The ghetto in spanish town, jamaica jamaica my way! v gashi 2013


A couple friends of mine who work and stay in Ocho Rios invited me to their REAL home in Spanish Town, in the parish of St Catherine. I agreed without hesitation, not knowing what I was in for. We drove just over an hour and reached their home after dark so I never got the full effect til the next morning. This is a picture of the front yard and behind those walls is where 9 of them live.

The night we arrived I was first shown to my host’s room. All the rooms in this home have separate, padlocked entrances. His room was around the back of the house which was pitch dark at night. I followed them in and used the flashlight on my cell phone to see where I was walking. The next morning I could see that this is what the walkway looked like.

When we arrived we all sat in one room and chatted for a while, and before long one of the brothers who lived in another room came to join us. Through the wall I could hear the sound of an infant child so I asked about it. The brother told me it was his daughter in the next room and asked if I’d like to see her. I TOTALLY wanted to! He led me around the front of the house to another door and inside I saw his girlfriend and 3 little girls, aged 8 years, 6 years and 6 months. power outage houston txu The baby immediately smiled at me and the other two girls looked cautious. I quickly scanned the room and noticed that in this 20X20 space was a double bed for the mom, dad and baby, and the other two girls slept in a single bed together. There was a TV on a shelf, a stove and fridge along one wall and that was pretty much it. Wow. z gas cd juarez It made me feel greedy the way I live back home.

We all hung out chatting and listening to music until another brother showed up. He was a real livewire compared to the others I was with. I suspect he’s the hothead of the family but he was really nice and pleasant to me while introducing himself, and all of them agreed that they were going to take me to a street party in a garrison tonight. I was hesitant but mildly amused at the thought so we all got dressed and hit the streets. I admit that there were a few moments walking the dark streets of Spanish Town after midnight with three Jamaican men, that my mind wandered to the list of things that could go wrong at any time! I said a little prayer for my safety and decided to just enjoy the walk.

The street party was actually pretty lame. It shut down about 20 minutes after we arrived and I was a little disappointed but kind of impressed that they told me the police like to keep things quiet and keep parties under control. Not what I was expecting. So there we were at 2:30am in the streets of Spanish Town trying to catch a taxi home. Well this place isn’t like a tourist place and taxis are not abundant at this hour of the night. We ended up catching a ride with a random car that passed and I think they only stopped because they saw a white female in the group.

The picture above is the room I got to sleep in. Its their mother’s room but the mother works away from home so there was an extra bed for me. I felt honored they would let me have her room. One of the guys stayed in there with me for my comfort level and we shared the space with the odd spider on the wall behind us. We laid awake and chatted a long time, til about 4am. It was at that point he told me he felt honored that I would accept their invitation to come there, and that he felt like “somebody” because I came. I couldn’t help it…..I cried. I told him the total reverse….that I was the one who was honored to be a part of their everyday lives.

I went outside and said good morning to everyone including the little girls from the night before. e payment electricity bill bangalore I did a lot this day but I’m saving some of it for another post but I will tell you that around lunchtime they were gracious enough to ask what I would like and they would go to the market. So I turned it around and said I would like to take care of lunch. I wanted curry chicken and I gave them $1000 JMD to get what was needed at the market. $1000 JMD converts to about $15 USD (at the time of this writing)…..and that fed 9 people. Amazing! Everyone voted this brother the best cook so he took care of lunch and prepared outside on this table and cooked inside on their gas stove. I was completely in my element here….loved it! It felt like camping!

While lunch was being prepared I took note of how things went in this yard. There are big barrels of rainwater all over the place and this is their drinking, cooking and bathing water. They simply scoop water from the big barrels into small tin cans and use it for whatever. Whenever I squatted behind the house one of them was always gracious enough to pour water over my hands to wash. While lunch was cooking one of the guys was bathing from a barrel on the other side of the yard.

My summary of this experience: I was in complete awe that they all function normally with the bare minimum and the only reason they are “poor” is because we look at them and say “awwww those poor people”. Everyone right down to the 6 year old has it completely together here! The little girls take care of the baby while the dad cooks. They know how to hang laundry and they know what their chores are. This is the way they live and they don’t seem to be upset that they bathe from rain barrels. It’s all just what you’re used to and we are disgustingly spoiled in North America in comparison to this simple life.

Even though I was hot, sweaty and felt pretty gross without a shower I would do it again in a heartbeat. In fact I’m going back to see them in September. My friends have a really old laptop so I uploaded ALL the pics I took of them and the kids so they would have something to look at. I can’t imagine raising children and never having any photos as keepsakes. I can’t wait to go back and see the baby walking in a few months.

@Anthonette Wow i can’t believe what you said. I was born in Jamaica I lived in Kingston, and not every single Jamaican’s lives in the ghetto, I didn’t, (just so you know). Every where you go there are people who live in bad conditions. I lived in Kingston and everyone thinks Kingston is ghetto, I don’t get it. electricity 4th grade powerpoint Its not the whole Jamaican people live in poverty my dear. There are parts where you wouldn’t even believe is Jamaica and parts that are really beautiful. So back to you, you said you couldn’t believe that’s where they invited a tourist to come, are you serious she obviously wanted to go there. Not everyone like to be fake OK, most people that lives in the ghetto are really nice people AND THEY DO TRY HARD TO MAKE THEIR LIVES BETTER. I have been to America ( Atlanta,Chicago, California, Florida, Washington, Wisconsin, and my favorite NEW YORK) and I have been to the HOODS their too, and I was shocked because I did not know that Americans could live in those places.And my cousin was robbed in new york(Brooklyn).That just show you that every country got there flaws. And Jamaica do so does the whole Caribbean, and north America. So don’t make it look like they’re only ghettos in Jamaica with people who sit around and have 50 babies and they all are uneducated. I must say i am really offended not by JC but by Anthonette who seems to live in a little box, Hun poverty is all around the world. In addition if you really like a place, and you really want to see every where and experience the cultures there (DON’T JUST SEEK OUT THE BAD PARTS). Then do it go talk to the locals if you are up for the challenge visit the ghetto visit the suburbs at least when you get back home you have both views of Jamaica or any country at that. And thats what i do my next place to go is Great Britain.

First of all, I must commend you on being such a brave person. electricity merit badge pamphlet I come from Trinidad and fortunately the economy there is much better than Jamaica, yet we do have some people who are very poor. When I was growing up I did pass through neighbourhoods where there were very poor people. At school, their kids were always dressed in clean school uniforms and one would never have known that they were so poor. I myself did become friendly against my guardian’s wishes with one or two poor kids and did enjoy visiting them on one or two occasions and what I envied most was the bond they had with each other and the happiness that they shared. They always made jokes, sang and danced. Although I lived in a beautiful house and a nice neighbourhood, I did not share that happiness. electricity transmission vs distribution Those friends of mine have worked very hard and are all professionals today and so are their children. They now have beautiful homes and live very comfortable lifestyles.

Circumstances make people poor. The fact that your friends invited you to their home meant that they really trusted you and saw that you were different because we West Indians are very sensitive about our surroundings. You were brave but at the same time you trusted them and they proved to you that they were trustworthy. It is nice for once that a human being is not phony like most people are and can understand that the world is not a perfect place. God bless. I hope that your friends’ situation will become much better as time goes by. What we sometimes fail to realize is that lots of unfortunate things happen in people’s lives that they are not truly responsible for.

ISweetheart I thoroughly enjoyed your artiicle! I is wonderfully written and very poignant. As an American born and raised in the Nation’s capitol I’ve experienced “our” version of poverty and your eye-opening article is exactly what I’ve come to suspect about everywhere all over the globe. Living in D.C. all of my life I’ve learned that there are tourist areas in the city and there’s the “real McCoy.” I love that you were able to experience JA for it’s realness and not just the places designated for the typical tourist. I’ve never been there, but when I go (whenever that will be) I intend to go the route you went. Yeah…sure the beach…eventually, but I want to stay all the way First Class straight in the slums! As an American I recognize exactly how spoiled we truly are. It’s just our way of life…but I NEED to experience real joy and beauty in a country that offers more than exquisite luxurious surroundings and delectable 5 star restaurant cuisine. I need to experience JA’s beautiful, humble, and gracious impoverished people who have far more to offer than the latter. Thank you! You have experienced my dream vacation and I appreciate that you took the time to share. Continue to be BLESSED!

Kristi I enjoyed reading about your initial experience being invited into a co-workers home. I must admit I commented to my husband how amazed I am that a Caucasian person will just go anywhere for the adventure. But, being adventurous has it perks. save electricity pictures Rochelle and Kristi I’m concerned about the way we’re quick call places ghettos. Jamaica is like other countries to include the U.S. with different levels of proverty. In the U.S. ghettos are normally places that once we’re good communities that were not kept well and eventually became over run by crime and generational poverty. Where as the home you visited Kristi is all they can afford to develop and has probably never been improved upon due to everyone being members of the working poor class. I believe we do ourselves a disservice when we live in the protection of “tourist” and never live within the community we visit. I was also pleased to read follow-up from you in 2018. I came to Jamaica as a missionary and after 20 yrs as a widow meet and married a Jamaican. I find the places to be rich in culture, history and a vibrant determined people. I would dare to say as American’s we would be hard pressed to make life manageable under the aocial conditions, economic oppression and political environment that Jamaican’s deal with.