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  • Learn some Patois mon

    You cannot come to the island of Jamaica, without noticing the people do speak differently. Actually, it is forbidden in many Jamaican homes to speak, "patois." Growing up I could only speak it at school with my schoolmates. 

    The debate going on in Jamaica for many years has been the whether or not Patois is a language or just a slang for Jamaica.
    The technical definition of the term Creole means-, a language which comes into being through contact between two or more languages. The most important part about this definition is that a new language comes about which was not there before, yet it has some characteristics of the original language(s) and also has some characteristics of its own. The Creole of Jamaica and the Caribbean is referred to as an 'English-lexicon' and this language came about when African slaves were forced into a situation where English, or at least a very reduced form of English, was the only common means of communication.

    The slave traders and owners spoke English while the slaves spoke a variety of African languages and the slaves had to assimilate by learning English which explains why much of the vocabulary is English in origin. Although there is much English vocabulary, many words were also adopted from African languages when no equivalent English word could be found such as, words for people, things, plants, animals, activities, and especially religious words (Sebba 1, 1996, 50-1.) The name Jamaica itself was derived from the Arawak word Xaymaca meaning "Island of springs," but no other known trace(s) of the Arawak, the indigenous inhabitants of Jamaica, exist today.

    The debate surrounding the use of Patois as opposed to Standard English includes a number of issues and dates back to the times of slavery when Jamaicans had Standard English presented as a superior language and the indigenous language was denigrated to an inferior status. Today, more than 90% of the 2.5 million people in Jamaica are descendants of slaves brought from western Africa by the British. English is the official language but, Patois is the local language and still holds its' Africa.

    Below is an example of Jamaican Patois.

    USA: It's been a long time since I have seen you, girl.
    JA: Gal yuh noh dead yet?

    USA: Lord, we have lost electricity again!
    JA: Lawd Gad, current lack aff again!
    USA: Where did you buy that awful bracelet, Cindy?
    JA: A weh yuh buy dat deh big ole ugly bangle deh, missus?
    USA: Hors d'oeuvres.
    JA: Ah wah dis likkle sinting yuh a gi me?
    USA: I think something is wrong with Susan, she might have the flu.
    JA: Lawd Gad, breeze tek up Suzie!
    USA: Girl, those shoes are the bomb.
    JA: Gyal, yuh roach killa dem a seh one out deh.
    USA: Oh my gosh, I just broke Mom's expensive plate.
    JA: Lawd mi Gad, mi bruk up Mama stoosh crackry.
    USA: Aren't those pants a bit short?
    JA: Yuh did a expect flood ar yuh tek yuh measurement inna wata?
    USA: Why are you squeezing the mangoes like that?
    JA: Lissen mi nuh, mi a beg yuh stap fingle-fingle up di mango dem.
    USA: Sir, please don't throw my luggage like that.
    JA: Aye buff teet bwoy, tap fling up-fling up mi bag dem suh man.
    USA: I wish you would quit lying.
    JA: Tap di blinkin lyin, yuh ole liyad.
    USA: Lift the hood off the car for me, John.
    JA: Hey my yute, fly di bonnet!
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  • New Gov't still can't say when budget will be ready

    Finance Minister Audley Shaw was not in a position up to the end of last week to give a timetable for the presentation of the 2016/2017 budget.

    “I’m not able to give you the new timetable as of now but we are working on it because there are issues we have to work out,” Shaw said in an interview with Loop News.

    “There’s a new ministry of job creation and economic growth that we have created. We have to make sure that we plug that into the budget…,” the minister said. “I can’t say how many weeks delay but there is a delay.”

    He added: “We will be announcing the new schedule as quickly as possible.”

    One of the issues faced by the JLP administration, in putting together the budget, is that it only came to power on February 25. The national budget is usually presented in April of each year. 

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  • 25 ways a trip to Jamaica will make you a happier person

    KINGSTON, Jamaica – Buzzfeed, a global network site for news and entertainment, which has been steadily gaining popularity, has listed 25 ways a trip to Jamaica will make a person happier.

    Jamaica’s beaches, mountains, food, music (Chronixx and others), sunrise, sunset, Blue Mountain coffee, Bob Marley Museum, view, tropical flowers, accessibility to bars and weed, were a few of the things heavily credited as factors that can make a person happier.

    In the article written by Annie Daley, it stated that despite the poverty and heavy violence “Jamaicans as a whole maintain a fiercely positive and unified spirit”.

    Below is the list compiled by Buzzfeed:



    1. The beaches are seriously beautiful;

     1. The beaches are seriously beautiful.

    How can you not be happy at a beach like this? This is Port Antonio’s Winnifred Beach, a super local, laid-back spot that doesn’t attract many tourists. And there are tons of other equally stunning beaches scattered throughout the island.

    2. And you can eat and drink all the deliciousness you want on beaches;

    Jerk on the beach? Fresh fish on the beach? Red Stripe on the beach?

    3. There are also beautiful, beautiful mountains;

    3. There are also beautiful, beautiful mountains.

    And not just any mountains — the Blue Mountains, home of the famed Blue Mountain coffee. The mountains, just outside of Kingston, are the biggest in all of Jamaica, and one of the longest ranges in the entire Caribbean. They get their blue tinge from a layer of mist that surrounds the mountains — and they are absolutely breathtaking.

    4. And you can stay in them [Places available to stay on the mountains];

    Staying in the Blue Mountains isn’t something most tourists do, because it’s not the beach — i.e. what most tourists go for — and it’s a minor pain to get there (it’s about three or four hours from Kingston, and the drive is rocky and bumpy and twisty and turny all the way up). But I cannot recommend it enough. It’s a true local experience.

    5. And even hike to the top of them for sunrise;

    One of the best parts about staying in the Blue Mountains is that you can hike to the top — Blue Mountain Peak — for sunrise. The peak’s elevation is 7,402 feet, so be warned: This is a huge hike! It’s 14 miles, which will take you about seven hours, and you start at 2 am, so you hike for about four hours in darkness. But it’s so worth it. Hiking by moonlight in Jamaica is as epic as it sounds, and the sunrise will leave you legit breathless.

    6. Blue Mountain coffee is seriously amazing;

    Drinking Blue Mountain coffee in Jamaica is like drinking the wine when you’re at the winery: It just tastes better. It’s straight from the source.

    7. There’s happy music playing everywhere;

    7. There's happy music playing everywhere.

    Walking through the streets of Jamaica is not quiet — someone, somewhere, is likely blasting music. 

    8. And thanks to this music, there’s a powerful; feeling of consciousness that will seep into your soul;

    On an even deeper level, the Reggae Revival goes far beyond the catchy songs — locals told me the movement is actually all about “consciousness.” That means that, much like the reggae music from the golden era, the singers and the songs have a social purpose as well as a musical one. In this case, the main purpose is spreading hope and awareness. Many of the Revival musicians grew up poor, and they now sing spiritually-conscious songs of hope to inspire others in similar situations. (For example, in one of Chronixx’s hit songs “Ain’t No Giving In,” he sings, “I know the system have you down and you feel pressed down like 50 feet,” and then encourages everyone to not give up.)

    9. You can visit the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston;

    9. You can visit the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston.


    10. And even play around in the fields where Marley grew up;

    10. And even play around in the fields where Marley grew up.

    11-12. You can wake up to beautiful views;

    11. You can wake up to views like this.

    13.There are beautiful tropical flowers everywhere you turn.

    No matter if you’re on the coast or in the Blue Mountains or anywhere in between, you’ll definitely see (and smell) some tropical beauties.

    14. And bars, too. So many bars;

    If you want to drink in Jamaica, you will be able to find a bar within 30 seconds. They’re everywhere. Most of them are just little outdoor shacks with one bartender, maybe two, holding down the fort. Also of note: Drinks average about $1.50, and, anecdotally speaking, the bartenders tend to have heavy hands — so you definitely get your money’s worth.

    15. Speaking of drinks, Red Stripe tastes good at any time of day — morning, noon, and night;

    15. Speaking of drinks, Red Stripe tastes good at any time of day — morning, noon, and night.

    In Jamaica, you will very quickly lose track of time. You won’t know what time of day it is, or what day of the week it is. But no matter what, you will know that it’s always time for a Red Stripe.

    16. As does Rum & Ting;

    17. You can smoke pretty much whenever and wherever you want;

    17. You can smoke pretty much whenever and wherever you want.

    Despite its weed-friendly reputation, marijuana actually isn’t 100% legal in Jamaica; it’s simply decriminalized (you can have up to two ounces). Even so, for tourists, it really isn’t a problem. Locals will approach you with their stuff within seconds wherever you go. The worst that can possibly happen is you get a $100 fine.

    18. There are tons of random secret parks and forest patches just waiting to be discovered;

    18. There are tons of random secret parks and forest patches just waiting to be discovered.

    19. The jerk situation is ON POINT;


    20. And the rest of the local food is damn good, too;


    21. There are even a bunch of organic farms you can visit;

    To get a feel for the real and true Jamaica, you’ve gotta hit up one of the organic farms – because farming is such a big part of Jamaican culture.

    22. The Blue Lagoon is a thing that exists;

    22. The Blue Lagoon is a thing that exists.

    Most people know the Blue Lagoon from the eponymous Brooke Shields movie, but Jamaicans have been appreciating the natural beauty of the Blue Lagoon in Port Antonio for far longer. 

    23. There are tons of cute little cottages and Airbnbs;


    24. The sunsets are just magical;

    25. But perhaps most of all, Jamaica is the best place to slow down for a second, breathe deep, and just smile. Because ‘everyting really is irie, mon … just the way it should be

    25. But perhaps most of all, Jamaica is the best place to slow down for a second, breathe deep, and just smile. Because everyting really is irie, mon ... just the way it should be.

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  • The Case of the Disappearing Shoreline: What Happened to Jamaica’s Hellshire Beach?


    Top, Hellshire Beach, January 2009. Bottom, Hellshire Beach, January 2016. Both views from Prendy’s.



    So said one of my friends in passing, also back home for the holidays. I didn’t quite understand what they meant. So I gathered some of my family and friends and we set off for a Saturday outing.

    As we drove, it started to occur to us that the ocean did seem a little closer. The real shock occurred when we stepped into one of the fish vendor shops.

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    Shock at the ocean actually being at our feet. January 2016.

    If you needed another reminder of what it looked like.

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    Hellshire Beach, January 2009.

    I like to keep on top of Jamaican news, and especially Jamaican environmental news. We have a lot of issues in this department. Just last year, Riverton Dump, burned for more than 8 days. No visible progress seems to be happening with the hotels agreeing with NEPA on how to save the Negril coastline. We’ve allowed foreign companies to come in and repeatedly build hotels not just on the beach but on other environmentally vulnerable locations.

    But back to the Hellshire Beach shoreline.

    Like any good scientist/engineer, when I got back I started to do a little bit of research. I wish I could say I was shocked when I found this article from 2011, “Hellshire Beach threatened, LIME funds study to identify solutions”, but alas, I was not. Back then, a study was commissioned to be carried out by a local coastal engineering firm Smith Warner, and “the first phase of the study will include extensive data gathering on the biological environment and the use of computer models to undertake preliminary engineering analyses.” Jamel Banton, director at Smith Warner, warned that “if the existing attrition is not reduced, the shoreline is expected to retreat further inland, thereby lessening the viability of the popular beach area for recreational and commercial activities.”

    1 xwAdQP_3FQHzl8ocd_jTJw

    Top, Hellshire Beach, January 2009. Bottom, Hellshire Beach, January 2016. Both views from Prendy’s.

    I’d say he was correct. So what happened to this study?

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  • Woman Defends Portia Simpson In Heartfelt Facebook Post



    This terms staging of the General Elections in Jamaica on February 25th 2016 could be considered one of the most competitive to date due to both parties pulling out their all and campaigning non-stop to get an edge over the other.


    Lines were drawn and the spirit of competition took over as even families and friends stood on either side of the fence in support of their favourite party. Verbal ‘bashings’ of the Ministers was the trend and one such recipient who was first on everyone’s tongue was the Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller.

    For years Simpson-Miller has been criticized on her ruler-ship methodologies by some opposition supporters and even bashed for not having children or even for being consistent with her now famous hair-style. With this being the case; A woman decided; enough is enough and made a facebook post expressing her disgust at persons that constantly attempted to put down a strong woman who has worked hard to achieve her role as Prime Minister.



    “For years I have watched Jamaican men and women tear this woman down. I’ve seen them degrade her to nothing as if she doesn’t exist. Let me ask you all a question, unuh say she dunce and can’t run a country, how many principals in the top high schools in Jamaica can teach every subject taught at the school? Portia Simpson Miller alone cannot run a country it’s a collective effort and we the people have very big part to play.

    You have these men in politics who style the woman as plastic bag and john crow, huh, yet you seek the respect of the people. This woman whether we like to admit it or not has done a lot for this country, but like so many before, she can do so much and no more.

    What pains me is when I see other women calling her an idiot, saying she dunce and old she fi go breed. Ya’ll need to take a step back and analyze what you just said, because obviously your only purpose here is to have as many children as possible whether or not you can afford to, then unuh same one turn round and ask the woman fi help.

    She’s a woman first and a prime minister second and I would have loved to see more women congratulating her rather then degrading her. Ya’ll need to stop disrespecting the woman and go and look in the mirror, because it must be a lack of self love and respect why you can see another and tear them down.

    It pains to the core. But all I have to say is, whether you like it or not, Portia Simpson Miller worked her ass off to get where she is today and she deserve every bit of success that goes her way.

    One Love and Respect Hon. Portia Simpson Miller”

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