Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Soon Come

I know it has been a while, but I have been blazing new and old trails, many pictures and a few stories. Stay tuned.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Little Bay, Luciano, Love, Light

My buddy Monk is heavy into Music and Charity one which is The NEET Foundation  on Friday he invited us to attend  a drop off of  benefits and  supplies to the Little Bay All age and Infant School of Little Bay, Westmoreland.

About NEET

The Negril Education Environment Trust (NEET) is a non-profit organization based at Travellers Beach Resort in Negril, Jamaica. In 2003 the organization was founded to address the country’s need for educational support and resources. Since its inception, NEET mission and vision have grown. Today, NEET is committed to strengthening the social fabric of Jamaica through programs that expand educational access for children and adults, partnerships that address our public and environmental health, and events and activities that celebrate Jamaica’s rich heritage.
NEET achieves its mission through the provision of three programs, Island-wide Book & Computer Distribution, Computer Literacy, and the Medical Mission.

Buy A Brick Campaign
The buy a brick campaign began a few years ago as part of “Soul Rebellion”. An event in which spring breakers interact with the community as part of a cultural exchange. During this time spring breakers purchased bricks that went towards building a library and toilets at St. Pauls Primary School. N.E.E.T now intends to continue building libraries throughout each school year for schools experiencing similar conditions as St. Pauls. The buy a brick program assisted in building a canteen for Ferris Primary School. We intend to make this a year round campaign.

Computer Literacy Program
N.E.E.T’s very popular computer literacy program seeks to develop the computer skills of adults and children.
N.E.E.T’s Adult Computer Literacy Program (ACLP) seeks to develop the computer skills of individuals who are out of school and wish to develop their skills in this area. In partnership with Peace Corps/Jamaica and the Theodora Project, ACLP has worked with many local residents of Westmoreland to increase their proficiency with using Microsoft Office programs. Such skill sets continue to be sought after in the business community. By providing computer literacy trainings to local residents. In those who have achieved computer training include police, teachers, and members of society who are at risk. Each graduate receives a computer to take home installed with the bible, national anthem, and the national pledge. N.E..E.T’s commitment will yield a more competitive workforce for the Jamaican public.

Medical Mission
The Caribbean Medical Mission is an intricate part of our organization that comes to Jamaica once a year to give free medical checkups and medicine. In 2008, at the opening of St. Pauls Library, the mission gave free medical attention and medicine to parents, children, and teachers.

Island-wide Book & Computer Distribution Program
 Led by the motto “a book in every child’s hand and a computer in every classroom”, the Book Distribution Program sets out to achieve just that. In the last 5 years, the organization has been able to donate over 2,000,000 books to various schools. Additionally, NEET received hundreds of computers from offshore contributors that were distributed to schools across the island. N.E.E.T.’s Book & Computer Distribution Program made it possible to build a library at St.Paul’s Primary.
Our next project is to build a library for little London primary school in which all are invited to participate by contributing to the “Buy A Brick Campaign”

Kids-n-Keyboards Project
What is being called a revolutionary way of teaching kids to “touch type” has now been introduced to the first school in Jamaica, Grange Hill High School. The school was presented with 20 color coded keyboards and lesson plans on how to implement the program. The program, founded by Tina Perry has been implemented into New York City school systems and for the first time Jamaica. The program forces students to learn how to type without looking at the keyboard. Twelve schools have been chosen to start out with. Once these schools are successful in implementing the program N.E.E.T intends to open the program to other schools in Jamaica that qualify.

Other Achievements:
  • Close to 500 schools in Jamaica have benefited from N.E.E.T Donations
  • 2 Awards have been received on behalf of N.E.E.T
  • Over 2 Million books over the past 5 years have been distributed to schools around Jamaica
  • Materials such as pens and pencils are continuously being donated
  • Our goal is to saturate the island with books and computers reaching out to the schools and children most in need
  • The theme for 2006 was “each one teach one”
  • The theme for 2007 was “swap your guns for computers
  • The theme for 2008 is “together we can make a difference”
  • Kudos to the NEET Foundation and Monk
The children and guests not only got thier donations, a treat was also in store for us. A lyrical treat as well as a message from Jamaica's acclaimed Messenger Luciano. Luciano is one of my favorite Artists one  that I have seen at least 6 times in the past 3 years, alwas under the stars at such places as Tony Rebel's Rebel Salute, MXIII in Negril, Root's Bamboo, Negril Escapes twice,  but yesterday when I walked into the likkle school in this small haven in Jamaica and saw this  Mighty Man with his old fashion guitar singing with and to the children, a deep emtion came over me and all I could do was say Blessed Lord, thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a Beautiful experience. Angels walk the Earth and people do give back a part of themelves back to thier Roots. The Messenger did just that and after  a few tunes and then a few speeches he closed the event with a prayer to the Children and Adults. A prayer that asks that the Adults teach the Children how important they are to the now and to the future, and to the Children to remember how special they all are. It was Love, It was Light, It was Luciano a man of  great honor.

Thank you Monk for the invite, to NEET for all that you do, to Miss Sonia for continuing to Inspire all that you meet, to the Principal Mrs Clayton and vice Principle Ms Miller Vacciana of the Little Bay All Age and Infact School, for thier hospitality and to Luciano, the Messenger for your message as always of Love, Light and Respect. I Love you mi Brethren.

The School in Likkle Bay

 Songs from The Messenger

 The Message
 Praise Jah
 The Gifting

Imagine a  Man taking the time out of his busy schedule to give back and spend time with the Children. . A great Man. The Messenger

Blessed Love Luciano

Monday, March 14, 2011

Applying For Permanent Residency in Jamaica


I am speaking from my own experiences not from second hand information. And since this subject comes up a lot I have decided to share my OWN process and cost information for anyone thinking of applying, so that there can be FACTS and not Speculation on this subject.

NO HIV test, just a medical check up from a doctor in Jamaica, no blood or urine was drawn.

The only Criminal record came from my home city/state. No fingerprints from anywhere were ever taken.

There were three interviews done in Kingston but there was also one interview done in my home, and my neighbors were also interviewed. Ironically it was the ones hanging out on the block and not the ones who are gainfully employed. The initial interview was done in Kingston because no two people could give the same information, so after speaking with an Immigration Officer in Kingston it was decided that I should go to Kingston with the few papers from the checklist that I already had and to see what else I might need to get the process started.

Went to Kingston 3 times (1) to get the process started and pick up a letter to take to Immigration in the states to obtain a multi entry visa,upon arrival back in Jamaica even though I had it, at airport I was still only given 3 month stamp. (2) to take back additional papers that I had to pick up from my home, plus the police report. (3) to obtain my approval and get my stamp.

$100 transportation to Kingston
30,000JMD cost of application for Permanent Residency
$131.00 cost in Miami for Multi entry visa
$30.00 cost for expediting multi entry visa
2000JMD visa
10,000 JMD extension which was needed to remain while application was being processed.
$100 transportation  to Kingston
3rd Kingston trip was no cost because I waited until Approval to return.
$300 cost for hotel in Miami 2 nites
$150. additional paid for stopover in Miami
$50. RT transportation and taxi's in Miami

When you arrive with the multi entry you are given 6 mos to a year stamp to remain in country while your papers are being processed. If your time expires before approval/disapproval you are with an additional 10,000JMD given an extension.

Process started in March approved in December. It is valid until the passport expires. At that time you must renew it, but you don't have to go back through the complete process, just bring your new Passport and get your new stamp.

Cost app: $1312.00 US may have been a few other incidental costs not factored in.

Perhaps a working permit needs certain other clearances but a Permanent Resident permit does not have to go through the bells and whistles. I believe it MIGHT be easier for retirees to get approval because they figure you will not become a burden on Jamaica since you have an income and will not try to seek nor need employment.

Permanent Residence Checklist:

A Valid Passport
B Evidence of Financial Status and means of support
C Copy of Birth Certificate
D Marital Status Marriage certificate, particulars of spouse
E Medical Certificate Certificate of good Health
F Police Certificate from the state from which you are migrating
G Two Passport size Photos
H Reasons for seeking Permanent Residence in Jamaica
I Letters from two reputable references or acquaintances.

All of above must be originals NO COPIES.

Check your local listings for a Jamaican Consulate near you.

For me it was just a process, like any other when you are applying for permission to do something, nothing more, nothing less.

Those who own property should have an easier process than mine.

Hope this helps anyone interested.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Survival World Culture Music Festival

A Historical Event 45 Years in the making.


A once in a Lifetime Event, not since 1966 have these Elders been together.

Trelawny Stadium in Falmouth, Jamaica West Indies
April 20 -April 27, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Zimbali Retreats, Westmoreland Jamaica



Check it out

  Zimbali Mountain Retreat NEGRIL

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to leave all of life behind, wander into a tropical paradise, and venture into a life completely off-grid? At Zimbali Farms we fused of modern technology with the ancient natural way of life, and made this dream reality. Come and stay in complete comfort while you reconnect with Mother Nature and yourself. The sun is your power and the rain is your water at this 100% off-grid retreat. Here at Zimbali Farms, we offer top class service and feature a gourmet ‘Ital’ vegetarian menu. Almost all of the fruit and foods you will eat are grown right here, upon the 7 ½ acre organic farm. (Other menus are available upon request). This retreats primary focus is your health, both physical and spiritual, in the ancient and natural traditions of Rastafari.
As you enter the Farms “Great House”, you must pass through the “tree of life”, a door made from the ‘Y” of a large guango tree; you are struck by the comfort of the stylish interior, a mild surprise compared with the stained glass, rustic exterior. A library of books lines the living room walls. The rear walls slide open to reveal an outdoor living room, completely open to the silence of the mountain valley. Time has no meaning here.
The gourmet kitchen with its cedar countertops and dining island are open to both the indoor and outdoor living rooms; the feeling of space and openness calms the mind. For your privacy, the 2 bedrooms and full bath are located downstairs. The master bedroom has its own back porch surrounded by the beauty of nature. Your skin has never felt as soft as when you bathe entirely from rain water, heated by the sun.
In the morning you awaken to the faint smell of smoke, as the wood fire heats the water for your coffee; almost all of the cooking takes place in the outdoor kitchen on a wood fire. The smokiness adds a special flavor to everything it cooks. Sit on the back porch and drink fresh juice as the sun breaks through the morning valley mist. By day you swim in the rivers and springs, get massaged by a waterfall, and get a real clay mud facial in the place Bob Marley used to swim. You can walk the farm and help pick dinner, drink from the coconuts and chew on the sugar cane, or hike into the hills and visit a real Rasta farm. Sit and reason with them while lunch is cooked “inna’ da bush”. The evening finds you in the outdoor dining area, the smoke gently rising through the fire torch light. As you sit and talk into the night, your mind is free of walls and new thoughts freely flow. 
The homes of Zimbali Retreats are inspired by nature on a canvas created by god. Regardless of whether you stay at our Mountain or Seaside Retreats; one can’t help but be humbled by the peace and bounty that surrounds you. This perspective brings inspiration to anyone. We welcome you back to simplicity long forgotten.

Zimbali Mountain Retreat

Main Villa (Serenity)

•2 Bedrooms (sleeps 4-6 people)
•1 Bathroom 
Solar hot water
•Spacious indoor/outdoor living room overlooking mountain valley
•Large library of books- Novels, classics and meditative
•Indoor & Outdoor Dining area
•Cable television
•Computer & Stereo

Cottage (Green Door) 

•Well-appointed studio w/ Bathroom & Kitchenette
•Comfortable front veranda
•Solar hot water
Cable television

Zimbali Seaside Retreat

Main Villa (The Legend)

•2 Bedrooms (sleeps 4-6 people)
•1 Bathroom 
•Solar hot water
•Large spacious front veranda overlooking the sea
•Cable television
•Sea Kayaks
Cottage (Kaya) 

•Well-appointed studio w/ Bathroom & Kitchenette
•Comfortable front veranda overlooking the bay
•Solar hot water

* Top class service with personal chef and service assistant
* Vegetarian, Seafood or Traditional Jamaican Cuisine
* Organic food grown almost exclusively by Zimbali Farms
* Transport from Negril to your Retreat
* Guided tours provided
* Cable television
* 100% solar power


(876)252-3232 or (876)542-1556

A Typical Day in My Life

I like a likkle tea in my cream. I never drink hot coffee or tea in the states but in Jamaica it is a daily morning ritual. Tea, be it bush tea or boxed tea, hot chocolate, or coffee, condensed milk/sweet cream and brown sugar is a must for me, sadly, but delicious. Unfourtunatly I have a sweet tooth, and I never drink any of these without my sweet cream.  
My daily routine after taking care of the hygiene part begins with a hot cup of tea on my veranda, and right now I'm reading my friend Sprat"s  (JW Fraser)  book  Caregiver Or Taker, so each day I go out armed with my tea and book, and relax and chill, conversations with my yard mates as well as the neighbor in the next yard who has a new born niece Miss Jasmine and 3 feisty dogs Cindi the mother, and not a very good one, Tommie who was the first born of a litter of 8 unfortunately he and Likkle Man are the only 2 who survived.
 Now Tommie was always the most aggressive of the group, whenever I heard a rumble of barks from the group he was always the loudest and the first one to take a chance on new things. Likkle man was always the one who when I looked outside my kitchen window would be laying, chilling and relaxing. As I said Tommie stayed in trouble, he was the first to learn to jump over any makeshift fence that was put up  to keep the group safe and out of trouble, he was also the first to begin destroying his owners garden, if it was in his way he knocked it down, so now Tommie is on lock down 24/7, as a result this has stunted his growth and I fear the damage being done to his system, so we make sure that he is the first to get food when we take it out to them. I thought the nature of the beast was not to bite the hand that feeds them, not Tommie when we come to the fence, he gives us a what took you so long bark, like hurry with my food.
Getting back to my morning,  we hang out for a while till time for the yard mates and neighbor  to get ready and leave for work. I make breakfast and lunch for my folks, once they are off to work, it's my time, in honesty most days I come on line first, check emails and respond to face book shouts,make phone calls, write in my blog for a while and then log on to the message boards  to check to see whaagwaan.
Noon, I get my chores done, one which I hate is washing in that damn red bucket by hand, uuuuuuuughh I hate it, hang laundry and then, to the no longer charming sweeping, making beds, dishes and dusting and such. By now its time to get dinner started,  I've taken something out of the freezer and at this point I get the meat seasoned, the vegis cut up and washed and everything prepped and ready for cooking. Some days if I am a little tired of my own cooking I request that my folks do the cooking after they get off work(unfair I know) but their food tastes better than mine still, but I'm getting there.  
Folks home, shower, dinner a short walk, just sort of chilling for the rest of the evening on mi veranda, either back online to the message boards or my blog, little TV, shower, bed.
I have to add, as boring as this might be to others after working all my life, I am still in the mode of being a veranda, couch potato and loving it..
Now the flip side of this is Sundays and days when there is a plan to go on an outing, something I try to do at least twice a month, a trip to Belmont/Blue field Beach, or Black River, Pelican Bar, Roaring River, Lil Ochi or wherever the dart hits, take off and go. Eat, stop, swim/float just chill out time.
I love going up to Blue fields Beach, I like the layout and vibe of it, there are a few cook shops as well as jerk pork and chicken barrels, with snacks and drinks. There is always a group of big men and young playing dominoes who will invite you to a game if you ask nicely. The first time I went up I felt an ease being around these multi generation families and I like to go as often as I can.  This is a very relaxing spot and Sunday is family day, and the beach is usually quite lively. As I said several generations, Grans, parents,young folks and babies, it's great fun just interacting with other folks on their day out. Never take out my camera, because it would be rude and intrusive, though I have seen many photo ops. They remind me so much of my Family during our gatherings together and makes me smile with  bittersweet thoughts flowing through my head. Memories.....
Some weekends we go up to the family yard in the country and that's a whole nother vibe and another set of stuff. Driving is probably the best way because it gives us a chance to see and enjoy so much, but talk about stressful. (see the post on the 12 hour drive ) But I have to get used to it, because driving is power, or learning how to get around in the route taxis and local buses which is a whole nother experience. But a really cheap mode of transportation. Picture this a 12 passenger van traveling with 20/22 people  at break neck speed down a pot holed, pock marked road. Oh, most folks are also carrying bags of groceries or luggage, this makes for a very exciting, crowded, hot, journey. Cost Negril/Kingston  2000 JMD/$25.00 US. Private charter $150/200 one way or round trip.
I always envisioned myself going to the beach daily, back packing around the country, just setting out going wherever as the mood hits. Now this I still want to  do, but the beach is more of a when the mood hits type of thing. Still so much to do, and Lord willing lots of time, so I do what suits me when it hits. From Sea to shining Sea. Negril to St. Elisabeth to Clarendon to Kingston to Port Antonio to St. Mary to Ochi to Trewlawney to St Ann to Mobay to Lucea back to Negril. So much Beauty, History, People, Culture, Music, Food, it will take a lifetime to explore it all. I'm up for it. 


Looking out from my veranda

Just out chilling
Beautiful Flowers See how my Garden grows.

On the road to wherever my heart desires

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sweet Jamaica

As soon as the plane heads over the waters of Jamaica, I have to feast my eyes pon the beauty of the wata, and the land, My Beloved Jamaica comes into sight and I inhale deeply and I can smell the Sea,the heat, the sun, I can smell Jamaica. Perhaps a figment of my imagination but it is real to me, and I can't wait for the doors to open and the full smell and heat hits you in the face like a rambunctious puppy full of love, slobbering as well. The Sweet Kiss of Jamaica.

The smell of Jamaica. As you walk that long hallway to freedom you pass open doors and you peek out and the trees seem to sway like dancers beckoning you into their dance of welcome. You get your stamp, pick up your luggage and speed walk out of the door full force into the mystical arms of your beloved as you turn your nose into the embrace and get the full force of the cologne like scent of your lover.  Sweet Jamaica.

You are home, you are here, you have come back to Jamaica. Sadly I have grown so accustomed after being here for over a year that I find I can no longer smell the intoxicating aroma, unless I go closer to the sea. I realised this today and it made me sad. Being one with this place has always been my edge, I want it back, I hope my sense of smell is not gone, because there is nothing like the combination of the smell of the Sea, the salt, the fish, the sun as it caresses your skin and engulfs you in a warmth like no other place. A distinct sweet smell all its own.

The smell of Jamaica.

Come back, Please.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rain Don't go Away!

Journal entry 2/26/11  9:00 pm

It's funny how where you are can influence your state of mind and acceptance. I have always loved the rain in warm weather. But in Jamaica it's always warm, even when it's a little cool. It rained tonight and as always when I hear rain falling , no matter what I'm doing I stop and go sit on my veranda and listen to it, watch it as if I'm watching a movie, feel it, touch it.  I sit and watch as people hurry home to get out of it. I spy on funny secret moments because people do the strangest things when they think no one is watching.

One day coming from Kingston we went through a downpour and traveling through many Parishes I observed the children on their way home from school. As we traveled we saw kids of all age groups with so many different colored uniforms, Khaki  at all times for the boys with crisp creases in their pants. But for the likkle ladies, orange, blue, burgundy, with  starched white blouses . The younger kids were the most fun to watch, because with the heart of a child, they have nothing to hide and having a little fun on the way home is an important thing. As we noticed  some had taken their shoes off, rolled up their pants and proceeded to make as much of a wet mess as they could while walking into the water puddles, not around, jumping and splashing, pushing and playing to see who could splash the highest. The girls gave as well as they got.

Now the middle grade are just beginning to be aware of  each other so you see groups of boys trailing behind groups of girls and each group is pointing, and giggling and whispering about members of the other group as they make fun at one from each group who is giving each other lots of attention. But this is also the group where the girls still hold hands with each other and you imagine best sisters or best friends, and this group   still have that innocence where they still enjoy splashing through the little rivers forming in the road, but not with the same  gusto and fun of the likkle ones.

Now the group who are on the third level have all of the dignity and grace of the adults that influence them. You see young couples walking, holding hands or hugged up while surrounded by thier posse and each one is vying for the attention of one in the opposite group. (Male/female) there is nothing like watching a young romance blooming when they don't realise they are being watched by adults.

Watching was like riding through my past. Watching my own transition from child to young adult, from purity to all knowing.

I sit tonight and listen as the rain falls heavily onto the trees and flowers in my yard. I listen to the sounds of voices coming from my neighbor's homes, I listen to the ever present music coming from the sound system around the corner, to the always constant barking of the dogs in the neighborhood, there are times I wish I understood what they are saying to each other.

 I  sit and compare the sounds of the rain, my favorite is the sound of rain on the zinc roof of a board house next door, I am imagining the sounds to the people inside, or in our house in  the country where the rain on the zinc roof  and maybe a the sound of the crickets and music from someones sound system can be heard from a distance. I love being on the beach when the rain begins and watching people who are already wet and in the sea, jump out and run for cover and leave the whole sea to me.. this is one of my greatest pleasures. And so much fun, water from above and below as you float and continue to get drenched.

I find there are so many pleasures that once upon a time I had no time to indulge. Sitting and enjoying the rain was one, but now I have all the time in the world to just enjoy getting... WET. And just think, I have 7 miles to choose from, plus the cliffs.

As I've said so many times since coming here its funny the likkle things that  bring me Joy. Jamaica is still capable of doing that for me after all this time. Sun, Sea, Sunsets, Rain  in Jamaica it's all great to me.

An Act of Kindness

I have always wanted an old fashioned home made family heirloom quilt, but it was not to be, my family were not the sewing or quilting type. A few weeks ago on a bulletin board that I frequent a woman posted a picture of a quilt that her sister had started, but due to an illness was unable to  finish it. The woman finished it and was planning to bring it to Jamaica when she came this month, February in Jamaica at night can get very cool. But her plan was to gift it to someone here because she did not want to carry it back home with her. After days of pondering I decided to a beggy up and asked for it.

My wonderful Sister Circle Rastafari Quilt

I met her and her husband at a place that I had never visited JahB's on the beach road. Two very delightful people. We had a good visit and I hope I have made two new friends.

What made the quilt and the gifting of it so special was the fact that her sister, my Mom and my older sister Gertrude all had/have the same illness. In honor of all three I feel that I have been entrusted with an authentic heirloom and I will always treasure it.

Bless up to 4 amazing, brave women.
And thank you  my new Friend

She also started another one herself.

The colors of the Jamaican Flag.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whitehall Great House in Negril Jamaica

As you travel around Jamaica you will encounter many seemingly abandoned buildings. But what you might actually be seeing could be a building that was partially destroyed by a hurricane, a building that belongs to a person who is working in foreign to earn the money to finish it, but hasn't done any work on it so the earth has taken it back over, or a little board house that  would surprise you to know people actually live,  mansions with 5 bedrooms that house only one family, buildings that look like hotels that house only one family and 2 room board or concrete homes that house multiple families.

You may even  ride down a road and encounter an old abandoned Plantation. Plantation, when I hear or see the word it automatically conjures up the following images and bad and uncomfortable feelings.

Early 20th-century USA photo: "Negroes picking cotton on a plantation in the South"
African slave labor extracted from forcibly transported Africans was used extensively to work on early plantations (such as cotton and sugar plantations) in the United States, throughout the Caribbean, the Americas and in European-occupied areas of Africa. Several notable historians and economists such as Eric Williams, Walter Rodney and Karl Marx contend that the global capitalist economy was largely founded on the creation and produce of thousands of slave labour camps based in colonial plantations exploiting tens of millions of abducted Africans.]

And  I also visualise lynchings, rape, lashings and brutality. As a result, for the past 50 years of my life, you could not have paid me to seek out, nor support any building with the name Plantation in it. Recently the Rhodes Hall Plantation Resort in Orange Bay, Jamaica sponsored a Weekend Concert with the likes of Queen Ifrika, Tarrus Riley, Richie Spice and Tony Rebel was also in attendence( he did not perform) these are some of the most militant, socially conscious Artists in the business, so I  felt that if they could perform there, then I could support them in this endeavor. It turned out to be a beautiful, and romantic  place, a wonderful  weekend  and an amazing concert.

As a result of finally going through the gates of a Plantation and not having nightmares, I decided to seek out the one in my own back yard. As you know I live in Negril, Westmoreland in the Whitehall housing scheme, some people actually consider my area Good Hope. A  few miles from my home there is an abandoned Plantation. No one knows the story behind this place, who owns it, when it was built, if it was a working Plantation,  growing cotton or sugar cane. I'd like to know if there were  slaves here once upon a time, was it destroyed through man, misfortune or Divine intervention.  Did good people once live here, did they own slaves, were they kind and decent to them, or at the least humane, or where they the vile slave masters I read about in history books , not the ones from the classroom that were watered down, but the ones I discovered as a teenager in  the books that my older brother Albert  shared with me about the middle passage, the cruelty, and inhumane flesh traffickers that conjure up horror in my mind, even today.

 Did they have parties in the Grand Ballroom and on the lawn in the summer, women walking around in their beautiful gowns sipping on cold champagne and iced rum punch, feeling the cool breezes coming from the Caribbean Sea below. And the men in the Great parlor sipping Bourbon while smoking Cuban cigars. Did the slaves have their own celebrations during the holidays, did the ones from different tribes who might have once been enemies in their Homeland  find a common bond once they were brutally bought to this place in bondage.  Was this a good place or an evil one?  I intend to one day investigate, because I really want to know, after all...... it is in my back yard. It is  my neighbor.

 Someone must own it or someone may have captured the land because I had seen it in pictures before my visit and you could tell the difference, in the original pictures it was overgrown with vegetation, when we went it was nicely spruced up for visitors. I'm told it has been a nice place for a courtship with  a picnic on the lawn, some people went up for a camera shoot for their 10Th year Anniversary  and had a lovely time. But I have also heard sinister things of hassles and a robbery. Maybe as in all of these cases it is history repeating itself.

I just know that the day we went it was a nice, unhassled, no stress Sunday Family Outing. And it was a lovely spot to visit. I saw no ghosts of my past.

The View

"Still I Rise"
by Maya Angelou

But donated to another website by Seveen

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

UPDATE:  The following was found on the website below. Bad Man. Bad Place.

Apparently, Mr. Parkinson wanted to be buried on the property with all his gold and jewels and shortly after his burial, his grave was desecrated and vandalized and his body left out to be consumed by scavengers. Mr. Parkinson was not well liked by his neighbors or the slaves that worked on his plantation and was known to frequently tie those who disobeyed him to a "prickle" tree and whip them as punishment.
There is also a famous cotton tree on the property that is believed to be over 900 years old. It is said that if you touch the tree and make a wish it will come true!
The property was taken over by the Jamaican Government from William Cargill III in 1971. The property is now owned by an American from Cincinnati, Ohio.


A great place to visit by horseback, the Whitehall Greathouse is an old plantation mansion on the former property of the Whitehall Family. As recently as 1985 the mansion was reduced to ruins by fire, but still offers incredible views of Negril's coast, and remains a popular attraction.
The Whitehall Great House is a perfect destination for a quick horseback ride through the Jamaican countryside. Originally a plantation home for the Whitehall estate, the property was virtually destroyed due to a fire in 1985. From the Great House, you have a breathtaking view of the Negril's coastline.

As you can see not a lot was written about this place.