Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Jamaican Returns From Canada

The story below was sent to my wife over at and I thought that it was a good one to share... for reasons that will become clear.

If you have a story to share, happy or sad, or something else, about moving back to Jamaica, please let me know!

I stood in the kitchen, one dark snowy Canadian morning, watching my toddler and my 5 year old fighting and screaming over some toy or the other, my head pounding, Tylenol in hand as I tried to combat my third cold virus for that season. Sick or not, the kids had to be taken care of. There was no Grandma and no helper here. Mama was the primary caregiver and oftentimes the only one…rain or shine! Canada, land of immigrants. More like…land of solitude. Isolation. Here they call it hibernation. In winter, one could go days without so much as seeing a neighbor. Thank goodness for the grocery store. My mother- in- law says the grocery store had become my social life.

I left Jamaica eight years ago with my spouse for greener pastures. We had gotten tired of looking behind us to make sure no one was following, and combing the papers to see if anyone we knew had become the next murder victim. He had a good job with an IT company and I was a commercial lawyer with one of the more prestigious law firms in Jamaica. So we set sail for Canada. Things went well. We started a family and I became a “stay- at –home” mom. I enjoyed being a mom. My sister- in- law would teasingly say I had gone from being Miss Ann Taylor to being Miss Dollar Store. I did re-qualify as a lawyer and even started working. However, the stress of being a lawyer and a mother was perhaps more than I wanted to embrace at the time and so I decided I would put my career on hold.

However, as the years of mom-hood went by, I started to miss the “me” from my former life. The persona “dolled up” in the tailored skirts and high heeled pumps with laptop on shoulder as if it were an extension of myself. The jeans and sweats that I lived in were okay too but my blazers and fitted shirts seemed to wave at me every time I sojourned through my closet; a reminder of days gone by.

So as I stood in the kitchen that day, I made a decision. I was going to challenge my spouse to “cum mek wi guh home.” Of course I was met with amazement and disbelief. Chutzpah! However, over the weeks and months that followed, we managed to reach a compromise. I would go for a year with the children on a trial basis. My spouse didn’t want to give up his “good” job and have us sell our “nice” home, only for me to whimsically change my mind and desiring a return to Canada. “Dat did soun reasonable to me.”

So we went off to Jamaica. Had an associate lawyer position waiting in the wings. Had a new wardrobe to accompany me. Thoughts of bliss filled my head on that plane ride back to “yaad.” A nanny to help take care of the kids. Someone to wash the clothes and clean the house. A real social life. Tea at Terra Nova and brunch at the Grog Shoppe. And real friends. Not friends because they were the moms of my kid’s friends. Friends that I had chosen and who had soul in them and who knew “bout” party.

I had to convince my son though, that we were only going for Grade 1. Dad flew out in the middle of the night the following week. And the magnitude of what I had done hit me. I sobbed and sobbed. But I didn’t have time for much sobbing either. Hurricane Dean. What’s that? Hurricane? “Mi neva memba bout dem tings.” Quick. “Purchase a membaship at Price Smart. Buy Igloo. Buy tin milk. Plenty tin milk. KoolAid. Flashlight. Bun and tin cheese.”

We survived that. But then the mosquitoes started to bite….and bite…and bite. “Raise up bump”. Scratch. Blood. Dirty nails. Infection. Scab. Blood on the sheets again. I just changed the sheets…and it’s not my wash day. And it’s raining anyway…rain, rain , rain. It rained for the four months we were there. Beach. Chu. Yuh crazy!”

That helper was a nice young lady. And she did have sense. But the foreign pickney of mine did “wan fi know,” “Mama, how come everybody here is wearing a black skin?” So in their little minds, first I was leaving them with a “black” person. And second, I was leaving them. This stay- at- home mom who was always there for every runny nose and every cut that needed a band-aid…was walking out of the house and leaving her precious children…and going to where…work??? “Man, it was trial and tribulation whenever I dropped them home from school.”

Ok, let’s talk about the traffic. Because “dat is jus a way of life in Jamdown.” I lived in the Waterloo area. I worked in New Kingston. And the kids went to school off Lady Musgrave. Thought I could pick the children up at school and get back to work within a half hour. Round trip… at least an hour and a half. Sometimes two, if it was raining, And it usually was. So I went back to work at 3:30pm to “practice law” for an hour and a half before I had to go home and relieve the helper. Intelligent Miss. But that meant she was pursuing higher education. So I had to relieve her to go to classes. I had dismissed her once, only to hire a new miss who was really a practical nurse who couldn’t find a job as a nurse. She “fool mi” in her pretty white dress. The uniform was brimming with intelligence, but the head was not. Once I asked her to spray the bin with Lysol and she used the toilet bowl cleaner. That was the first and last time she did that. She lasted a week. So I had to call up the other nice young lady and kiss her ass a bit.

Ok so sorting out the domestic scene, the children decided early that they just plain missed their dad. And Canada. And snow. And the millions of parks everywhere (even though they couldn’t be visited for 6 months of the year anyway). And what’s more they hated the heat. And the humidity. They were forever sweating buckets. They didn’t want to eat…ever. Only to drink. And things like Grace sausage, corned beef and plantain would not pass their lips. All of a sudden, mom became the bad guy…the evil one. Sigh…I missed Dad too. I guess I underestimated the power of a dad! And the power of the known. I tried to enroll my First Grader in soccer. He loved soccer in Canada playing only with kids his age and size. In Jamaica, everyone who played soccer in the school comprised the two teams, so it didn’t matter what your age or size. My little 40 pounder was at one time face to face on the soccer field with easily the largest lad in the school. The ride to the soccer field consisted of piling into a mini-van…the entire two teams; and in order to make everyone fit, they had to put the back seat down and everyone clamored on top of the back seat. And they were off…. Seat belt…what’s that? Speed limit…what’s that? This would be soccer mom headed off at top speed and full tilt, high tailing that getaway minivan. Cause it just wasn’t getting away from me or out of my sight. Needless to say, it was my decision to end that particular extra-curricular. He has ridden in a “van- back” in Jamaica since then…and quite enjoyed the experience, to my horror. In Canada, we would have immediately been arrested.

Now to Dad. We had an understanding that he would look for that dream job in Jamaica while I was there. The one that was created by the brain drain in Jamaica. Not! Salaries in Jamaica are not on par with salaries in North America. Not in IT anyway. And the cost of living is a good deal higher. No wonder there is a brain drain. And as “dem sey”…is who you know! This trailing spouse decided then and there that he wasn’t trailing after all. Or if he did, and we couldn’t buy food, then it would be on “fimi” head. What to do? Give up my dream? Sell my car? Resign my job? Look like a fool????

And that’s what I did. For family. Tis always the woman that gives. God just made us that way. To sacrifice. To persevere. And to stand tall in it all. So now, although I miss my homeland, I will stay away for a little while longer. But one day I will take my children back. And show them where I came from. And why it is better than any home away from home.


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Friday, May 23, 2008

License to Hate

I woke up with his words ringing in my ears.... "Not in My Cabinet."

My Prime Minister has just communicated to the world that he is a bigot, and that he hates gay people, and that he is prepared to deny someone who is gay a position they deserve simply because they are homosexual.

Let's see what this means. A gay man, a lesbian woman, a bisexual person.... they all would find the door closed regardless of their accomplishments.

Presumably, someone in his current Cabinet who is in the closet, and decides to tell the truth would be fired on the spot. I imagine that if one of his children were to do the same they'd suffer some severe fate. Anyone in government who is gay had better keep it under wraps as well, because their management has now received a reason to get rid of them, and an open license to hate.

With his words and example he is making it clear. It is fine in Jamaica for a manager to use sexual orientation as a reason to exclude people from jobs, careers and professions. Once they are found out, they can be fired.

It's obvious by the tone of his words that they are the kind of people who need to be excluded from the best that Jamaica has to offer, and if there is no reversal of his public attitude, they are bound to continue to suffer in our country.

The consequences are already being felt around the world, as Jamaica tells the world the lengths we are willing to go, in order to exclude gay people. Of course, the world just happens to be moving in the opposite direction, with full force. We, however, have the willingness and the fortitude to stick it out alone, apparently, and to be the only country in the world, if we have to be, that openly discriminates against gays at the highest level.

All this while wanting to remain a top tourist destination.

It looks to me as if we'll have to feel the tangible consequences of our collective bigotry before anything changes, because now, things are likely to become much,much worse for us.

I wonder if the Prime Minister knows how much he has damaged our country?

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Preparing for the World's Backlash

Bruce Golding's interview, aired yesterday on BBC, brought out some of the best and worst of Jamaica, in the eyes of the world.

One the one hand we are a feisty bunch of people, who are unwilling to be be dictated to, or humbled by outside forces.

On the other hand we have an astronomic murder rate and there exists a widespread, open hatred of homosexuals that goes well past mere homophobia.

Last night Golding, who I admire in many ways, candidly responded that he would not have a gay person in his cabinet. His distaste and contempt seemed palpable to me.

He implied that the reason for this decision was to enable them to execute their duties "without favour, fear or intimidation."

I imagined Jamaicans looking on with pride, as the comments on the YouTube video of the interview reflected:

I imagined most of the world looking on in horror.

At that moment I felt what it would like to be on the receiving end of the world's lobbying efforts, with my country, Jamaica, arguing that it did not need to heed the calls from the rest of the world for human rights for an oppressed minority. We join China, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Myanmar/Burma and others in arguing that we should be left alone to determine our own future free of outside interference from the test of the world.

Our complaint should not be new as we heard it loud and clear when white South Africa made the same plea in defense of their Apartheid system

We have a bigger problem, however. Tourism makes up a significant part of our earnings (the second largest source of foreign exchange.)

Golding's words certainly won't help us attract more visitors.

It will probably attract more of the kind of attention these repressive regimes shared, as we implement our own Apartheid.

We continue to try to have our cake and eat it too. This point seems to have been lost on Golding yesterday, as he made what most around the world would agree were unusually divisive and bigoted comments. The undertone of his words was clear -- gays are just not.... enough to be in his cabinet. They are too.... to serve in that capacity.

He sounded like any Jamaican speaking here in Kingston, just a lot milder in his comments than the average man in the street. In Jamaica, it's said that he couldn't say his real feelings, because the world couldn't handle them.

However, in the rest of the world, I imagine, his spoken words on the BBC HardTalk programme are enough to provoke outrage, boycotts, demonstrations and calls for Jamaica to join the company of civilized nations. -- Click here

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Change of Mind on Dual Citizenship

I have been carefully reading the comments made to my "Bad Mind?" post and in a conversation with Kim-Marie Spence who heads up CAPRI - the Caribbean Policy Research Institute -- a light-bulb went off.

She gave me a realistic example that stopped me in my tracks.

"What would Daryl Vaz do if he had to visit Cuba on state business?"

"Oh-Oh, I said. That would be a problem."

By serving Jamaica's best interests he could be forced to choose between breaking US law, and doing what's right for us, Jamaicans.

Oh dear.

He actually could face arrest if he visited the USA as a private citizen.

Also, right at this moment, he could get a call from the US about his taxes, and the IRS could decide to launch an audit of his finances at any time.

Hmmm... while the odds of him being called up to fight in Iraq are slim to nothing, IRS audits and other government organizations are been used to harass Americans who the government have found to be
out of favour.

Also, what would happen if took up the charge to champion Cuba-Jamaican relationships, only to receive a nice call one day from the U.S. Ambassador asking to meet with him. She might have nothing in mind other than a courtesy call, but he might attend the meeting with the thought that the recent letter from the IRS might be a response to his Cuban activities, and that she is here to "help make the point."

Poor Daryl. Or more to the point, poor Jamaica.

Some think that a compromise is in order, and that dual citizens should not be in cabinet, and can serve as MP's. (Why the Governor General is exempt from these requirements is beyond me... the post of Director of Elections certainly seems to be one that would actually benefit from having someone who is a foreigner, but that's another matter.)

I do stand by my belief that Jamaica would benefit greatly from those who have a foreign perspective, but in today's geo-politicalworld, they just cannot effectively occupy the pivotal, decision-making roles. Instead, they can serve in other positions, and this should be made clear to all Jamaicans in the diaspora.

"No," you cannot be Prime Minister, MP, Senator, etc. without renouncing other citizenship, but "Yes," you can be any of the following positions.... <>

The upcoming Diaspora Conference in June is sure to address some of these issue, for those who are interested.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Expat First-Hand Accounts in Jamaica

There is a lot on this message board that is useful to anyone looking to move back to Jamaica. Although the writers are expats, there is a great deal of overlap between their experience,and that of Jamaicans who return.

Visit, and register as a user. Click over to the Real Port Reports -- there are over ten stories submitted about Jamaica.

I am sure to include a feature like this on this blog at some point, but first I need to migrate to Wordpress!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bad Mind?

The argument being made by many Jamaicans that "we don't want no foreigner making laws for us" is an interesting one.

While the law is outdated and flawed in the light of 2008 realities, I have been surprised that the underlying sentiment remains quite strong.

In the abstract, it has a certain logic to it -- after all, who wants the heads of their government to have divided loyalties? However, in the specific, it is unrealistic.

At the outset, it's important to realize that this is a situation where there must be some kind of compromise. There is no simple solution that will fit our needs perfectly. Instead, at some point we must appeal to a dose of common-sense and practicality.

while it's fine to want politicians without divided loyalties, I cannot imagine that we actually have any in reality. Does anyone actually believe that we have a single MP who does not love Jamaica more than any other country? Does anyone actually believe that they would put another country's interest above our own?

Common-sense tells us that the few who aspire to political office while at the same time having a foreign citizenship are giving up something valuable (an easier life abroad) in order to make a contribution in a much more difficult environment. Should they be penalized?

There is nothing wrong with wanting politicians who will put Jamaica first. I argue that our political process, and economic reality already ensures that those who become viable candidates for office are already putting Jamaica first by choosing to run in the first place. In other words, it's a joke to think that we are somehow in danger of "spies" from another country who intend to promote some other country's interests.

Political office is not something that one simply falls into, by the way... we Jamaicans make damn sure of that by putting them through a baptism of fire in the nomination and election processes.

Given that we are in no danger, where is the fuel for the argument coming from?

We Jamaicans are a proud people, and like to think that we can handle our own business. Furthermore, we like our sovereignty, and anything that seems to threaten it is something we believe we must defend against.

However, this is a case in which we our pride may take us to a place that makes no sense for us to be. Do we really want to get to the point where we:
-- continue to take rights away from Jamaicans who live overseas, even as we encourage their remittances?
(The hypocrisy of this would seem to be unbearable.)
-- encourage them to return, while telling them they have lost some of their rights?
-- promote the idea of them becoming US citizens, the better to serve Jamaica, while at the same time penalizing their choice?

We simply cannot have our cake and eat it too. While the high-minded goal of having leaders with undivided loyalty is fine, our attempts to ensure that desire through the laws of citizenship are outdated, and reflect very old thinking.

The truth is, who we really want in office are world citizens who have travelled widely, attended schools all over the world, and worked in a variety of countries. And yes, we want them to have citizenships from all over the globe because in the end, we benefit as a people.

When George Bush was elected, he was one of the least travelled Presidents in the world. His ignorance has helped to produce a stalemate in Iraq, and has served to deplete any good-will that America was granted after 9/11.

A bunch of Jamaicans leading our country who have never left Jamaica for more than a shopping trip or vacation is not a prescription for success. It would rob us of the cosmopolitan thinking that we now need more than ever to survive in an increasingly flattened world.

As for the argument that says that politicians must be made to suffer for their decisions by being forced to live in Jamaica... well, this just strikes me as a case of "bad-mind." There is nothing stopping a politician from migrating to another country the day after they leave office, and to try to restrain them in order to somehow punish them seems harsh.

We would go further if we trusted what we know... no-one comes back to Jamaica to run for office who intends to sell us out to a foreign country. We are not in danger of that happening.

However, we can quite easily discourage Jamaicans abroad from participating in Jamaican life, and in fact have already done so, as far as they are concerned. We need to trust our common sense, and change the laws to reflect what's most important to us.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Moving to Jamaica -- Assisting Expats

In a recent post I asked for help in doing some research my wife and I are doing for an e-book that we have decided to write for expats moving to Jamaica.

We have been asking around and getting lots of ideas from expats on what information they have been looking for, and it looks like we are going to offer a variety of information products. Some of it will be free, and the rest will be for purchase. It will probably be presented in the form of 2 e-books, but we are looking at other ways of providing helpful information in the form of podcasts, a message board, etc.

The need is great...

Although we moved back three years ago, she in particular has experienced the challenge of moving to Jamaica as an outsider, with its ups and downs, and twists and turns. She has been tentatively writing about her experience at her blog, in addition to providing some useful information -

What I find most compelling of all are the first-hand stories that she has been documenting, from expats who have moved to Jamaica. She has been surveying them for the past few weeks, and putting their stories together.

It makes me think that I should do the same for those who have moved back to Jamaica!

In fact, there is a lot in what she's doing that should be useful to Jamaicans who have been away for more than ten years or so.

Join the mailing list at her site for updates on her progress. There should be some kind of output produced in the next few weeks or so.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Danville Walker -- our most famous returnee

Danville Walker is perhaps the finest example of someone who has moved back to Jamaica.

As the former Director of Elections, he was appointed during the PNP administration, enjoyed the confidence of the JLP, and brought a level of excellence to our electoral process that has resulted in it becoming a model for other countries.

I can share from personal experience from voting in the U.S. and Jamaica that our system on the island is a much more thorough one. This is far cry from the days when voting in some constituencies exceeded 100%, and the bogus voting I witnessed as a CAFFE observer in the late 1990's.

He and his colleagues at the EOJ have simply engineered a miracle.

It is a fine example of what most Jamaicans abroad aspire to do "someday":

1. develop a critical skill abroad
2. bring it home
3. use it to make a contribution
4. be acknowledged

The remittances currently that prop up the Jamaican economy are merely a proxy for this kind of substantial contribution.

Hats off to the man, and the way that he came home to work on behalf of his countrymen. Most agree that we want more men and women like him in political office.


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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Danville Walker -- the Latest Casualty of the US Citizenship Issue

Losing Daryl Vaz from Parliament until a by-election is conducted is one thing. Losing Danville Walker from the post of Director of Election is quite another.

Now, we all have lost out, as Danville Walker, a giant of integrity in modern Jamaican history, resigned his position because of one of the archaic laws that remains in our constitution.

In the past week, we are learning that Marcus Garvey, our first National Hero, had applied for US Citizenship, only to be turned down. Apparently, if he ad been accepted, it would have made him unfit to hold political office in Jamaica.

Also, Alexander Bustamante, our first Prime Minster, pledged allegiance to Spain at one point, and it appears that he should also have been disqualified. The same applies to several parliamentarians and government ministers throughout the years, because they gained dual citizenship in countries that our constitution deems to be unsuitable.

However, those who pledged allegiance to Fiji, India, New Zealand or Guyana could have done so at any point
and still be eligible, simply because they are Commonwealth countries.

That it is an old law is hard to dispute. It penalizes the majority of Jamaicans who have migrated to countries that we care about, while giving a "bligh" to those we don't care about.

This isn't to say that Danville didn't do the right thing. He certainly did, and he did so in a way that honours our outdated document.

We in the Caribbean don't have much history of politicians resigning, even after major scandals, as they too trust that that wheels of justice grind slowly, with a huge backlog to boot. Trinidad had a similar situation to ours in which they had a tied parliament, and one party resorted to pulling the "citizenship card" to try to get elected seats overturned. Our politicians are merely following their lead. Their carnival-like elections however, don't cause blood to be shed in the streets.

This all does not augur well for those Jamaicans working overseas, who are now realizing that the government's ongoing encouragement to gain US citizenship came with a serious catch. After building a life in the U.S., they are forced to give up access to that life in order to run for political office.

We Jamaicans living at home who depend on remittances from overseas Jamaicans to keep our economy afloat now suffer from a strange situation in which a US citizen who gains Jamaican citizenship, may run for office in both countries (except the office of President.) However, a Jamaican citizen who subsequently gains US citizenship loses the right to run for office in Jamaica.

The constitution simply must be brought into line with modern day realities. Daryl Vaz never lived in the US for more than a year to attend school. It's too much to ask the Danville Walkers of the world to give up their citizenship in order to serve, as if they somehow cannot be trusted unless they do so.


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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Four Kinds of Information Available in Jamaica

Anyone who has lived in Jamaica for more than a few weeks knows what I am talking about.

There are at least four kinds of information, or in other words, four kinds of answers to an innocent question posed to a company or government entity. Those who move to Jamaica as either expats or returnees are the last to appreciate this fact, and get themselves in all sorts of trouble when they think that their should be only one.

For example, the answer to a simple question such as "How do get a driver's license if I already possess one from an overseas jurisdiction?" seems easy enough. However, the complexity offered by different answers makes it rough going for someone who is not used to "the runnings."

The Internet Answer
Only someone living far away would find, let alone believe, this first answer. Everyone in Jamaica knows that the project to put the organization's information on the "world-wide-web" was launched to further a politician's career, and once the lights were turned off the whole thing was abandoned due to either mismanagement or lack of funds.

The Written Answer
Once the overseas explorer has determined that the information they are reading online was useful for perhaps only a week or two back in 1999, they start looking for printed information. They might send a friend or relative to ask for information at the organization in question, and ask for it to be "sent up" to them.

Once the information arrives six weeks later they devour it, until they reach the last page where they read the fine print - "Copyright 1998." It turns out that their trusty agent either picked up stale information, which was all that was left, or didn't bother to ask whether or not there was more recent information printed.

The Spoken Answer
By now, some important deadline is looming, so the search turns to making phone calls in the hope of finding someone who can help. At first, no-one seems to work at the companies numbers, and it's curious to find that there are sometimes 10 numbers listed, or more. They all just ring and ring and ring.

The game is on to find a number that actually will be picked up. Time and money are wasted waiting and waiting until the caller learns that lunch-time, child-pick-up-time, work-soon-done time, too-early-in-the-morning-time and too-close-to-lunch-time are all bad times to call. This leaves a 15 minute gap between 9:30 am and 9:45 am when someone will actually pick up the phone, but of course the gap caries between companies.

Once someone is reached, it's important to know that the person who answers is unlikely to be someone who actually knows anything. Their job is to answer the phone. Don't bother them trying to hold them to account for having accurate information. That's the exclusive province of those who don't ever answer the phones.

They will have some information to give. Just don't believe for a minute that it's accurate or complete. It's not to be believed, but at least it's based in part on the training they received back in 2005, so you know you are getting warmer.

The Only Answer that Counts
The deadline is now upon you and you are starting to get desperate. You spend your hundreds (or thousands) of US$ to fly Jamaica with all your feelings of frustration and your knowledge of "how things work so well in Toronto." You visit the offending office in person. As you walk in, your dress, hairstyle and accent give you away as a foreigner.

Behind the counter, the defensive forces start marshaling their tactics.

They know that you are not getting through in time for your flight, whenever that is, and they are not about the change the sacred process to fit your need to catch AJ015. This is bureaucracy at its finest.

You quickly learn that all the information that you gathered before is outdated. Acts of Parliament, new laws and new owners all combine to render your facts obsolete. You inevitably don't have the right documents with you. You need to visit another office to get a copy of your water bill in order to open a new business. You must come back tomorrow.

If you are loud and obnoxious, the way life in North America has taught you to be, you are in for several trips to the office, each designed to exact a penalty for your failure to "have some manners." Prepare for the long haul, by bringing something to eat, drink and read.

A nice German man called Kafka wrote some insightful books about being trapped in situations of never-ending torment. One book focuses on a man who woke up as a cockroach. Another is about a man who is forced to answer un-known charges made against him that are never ever shared with him, until he is mysteriously exonerated. You can more than identify as you start to deleriously believe that your tormentors are targeting you by name.

You complain to anyone who will listen. After all while, your audience seems to be getting tired of you.

After delaying your flight home and missing some days of work, you are talking with your friend/distant cousin / high-school classmate who out of the blue remembers that their good friend heads up a department at the office you have been visiting.

You wonder why they are now just remembering this important fact...

They tell you not to worry, and half an hour later they call back with mysterious instructions. Give them your information and all will be taken care of by that evening. So said, so done.

You have escaped from your purgatory and have no idea what you did to deserve it.

On the flight back home you realize that the only information that matters in Jamaica is the information given by someone who actually makes decisions, and all the information gathered before was really just window-dressing, and didn't really count. What counted was who you knew, or who you knew that knew the right person.

If you are still complaining that this is all not fair, that it is exclusionary, biased against foreigners with your last name, etc. is to engage in the irrelevant. Don't waste your time.

Instead, learn to fit your tactics into the "runnings" as that's the only way to be effective.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Busy Like an American

I have been feeling very busy nowadays, and quite cognizant of how important it was to appear to be busy when I lived in the U.S.

I remember using this fact as a form of greeting:

"Bob, how are you?"

"Keeping Busy!"

Even today my wife (who was raised in the U.S.) will ask me at the end of any given day whether "I got a lot done?"

I used to answer that in the affirmative when I was living abroad, but here in Jamaica we just kind of laugh together... who cares how much got done... really?

A better qeustion that fits our current circumstances might be "Had a joyful day?"

(Incidentally, I met a young woman yesterday whose first name is "HavaJoy.")

So, I have been keeping busy, without knowing what that means, and apparently getting a lot done as a result.

I am in the process of launching three different offerings to internet audiences, becoming a real internet marketer for the first time. It's a learning curve that is steep, but quite rewarding, as I sold some US$1000 worth in the month of April ... all online.

The next few months should be interesting, as I "keep busy" while undertaking these first-time efforts. Stay tuned.

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