“Only the best is good enough” A special visit to Pembroke Hall Primary School

In the little neighborhood of Pembroke Hall in Kingston, exists a little school called Pembroke Hall Primary.

My family left Jamaica and moved to the U.S. before I had the chance to attend high school. Pembroke Hall Primary, therefore, is where most of my great memories of attending school in Jamaica took place. (I also attended Old Harbour Primary for one year). This is where I met my first “best friend,” Andrew Walters. Here is where I had my first schoolboy crush on a girl named Gail Scott. Here is where I learned my “times tables.” Here is where I walked home from school with my friends and got chased by dogs. This was the first place I would visit once I started to return to the island during the summer breaks from my elementary schooling in New York. The list of names to whom I dedicated my books, Jamaican on Saipan, and Jamaican in China are the names of my Pembroke Hall Primary schoolmates. I’ve never forgotten them, and for some, I even remember their phone numbers! And so, it was with a feeling of great excitement and nostalgia that I visited for the first time in many years. Here are just a few of the shots from that visit.


The front gate


The sign says:
Parents
The following will not be permitted on the school compound:
Rollers in hair
Tight, short shorts
Tight, short dresses/skirts/merina
Uncovered stomach (back and armpit)
Please dress moderately


The school grounds


The water pipes! Everything is right where I left them…ahhhh, yes! No crowds now, but wait until lunch time!


“Excuse me, I’m a past student. Who is the principal of the school now?”


Meet Ms. Norma McNeil, the principal of Pembroke Hall Primary


Chatting about past students, what my teachers are doing now, and the auditorium project.

Ms. McNeil gives me a tour of the grounds and shows me the location of the hoped-for auditorium. In this video, Mrs. McNeil explains the need for funds to continue and complete the construction. There’ve been raffles and food sales to generate the money, but there is still a ways to go. I’ll be helping any way I can. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to help, too!

Youtube
点击这里,如果你在中国

Pembroke Hall represents the foundation of my education. As such, it is an integral part of the path I took from elementary and high school in the states, my engineering degree at Columbia, my path as an entrepreneur and writer, and ultimately, my freedom as a nomadpreneur! Thank you, Pembroke Hall Primary School!

The banner beneath the logo says: “Only the best is good enough!”

p.s.Ms. McNeil has asked me to visit again on Wednesday to give a short talk to the students. Stay tuned!

UPDATE Sept 10, 2013: I’ve donated a new website to the school! Check it out at www.PEMBRUKALL.com!

“My home is in my head”–Bob Marley

As a nomadpreneur, that quote from Bob (“My home is in my head.”) accurately describes how I feel, and is how I often respond when people ask me about concepts of “home.” It has special meaning given one of the spots I visited today.–Walt

DAY 5: Thursday, April 25, 2013
We decided we’d stay in Kingston to run some errands. First, Ron took his suitcase to a Fix-It shop to repair the in-flight damage incurred during his trip to JA!

at the Fixt It shop
at the Fixt It shop

Then, as Ron is a pilot, we went to the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority to take care of some of his business.

Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority
Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority
Jamaican in China
at the window of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority

Next stop: The Bob Marley Museum!

Pulling up to 56 Hope Road
Youtube: Click here
China: 如果你是在中国,请点击此处

56 Hope Road is the former home of Reggae legend and Jamaican hero, Robert Nesta Marley, known affectionately by Jamaicans simply as Bob. As I’ve said in a previous post, it is mandated by law that every Jamaican must utter the words “Bob did seh” (Bob said…”) in any conversation about life, politics, religion and any matter of cultural significance.

Bob Marley Museum
Bob Marley Museum front gate

Fulfilling the vision of Bob’s widow, Rita, the home has been converted into a museum paying tribute to Bob’s legacy and impact on the music industry, the struggles of freedom fighters the world over, and the status of Jamaica and Jamaicans throughout the world.

Bob Marley Museum
A sign inside the compound
Bob Marley Museum
The Garden at the Gate

We did the hour tour of the premises and house ($500J = $5US) The tourist rate is higher!)

Bob Marley Museum
Ms. Rowe at the ticket booth.
Bob Marley Museum
Posing at the statue while waiting for the tour to begin–Bob Marley Museum
Bob Marley Museum
Natasha begins our tour
Bob Marley Museum
Tour of the grounds
Bob Marley Museum
Natasha shares facts and figures and interesting trivia of Bob’s life
Bob Marley Museum
Step to it, people! We’re going inside!

There’s no taking of photos allowed during the tour of the house, but we got to see photos, artifacts, clothing, furniture, memorabilia and more details chronicling Bob’s music, career and honors.Great stuff!
You’ll have to experience it for yourself!

Bob Marley Museum
Me and Natty Queen

After the tour, Natasha and I posed on the very steps Bob Marley would sit and reason with his bredrin!
Coool!

Bob Marley Museum
Completing my visitor survey at the Bob Marley Museum

Next stop: food!
On the way to New Leaf Restaurant (found through Happycow.net) we stopped at a juice bar and picked up a papaya, pineapple and guava juice.

Now then. For my friends who’ve suggested I smile more in my photos. I’m sure you’re not aware of this, but The “How to be Jamaican Cool” manual explicitly prohibits “crap eating grins” and big toothy smiles in photos of men. But, I’m going to do something totally out of character. Here are some photos with smiles for anyone who requested them.–W (These were captured by Ron when I didn’t know the camera was rolling; a clear and flagrant violation of HTBJC Rule #476, but I’m willing to break the rules just this once for you.)

Bob Marley Museum
Smile! You’re on Candid Camera!

The Joy of Juicing
The Joy of Juicing!

Then headed to New Leaf Restaurant

New Leaf Restaurant
New Leaf Restaurant!

Finally! A meal!

New Leaf Restaurant
the star of the show: Veggie stir fry with curry sauce and brown rice

Jamaicans in Reach Falls

Wed, April 24, 2013
This time we’re heading east! I figure we should have some nice views of the ocean driving along the south coast and then up towards the north coast. Our destination: Port Antonio!
See the route (in red) along the coastline

Kingston to Port Antonio along the coast
Kingston to Port Antonio along the coast

Sure enough, the views were spectacular!

Youtube video
China viewers
如果你是在中国,点击此处查看视频

and then a little inland while still in St Thomas…

Hills of St Thomas
Hills of St Thomas

Then, back along the coast through Portland.

On the way there, we saw a sign.

“Hey, look! Reach Falls is that way!” Ron exclaimed.

“Cool! Let’s go!” Walt replied.

And that’s how we ended up at Reach Falls.

Reach Falls, Jamaica
Reach Falls, Jamaica
Reach Falls
Reach Falls
Reach Falls, Jamaica
Reach Falls, Jamaica
Reach Falls, Jamaica
Reach Falls, Jamaica
Reach Falls, Jamaica
Reach Falls, Jamaica

Ron likes immersion

Reach Falls
Ron

I prefer just sitting in the sun

Reach Falls
Reach Falls

Reach Falls
Ron

After Reach Falls, we continued north through (5)PORTLAND, took a quick look at the famous Blue Lagoon, and eventually reached Port Antonio, where we checked out the Errol Flynn Marina

Then, we hit (6) ST MARY, Headed further along Buff Bay and Annoto Bay,

Welcome to Anotto Bay
Welcome to Anotto Bay
Sunset in St. Mary
Sunset in St. Mary

…then south back into St. Andrew by nightfall

Night falls on St. Andrew
Night falls on St. Andrew

Nightfall in St. Andrew

Ron got some Jerk Chicken while we were in Port Antonio. Meanwhile, by the time we got back to Kingston, it was too late for me to eat, so I picked up a bag of banana chips at a supermarket, and called it a night. No worries. I’ll definitely eat a meal tomorrow.

You know what? Maybe tomorrow I’ll visit the Bob Marley Museum….hmmmm..

Jamaican in Milk River…

JAMAICA

This is Jamaica.

Where is Jamaica?
Where is Jamaica?

It’s 90 miles south of Cuba, which is 90 miles south of Florida. It takes 3 hours and 20 minutes to fly from JFK airport to Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport.

Here’s a closer look.

jamaica map
Fount online: a map from when Exxon was Esso

And even closer….
I am here:

Kingston
Kingston

….in Kingston. Jamaica has 14 parishes. The 14 parishes are Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover, St. James, Trelawny, St. Ann, St. Mary, Portland, St Thomas and as often happens, I’ve only visited about three of the 14 parishes while growing up here.

THE PLAN

So, here’s the plan. The goal on this long-overdue trip is to visit all of Jamaica’s 14 parishes during the 18 days we’re here! For that, we’ll need a car of our own!

DAY 1 RECAP: Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Picking up the rental in Kingston
Picking up the rental from a family friend in Kingston

On the first day, after much careful cogitation, we decided our plan would be to “head west!” So, we gassed up the car with $1,000 of unleaded. Gas in JA is currently about $120J per litre.

Gas prices in Jamaica
Gas prices in Jamaica. $119.70J per litre

…and we drove from (1)ST. ANDREW, into (2)ST. CATHERINE (where we passed through Spanish Town, Old Harbor, May pen), and then, as we passed into (3)CLARENDON, we saw a sign.

“Hey, look! That sign says ‘Milk River Hotel & Spa’ is that way!” Ron exclaimed.

“Cool! Let’s go!” Walt replied.

And that’s the story of how we ended up at the world famous Milk River Hotel & Spa!

(Well, there’s also the part of the story where we almost run out of gas in the middle of nowhere with not a gas station within immediate sight or recent memory, and having school guard, Sherlene Campbell, help us out, but, um, I’ll leave that part out for another episode!)

Milk River Spa in Clarendon
Milk River Spa in Clarendon

Milk River is a hot spring over which a spa has been built. The spring’s water is captured and flows unfiltere and untreated continuously into tile baths. It’s reputed to have tremendous therapeutic effects. We opted to get our own separate rooms to enjoy a 15 minute immersion in the healing waters. ($400J)

The water from the spring flows continuously through these bath houses.

15 minute bath in the mineral springs of Milk River
15 minute bath in the mineral springs of Milk River

After the bath, the security guard showed us where the spring flows out from the spa into the river

Where the spring meets the river
Where the spring meets the river

and was nice enough to take us to another open spring nearby. Local residents catch the water for home use, including drinking. (But drink too much and it will “operate” you! In other words, you’ll be running to the bathroom for a bit!)


Click to view on Youtube
China viewers: Click here

catching the therapeutic waters at Milk River
catching the therapeutic waters at Milk River

We left Milk River at exactly 4pm, headed back to Kingston on Jamaica’s new highway, and made the 145km trip back in an hour and a half.

super highway in Jamaica from Mandeville to Kingston
super highway in Jamaica from Mandeville to Kingston

Ron got a pattie while we were gassing up the car in Milk River. However, by the time we got back home, it was too late in the day for me to eat. No worries. I’ll just grab a meal tomorrow.

Next on the list…..

After my coconut water respite, it’s time to resume the arduous task of finding specific fruits and vegetables I haven’t had since 1997 and before. Actually, one of the things that endeared Saipan to me is that fact that I discovered sweetsop, soursop, nesberry, breafruit and practically all the fruits I knew and loved from my childhood in Jamaica. However, there are certain fruits I haven’t found in my travels through, specifically ackee and June plums.

There’s also something magically restorative, rejuvenative and, perhaps even vital about eating the food grown in the soil and sun from whence this physical form was formed, fashioned and first fed. With that in min, next stop: MegaMart to pick up some nesberries, June plums and mangos!

Now, normally, I would get my fruits from street vendors and open markets. However, it’s Sunday in Jamaica, and vendors are not out on the streets. Many stores are closed, and the few that have opened will close by about 4 or 5pm. (For your information, just a generation ago, by cultural consensus, one simply could not purchase–and wouldn’t even dare to ask for–certain items in the stores that chose to serve the public on Sundays. If you wanted kerosine oil for your lamp, for instance, you simply had to wait for a business day to make such a purchase–so my mother tells me.)

Finding June plums in Jamaica
Finding June plums in Jamaica

DAY 2: Monday, April 22, 2013
The next day, we went exploring through Kingston to run some errands and to locate some health food spots I found on HappyCow.net. So, it’s off to the wild and wonderful streets of Kingston!

Now, at the risk of dating myself, the last time I drove a right-hand drive car in Jamaica–where we drive on the left side of the street, by the way–The Right Honorable Edward Seaga was Prime Minister (JaminChina JA to US political reference translator: “Ronald Reagan was President!”)

Running errands in JA
Running errands in JA

Revenue Service Centre
Revenue Service Centre on Constant Spring Road

Every payment to the government gets done here. Driver licenses, tax payments, you name it.

On line Inside the Revenue Service Centre, Kingston

While driving, Ron spotted a “Natural Health” sign, and we made note to check it out. It was the perfect first stop on my continuing global quest for vegan-friendly destinations!
There were no health food stores like this last time I was in JA! Supplements, apple cider vinegar, health bars, wheat-free snacks and much more!

Natural Health Whole Foods Store in Kingston Jamaica
Natural Health Whole Foods Store in Kingston Jamaica

Natural Health has two locations in Kingston. One at 134 Constant Spring Road and another in Orchid Village Plaza.

The shelves and shoppers at Natural Health Whole Foods Store in Kingston Jamaica
The shelves and shoppers at Natural Health Whole Foods Store in Kingston Jamaica

As mentioned, we just chanced upon it while driving, since it wasn’t featured on HappyCow.net, so I told store owner, Marie Chen, about HappyCow, and she promised to get the store listed (it’s free, and I’m sure it will be good for business from other health-conscious tourists and nomads!)

Marie and me at Natural Health, Kingston Jamaica
Marie and me at Natural Health, Kingston Jamaica

Next stop was a raw food spot Marie told us about. It’s called “Mi Hungry.” Got some fresh tamarind juice and, since it was early in the day, I’ll have to return another time to sample the menu!

Mi Hungry
Mi Hungry

Here is an article about the store in the Jamaica Observer

Mi Hungry is located in The Marketplace at 67 Constant Spring Road. There are also many other restaurants for carnivores as well! So, while Mi Hungry boasts “No water, no fire,” another nearby restaurant boasts “caressed in smoke, wrapped in fire” or words to that effect.

dining tables at the Marketplace, Constant Spring Rodad, Kingston Jamaica
dining tables at the Marketplace, Constant Spring Rodad, Kingston Jamaica

Next, was Earl’s Juice Garden on Haining Road in New Kingston. I was actually looking for Livity, which I’m told (and saw for myself) is closed down. Got some cucumber and callaloo juice! Good stuff for $300J or $3US. (The US-JA exchange rate is just under $100J for each $1US)

Earl's Juice Garden, Kingston Jamaica
Earl’s Juice Garden, Kingston Jamaica

Next, was a trip down memory lane to visit where I grew up. It’s called Hughenden Housing Scheme. The roads in this neighborhood, built during the late 1950s, have an Olympic game theme.

Hughenden Housing Scheme Kingston
Hughenden Housing Scheme Kingston

There’s Relay Road, Bronze road, Silver, Gold Road, and I grew up here…

Marathon Drive in Hughenden
Marathon Drive in Hughenden

in this house on Marathon Drive….The roads looked much wider when I was younger!

Then, wrapped up the day with a view of Kingston from the hills in Cherry Gardens!

Me and the puppy
Me and the puppy

Kingston landscape
Kingston landscape

The blog comments option may be available for a while, so feel free to make any special requests if there’s any place you’d like to take a vicarious adventure!
go here to post comments: http://www.jamaicaninchina.com/?p=2402

First things first…

Being a nomadpreneur is very complicated.

In order to function most efficiently across several time zones and cultures, it is necessary to have a working knowledge and appreciation of a myriad of concepts, a plethora of facts and figures and a bevy of statistics and strategies in order to optimize one’s existence. Omitting just one of any of these minor details can have a dramatic and devastating and even catastrophic effect on one’s entire stay in a particular destination.

As you can imagine, there are issues with transitioning from different weather patterns and geography, verifying the compatibility of certain equipment with the local power supplies, learning new languages, securing accommodations, I mean the list is practically endless! It can be practically intimidating and overwhelming. It is not for the faint of heart.

So, from the very moment the plane landed at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, I referred to my extensive list of “must dos” and “must haves.” There are certain things that no travel book will tell you; certain things that no expat website will reveal. However, as a well-seasoned traveler and highly-experienced nomadpreneur, I, Walt Goodridge, feel obligated to share with you, in critical sequential order, the single most important logistical item I have prioritized on my vast and comprehensive list of mandatory new destination actions.

These items were important enough that even days before my travel buddy, Ron, and I made the arrangements to meet at the airport, I prepared him by explaining in no uncertain terms how vitally important this detail was to the success of my nomadpreneur excursion in Jamaica. He would arrive a day early in Kingston, and when he met me, his job was to meet me at the airport with a very short list of items he was to secure prior to my arrival. I even emailed him a reminder the day before our scheduled meeting to make sure things would proceed smoothly.

Therefore, while driving along Palisadoes Strip, I was insistent. We stopped not more than a mile after exiting the airport to take care of the first, and arguably most important item on the list. Forget this item, my fellow future travelers to Jamaica, and I cannot guarantee that the rest of your trip will proceed to your satisfaction.

So. First. Things. First.

Ahhhhhh...First things first. Ahem. Now we may begin.
Ahhhhhh…. Ahem. Now we may begin.

Keep watching this space.

Escape from America the Threequel: The Nomad Rides Again!

It’s Sunday, April 21, 2013! The countdown date has arrived! So, what, you ask, is the significance of this date? Well, if you guessed “he’s on the move again,” you’d be correct! That’s right, I’m escaping from America once again! (You can check out the first two escapes here and here

First, however, let’s recap a few highlights from the past 18 months. New York has served its purpose and I’ve gotten to accomplish quite a few things I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Thanks to Dan Shor and Eric Norcross, I filmed a Jamaican in Chinatown video;got introduced to Kindles and Nooks and converted most of my books to Kindle and Nook formats; wrote a few new books; (even a relationship guide; launched a few new websites. Created some software to launch FreeSummerConcerts nationwide. So, now it’s time to say goodbye.

And, within just the past two weeks, in preparation for my travels, I:

Bought my one-way ticket online ($197)

Upgraded my Macbook Pro with a 1 Terrabyte (1000 Gigabyte) hard drive ($97), so I don’t have to travel around with two heavy external hard drives. Installed it myself courtesy of Youtube videos.

Renewed my green card (a smooth, quick and painless proces; Well, painless except for the $450 fee–$385 application + $65 Biometrics)

Received a Canon S100 digital camera as a gift to chronicle the adventures! This should take better pics than the one I bought on Hainan during my last days in China

Went to Jackson Heights, Queens, for the requisite white kurta/punjabi/fatwa shirt….($25 each at Shukmoney Fashions 37-14 74th Street Tell them Walt sent you)

Customizing my shirts in Jackson Heights

…and at 8:30am, I packed, walked to the JFK Airtrain and headed to Kennedy airport! ($5.00)

On the JFK airtrain
On the JFK airtrain

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! What exciting, mysterious, exotic location will the Jamaican in China find himself this time?

Well, hold on to your seats! It’s time to don my secret identity and transform into alter ego and become …

The Jamaican in ….

wait for it

The flight crew
The flight
Veggie meal on flight. Didn’t eat it, just filmed it.


the landing (on youtube)Those in China can view it here

to end up finally, as the Jamaican in …..

.

.
in
.
in
.

The Jamaican in Jamaica!

JAMAICA??????

The Jamaican in Jamaica???
The Jamaican in Jamaica???

That’s right! Jamaica!

Huh??? What the —-

p.s. Returning to Jamaica for the first time since 1997, I chose to fly on Jamaica’s new privately-owned airline, Fly-Jamaica airlines! Only $197 for a one way ticket from JFK to Kingston! Had a chance to meet and chat for a bit with the CEO’s daughter (very nice!) and gave a few suggestions! Great service, quick flight! Great experience! Visit http://www.fly-jamaica.com

* For the record, as you see in the video, the much maligned and previously embarrassing Jamaican “applause-upon-landing” is now happily encouraged by the flight crew! Oh, well! It does add to the unique atmosphere of landing on Jamrock on the “national” airline! So, we’ll all have to get used to it!

Now in Spanish! Cómo convertirse en un Nomadpreneur (How to become a nomadpreneur!)

Cómo convertirse en un Nomadpreneur: una introduccion a un estilo de vida poco frecuente (Spanish Edition)
by Walt F.J. Goodridge
Translated by Ana Valdez de Clemens

If you or someone you know wants to create a unique lifestyle, forward this email or share this page

Cómo convertirse en un Nomadpreneur!

como convertirse en un nomadpreneur


2.99!

$0.99

$4.95

$4.95*

$2.99

$2.99

*Amazon price may vary

¿Y si pudiera tener la libertad de viajar por el mundo y ganar dinero al mismo tiempo? ¿Qué pasa si su fuente de ingresos no dependen del lugar donde usted se encuentra físicamente? Pues bien, según el autor y nomadpreneur, Walt Goodridge, que la libertad es posible!
“Nomadpreneurs” tienen esa libertad. A nomadpreneur es un individuo cuyo ingreso estrategia le permite de esta forma la libertad de viajar y vagar sin dejar de generar ingresos, sin importar de donde él o ella pasa a estar ubicado físicamente. A nomadpreneur gana dinero y mantiene la movilidad.

En este pequeño libro, Walt ofrece una breve introducción a lo que él llama “el estilo de vida poco común”. Él comparte cómo fue capaz de lograrlo él mismo, las estrategias que otros han utilizado, así como la motivación, la mentalidad, métodos y mentores que tienen forma a su viaje de empleado frustrado a vagabundo feliz!

contact Ana through the Passion Profit Company for quotes on Spanish translations

And, speaking of doing the nomad thing, the countdown is at 2! Stay tuned!

My miserable life!

Funny stuff!
my miserable life
“Look, we’re SORRY. If we had known you were going to be a writer, we’d have been better parents!”

The ironic truth, of course, is that it’s precisely because of her family’s dysfunction that she now has a story to tell and is responsible for molding her into the writer she has become.

With that said, I invite you to join me in a conversation about a way of seeing the world that you can use to live true to your self in spite of–or because of–your miserable life?
living true to your self
Available in multiple formats:


$14.95

$6.95

$6.95

$6.95

$14.95*