Scotty (Macaw) and friends

A few pictures from Enchanted Gardens, a botanical garden in beautiful Jamaica.

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My Hair is my Crown

My Hair is my Crown

I took this picture – recently – while traveling in Jamaica. His hair when unpinned easily touches the ground. Wearing at a manageable length requires several wraparounds on the head. Because he is a Rastafarian it will never be cut or trimmed.

Ice Cream Stand

Ice Cream Stand

Kids waiting to purchase ice cream, Clifton, Hanover, Jamaica

Cup of Coffee?

Cup of Coffee?

Some of my favorite times in Jamaica was hanging with this girl.

Town Square: Not on a google map

Town Square: Not on a google map

This is the town “square” in the community where my mom, her siblings, my hubby, and lots of my other loved ones grew up. I of course am using the word “square” loosely.

On this bench people have fallen in love, developed deep friendships, had a drink together, and in those roads (don’t worry about vehicles passing by) people have danced the night away. The building facing the bench is a store, and it also houses an all night dancehall. The music at this dancehall is played at maximum level, and it goes all night – what permit? What police? This is “country.”

The red cylindrical container is the one of Jamaica’s best jerk chicken pits. No pork is served there as the chef is a rasta – chupse.

Were you able to see around corners, my family’s home would be your next sighting. The building on the hill also belongs to my family, and it carries a for sale sign – long story.

Do not be fooled by the seeming great quality of the roads – lawd, if I tell yuh some stories about those roads.

Clifton is the name of this community, and you will not find it on a Google map. On every visit to Clifton, I silently ask the same question Jesus posed to his disciples, can anything good come out of Nazareth? I mean Clifton – another long story.

I lived here for almost two years (as punishment for things I did wrong), and the only time I questioned my choice of husband was when he suggested we live here.

All of the above is a joke, except this is really the town square. The real story to come soon – I hope you have seen the Life of Pi (you get my drift).

Access to Water – A Human Rights issue

Water - A Human Rights issue

“The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights.”

In the USA, casual conversations are often about the weather, coffee, or some trivial reality show. Nothing serious or personal usually gets discussed.

I was reminded of the stark differences on my recent trip to Jamaica, especially during the discussions about water. Perhaps the most frequent conversation involved the following, “we lose water again.” The loss of water is akin to us losing power during a dangerous storm. For most of the developing world, this is a daily occurrence.

I took these photos while visiting a very reclusive member of the Clifton community in Hanover. We chatted, and as we talked she paused to wash her hands, and I took note of her very worn bucket, and the small cans used for water distribution._MG_5907

“To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required…” – President Kennedy

Water is very precious in Jamaica, and much of the developing world. We who are fortunate barely spend a moment thinking about how water affects our daily lives, but for people living in poorer countries it is a daily struggle to survive, and the lack of water is closely intertwined with poverty. In the short time I spent in Jamaica, I experienced water shortages on several occasions, and had to rely on water stored in drums, or similar containers. Yet before the water loss, I was so happy that running water had finally come to the area, I had spent little time considering other issues such as possible shortage.

“Now is the time to act, now is the time to create, now is the time for us to live in a way that will give life to others.”

Consider this: Around the world women spend over 200 million hours per day collecting, and carrying water. And almost a billion people lack running and clean water. Probably most vexing is the fact that every 21 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness.

For more on water challenges, please see the links below. Pledge to make a difference today!

Links:

http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/human_right_to_water.shtml

http://www.water.org

http://www.righttowater.info/

http://www.endwaterpoverty.org/

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