Jamaican Wedding: Adventure, Romance and creating special memories

Weddings are one of the most romantic events; seeing two people saying their vows, dedicating their lives to each other and pledging their undying love. The ambiance, flowers, and colors all add to this atmosphere of romance. Another element that dominates in our minds when we think about romance is the location. The venue is … Continue reading Jamaican Wedding: Adventure, Romance and creating special memories

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Jamaican History: Jamaica National Tree – The Blue Mahoe

  National Tree – The Blue Mahoe (Hibiscus elatus) The Blue Mahoe is the national tree of Jamaica. It is indigenous to the island and grows quite rapidly, often attaining 20m (66ft) or more in height. In wetter districts it will grow in a wide range of elevations, up to 1200m (4000 ft.) and is … Continue reading Jamaican History: Jamaica National Tree – The Blue Mahoe

Jamaica May Revive Economy with Port Hub on Goat Islands

This hardscrabble harbor town on Jamaica’s southern coast seems an unlikely contender in an emerging regional competition over the shipping routes that carry global trade. But as Jamaica joins a rush to lure the bigger, deeper-drafting ships expected to cross an expanded Panama Canal by mid-2015, political leaders and civic boosters envision the Old Harbor area as a cornerstone of what they envision as a transformative, dream development for the Caribbean island.

Jamaica aims to become a global logistical hub when mammoth ‘‘post-Panamax’’ ships start carrying a growing share of cargo, much of it from China. So far, construction hasn’t started, but blueprints call for an expansion of the island’s existing container terminal, airports and roads while a Chinese engineering company develops a $1.5 billion transshipment port on a couple of mangrove-fringed islands just off Old Harbor.

‘‘The proposed transformation of Jamaica into a world-class logistics center/port is unquestionably the most ambitious and far-reaching project on which this nation has been engaged since we became an independent state over 50 years ago,’’ said Francis Kennedy, president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce.

All over the Caribbean, the Panama Canal expansion, despite its recent delays, has caused no shortage of countries to think big. With Brazilian financing, Cuba recently started developing a new port it hopes can play a major role in global logistic chains. Ports in places like the Bahamas, Colombia and Miami are also busily strengthening infrastructure.

In Jamaica, technical studies to evaluate the dredging of Kingston Harbor to 15.5 meters were recently completed and bidders have been pre-qualified. Kingston’s busy container terminal is expected to be privatized and turned over to an international operator soon. And the government has been busily meeting with investors from China, the U.S., Germany and other nations.

The plans have excited many in this country of 2.7 million people known mostly for its beaches, reggae music and dominant Olympic sprinters. Industry Minister Anthony Hylton said it’s such a high stakes competition that he is ‘‘up at nights, frequently in the wee hours of the morning, cognizant of the fact that the future of our economy depends on us getting this initiative right.’’

Yet it’s far from clear whether debt-shackled Jamaica can realize its ambitious goals, despite its strategic location by busy sea lanes between North, Central and South American markets. Jamaica has had one of the world’s slowest growing economies over the past four decades and a four-year loan package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is propping up the island.

Those economic woes severely limit Jamaica’s ability to invest in the project, which is estimated to cost as much as $15 billion. That means the private sector would need to provide almost all of the financing.

Repeating Islands

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The photo above (January 21, 2014), shows the uninhabited, mangrove-fringed Goat Islands in southern Jamaica. A skirmish has been brewing between the Jamiacan government and the conservation lobby over a transshipment port to be developed by state-run China Harbor Engineering Co. that is planned for the uninhabited Goat Islands in a swath of the island’s biggest protected area.

This hardscrabble harbor town on Jamaica’s southern coast seems an unlikely contender in an emerging regional competition over the shipping routes that carry global trade. But as Jamaica joins a rush to lure the bigger, deeper-drafting ships expected to cross an expanded Panama Canal by mid-2015, political leaders and civic boosters envision the Old Harbor area as a cornerstone of what they envision as a transformative, dream development for the Caribbean island.

Jamaica aims to become a global logistical hub when mammoth ‘‘post-Panamax’’ ships start carrying a growing share of cargo, much…

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List of 2014 Movies and Summer Blockbusters

Jamaican Lifestyle: List of the really good 2014 Movies and Summer Blockbusters worth watching

By: Denise N. Fyffe. Copyright © 2014, Denise N. Fyffe Its half way through 2014, and I have watched many movies this year. Below is a list of the movies that are actually worth seeing in theaters and others at home. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I love movies and 2014 seems to be the year for great film making … Continue reading Jamaican Lifestyle: List of the really good 2014 Movies and Summer Blockbusters worth watching

map of Jamaica

Jamaican Lifestyle: One Love – A Jamaican Story of the life and sacrifices of Jamaica’s Farm workers to Canada – Part 1

Article first posted on Live Beyond Yourself: I’m sitting on a plane, flying over Cuba, on my way back to Canada.  My week in Jamaica has exceeded any expectations I could have had.  I am so full.  I think if I had to sum up what I’m feeling, it would be best described by a … Continue reading Jamaican Lifestyle: One Love – A Jamaican Story of the life and sacrifices of Jamaica’s Farm workers to Canada – Part 1

Ocho Rios, jamaica

Jamaica- Ocho Rios

Jamaica

Jamaica

Jamaica has surely left an impression on many of its visitors. Here is an honest account, served with the good and the bad.

Re-blogged from The Fair Prima Donna

In February 2010 I went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica with my younger brother and parents. It was a much needed break from University, and the vitamin D did me well. I loved the beautiful clear water, the blue sky, and smoldering heat.

First I will say; my time in the all inclusive resort was great (Except the elevator failing for about 15 minutes which led to my taking the stairs the rest of the trip). The entertainment, food, drinks, and beaches were wonderful- however, I learned that tips do no go to resort employees. In order to tip, I had to discretely fold money into the palm of my hand and shake hands, slipping the money to the resort employees. (This was a trick that a shuttle driver explained to us.)

On my first day of trying to get a tan, I fell asleep on the beach and got a disastrous burn. This was my fault for not wearing an sport sunscreen, I simply sweated my sunscreen off. I had heard about blistering, but it was my first time that had happened to me. I was horrified at the blisters on my chest, but had learned a seriously needed lesson.

The resort was fun, the people were great. There was always something to do, and unique activities (such as goat races).

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Outside of the resort did not feel as comfortable, even in the tourist friendly areas. My mom and I walked through the markets and would be followed by men asking to take us for lunch and trying to get us into their vehicles. Now, these could have been genuinely friendly men, but the situation still felt unsafe for two women. Outside of the tourist friendly zones is a completely different view,  there were certainly areas where we did not feel welcome. In such areas, we remained respectful and left.

It is important to remember that pretty much every country is safe in certain areas, and that crime can happen anywhere. (Yes, this includes the States and Canada…) It is also important to remember that Jamaica was colonized by the British until the mid 20th century- thus, if tourists aren’t exceptionally liked by locals there is fair reason for that.

There were some wonderfully fun tours offered in Ocho Rios. My favorite was the Dunns River Falls– with this tour, we took a boat to the falls. On the way to the falls there was snorkeling along the reef. My mom and I opted to stay aboard the boat, as I had a bad experience with fire coral in Cuba (giving me a tendency to avoid snorkeling). As we watched my brother and dad snorkel a woman pointed out a fin swimming back and forth on the other side of the reef. All of the snorkelers made it back, and no one saw the owner of the fin. Once we got to the Dunns River Falls we all joined hands to climb up. It was absolutely beautiful, and a fun experience. On the cruise home we were served drinks, and to keep the passengers from getting too tipsy we were taught an epic dance routine. Even with the dance routine I managed to slur my thanks and hug the entire boat crew.

We also went zip lining, which was pretty amazing. I am terrified of heights, and the guides couldn’t help but tease me every time I had to jump. They truly made the experience one that I will never forget. The Jamaican Bobsled ride is also insanely fun, as you get to use a lever to control the speed of your bobsled through the jungle.

I really enjoyed the trip with my family, I always have an adventure with them.

I don’t know if I would go back to Jamaica. If I found an affordable trip, I might just try it again. I have friends and family that have also been do Ocho Rios, we all had different experiences.

The Fair Prima Donna

In February 2010 I went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica with my younger brother and parents. It was a much needed break from University, and the vitamin D did me well. I loved the beautiful clear water, the blue sky, and smoldering heat.

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Jamaica and The London 2012 Olympics: Pocket rocket, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Hansle Parchment medal in 200m, 110m hurdles

  By: Denise N. Fyffe. Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe Jamaica's top sprint athletes were out for gold on day six of the Track and Field Schedule at the London 2012 Olympics. Though setbacks and mishaps were the order of the day at the XXX Olympiad; Jamaica collected two medals in the … Continue reading Jamaica and The London 2012 Olympics: Pocket rocket, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Hansle Parchment medal in 200m, 110m hurdles