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, March 26, 2009

Passing for White in England (Not)

This is an interesting article that describes a Jamaican man's experience as an immigrant to London in the 1940's. He was a light skinned Black man, who probably left a Jamaica of privilege to arrive in London to learn that a lot of what he believed was very, very wrong.

He overcame tremendous odds as you'll see in this two part series. When I hear stories like this I always wonder why Jamaicans believe that they can't survive a move back to Jamaica.

I think a move to live in the US, Canada or the UK is a tough one, and that anyone who can make it in these countries after living in Jamaica, can surely survive a move back home, and even do well because of the skills they had to learn.

Click here to read Part 1

Click here to read Part 2


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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Banks Rinsing Funds

One of the facts of financial life that I have had to become accustomed to here in Jamaica is the length of time it takes to deposit an overseas check.

At first I thought that the six weeks that it can take for a check to clear had something to do with how long it takes to clear an international check.

But then, I wrote a check from a U.S. account I own to a Jamaican account, and noticed that the check was withdrawn immediately, but it still took the same 4-6 time period.

What can explain the delay?

I can only imagine that whatever the reason, banks are happy to keep the status quo because they are able to make some money of their own on the cash that is being moved from one account to another.

I could be wrong here, and maybe a banker could set me straight, but I know that a Jamaican who returns is likely to find this annoying, if not downright unethical. The net effect, of course, is that it's easier to keep funds in a foreign account which operates at international standards than it is to transfer money here to Jamaica where it could be put to good use by local banks.

Like many things involving finance, it's just easier to do business elsewhere.

There must be a better way - one that benefits the greater good of all involved.


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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Comparing Jamaica and Barbados

I have been doing a great deal of travelling recently to Barbados, and it's interesting to note how much progress has been made in that country, versus what has happened in Jamaica in the same period of time.

Clearly, they are doing something right, and we have the distinction of doing several things all wrong (economically.)

Here are a couple of articles that are worth reading:

Click here to reference the article on Barbados' economic freedom.

Click here to access the report comparing the two paths that our countries have taken since independence.

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