Good Things in Kingston: Part One

For two years in Kathmandu, taking regular exercise was a struggle with the challenges of pollution and traffic. Getting mowed over by motorcycles was a real reality. Dodging cow poo and kamikaze drivers was not my idea of a pleasant walk. Here in Kingston, the Mona reservoir has been a huge lifesaver for us. For a small annual fee, the Water Commission allows joggers and walkers to exercise on the 2 mile loop around the reservoir. We can safely walk in peace and quiet, watch the birds and enjoy the sunset. No pollution. No hassle.

The reservoir is an important source of stored water in Kingston. When we arrived it was painfully low after a two year drought. In October (late rainy season) it actually started raining and the reservoir started filling up. It was pretty dramatic to watch the water gush down from the mountains from aqueducts on both sides of reservoir. We tracked the water level every day as we made our rounds, until the last week or two when it filled up so far that the overflow has kicked in and we are now watching the water gush out into the overflow channels. This is good news. The city needs the water.


Looking out across the water at the start of our loop


I love watching the birds that hang out around the water spotting fish….


…or roost in the nearby trees. Its mainly cranes (or ibis?) . I haven’t learnt the names of local birds yet. There’s also a troop of pelicans who do dramatic and very loud splashing dives into the water. Unfortunately I don’t have the skills or the camera lens to capture them… maybe one of these days.



We are lucky to live in the Caribbean with access to so many beautiful places, but after a while it is the every day experiences that count the most.  I’m very grateful for Mona and her birds.

…And now let’s take it all out the boxes again..

Its so hard to imagine your new home in a new country before you get there. Especially in Kingston, as they had no pictures to send us in advance. No amount of Googling and scanning the streets with Google Earth really gives you an impression of your new home. But arrive we did, and the streets of Northern Kingston turned out to be much more attractive than the internet let on.


A typical street near us. Green hills beyond, lots of ups and downs, pot holes and palm trees.

Three weeks after we moved in, the handbuilt crates that we watched Nepalis build in our garden showed up with all of our possessions.


Here we go again!  Oh the unpacking!


I made some kind of effort to get the boxes in the right rooms but a lot of it was hit or miss


Looking from the ‘would be’ living room through to what was going to be the dining room


The kitchen was much more modern than Kathmandu but we almost all our appliances were either broken or missing. Part of my shaky start here.


Note the wooden shutters to either side of the French doors are typically Jamaican from before the world of air conditioning came along. They are closed in the picture, but we now keep them open to let in light as the house is pretty dark.



The typical car port that so many townhouses here have. Good for unloading and loading the car in the tropical rain, but they block a huge amount of light.

Anyway, this is a little glimpse of home life here. We are unpacked and trying to make it home. Another blog post of the finished product may follow!

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