As blogger Oliver Willis observes, it was “50 years ago today [that] Jamaica became an independent nation. Considering the hardships and obstacles it has faced (and continues to), Jamaica is a Caribbean success story. It is a small island with an outsized international influence, from athletics to art--people all over the globe know about the island nation.”
I’ve been fortunate to visit Jamaica several times over the years, seeing most corners of the country (including a less-than-spectacular daytrip to the capital, Kingston). The natural beauty and music and life rhythms of that fourth largest island nation of the Greater Antilles inevitably make me feel, well, more alive than I do in other parts of the world. As my friend Tom Wilmer has remarked before, it takes me mere moments after landing in Jamaica to fall into it the leisurely, “ya-mon” pace.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that, in some previous life, I lived in or at least conducted frequent commerce around that former Spanish possession and ex-English colony.
Is it time for a rum punch yet?