Saturday, June 13, 2009

Jamaica Postcard

Jamaica is a beautiful country, much more mountainous than I expected. We stayed in Kingston our conference. New Kingston, the business district, to be more specific. Our hotel, the Knutsford was comfortable and had a pool!

Michelle bought mangoes and a pomerack. I had never tasted a pomerack before. It's light and crisp with a bit of a floral scent to it. The texture is something between a pear and an apple, but the skin is bright pink. Trinidadians call it pomerack; Jamaicans call it otahiti apple, and the internet machine called it Malay apple.

Jamaica is not just about beautiful beaches and funky tropical fruit. We had the opportunity to check out a Sistren performance. Sistren is a theatrical group that uses performance to help communities heal after violence and address social issues.

Although we came as spectators, we became participants holding part of a long swath of fabric that symbolized the bloodshed in downtown Kingston and abroad. The procession ended with a very moving ceremony in a park dedicated to the children who have died as a result of gun violence.

One elderly woman cried as we listened to Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" and told me that she had lost three sons to violence. Although the performance commemorated the dead, it also celebrated the living and urged a change in attitudes and hope for the future.


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