Jamaica, Mon

My lack of blogging has been from my recent trip to Jamaica I took. Jamaica is known as the “no problem country” but I was soon to point out many “problems ” I found. Most people in Jamaica make minimum wage, and to them, that means only $55.00 a week! Now take that and add it to a 16.5% tax on almost all goods and mortgage rates as high as 33% and to me, that’s a problem. Many people can only afford to build one room of a house at a time, and most people never see their houses complete, it is their grand children, or even great- grandchildren who end up completing the house.
I asked about teachers and education. Now, education is mandatory in Jamaica but many drop out by the age of 14 because they need to make money to support their families. Jamaica has a high population of children and due to this, many schools run on a shift system. The morning shift is from 7:30 am – 12:30 and the afternoon session is from 12:30 – 5:30 pm. This means that most teachers put in 10 hours of work a day, not to mention prep time on top of that. The wage of teachers is not well-known in Jamaica, since it is not much more than minimum wage.
A lot of what I had learnt on my vacation made me quite sad, when I confronted them on the “problems” they face, they simply replied “in Jamaica we don’t have problems, only situations and we can overcome situations.” Their outlook on life is positive, and for a simple reason: they are alive, living, and they know many places out there are much, much worse.
What a fabulous outlook on life. This made me reflect on my own life and how blessed I am. I decided to adopt this way of thinking and start living in the moment, because really who has problems?

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Early Learning Centre in Jamaica

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Elementary School

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School Children in uniform

No Problem, Mon

A.

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