Sunday, August 23, 2015

#DryLandTouristChronicles: I Love SXM Diary....Day 4 & 5




The penultimate day of conference we had our President & Executives Training Seminar (PETS). Experienced Rotarians lead training sessions for the various executive positions on the Rotaract Executive Boards. This was in fact the main purpose of the conference.



  
One of our numerous selfies.....Buddha & The Yardies
Before the training seminar, Paulette, Nicole & I walked to a pharmacy on the Maho strip to purchase some sweets. On our way back, we saw a really cool Buddha statue & went selfie crazy lol.











Friday, August 14, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

#DryLandTouristChronicles: I Love SXM Diary....Day 3



Friday, May 29, 2015 will be etched in my mind for the rest of my existence! I don't think any of us knew what the Conference steering committee had in store for us. The morning began with sessions & an award ceremony. The award ceremony was a proud moment for me because all the clubs in my Region (Jamaica East) won at least one award.



Introducing my Past President Rotarian Travis who presented on Project Proposal
Photo Credit: Rotaract District 7020

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Happy Birthday My Beloved.....


Dear Jamaica,

What can I say to you on this another Independence Day?

I know we fuss & fight alot but the truth is you bring out a passion in me that I never knew existed! I guess that is what happens when you love someone so much. You have given me a place of my own to call home & many hidden gems to appreciate & enjoy.

You are a true beauty who has strived beyond exploitation & ill-treatment. You are indeed God blessed.

On this your 53rd, I wish for you a positive future & many more years of strength. You may have stumbled but you are too great to fall.

I hope I can make you proud & contribute to your success.

With Love...
Shanny


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

In 2015 I don't feel so Emancipated...

It's been awhile since I have done a "serious" post but with last Saturday, August 1, marking our Emancipation celebrations here in Jamaica, I began reflecting on a few things & decided to put thoughts to blog.

Photo Credit: http://www.buzzquotes.com/marcus-garvey-quotes-on-love

It's the time of year when we Jamaicans are suppose to reflect on the struggles of our ancenstors & celebrate their victories & our freedom. I definitely appreciate the sacrifice of heroes like Sam Sharpe, George William Gordon, Nanny & Paul Bogle. I admire the bold steps they took to ensure that I am able to live the life I choose. I am not sure I would have been brave enough to make the sacrifice they made.

Source: http://leantoniosvacation.com/html/fast-facts/


While I reflect, honour & celebrate what my heroes have done, I am in the same breath disheartened because I question every day if we truly are emancipated in 2015.

Emancipation according to the Oxford Dictionary is " (1) the fact or process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions; (2) liberation".  Liberation can be further defined according to Merriam Webster Dictionary as  "the act or process of freeing someone or something from another's control."

Photo Credit: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britains-colonial-shame-slaveowners-given-huge-payouts-after-abolition-8508358.html

Living on this side of the world automatically means that you are going to be exposed to every facet of American culture.. the good...the bad & the ugly....

Ever since the murder of Trayvon Martin, I have worried everyday about my 3 brothers who live in the states. The recent spate of police brutality towards Black Men & Women have not made my concerns any better. I fear that just like it was before 1838, Black people are again being forced into modern "servitude" simply to preserve our lives.

I am in no way implying that ALL white people in America or all cops are racists but it seems quite suspicious that so many Black persons are falling victims to brutality simply because they were "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

I will not even touch on the way they treated the little psycho boy who MURDERED the church members in North Carolina compared to ALL the unarmed black people they assaulted.

Whenever I think about what happened to Sandra Bland I cringe because I am a feisty black woman, especially when I feel threatened, so I know if I were in her position I would not have been calm at all but does that mean that I should be assaulted by an officer or thrown senselessly in jail?



My Modern Plantation.....

Here at home you would think that in a predominantly black country where the white population is minimal that race is not an issue & that is quite true. What we have here are persons who are still stuck in pre- independent Jamaica, who believe that skin tone should be directly proportional to ones standard of living.

There are many nice educated gentleman here who only date "brownings." In fact, my friends & I have a running joke that a Jamaican man's success is directly proportional to his lady's skin colour. As they move up the ladder of success their spouses' skin colour usually gets lighter & lighter.

I am sure that is not what Sam Sharpe fought hard to have his ancestors settle back into the colonial mindset?

In the end...

I know I wrote this post from a black perspectives but I truly believe that there needs to be a paradigm shift.  We need to truly cut ties with the dark elements of our past & move towards the future with an understanding that we are all valuable components of this world. We need to change our mindsets & release the hate & prejudices that society forced on us through socialization.

With that said we (myself definitely) need to heed the advise of reggae superstar Bob Marley....

"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery,None but ourselves can free our minds." - Bob Marley

#BlackLivesMatter #WhiteLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter


Thanks for stopping by....







Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015

#DryLandTouristChronicles: I Love SXM Diary....Day 1


A few years ago, when my sole desire was to move to Europe, my dad advised me to get to know home before I start exploring the world. I took his advice & since then I have used every opportunity to travel across my beautiful island home....a decision I don't regret at all. I guess it's out of exlporing Jamaica that my desire to travel the Caribbean blossomed. I developed a curiosity about island life in other Caribbean countries.

 Luckily for me, my membership in Rotaract has provided me with the opportunity to visit at least 9 other Caribbean countries & territories in the Northern Caribbean. This blog post is about my recent trip to St. Maarten & St. Martin.

A year ago, I sat at the Hilton Hotel in Montego Bay & told my friend that May 27, 2015, I would be landing in St. Maarten for Rotaract District Conference. Until April, I was sure that my dream would not be a reality but low & behold I was too hasty to throw in the towel....my trip to the friendly island was indeed a reality.

This trip was a part of my #14for30 list (the list of things I hope to do in celebration of turning 30). Up until the day of my flight I still couldn't believe that I was going to St. Maarten!!!!

My flight was scheduled to depart at 2:45PM for a landing in St. Maarten at 6:00 PM. Luckily for us, the flight, which I was told is usually late, was quite on time! We were so on-time we landed in St. Maarten earlier than expected. Kudos to Caribbean Airlines!

When we landed customs was a breeze (thanks to the power  of Rotaract & Rotary). We were in our black vehicles & on our way in no time.



First trip with my new passport

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dry Land Tourist Chronicles: Lime Cay

After numerous near trips, I finally made it to Lime Cay!

Lime Cay, a small island off the coast of Kingston, is home of one of most beautiful beaches in all of Jamaica.

Accessible only by water, Lime Cay is popular with local boat owners.

The waters just off Lime Cay Beach, along with the smaller even more isolated cays, are excellent places to go snorkeling, explore underwater caves, and watch for wildlife. These little islands are close to the Norman Manley International Airport, so you can sit back, relax, and watch the flights arrive from all around the world.


NASA Visible Color Landsat image of Port Royal Cays with islets and shoals

Monday, May 11, 2015

#FWTWGathering

On Sunday, May 3, 2015, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a small group of like-minded females for a brunch hosted by one of my favourite blogs For Women To Women.

Photo Credit: ForWomenToWomen.com



The Gathering

I did not know what to expect at all. My relationship with women my own age has not been the best in the past, so I was a bit nervous but open to the experience. I ensured I left all my assumptions at home.

Unfortunately, I was late so I missed the introductions but I was lucky to catch the "Conversation Starters and Discussions worth having" segment which proved to be very insightful. We were asked to pick a question from a jar & took turns sharing our opinions in the various topics. Some of the topics discussed were self-esteem, supporting other women, empowerment & how we felt about our representation in the media. Our conversations brought forth a wide array of other topics relevant to 20 -30 something year olds. We paused from our very thought provoking conversations to snap a few pictures.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I'm In Love With The Cocoa Jouvert

"Carnival is defined as an event where many people gather to celebrate something."

Jamaica's Carnival season runs from January to April.

My love affair with  Carnival started when I was younger. I last played mas in Kiddies Carnival when I was in first form in 1997. At that time, there were two bands "Jamaica Carnival" & "Bacchanal Jamaica". When Jamaica Carnival ended I took a sort of hiatus from soca but as faith would have it almost 10 years later I rekindled my love affair.

I love playing pretty mas but my heart is devoted to the "dutty" ways of Jouvert! I love the colours & the vibes of Jouvert, so it is no surprise that it is my favourite part of the whole Carnival festivities.

This season, I got of to a late start but I know I picked the right event to start with...Sunset Cocoa Jouvert.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

#DearME: In Honour of International Women's Day

In honour of International Women's Day, I decided to join the YouTube Global #DearMe Initiative.


A letter to young Shanny

#DearMe,

I know you are at a stage where you are really confused and trying to find yourself. You will choose the unconventional path because you are too scared to disappoint yourself & your family...this decision will lead to you discovering who you really are.

You have a goal and you are going to stick to it. You are strong & proud & even though you long to be the pretty girl.... you will realize the value of being the smart girl.

You will have crushes on the most ridiculous boys but you won't dare to act on it. Which at the end of the day wasn't such a bad idea.

You will learn that you are a natural born leader with many bright ideas. Embrace them & take that spirit of service with you. It will define you as a person.

Opposition will come but you will take the high road.

You learn to love EVERYONE despite their colour, class, sexual orientation or religion. You will realize that you are a world citizen who in your mid-20's will suffer a bit of Wanderlust which you plan to spend your 30's curing.

Your biggest flaw will always be your temper....it will simmer but even as you embark on your 30's it will still linger ESPECIALLY when you take public transportation...lol

You will lose 3 of the most important people in your life & this will force you to grow up fast!

You will be lucky to still have your family & it will grow at a time when you least expected it.

You will fall in love with the most amazing boy ever, who unfortunately, will not know how much you love him because of your own self centred ways. You will also still love him many years after your relationship has ended & he will become a dear friend.

You will ALWAYS be a strong lioness who even without a lion, still has the strength to survive the concrete jungle of life.

You will be blessed beyond your own understanding & even though you won't figure it all out by 30 or have the Husband & Family you wanted at 25... you will still be happy & continue to trust God to provide your perfect match.

Finally & most importantly, you will learn that once you love yourself & others the way you love yourself, you will find that life's challenges won't seem so bad.

Keep Your Head up young lioness...

An older & hopefully wiser


Thursday, February 26, 2015

My First Private Screening: 50 Shades of Grey

Last Friday night I had the pleasure of attending Rough Rider condom's private viewing of Fifty Shades of Grey at Palace Cineplex.
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Back in 2012, the phenomena, like most other fads, totally missed me here in my little corner..... Fast forward to 2015 & everybody & their grandmother has an opinion on the books & the movie...most of which are bad. I am not one to who takes reviews as gospel (as we Jamaicans would say) instead I like to read books or watchr movies & form my own opinion... so I went into the viewing with an open mind.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The $150 Challenge

Last week was a very enlightening week for me. I had a well needed talk with my boss' Insurance Advisor which got me thinking hard about my current financial status. Let us just say that financial literacy has never been something I had an excellent grasp on until recently & I still have more to learn.



Back to my conversation with the Insurance Advisor..... she reminded me of something I learned a long time ago but had not put into action for awhile.... paying yourself first! She stressed that I should have been saving at least 10% of my monthly earning since the day I started working there in 2012.

Like I said before, this concept was not new to me by any means but for some reason I have constantly used bills & unnecessary wants as an excuse to not save a [substantial] dime.

Fast forward to Friday...my bestie Shauna & I were talking & she mentioned to me that she was going to start the $150 Challenge!

At first I thought, the $150 USD Challenge? which made me not even consider attempting that challenge. Luckily for me she meant the $150 JMD!



My Jamaicans are probably saying, "That is not money!" & on a normal day the most it can give you is one-way ride on a JUTC bus. It may seem small but it can make a difference after a period of time.

Back to the challenge...

The challenge is to save at least $150 JMD a day & at the end of the month whatever is saved, I would match that total & then lodge it in the bank.

Therefore, I can save at least $66,000 JMD (at least $600 USD) at the end of the year.

The money saved can go towards "My Retirement" saving plan or  help me finance a trip somewhere.


Of course I will also continue my current saving pattern & ensure that my 10% "self payment" goes to my saving account where it will remain untouched until I am ready to make a "big purchase" or invest it wisely.

Wish me luck & share with me any other saving strategies you may utilize.