Wat a dem de, mon?


Captain Kirk tackles tribbles

All over the city of Kingston, funny furry things have attached themselves to wires, street lights and fixtures. We call them tribbles, from the only old Star Trek episode that I know was meant to be intentionally funny. Remember, that one?

Suspicious, though, that this may not be 100% accurate….I did a little online research. It turns out that aren’t fluffy aliens at all, but Tillandsia recurvata, commonly known as Ball Moss, which derives mainly physical support and not nutrition from its host (such as a telephone wire), and photosynthesizes its own food and absorb water that collects on its leaves. They typically rang in size from a golf ball to a soccer ball. Most seedlings germinate on tiny branches and less often on vertical bark of tree hosts, which has been suggested to indicate that local spread of Ball Moss is mainly by seeds sprouting from bird droppings on stems of shrubs and trees. So its kind of like one of those air plants that used to be so fashionable. I sort of prefer the tribble explanation though.


Tribbles on Kingston’s wires

First Impressions of Kingston


I was definitely surprised how green the city appeared when we first arrived. We are limited to the Northern suburbs (away from the violence of the downtown areas) with green hills across the skyline. No smog. No concrete jungle.

First impressions can be hard to report so long after the fact. Devoid of context, they are just supposed to be gut reactions to what you first see around you. A couple of months have gone by, so now I have filters…but maybe a few of my first photos will help bring it all back. Continue reading

Home in Jamaica

refugees-pic-editedMy blog tends to get followed by those interested in travel, or lumped together with travel writers, but what I think differentiates it from traveler blogs it is that its about living in and discovering new places and making them home, which is a lot different that being a tourist or a traveler.  We have lived in so many places over the years, and been through the transit of settling.  Its tiring in the best of times, which this hasn’t been, and this time around I’m just exhausted by it all.   We’re lived out of suitcases for months, been through the process of unpacking and finding homes for the contents of 176 boxes, hung the art on the walls, and tried to fix the terrible lighting in this house in the name of making life feel our kind of normal. I know the process, the pitfalls and what helps make us slowly fit in and really call somewhere home.  For any number of reasons, 2.5 months into our “Jamaican homewarming”  I am still struggling to feel the spark.  This is mostly not the fault of Jamaica (or Jamaicans) but a cocktail of difficulties that has made our time here to date less than ideal.  I’ve struggled to do things like maintain this blog, or spend time doing things I used to enjoy, and I am in a funk.  Friends and family have asked me if everything is alright and encouragingly ask me about life here, but my blog approaches its third month of silence, its time to make a decision on the way forward.  There are interesting things and stories here, and there is so much that is better.  We have clean air, views of the mountains and somewhere to go walking after work.  The streets have traffic, but not the lunacy and filth of Kathmandu streets.  Our area of Kingston is so much more attractive than our earlier homes, but I miss the enthusiasm I had for discovering Manila and Kathmandu.  Perhaps it is time to see if the passion can rise from the storytelling process and not just the other way around?  Will the discipline of writing again help ignite some kind of spark for life in this country?  I’ll give it a try.  Words of encouragement are very welcome.