The Case for Constitutional Reform: thoughts from a 16 yo in Jamaica

Exactly one year ago, my then 16 year old son shared his thoughts with me on how our political system was (not) serving us. I was impressed that such matters were actually occupying his mind, and I encouraged him to write down his thoughts. He wrote this last year and sent to our two main newspapers, but they didn’t publish it. We’re 2 days away from our next general election and I thought it timely to share his words on this platform. Here are the thoughts on representation of the people from my son, Nicholas in his own words.

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Life in the time of COVID Jamaica Style: A snapshot.

Who would have thunk that we’d be here as a planet today? The entire world is grappling with a pandemic which is killing people, decimating economies and baffling scientists. When China first reported this new virus impacting parts of its population earlier this year, I don’t think many of us thought that it would touch us at all. It was a virus, all the way over there. Yet here we are…locked-down, quarantined, working from home, masking up and asking how will this end and when will it end. And guess what? Choose a country, any country anywhere in the world, and someone there is asking those very same questions. It feels as if everything has happened so fast and many of us are just trying to catch our breath and COPE. While I’ve been doing my best to cope, I’ve also been concerned about our children and how they have been coping with this upheaval. So I decided to check in with them and document it as a sort of personal snapshot of COVID-19 in Jamaica. For posterity.

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Road Trip to Portland, Jamaica: Goblin Hill & Swift River

We normally take a family vacation during August and disappear to a villa somewhere in Treasure Beach or in Trelawny. This summer though, H’s schedule did not allow us to plan this treat. So we decided to make this summer one of weekend road trips. Can I just say it has been wonderful! Two weekends ago, we went to the eastern end of the island, the lush parish of Portland and we spent one night there so we wouldn’t have to rush back once the sun set. Here’s what we did in Portland: absolutely nothing. And it was simply wonderful and even magical. I’m about to write a whole post about doing nothing and how wonderful it was. Sit back, clear your mind and come along…

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Jah B’s Place, Blue Mtns: Our Get-Away with a Difference

H climbs to the highest point in Jamaica quite frequently. He took our then 11 yo son with him once, he’s been up with friends and family. Our daughter did it once with a group a few years ago. I did it once when I was 13. I have no plans for a repeat performance. Anyhows, back to H and his peak climbing ways. Last year he set up base camp at a little hostel practically at the foot of the highest point in Jamaica, the Blue Mountain Peak. The peak stands 7,401 feet above sea level. I’ve been encouraging H to document his last peak ascent experience. I sat fascinated as he described it. No spoilers here. I hope he writes it one day. But what grabbed my imagination was his base camp experience! He stayed at a hostel called “Jah B’s Place”. When I saw the pics he took I immediately wanted to go there and spend a night. It took us almost a whole year, but we finally made it two weekends ago.

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Sprinter, The Movie. A Review.

Sprinter is a movie written and directed by a Jamaican, staring many Jamaicans, shot largely in Jamaica. Note I didn’t say that it’s a “Jamaican movie.” I think it’s important to make this distinction. It’s a movie. And it’s a damn good movie that can easily hold it’s own in terms of the production, the plot, the script, the acting, the sound track, the cinematography and sheer entertainment value against any other movie out there, including the Hollywood block busters that have the might of well resourced marketing organisations behind them and the draw of big names that are paid big bucks to headline those productions. What follows is my review of the movie. I am not a technical expert. I am simply a movie goer, and yes, our perspectives count. We are the ones that buy the tickets and rack up box office sales. Simple.

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Hidden Beauty: Our River Adventure in Jamaica!

Kingston, Jamaica has been hot… The kind of still, brassy heat that makes it difficult to breathe. The Sahara dust coming in from the Motherland has made things worse, and all over the city sits a haze that forces you to shield your eyes from the glare. We decided to escape one Saturday. We normally head for the beach, but the thought of sunbathing and splashing in warm water held very little appeal in our search for respite from the unrelenting heat of the city. It had to be a river. I envisaged trees along the side of the river and the icy cold water characteristic of our rivers. I created an entire picnic in my mind and I just knew how our day at the river would look and feel. We just had to decide on the river…

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Road Trip While Keto: Our Day in Treasure Beach, Jamaica

Sometimes you’ve just got to get out of Kingston… know what I mean? Like any major city, Kingston, Jamaica has its fair share of stressors: traffic, ongoing road improvement works, horrible taxi drivers that force your soul into your mouth with every drive, noise, searing heat especially now that they’ve removed what seems like every living tree all in the name of road network expansion and the everlasting presence of garbage. Everywhere. So two weekends ago H insisted on heading out of the city for the day. Who am I to fight against a drive out of town, that’s likely involve a beach stop and yummy food ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s what we did and how we stayed keto (and happily so!) on a perfect day on the road.

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Downtown Kingston: Artsy Capital of Jamaica.

“Downtown, Kingston.” What do those words evoke? What comes to mind? Crime. Dirt. Wholesale shops. Chaos. Garbage. Crowds. These are some of the images that immediately come to mind. I worked Downtown, Kingston for 9 years. And I fell in love with it. I fell in love with the area’s proximity to the sea. I fell in love with the very old, historic buildings as evidenced by their architecture that were literally on every corner. I fell in love with the potential I knew the space held. I imagined King Street being closed off to vehicular traffic one Sunday per month, with scores of people, families, the young and the old, pouring in to buy local food, supporting local artisans, enjoying Jamaican music, having access to clean rest room facilities and benefiting from free parking. Well today, a small, intrepid group of visionaries has done more than imagine. Downtown, Kingston comes alive on the last Sunday of each month!

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Options for eating keto on-the-go in Jamaica

This world is not (yet) a low-carb world. Think about it…almost everything we regularly eat has a major carbohydrate component, thanks to the misinformation we’ve been fed all our lives about a so-called “balanced diet”. We’ve been schooled to believe that carbs are an essential part of our diet and they’re not. (Heresy? Check out that link and evaluate for yourself!) And as a result, no meal is complete without bread or rice or potatoes or pasta. Additionally, our taste-buds have become accustomed to the taste of sugar hence our penchant for sugary sauces like ketchup, BBQ sauce and sweet and sour anything. So for those of us who have been liberated from extra pounds as well as obsessive and dangerous food cravings by removing these carbs from our diet (not magic, just science), navigating our daily lives while trying to remain compliant is made just a little more difficult. I’ve been keto for over a year and a half now, and I’ve managed to remain compliant and consistent with lots of planning and meal prep, but I’ve also identified ways and means of staying low-carb even when I’m forced to eat on the go.

Listen here to hear me in my own voice speak about keto on the go ๐Ÿ™‚

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How to do a Road Trip in Jamaica while Keto: My adventure at Eggy’s

Road trips rock! And on an island like Jamaica, the options of where to go and what to do are endless. What’s not to like about a road trip? The open road (and we have highways that take us from north to south and back again with ease and breathtaking vistas, as well as from central out west), good company, the prospect of an adventure or two, the certain knowledge that you’ll meet memorable characters along the way and the promise of food! And even if you’re keto like me, there’s no reason why you can’t honour your keto way of eating while on a road trip in Jamaica. In fact, it’s easy! Here we go…

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