Some grateful senior citizens recently gave Jedd the book Jamaica Fi Real!: Beauty, Vibes and Culture as a thank you for teaching them how to use computers. And it’s a keeper. The images are great; the content is relevant; the commentary is on point.Jamaica-Fi-Real-CoverThe books is fantastic and its words resonated with our experiences of this country. For example:

It’s possibly the most contradictory country on the planet. Jamaica combines a Third World standard of living with an almost First World life expectancy. It is one of earth’s most stable democracies, yet has one of its higher homicide rates. It is reputed to have both more churches per square mile, and a higher out-of-wedlock birth rate, than any other place on the globe… (pg. XVII)

Are Jamaicans happy people? Well it’s hard to say; while few people go hungry, there are pockets of real poverty, and a fair amount of physical discomfort. Polls say about half of Jamaicans would emigrate to the US if they could, and a high crime rate is not usually the sign of a contented populace. Then there is the constant complaining, for people here are world-class grumblers. Yet Jamaicans interact with such vitality and humour, that it’s hard to conceive of them as being fundamentally miserable and disgruntled. There can’t be many places where people laugh as easily or as often, and no matter how bad things get, folks here always find reasons for outbursts of merriment. (pg. 11)

Throughout our Peace Corps service, we’ve tried our best to understand the various aspects of this culture and share them with folks at home. These are some of our posts related to Jamaican culture over the last two+ years.

Most popular culture-related posts:

Jamaican Culture 1
Patwa Quiz (video)
Jamaican Style: Fashion with Flare
Jamaica Taught Us (video)
“Yah man” and other typical Jamaican phrases
My Name is Joe but You Can Call Me Al: Jamaican Names

Some of our other favorites:

Jamaican Culture 2
Public Transit (Part One) and (Part Two)
Money Money Money
Jamaican Music: Clean and Positive
Jamaica Sights and Sounds (video)
Life in the Yard (Video)
Jamaican Eats

Even more culture-related posts:

Topics in PCJ: Transportation
Topics in PCJ: Culture and Effectiveness
Topics in PCJ: Attrition
Cultural Lessons Learned from Event Planning
Observations by First-Time Visitors
Seasons Change (or do they?)
Time
Little Victories
A Land of Contradictions
Jamaica 50: Wi Likkle But Wi Talhawah
Training the Ears
The Quick Adjustment to a Slower Paced Life
Life at School

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