While in Jamaica for Caribbean Fashion Week I had the opportunity to reflect on some of the things I find both “colorful” and endearing about my home country.

1. Kids spending the summer in JA: One of the things you’ll notice if taking a flight down to Jamaica in the coming weeks is the number of children being carted off to the various relatives to spend their summer. Those kids will spend the summer running around with cousins and eating every type of fruit that can’t be found anywhere else. They’ll be at the beach more often than not and best of all they will soak up the local atmosphere. They’ll come back saying things like “dutty” instead of dirty…lol.

2. Bammy and Fish on the Burger King menu: Jamaican cuisine is worthy of customization to such a big food chain and I love them for it. Not that I bothered to enter a fast food joint when I can have steam fish fresh from the ocean but the option is pretty good for a fast food restaurant.

3. The View: My oh my, how humbled am I when I look out a window. I’m going to try and put this into words but fail miserably… Don’t judge me! The Blue Mountains are the kind of majestic natural phenomena that brings tears to my eyes every time. The “land of wood and water” indeed.  One day I’ll climb to the top and visit the famous coffee plantation in the mountains and no doubt be brought to my knees by the sheer wonder of it all. There!! I tried.

4. “Generations”: There is a South African soap opera – you read me right – on daytime television that is so engrossing I was sucked into it the few days I was down there. It has subtitles because much of the dialogue is in one of the many South African languages and the rest is in English. Best of all, it’s really good. What a change of pace to see a cast where 99% are people of color, all different, all interesting. It’s been playing in Jamaica for the last two years or so and is quite popular. Want to read up on the show? Click here.

5. Local ‘Color’: When I say color please know now that I’m speaking of the cast of characters that are Jamaicans. Something in the water maybe, but I’m forever entertained and wonderfully amazed by the wit displayed by even the youngest. I sat and spoke to a 7 year old little woman, dare not call her a ‘girl’, who proceeded to both enlighten and challenge me on many topics. Did you know that the “A.F.V.” abbreviation for the television show American’s Funniest Home Videos has no “H” because, as I was informed, “Some of the videos aren’t shot at home”? DUH!!

6. No need for moisturizer: I always pack a facial moisturizer, and like many women,  I’m religious about its use, especially in air conditioning. But when I’m in Jamaica, there isn’t a need. Due to the combination of heat, humidity and my Americanized endocrine system, I found my skin was luminous and never over-dried when I step out the shower. I still use a dot of sun block here and there, but to not have to rush to “seal in moisture” is a blessing and a relief.

7. Designers are fed: This is specific to my chosen profession of Fashion Designer. Local designers are well liked and supported by their local community. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it probably comes from a history of always having clothing made for school, work and special occasions, either by your mom or the dressmaker up the street. Either way, Jamaicans who can afford to, buy from their local designers, support their shows, and respect their talent. One of a kind pieces are patiently waited for. This applies to shoe designers as well. Check out custom sandals from Bridget Sandals next time you’re in JA.

What other random things do you love about Jamaica?

 

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