Travelling by Heart

my journey to Jamaica as a CUSO volunteer


July 2016

Jamaica New and Old

“Jamaica, like many another of the West Indian Islands, is like a woman with a history. She has had her experiences and has lived her life rapidly. She has enjoyed a fever of prosperity founded upon those incalculable treasures poured into her lap by the old time buccaneer pirates. She has suffered earthquake, famine, pestilence, fire and death: and she has been the home of cruel merciless slavers, hardly second to that practiced by the Spaniards themselves. Other countries have taken centuries to grow from their primitive life through the flower and fruit of prosperity into the seed of picturesque decrepitude. Jamaica has lived through it all in a few years.”

-Howard Pyle, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, January 1890


Why Caribbean history matters

They say that those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it, but what happens when we only study some parts of history, or some perspectives?

Continue reading “Why Caribbean history matters”

Colour Photography

Jamaica is full of photo opportunities, and they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I try my best to capture the world around me on my smart phone so I will have visual memories to share. Continue reading “Colour Photography”

5 months

In my fifth month in Jamaica, I was confronted with the contrast between being ‘new’ and being ‘experienced’. Continue reading “5 months”

On nicknames

Jamaicans love nicknames. Continue reading “On nicknames”

Climate control

It’s finally reached the time of year when even Jamaicans remark on the heat. Continue reading “Climate control”

JAMjams: Ain’t No Giving In

During our field trip on the last day of Robotics Camp, Chronixx‘ 2012 song ‘Ain’t No Giving In’ came on the stereo in the bus. Immediately, all the students began to belt out:

Mi seh mi never a give up
A seh there ain’t no giving in
Caw when the going gets tough
A seh the tough get going

The song’s lyrics about persevering in the face of struggles seemed especially poignant coming from the mouths of the students in the Youth Development Program. In spite of the challenges they face, these boys haven’t given up – it is inspiring to watch what happens when they are given the opportunity to thrive.



Company’s in town!

David is back for another visit – yippee! I have to work for most of his stay, but he is keeping himself busy making me dinner and organizing my receipts, so all is well. I’m hoping to take him to Port Antonio this weekend, and we will hopefully check out the Paint Jamaica murals in downtown Kingston if we can find a time that works. In the meantime, I will try to post some updates to keep you informed of what we are up to while he is here.



Happy Canada Day!

This year, instead of pancake breakfasts, parades and fireworks, I celebrated Canada Day by giving out maple leaf pins and pens (donated by the High Commission) to YMCA volunteers, after which I returned to a courtyard full of at-risk youth who found focus, teamwork and confidence in themselves thanks to a robotics camp funded entirely by my country’s government.

Continue reading “Happy Canada Day!”

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