Letter from Someone Moving Back
This very nice letter came in from a reader of the blog:
I am not sure that you will remember me from ... Florida. I wrote earlier about the difficulties of living here and how much I wanted to return to Jamaica. Both you and your wife were kind enough to respond to my questions and comments which proved very useful. I want to thank you for being a "sane" link to Jamaica(smile!).
I went home in March and spent three months to "feel out" how being there on a daily basis would affect my perspective on life there. I have to tell you I stayed in the Ocho Rios area and made sure to take the mini buses, taxi and foot transportation. I also rented a condo for approx. US$570.00/month and paid JA$2300/mnth. for light. I tried my best to blend in with the community (going to market on Saturdays, shoemaker, supermarkets, volunteering with the medical emergency service ect.) and found it to be very enlightening.
Life there seemed sort of every day in that I went about my business in St. Ann's Bay as anyone else. There were helpful people and others who just treated you as if you are a "regular". I enjoyed it all. I even bought a piece of land in <the St. Ann> area and met many returning residents who gave me their own views and experiences. I found that prices when calculated US/JA was somewhat similar on some things and cheaper on others (especially food). It surprised me how much food and supplies Jamaicans are producing for themselves and I find if I buy local the quality is good and worth the investment. Most of all I just loved being home. Hearing the familiar language and the attitudes gave me a real feeling of belonging. Despite the fact that there is dire need for jobs for everyone, especially the young people, there was still a spirit of gratefulness for what they had. I felt humbled. I had a chance to put my life in America in perspective and realized that I don't need all the things I have to be happy.
I feel that if everyone had an opportunity to go home and leave the "farrin mind " behind, we could get a more honest feel of what our country has to offer. I am now going on Monday to try to find a place to start a business ( some say I'm crazy) but I have an idea that I want to explore and I am have every intention of looking at all angles in an intelligent manner. I am also aware that I need to proceed cautiously (after purchasing land here I could write a book!). There is so much more I could say regarding my stay there but I hate to bore you, though I know you will be interested in my experience. Please feel free to use my letter if it will help anyone who is interested. I must say though that land and homes in Jamaica is not cheap!! The market is better than the US in terms of rising prices. This says something about supply and demand because I found it difficult to find a nice affordable piece of land. I am glad that I was adventurous enough to have tried and did well.
Francis thank you for your blog because it has helped to guide me on what is happening in our country and I hope you will continue to fight to stay in Jamaica. The best part of your blog, for me, is that you write on both sides. You attempt to show the good, bad and the beautiful sides of Jamaica. I agree that someone with ADD would do rather well there... I guess that's me.(lol!)