The concrete steps that were the seats of the Arnette Gardens football stadium had all day to absorb the direct Caribbean sunshine, and our butts paid the price as we sat down for a Sunday afternoon of Jamaican football.
AÂ fascinatingÂ and surprising aspect of the afternoon was theÂ halftime sexy dance contest (this video is intended for mature audiences). The notion of sexuality and modesty is much different from that of this shy Minnesota-raised lad who feels compelled to avert his eyes at the first hint of female exploitation.
A friend lent me a Tivoli Gardens jersey (orange and white). Lucky for me, Tivoli went ahead to win the day.
The open and perfectly acceptable drug use in the bleachers was another aspect of this particular game that I was not entirely prepared for. I had no trouble relaxing, in any case, as the billows of smoke drifted about from every direction.
Even the snack vendors were pushing the stuff – “cigarettes, peanuts, high grade…”
Driving north from Kingston, up Stony Hill Road, one encounters a church every hundred yards or so in some places – almost as frequently as one passes a shack sized pub blaring music and serving rum and warm Red Stripe. In Jamaica, where religion is one of many national obsessions, Easter is not a day but week long observance,and a journey past all these houses of worship is a trip through the whole range of singing,sights and smells that is Jamaican Christianity.
The EITS Cafe (pronounced Eats) is the latest addition to the venture that already included the Mount Edge Guesthouse and the Food Basket Jamaica. The organic farm apparently grew out of the original guesthouse, and is becoming a bit of a mecca in the mountains overlooking Kingston for travelers, foodies, and environmentalists attracted by the organic lifestyle and the idea of a sustainable existence. It doesn’t hurt that it is on a tropical Caribbean island, where a seen thrown in a hole has a good chance of quickly bearing fruit with very little encouragement.
The Cafe has, so far, only been open on the weekends, offering a custom menu each week based on whatever is available from the crops that week.
Every year the U.S. State Department tasks its officers around the world with gaining insight into the state of human rights, freedom and other aspects, and reporting to Washington, and all of civil society, through the annually published Human Rights Reports.
The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices are submitted annually by the U.S. Department of State to the U.S. Congress in compliance with sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA), as amended, and section 504 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. The law provides that the Secretary of State shall transmit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, “a full and complete report regarding the status of internationally recognized human rights, within the meaning of subsection (A) in countries that receive assistance under this part, and (B) in all other foreign countries which are members of the United Nations and which are not otherwise the subject of a human rights report under this Act.” Reports on several countries are included that do not fall into the categories established by these statutes and that thus are not covered by the congressional requirement.
A game that has always mystified, or perhaps simply never interested, me, my first voyage into the world of cricket was a joy. The England Lions made the trip across the Atlantic to take on the Jamaica team, here in Kingston at Sabina Park.
Sabina Park, now a gorgeous stadium near downtown, was redone in order to house the 2007 ICC World Cup, an event local Jamaicans still talk about.