Saturday, 12 March 2016

What makes Jamaican Athletes Great?



Usain Bolt
When it comes to sprinting, Jamaica is the best! Usain Bolt, for example holds the world record in 100m and 200m, while Shelly-Ann Fraser is the first Caribbean woman to win a a gold in 100m at the Olympics.









These sprinters have also been awarded Sports Man and Woman of the year in Jamaica several times. Yes they are indeed great, but the truth is they are not alone. I can name several other great athletes in Jamaica. What is even more interesting is that this is the trend set in Jamaica in the world and as one retires, another rise.


Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Here is a video of Usain in action when he broke the world record. Memories and heartfelt praises from all of us in the Caribbean







The question to be asked is WHAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS GREATEST?


I have been living in Jamaica for over 9 years now and what I have observed is:

Sports Culture! Sports Spirit!


When I was living in St. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG), my homeland, I attended what we call Inter-School Sports. It is equivalent to what is called Champs here in Jamaica, but only by virtue of who is involved- High School Students.

 In SVG, students attended Inter-School Sports to 'lyme' rather than to support their school and as such they preferred not to wear their school uniforms as requested. Even when a price was attached for those not in uniform, students will pay or will try to trick the system by wearing the uniform and then changing over into their 'pretty clothes' in the bathroom once they are in. In addition to that is the limited support from parents, teachers and alumni. I always believe that we were not putting enough emphasis on our sports, but as I said earlier, I have been living abroad for more than 9 years so hopefully perception and attitude towards track and field in SVG have changed.

Champs in Jamaica is completely different. I could not believe the overwhelming support coming from all. It is a national event. 
Do you know the price for a ticket to enter Champs on the weekends?
It ranges from JA$2500 to 3500 which is anywhere from US$20-28 for Grandstand depending on whether you attend on a Friday or a Saturday. Cheaper tickets are available for Bleachers from JA$1000-1500, also dependent on whether it is Friday or Saturday. I am sure you recognized clearly why the week days price is low. WORK!

On a Saturday, however you would not recognized that the price of tickets are that high because of the overwhelming support from students, parents, alumni etc. Many show support by wearing their school colours or ties.

Here is a video showing champs in 2015.

While you are watching a race, TAKE A LOOK AT THE STANDS! LOOK AT THE MEDIA SUPPORT! CHECK OUT THE QUESTIONS THAT ARE BEING ASKED. IT SEEMS AS IF WE ARE AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN BEIJING.







So the question again is WHAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS? WHEN IS IT INITIATED?



Answer: They start from babies!


On Tuesday of this week, I went to my child's daycare. They were having Sport's Day! It was not the first, but it was first I was attending. I did not attend before because I asked myself, what can these babies do? Truthfully, I felt as if it was a waste of time to take time off from work to go and look at it. Culture! A Jamaica colleague influenced me this year. She said to me you have to go  and she was so excited about last year, I had to see for myself.

I was dumbfounded. I was amazed!

Parking areas were full as parents took time off to support their babies.

There were horns blowing in excitement.

There were laughing competitions for the babies who could not walk, but for those who could have, they had races.

There were coaches to set off the race and persons to say who reached in first, second and third.

My daughter was a cheerleader and had her upcoming races. I was a proud mama!

I am not going to just keep writing. I have lots of pictures and short videos, but just two more things before I add these below.

I saw some 2 years and 3 years old dipping in there heads like someone trained them for the race LOL!!!


And finally, My 2 years old daughter won one of her race and came second for the other and had me shouting, screaming and grinning for the rest of the day.

NOW FOR THE PICTURES AND VIDEOS



My daughter in what I was told is her cheer leading uniform. 
Here are some other Cheerleaders representing their houses




HER PRICE FOR WINNING!!!!





AND NOW FOR THE RACES- WATCH AND ENJOY!



video


My daughter's race. She had won the sprint before and in all the excitement I did not record. Good thing I captured this one. Excuse the screaming.


video


Red House in Action! The girls at play. Listen to the overwhelming shouts of the parents


video

The Boys in Action. Red House Again....Yes I am a bit bias lol. We came second overall.



video

This one is pretty fast. Another boys's race.


SUPPORTERS AT THE SPORTS DAY


Thank you for viewing. Remember to like my page. 

Thursday, 3 March 2016

How to please your man?

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I wrote recently on "How to please your wives?" and so it would be very remiss of me if I leave you the gentlemen. After all how husbands have needs to and in building a strong relationship, we must strike a balance. There are some relationships where one party is always giving and the other receiving. Eventually those will die. There are some females who believe that the purpose of the man is to give, give and give again to them and yet, at times, these very same woman and the ones who are selfish and quick to get upset or leave if ever he forgets a birthday or an anniversary. So ladies, if you want to keep your man happy, here are a few pointers. I had to solicit the help of my husband for this so this not purely from a woman's perspective.


  • Respect him- Now this may seem not to be a big deal to many, but it is a huge deal for a man. As ladies, we demand respect, but respect for a man goes even deeper. If a man embarrasses a lady in front of her friends (not good), somehow the lady gets over it quicker and may even react differently than if it is the other way around. Do not speak down to him.I witnessed some women publicly embarrassed their spouse, who in reacting, look like when someone throw water on a dog and it ran away, all wet with his tail between it legs. Other men may lash out in defense though they are not usually like that. A man is a man. Let him feel like one. 

  • Feed him- Yes feed him! I am quite traditional. Though I have recognized the changes in society as it relates to career women (I myself being a career wife), and the added responsibilities  that might require one to hire a helper, ensure that you still take care of your husbands by ensuring that he is fed, gets the right nutrition and is good health. You may say, that is not my responsibility. You married him because, hopefully, you love and care for him. Part of caring for him includes checking up on him. Have you eaten babes? What you eat today? From time to time, cook a warm breakfast or dinner.

  • Give him Space- My husband and I were at a couple's ministry seminar sometime last year when it was expressed the importance of space for a man. According to the presenter, a wife might noticed their husband seated silently and may ask, "What are you thinking?" and his response is "nothing". We cannot understand that. How can you not be thinking about something? As women, we are always thinking about something. All of us wives were laughing and the men were nodding in agreement with the presenter. For the first time, I realized, as the presenter stated, that men have a 'nothing box' where they will just go at times, and to witness the men nodding and shouting yes in agreement emphasized the validity of what was said. So wives, let us allow our husbands to escape to that "nothing box" from time to time.

  • Stop the nagging- I hear some women nagged and I myself get tired hearing their voice. The bible compares a nagging wife to an endless dripping on a rainy day. In our Caribbean colloquial expression, we may say drizzle rain....the rain just ah drizzle, drizzle like it making up its mind whether to come or not. If you have somewhere to go or trying to get home, but no umbrella, that sometimes upset us. I have heard people said, "rain mek (make) up your mind nah...either you are coming or you are not". The bible further states that it is better for a man to live in a desert or in a corner in the ROOF of a house than to live with a quarrelsome, nagging wife. Now, not all believe in the bible, but you may live with a nagging wife and can attest. It is very disturbing like a mosquito in your ear. Women, need I say more.

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  • Be Spontaneous with little, creative gifts- I love massages, God knows, but my husband, even though he does not request it as much as I do, love them too. That is one little gift we can give. Take his big foot (BIG Feet are good) into your hands and give him a foot massage or give him a pedicure or a back massage. 

  • Wives, fix up yourselves. There are many wives who no longer feel they need to look good especially if the man does not complain. In our dating lives, everything was on point. Now we are married and we are letting ourselves go. Hair messed up, clothes tear up, huge 'bingo bag' panties that sometimes have little tear here and there, some big long nighties as if to say 'nothing nah gwarn(is not going to happen) tonight or any other night' and so on. We are quick to use the responsibility of our children as an excuse for everything. Remember when they are grown and gone, it is still you and your husband. I always look at Michelle Obama and her husband. Indeed, they are public figures, but in my heart, I say to myself. she makes her husband looks good and he must be proud to have her as a wife. Now, I know many 'independent' woman out there will say, "do it for yourself and not for any man". True, that is always a good start, but many women couldn't care less about themselves so think about your husbands. Make them look good in public and happy in private.

  • Sex, sex and more sex- I deliberately leave this for last because often times we think this is all our husbands need and it is enough and yet some of us failed to give them enough. Now wives, I am aware that we are not always in the mood, but there are times when need to get into the mood for the benefit of our husbands. They are not like us. As much as we love sex, some of us can go weeks without and it does not bother us. Our husbands are different and we cannot forget that. So if there is a headache, do not use it as an excuse. Instead, use the sex medication. We too should also be responsible for spicing things up. Often times, in our heads, we imagine coming home to rose petals leading to a warm bath or rose-petaled bed with red wine poured into glass. The man may imagine that too, but even if he doesn't, put on that sexy lingerie and let him come home to something different once in a while. Take the initiative also. We can make the advancement too. Do not always wait on him to touch you, kiss you up and get things in motion. Take charge sometimes.



Men, feel free to comment on other things we can do. I am sure the list is not exhausted. It would be nice to hear from you. Ladies, you can also let me know what you have done for your significant other that he appreciates.


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Ugly in High School

For a while now, I have been pondering on this topic  and I finally decided to blog on it, not simply because of my own personal experiences, but also my observations as a high school teacher for a few years.

I remember vividly, my very first day attending the St. Joseph's Convent, Kingstown. I was walking through Paul's Lot with my head down, when I heard someone said something to me. I looked up and saw a St. Martins Secondary School guy who was very tall and probably in Form 4 or 5. He was asking name and other questions. I looked at him, cast my eyes in the direction I was going and did not respond once. He talked until he got to the top of the hill and then he said bye. Even then, I said nothing.

Maybe he was disappointed. Maybe he questioned himself. Maybe he thought I was 'fresh', but I was shy, lack self-confidence and had a low self-esteem. In addition to that, and probably exacerbated by those very qualities, I had trust issues. He was a young man and was out for one thing. After all, what could he possibly see in me, a girl with thick, natural hair that for most parts carried two large cane rows, no pierced ear etc.

As I settled in high school with my friends, I realized that there were cliques. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, the have-nots had grouped themselves together, the brown skinned 'beauties' and 'haves' (rich) had also grouped themselves and the villagers, those persons who came from the same community, had grouped themselves together. I looked at the group who were involved in netball, had boyfriends, into dancing or singing etc and in my opinion, they were pretty. The only thing that stood out for me was my brain. I was doing well in school. Outside of that, no one knew me and probably would have never known me. My English was country-like; I spoke dialect which was looked down on because you were speaking 'bad', my dressing was poor, often times I was late for school, I can only afford the minimum with food and my skirt would not stay pleated no matter how hard my mother tried with the wet cloth and the iron that was heated on the stove. I didn't think I was pretty.

Source: Blackhairplanet.com


Did other guys approach me? Yes, but I compared them to that of my friends and I thought, how come the ugly ones are the ones who approached me, and the sexy, handsome looking ones approached them. I realized that sense of what was beautiful/handsome was defined by certain features and complexion. Still, even when I was approached by what I regarded as handsome, I thought, they just wanted to use, abuse, misuse and leave. In some ways, it helped because my antenna was always up.

I did not meet bullies in high school, but when I entered college, I remembered passing a guy who referred to me as 'Swan Princess' and I smiled, but one, out of a group of girls standing with him, was seemingly upset by the statement and did not hesitate to question where is the swan princess, while her friends laughed. I did not respond, but it was at that point I knew that bullies, women bullies, do exist and when grouped, can be intimidating. By then, I was a bit more confident, but not enough, not to be affected. After all, this is the same girl who was nicknamed and teased about many things including my blackness and my big eyes. They were in the latest brand, their skirts were short and that was deemed sexy, while my was knee length, some were cheer leaders and they had money; they drive in and out of the college yard, whether in their own cars or their friend's.

I encouraged myself that one day, I will get a job and would be able to buy myself nice things and look just as great or even better. I also took solace in the statement made by some of my friends that these girls were like ripe bananas being passed from hand to hand by a group of boys that called themselves "The conspirators". Whether it was true or not at that point, did not matter to me. I felt boosted and better than they were. They might have been pretty on the outside, but I had inner beauty.

When I began working, I was still a work in progress, but I looked at many of my students and I saw their low self worth. Many did not consider themselves to be beautiful. I realized then that the impact of this can be even more grievous because as soon as affection was shown by the opposite sex, they give in. Some got used as their names got caught up in 'sex'conversations about who sleep with whom, when and where. Even those that I found to be very beautiful did not defined themselves as such and with the abuse they were suffering, they were losing both their inner and outward beauty. I decided to use every opportunity to listen to them, encourage them and show them their worth. Something I still practice today. You are beautiful and will stay beautiful as long as you defined yourself as beautiful.

Throughout my life, I have used my negative situations to push me to be the best I can be. The very blackness and bold eyes that were ridiculed in my childhood, is what many Rastas admire. I am an Empress, an African, a strong Black, Beautiful Woman. Thank you my African brothers.

I look back at many whom I thought were handsome, they have destroyed their lives through alcoholism and drug abuse and have lost that beauty. I looked at the guys whom I thought were not as handsome and they, like myself, have grown. They are successful, well groomed and well built.

I have grown in confidence and worth by speaking to the woman in the mirror. I set my own standards and aimed for them. I am not beautiful like you, I am beautiful like me and what a darn beauty I am!