26 Feb

Where’s Waldo?

Early last week, I was back in Elim; back to the yard with Mama, back to roosters clearing their sinuses at 2am, back to sun beating down so hot it’s like an eager boy-scout trying desperately to earn his badges. Back to a place where being called “fat” is a compliment, where food cooked over an actual fire is the norm, and where everyone in an entire community knows me by name.

But I don't go to Jamaica to be comfortable.

Somewhere in Jamaica lies the secret to perfect fried chicken.

I went to back to a country where any taxi driver, at any point, will blow you a kiss. And where the fruits are so plentiful, so delicious, and so exotic, even Willy Wonka would be impressed.


better than candy


You’d think if you lived on an island, you’d have been on a boat. Shockingly, I found out this was not the case for Mama and company. No one in the yard had ever been at sea! I set out to change that…

As a special family outing, we all took a speed boat to the to Pelican Bar,
a free-standing bamboo hut on the Caribbean. They were thrilled by the ride and grateful to experience Jamaica like tourists (with life jackets and ice-cold
Red Stripes).

happy faces

the day they lost their boat virginity


I went back to a country where I spent years of my life, where I farmed, wrote grants, had a school built, cried from loneliness, made foreigners family, and learned how to dance. (And by “learned how to dance,” of course I mean that I’m still white.)

I went back to a country that I had learned to love and that learned to love me.
A country I will visit for the rest of my life.

Like those ever persistent taxi men, I’m now blowing you a kiss — I can’t say with any authority when it will reach you, because I don’t know the Speed of Kiss, but be ready for it.

It’s coming.


6 Responses to “Ja-mecca”

  1. kek34 February 26, 2014 at 3:06 am #

    Heart warming ๐Ÿ™‚ Around 2 years at this time, I was back in Elim with you. Such fond memories ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Brick February 26, 2014 at 4:29 am #


  3. Russell Poole February 26, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    The Pelican Bar! Thanks for the memory jogging.

  4. Andrew B. Travis February 26, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    As Kat said, “Heart warming.” A really delightful Adventuresam” episode. Thank you for sharing that. Love the pictures, the captions, and story. Learning to love Jamaica, too. Safe travels on your next adventure, Samm. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. As always, all my love.

  5. Jerry Pitts February 27, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    Sammi, for those of us that spent time in Jamaica it will always have a special place in our hearts for ever ! we found that out when we spent the winter their last year, nothing had really changed, it just keeps churning along. Nothing like you, you’re in a different place every week ! We think of you often wondering where you are and where you will be next ! What an adventure, something that will be with you for a Lifetime !!! Go with Love in your Heart and the Universe will Bless you !!! as it always has !

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