage halves into thin ribbons, discarding the stalk
  • Submerge shredded cabbage in salted water to thoroughly wash (salt water encourages any attached bugs to float to the top of the water!)
  • Scrape or peel the skin from the carrot, wash and slice into Julienne (matchstick)
  • Add the drained cabbage and carrot slices to the pot, once the seasoning has softened
  • Add the butter, salt and black pepper and turn down the heat slightly, be sure to place the cover on the pot so it will steam (the cabbage should produce its own water)
  • Allow to steam for about 10-15 minutes until the cabbage has softened, stir the steamed vegetables to mix, before serving (if necessary a little splash of water can be added to the pot to encourage the cabbage to cook)

 

Jamaican Steamed Cabbage
Jamaican Steamed Cabbage

 

The World’s Healthiest Foods

If you need more convincing, consider this advice from ‘The World’s Healthiest Foods’ website, which states:

 

“The glucosinolates found in cabbage can be converted into isothiocyanate

compounds that are cancer preventive for a variety of different cancers,

including bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer”.

 

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Living in Jamaica Long Term

If you are thinking about moving to Jamaica then the information I have given in the last post to retirees about living in Jamaica is much the same as for those who are still at working age.  Many of the same principles exist in relation to setting up home overseas, although the amount of every day ‘freedom’ and commitments you have is different.

Although Jamaica may seem like an ideal place to live especially when you are fresh home from a brilliant vacation, the reality of living here is nothing like life in an all inclusive hotel. I do not necessarily means in terms of surroundings as there are many beautiful homes in Jamaica that are worthy of being shown off to others. I am talking about getting used to your new environment, the way things are done, and the totally different way of life you will be leading. By reading my full post at Retirement and Good Living you will get an insight on what to expect when choosing Jamaica as a retirement destination. If you want some more general tips about living in Jamaica, whether retired or not, this post will expand on the information already given.

Getting a Visa and Attaining Permanent Residence in Jamaica

There are different stipulations to being physically allowed to live permanently in Jamaica and there is a preference for Jamaican descendants and their spouses. Commonwealth citizens, those who have worked here and non-nationals that are classed as ‘aliens’ need to apply and wait for a longer period of time to get their ‘stay’ in order to fully retire or live here permanently; namely after 5 years of living here you can apply for Citizenship. Full information and guidance can be found at the Passport, Immigration, and Citizenship Agency (PICA) website.

Enjoying the Climate in Jamaica

Living in London for the majority of my life has afforded me first-hand experience of the four seasons in the U.K., of which the summer months never last long enough. If you have ever planned an outdoor event in northern Europe you will be more than aware of the risk of being ‘rained off’, as is the unpredictability of the summer. The long and oppressive weather can be debilitating and even more so for those who should be enjoying the freedom that retirement brings. Sitting in your house shivering in the wintery months is not a prospect that even the most patriotic person looks forward to when contemplating spending the rest of their life in colder climates.

However, the pace of life in Jamaica is more relaxed and things take longer than you are used to back home. But you will have more freedom to be outside in the sunshine, taking in the fresh air and soothing the eyes with views of the tropical, green and bountiful Jamaican scenery. In Jamaica they say each rainfall is ‘A Blessing’ as without this rainfall the verdant and lush greenery that makes up Jamaica’s topography wouldn’t be possible. If you are able to afford a little space why not think about raising a small raised bed vegetable patch, keeping a few egg laying chickens and keeping some fruiting trees, so that you can have your own organic fresh food right in your garden? All this is possible year round in Jamaica. Give it a try,  it’s fun, environmentally friendly and keeps you healthy too.

Living The Good Life in Jamaica

‘Ah! the Good Life!’ I can guarantee that your retirement years in Jamaica will herald the call of this beautiful statement of satisfaction far more than any freedom years lived in the UK, Canada or America. I appreciate that I can be over zealous with my ramblings about the weather in Jamaica, but have I mentioned that you have almost guaranteed sunshine 365 days of the year?! You can wile away the hours pottering about around the home and garden with a slip of clothing and flip flops on. Home bodies will enjoy these pursuits, plus you can paint, sew, garden, play an instrument, entertain friends, listen to music or just chill taking in the view, or napping in the shade. If you prefer to leave the house there are places to go and things to experience, especially if you live near one of the tourist haven towns.

The health and well-being of the body feels freer and supple in the warm weather and many aliments are eased. Jamaica is abundant in its access to fresh foods including meat, chicken, seafood and fruits and vegetables and the mind and body will also benefit from being nourished with this diet. The pace of life is more relaxed, you have more freedom to be outside in the sunshine, taking in the fresh air and soothing the eyes with views of the tropical, green and bountiful Jamaican scenery.

 

 

Will I be Safe Living in Jamaica?

I would advise reading the Jamaican Gleaner or Jamaican Observer for the ‘real story’ about what is happening in Jamaica. Some people may think that this is a proverbial ‘shooting myself in the foot’ moment, but whilst many countries try and hide the crime rate, Jamaica is very honest in its depiction of the reality of the island. But in truth if you read any local newspaper in your home town you will be horrified to learn about what is happening to your friends and neighbours.

After researching online I couldn’t find Jamaica listed in anyone of the numerous ‘top 10 dangerous places to live’ lists, as South America, Africa, the Middle East, Korea, Pakistan and even the USA (due to terrorist threats) amongst others were featured. Much of the crime rate is related to the poorer areas and mainly due to people taking revenge and gang crimes, which often do not have prior mediation. Life for the poorer people and the middle classes in Jamaica is a very different experience and dependent on where and how you choose to live in Jamaica, will impact on how much crime you are potentially exposed to.

Putting Down Roots in Jamaica

There are many lots of land and finished properties for sale all over Jamaica and it can be hard to choose where to live if you have no special connection with a parish or area. Many people with roots in Jamaica choose to buy land nearby to family members that have remained there, whilst others prefer to move away from their former compadres and live in virtual anonymity in another area. There are also many gated communities and schemes that aim to offer a secure environment and a sense of community when everyone has come from different places, but are more or less on the same page as far as income, means and status is concerned.

It would be advised to rent a property in the area that you plan to live so that you can immerse yourself in your new community and get a sense of how your life will change and if you are able to adapt to it. When moving anywhere new and especially more so when it is overseas, it takes a while to settle in and get used to the different way of life so be patient and give it your all. Take your time getting to know people and don’t judge a book by its cover, many people have been deceived by those who they thought they could trust the most, whilst the ordinary person gets overlooked and misjudged.

I have heard stories of people sending down money to Jamaica for their dream home to be built or secured, only to find the money has been frittered away through the hands of idle people. Please be sure to use a reputable Project Manager or builder and make sure that you are keeping up to date with what is going on if you are not able to be in the country to oversee things. You may be frustrated by the speed that things move in Jamaica or the amount of red tape involved, but with the correct processes carried out in the correct order you will be able to reach your home owning goals. Yes, it will be stressful, but it will pass and if you protect yourself it shouldn’t be any more stressful than if you were going through the same process in the country you are leaving.

Jamaican Property
Jamaican Property

 

Driver, Don’t Stop At All!

Jamaican’s drive on the left of the road most of the time, but sometimes it is on the right when they overtake into an impossibly tight space. This can also be accompanied by a blind corner and a hump back bridge, but hey at least the high volume music keeps your gasps from being audible! O.K not everyone drives like this in Jamaica, but you will find that a lot of people do so be aware. If you do take public transport only get in a vehicle that has a red licence plate as they are insured and registered as passenger vehicles. You will still get crammed in but the new rules and regulations are making it more comfortable and safer for passengers even if you do pay a few more dollars.

If you have the means I would recommend that you purchase a vehicle for yourself as at least you can drive at the speed and gait that makes you and your passengers feel comfortable. You will need to drive ‘defensively’ on the road, that is to say be alert when driving, always use your mirrors and keenly watch and anticipate other driver’s actions. It is perfectly normal to blow the horn for any number of reasons and is recommended when driving around blind corners on narrow roads and when overtaking a vehicle that has suddenly pulled over to the side of the road.

Settling In To Your New Home in Jamaica

You may find that it takes a while to settle in, but give things time. There will be a flurry of activity that includes securing somewhere to live, preparing to leave, packing up your worldly belongings, saying your goodbyes and actually arriving in your new home only to unpack and organise again. Phew! Anyone would flop down in a chair after going through all that! As you sit there some of you may be thinking, now what? I would highly recommend that the easiest way of giving your new home and environs the best chance of giving you back what you want out of life, is to go out there and get it. How do you expect to make new friends and have dates in the diary if you shut yourself away in the perfect bubble you have created for yourself?

As I have described in my Guest Post on Retirement and Good Living in the Pursuits and Activities in Jamaica section, there are many ways of keeping yourself busy in Jamaica. But if you are still struggling then may I suggest that you join a local group for anything that interests or appeals to you, just turn up, smile, talk and be yourself. I am sure you will soon sieve the wheat from the chaff and find some like-minded people to spend time with. There are churches, community events, charities and local groups who would be glad of your time and assistance if you are willing to reach out to them. If you want somewhere to dress up, look in the daily newspapers for exhibitions, trade fairs, talks and other events going on at venues around the country and get involved. You will be glad you did and will relish your new life in paradise.

Give Your New Life in Jamaica a Chance!

If you enjoyed this post and want to read more about Retirement in Jamaica, check out my Guest Post on the Retirement and Good Living website.

Thinking of moving to Jamaica

Start your Jamaican journey here….

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