Quality over Quantity

22 Mar

In my opinion and in spite of the rain, February emceed the most valuable Farmers meeting Elim has ever seen. Attended by Mr. Price, St. Elizabeth’s newest Member of Parliament, over 100 community members showed up, actively participated, and worked together to ensure a relatively punctual start (merely 1.75 hours late). I was thoroughly impressed. People were involved! The two hour collaboration was full of insightful observations, remarkable inquiries, and constructive dialogue; reverberating with fresh ideas, innovative peanut plans, and a renewed sense of communal hope, my heart swelled with pride.

In unrelated news, Peace Corps Jamaica (group 83) arrived on island last week. Welcome, ya’ll! Hopefully Michael is among you and we will all linkup soon.

Alright, so my day. Since I woke up this morning I have:
– Witnessed Goose eating a diaper. It was terrible. Dogs are gross.
– Ran for 45 minutes and then enjoyed a hearty callaloo breakfast.
– Visited the basic school where the Principle had done nothing to prepare for our meeting like I had asked. Sure.
– Cracked peanut seeds (to be used for planting) while watching adorable piglets get delivered (by a truck) into mamas yard.

my name is Fluff

In vignette-y news, I recently overheard this outrageous, sexist conversation:
A Black River taxi driver wanted to maximize profits by squeezing two women into the front seat of his car; the women would have had to ‘small-up’ considerably. He authoritatively told the first woman “Move ova, now.”. She responded with Jamaican attitude, “Naw sir! Mi wuldn’t do dat.”. The taxi driver insisted, “Come now man, move ovah!”. The woman kissed teeth (translation: ‘rolled her eyes’) and explained, “Mi cyaan tek de squeeze up, squeeze up — Mi pregnant.”. “Oh gawd, Lord gawd”, the driver immediately reacted, “Oh sorry. Sorry miss! So sorry.”, he apologetically continued, “Mi neva kno say dat di job already done!”.

Ha! I couldn’t help but laugh because, despite this chauvinistic attitude, I am in love with Jamaica right now. Yes, it’s a patriarchal country and — of course — some things make me cringe. But, by golly, I am embracing my gender role and enjoying my life! Work and school are frequently productive, the fruit here is always in season/perpetually mouthwatering, and Elim is brimming with warm, friendly people. Not to mention this enchanting yard really feels like home.

Do you spy wid your likl eye Goose & Tyger?

That tree to the right with red things? Ackee and ‘tis the season! I have spent many recent hours harvesting, cleaning, and cooking this national food. To the left you’ll see cows and mango trees (soon come!). Behind the house (not pictured) are star apple, guava, niesberry, and palm trees (with yummy jelly-coconuts).

Oh, my roommate is here. He wants to say hello:

This lizard has seriously grown. We had one minor calamity in which our friend, a salamander, got completely flattened by a chair. It was tragic(ally hilarious). But you can see how quickly my scaly companion has rebounded after the trauma!; he appears to be mentally stable, completely un-trampled, and benefiting from some extra food indulgences. I just watched him pay his rent, aka eat a roach half his size.

More (exciting) news next time. Try not to contain yourself.
Miles of smiles,

9 Responses to “Quality over Quantity”

  1. vallisanstrom March 22, 2012 at 3:44 am #

    me enormously envious of you there in my dream come true placement that I missed out on because my medical clearance took too long. I will continue to live vicariously through you and dream of what is to be my placement in the Philippines come July. One Love and Blessup! I’m working on setting up a blog. I see you’re with WordPress.

    • Sammi Travis April 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Sweet! Would love to check out your blog. Also, the Philippines doesn’t sound to shabby…. all posts are different. And even each site in each country is different, eh? All the best!

  2. Andrew Travis March 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Thanks, Sammi. I’m going to miss reading your tales of Elim but am looking forward to having you in the States and, in particular, here in Pittsburgh.

  3. Nick March 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    emceed! Great word.

    I want a piglet for a pet…


    • Sammi Travis April 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      a piglet totally wants to live in a yurt 🙂

  4. Victoria March 22, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    That little piglet made me so so glad I’m vegetarian. Really. The photos of your yard are beautiful. Is the lizard really a salamander? He’s a lovely roomie. Probably more affectionate even than your boa was!

    I’m thinking about trying to find a house about the size of yours in Mexico in which to live part of the year when I retire. I know you’ll be far better at visiting me there than I’ve been with visiting you in Jamaica, right? Guess you’re young and you know the younguns have to travel to visit the olduns!

    • Sammi Travis April 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      Yay for vegetarians!
      That lizard is, in fact, a lizard. We had a friend that was salamander — who got squished (and is not pictured). It’s a very multi-racial household 🙂

      Mexico!! Heck yes I will come and visit! Do you know where in Mexico, yet? You’re still welcome her; 3 weeks left….


  5. Darlene Klobchar March 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Sooooo enjoyed your tale……loved the piglet and your pet! No wonder he’s growing if he can eat half his size at one sitting! Come to think about it that might be what got me into trouble, too!! Loving u!

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