easter-traditions-jamaica-vs-usa

It’s Easter! Celebrated in many different ways by many different people. Cherished traditions are passed down through generations, focusing on different aspects of the holiday. It’s very strange to me that Good Friday and Easter Monday are not national holidays here in the US like it is in Jamaica and other parts of the world. It’s a normal day for work and school just like any other. That threw me for a loop when  first came here. How could that be?The root of Easter lies in the celebration and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For those of us of faith, this will be the focus of the holiday  however it is celebrated. I will be focusing on a couple Jamaican Easter traditions that I miss and some differences in traditions between how Easter is celebrated in Jamaica and US.FishDuring my childhood, apart from Christmas, this was one of the most anticipated holidays. It’s usually a time when friends and family get together over the long Easter weekend(from Good Friday straight through to Easter Monday). Starting from Ash Wednesday, in observance of Lent, people would give up something for 40 days until Easter. That was mainly along the lines of meat and such. As a result, fish became a main staple during Easter. Our meals almost always contained fish prepared by either frying, steaming, roasting, whatever. Just know, you’re going to have fish. Living on an island made this easy, but as with…

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truth-about-parents

Being a parent is one of the most unique undertakings I have engaged in in my entire life. I’m sure all the parents out there can relate. It’s tough yet rewarding at the same time. The same people who make you want to scream and tear your hair out, melt your heart in an instant.I have always heard it said if you thought you knew love before, wait until you have a child. I can certainly attest to that 100 percent. So much so that I cannot fathom how anyone could intentionally cause harm to their own kids. That’s beyond my ability to comprehend.This brings me to the notion of our own parents. And this question is for those of us who have been fortunate to attain adulthood and still have our parents around… isn’t it interesting how the dynamic of your relationship with your parents evolves and changes over time? How you manage the balance between showing them respect, even fear(healthy) as your parents, seeking their advice on things, but yet becoming their guides in a changing world and for some even their caregivers. It’s as if you were becoming the parent to them, almost.(I also want to give a shout out to those who were raised by people other than biological parents. This post refers to those care givers as well).A childhood friend of mine reached out to me this week about a surprise birthday event she was…

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4-tips-reduce-financial-stress

If you think back to a stress-free time in your life, either you had no responsibilities or you had everything under control. Well, if your life is anything like the rest of us, the first option might have been during our pre-teen years and the latter is totally impossible. Sadly, a jus’ so di ting set(Translate – it’s just how life works). This post will focus on four simple ways to reduce financial stress.Can we all stop and think of a time in our life when we were stress-free? Just think with me for a minute… Where would you be? Recreate the scenery right now.For me it would be back when I was a child, playing with self-made toys with my neighbors and friends during summer vacation. You know those months when all you had to do was play, and your chores of course. But the top priority was play time and interacting with friends. The only stress we had was making sure that we completed our chores on time and deciding what teams we would be on. In Jamaica, it would probably be 90 degrees, brisk breeze… we’d be eating fruits from the trees, playing one game after the next. Looking forward to trips to the beach; to some new spot on the island you had never been; visiting relatives and friends. Laughter and fun was never in scarce supply. Ahhhh…Life throws so many things our way; some real, others…

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conversations-with-my-son-race-talk

Do you remember the show “Kids Say the Darndest Things”?  Well I want to turn that around and say “Kids Ask the Darndest Questions”. How do you respond when those questions lead to the subject of race? Here’s a recent conversation between my 5 year old son and his dad.”Daddy, am I African?””Not really, but you are African-American. Your ancestors were brought to America from Africa””And I am half-Jamaican too. So is Mommy more African than me and you?””No son, all of us are just as African””But Mommy is dark””Son, it doesn’t matter how dark or light you are, all African-Americans are descended from Africans”Now, to put this conversation in context, my son is 5 years old, soon to be 6. Very smart, enquiring mind. He reads well so if you want to keep something from him, don’t write it; it will get read. Children this age are very literal, you have to be so careful how you communicate with them because your words can mislead them, even though you have the best intentions.The subject of race and color is probably going to be one of the hardest things we are going to have speak to him about. Question is how much and when. Too much too soon can be just as harmful as too little too late.My BackgroundLet me backtrack a bit. I was born and raised in Jamaica; spent the majority of…

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overcome-financial-setbacks-debt-free

In Jamaica we have a saying “When trouble teck you pickney shut(shirt) fit yuh”.Translation: When trouble comes to you, a child’s shirt will fit youMeaning: When in difficult situations, you have to make adjustments to surviveI do believe we can all relate to a time in our lives when despite our best laid plans, we have suffered from some kind of setback, financial or otherwise. You know the kind that throws you into a tailspin and you’re left with your hands on your head wondering what your next move will be… the kind that makes you start to think of the worst possible scenario and thinking of contingency plans just-in-case. I am sure most, if not  all of us can relate. Today I want to focus on those of the financial kind, you know them.Well, I have had my fair share of those, and I thought I’d share with you how I was able to move forward from them and some lessons I have learned along the way. Now, I know some of you might have had worse things happen and others; not so bad. But what I will attempt to do is to pull some references from across the board that we all can relate to and hopefully the lessons will apply to your situation regardless of the intensity. Please keep in mind that this is not financial advice; I am just sharing my experience with you.None of…

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