Monthly Archives: August 2014



It’s a postcard kind of beauty that greets tourists when they visit the town of Negril. Not only is it one of Jamaica’s most beautiful spots, the town itself has a rich history of fluctuating ownership, pirating, and warfare over whose flag should fly on the sands of the famous town.

Many persons are unaware that Negril is simply a town in the parish of Westmoreland. The capital of Westmoreland is Savanna-La-Mar, or “Sav-La-Mar” as most Jamaicans call it. Westmoreland possesses Jamaica’s westernmost point, Negril point, and Jamaica’s 5th longest river (Cabaritta River). One of Jamaica’s inactive ports is also in the parish. Historically, the port was used to export tobacco and sugarcane and was later used as a defense area for the British during their war against the French.

Like all the parishes of Jamaica, Westmoreland has a wonderful



history. Being colonized first by the Spaniards who named the capital “Savanna-de-la-Mar” (The Plain by the Sea), Westmoreland had a lot of economic activities including the production and export of sugarcane products, including sugar and rum. Unfortunately, hurricanes and tidal waves would lead to the demise of this once prosperous parish.

Negril, or Punta Negrilla, was once hailed as one of the best ports to hide out during times of war between Europeans who were seeking to claim land in the name of their countries. Along with Port Royal, Negril was known as a part that harboured pirates, financiers, men of nobility and who belonged to the gentry.

Westmoreland has evolved after its destruction on more than three occasions and now holds one of Jamaica’s famous and favourite tourist spots. Some things you can do in Westmoreland, particularly Negril, include:

  •  Watch the Sunset – one of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see will be in Negril. Absolutely breathtaking!
  • Rick’s Cafe – On a cliff, just on the “edge” of Negril is Rick’s Cafe. Enjoy great food, watch the sunset, or dive off the edge of the cliff into the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea.
  • Take a Stroll on the beautiful 7-mile Beach Strip
  • Hang out at Margaritaville
  • Check out the Negril Lighthouse
  • Go Scuba Diving

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The possibilities are endless, and adventures await in every “nook and cranny” (corner) of Jamaica!

Happy Trails! ~JGIC



Personal Knowledge  and

Jamaica Information Service

The Three Most Important People to Have in Your Circle


Credit: WordAPic

In light of the recent passing of one of Hollywoods’s best actors, Robin Williams, I must first say I am deeply saddened by his passing as I enjoyed his movies and his sense of humor.  He also had a few things to say about life and one of his most popular quotes states:

I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone; it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone. -Robin Williams

He was right. Negativity and stress from your environment works on the brain and subconsciously leads to one feeling defeated and in some cases, depressed. Based on my personal experiences, here are three types of people I think you need to surround yourself with in order to help you achieve your goals and have a positive outlook on life.

  • The Positive Thinker

How often do we sit down and hear some of our friends speak so many negative things that we begin to wonder if anything good has ever happened in their lives. They tend to always be gloomy and no matter how much encouragement you offer them, they skilfully turn everything you suggest into a negative. You don’t need that!

There is absolutely no doubt that negative things happen in our lives, and there is a time and place to deal with those issues. But to constantly dwell on negativity will ultimately lead to everything being due to “bad luck” or “bad karma.”

When you hang around positive people, you are better able to find solutions to various, simple everyday problems and make time to focus on other things.

  • The Successful Bunch

My uncle has always been in my heart as a perfect role model. He’s a successful entrepreneur,  he takes risks and learns from his mistakes. Each failure is a lesson used to pave the way for his success. I’ve adopted him as my mentor. Each conversation is
a lesson learnt and he always pushes me to take my ideas a step further.10411112_10153119040837575_4928475109454638845_n

The idea is that the successful bunch always have a story which includes their struggles, failures and negative patches. These anecdotes and experiences teach you that success isn’t a road easily traveled and it takes hard work, dedication and determination to achieve same.

  •  Productive Individuals

No matter your situation (employed, unemployed, student), it helps to hang out with people who are productive. Even persons who are unemployed can be productive by reading, volunteering, or learning a new skill in their spare time. Basically, there is no reason to be hanging around people who seem to always have free time on their hands. The saying, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” is very accurate. I’m sure you can remember that friend who engaged in some unnecessary activities due to having nothing to do.

As a student in university, I found that it I did exponentially better when I balanced work with school. My grades actually improved since I spent the little spare time I had doing some amount of classwork. When I was unemployed, I had far more time on my hands and procrastinated a bit. As a result, I didn’t do as well as I had hoped.

After getting a few suggestions for my mentor and reading a few self-motivational books, I found that the three aforementioned suggestions worked in my favor.  I hope that you found these suggestions useful and if you haven’t done so already, you’ll at least give them a try.

No one says the road to success is easy, but it makes a wonderful journey when you have achieved your dream. ~Jodi Francis


Country Come to Town: Part II

File: East Side Trails

File: East Side Trails

I often use my country as a point of reference when traveling and engaging in social activities (I’m quite a homebody, so anything outside of my bedroom is considered “unsafe”). Therefore, taking a 9 hour bus ride on the East Side of the US from Virginia to New York was a feat for me. I get scared easily (as you would have discovered from Part 1), so it was no surprise that I managed to embarrass several family members and friends with my various expressions and reactions.

Here is what not to do when you see something for the first time:

1) Dem people yah frowsy eeh?  (Translation: These people smell funny!) I was on the phone conversing with my aunt as she kept my company on the Greyhound bound for New York. A passenger sat behind me whose body odor and breath weren’t as pleasant as they should be. The man was also “eyeing” me flirtatiously and I had to give him the blank stare to stop him in his tracks. My aunt placed me on hold, so I relayed the information via Whatsapp to my friends while I waited. When I started speaking to my aunt again, I exclaimed in my worst patois: “Dem people yah frowsy eeh?” Turns out the guy was also Jamaican (much to my embarrassment) and agreed by saying: “A choo man! But a so it go when dem a travel!” I wanted to disappear.

Lesson Learnt: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Additionally, you never know when someone from your native land may be around. So think before you speak. 😉

2) Mi nah come back! (Translation: I will never return!) I recall telling my cousin how much I hate New York and I vowed never to return.  Upon my arrival in the city, I was hit on by creepy cab drivers, the bus station smelled like yesterday’s urine and I was 4 hours late. But then, a few days later, I had fun with Maria, I saw the majestic Statue of Liberty with my cousin Ned; I saw Times Square, Madison Square Garden and the New York Skyline… and I experienced the frightful subway! I love to travel, so saying “Mi nah come back” to Ned was not necessarily a good move on my very first night in the Big Apple.

Lesson Learnt: Everywhere has its ups and downs; I’ve learnt to embrace the negatives and use them as anecdotes for improving my experiences to come.

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3) “A loss mi loss?” (Am I really lost?) While waiting for Ned to come get me, I lost my bearings and wasn’t sure which way to go. Luckily, the right person recognized my bewilderment and pointed me in the right direction. Luckily too, I left home early enough and managed to get there on time. Oh, I do not have a phone here in the US, so getting lost would be very bad.

Lesson Learnt: I have a smart phone but wasn’t very smart about how I used it. A friend of mine suggested taking a screenshot of the general area from the maps app and using it as a guide. Additionally, there were several bus tour people standing around; these are usually good people to ask for help instead of standing in the middle of Times Square in utter bewilderment.

One last tip is to always be prepared for unforeseen circumstances, like a late bus arrival, loss of WiFi for communication purposes, etc. It also helps to do online research of the general area before embarking on your trip so that you do not end up getting culture shock. Keep negative personal opinions to a minimum during conversations, you never know who might be listening.

Happy Trails!