ABOUT ME

Me
I have a daughter and a cat, (well, the cat belongs to my daughter) and sometimes I get the two confused. Not that I don’t love my daughter! I adore her! But the cat, Sabrina, thinks she is human, and sometimes, even I believe! (We now live in Canada and Sabrina had to be left behind but we have since replaced her with Lucas, a lovely black cat with a much better disposition that Sabrina, thank God! LOL


My daughter Alana, loves the cat, but is none too pleased that many times she gets called Sabrina and sometimes I yell: Alana! when I am trying to deter the cat from using the side of the sofa as a scratching post.
My Professional Path
I worked in media fulltime for five (5) years before making the wholesale shift to development journalism. 

When I started this blog in April 2011, my home in the Caribbean; Jamaica, provided the perfect niche for my love for human interest writing to flourish as very few journalists seemed to be tackling crucial issues that are linked to development and which contributes to the advancement of Caribbean societies.

Writing about issues that prompted action and improved people’s lives give me immense satisfaction. Especially when their issues were addressed because I wrote about them and their problems.

I have won several local and international awards for my work in journalism including the Press Association of Jamaica’s Investigative Journalist of the Year Award in 2003 and at least 15 awards from the United Nations and other entities for Health & Development Journalism.

After leaving journalism I worked as a consultant with Panos Caribbean, an organization which works to increase reporting on development issues in the Caribbean including training journalists to more effectively report on development issues, before being offered a staff position as Program Officer for Children and Youth with a focus on Children Orphaned and Made Vulnerable by AIDS and HIV/AIDS as a public health issue. I also worked as Online Content Manager and Coordinator for the Panos Caribbean's Global HIV/AIDS Program which spanned 7 countries and 5 continents.

Panos Caribbean also trained and engaged with marginalized people to improve their advocacy skills on a number of issues including Health, Human Rights, The Environment. While at Panos Caribbean I assisted with training workshops for journalists in Jamaica and the Caribbean on development issues. 


My Early Years
I read ravenously while I was growing up and by grade five I had read every single book in the library at the Goodwill All Age School in St. James. The principal, who was also the librarian, was amazed that in the two years I had been at the school, I managed to borrow, read and return every single book the library possessed! When he ran out of books to lend me and I had borrowed and re-read a few of the same books a few times, he took pity on me and started lending me books from his own private book collection at home.

One of my favourite books was A Cow Called Boy, by Jamaican Writer, C. Everard Palmer. The sheer 'Caribbean-ness' of the story made me realize that my life, as it was happening to me, could be written, published and read by others.

Before the principal, Mr. Bowen, introduced me to A Cow Called Boy, I had been reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books, I enjoyed them, but I didn't see myself and those around me in those books like I did in the books Mr. Palmer wrote. 

Some of the other books I read in the series included; My Father Sun-Sun Johnson, The Cloud with the Silver Lining, The Wooing of Beppo Tate and The Sun Salutes You.

C. Everard Palmer
I am pleased that in 2001, Mr. Palmer, who now lives in Canada but who was born and raised in Hanover, Jamaica, was honoured by his parish. 

A quick search on Facebook just now (June 5, 2016) made me discover that Mr. Palmer died in June 2013. It was my hope to meet him when I moved here. I guess now that will never happen..... 


Mr. Palmer, like myself, had worked a short time with the Gleaner. Read more about Hanover's honour and Mr. Palmer's reaction here:  Read More about Mr. Palmer by clicking this link.

The front cover of the book: A Cow called Boy.  

This blog is my attempt to write about my most memorable life experiences. My life story, one blog post at a time. Posted as the memories arrive and announce themselves and not necessarily in the order or exact manner in which they actually happened.

I'm taking the long way home, one blog post at a time. Are you coming? :)  

ME

Another person who has inspired me is Buju Banton. A Jamaican reggae artist who is currently locked up in US prison on a drug charge and currently fighting tirelessly for his freedom. His songs are inspiring, they imbue hope and prompt spiritual reflection and awakening. Every time I listen to any of his songs it is as if I am hearing aspects of them for the first time, A truly talented singer. This song from him is one of my favourites although I have many.