It is Mother's Day and so my thoughts are turned to the role of Mothers in Jamaica. It is the most revered and respected role within the context of the culture, and perhaps as a consequence it is a role that is adopted far too young by far too many. In a society where there are so many that feel to have no value or influence the role of mother is perceived as a guarentee of love, respect and status. Whilst it does accomplish these in some way it also imposes a level of responsibility that many of the teenage mothers cannot fulfill, thus creating more generations of children with too little support, too little love and too little sense of worth. In addition motherhood illustrates another of those Jamaican dichotomies, it is considered the most important role but too many fathers do not respect the mothers of their children and many mothers are absent, leaving children in the care of grandmothers, aunts or other caretakers when they go abroad. However, for me it is a day of celebration as being a mother is the most rewarding and gratifyng role in the world and the day affords the opportunity to recognise the privilege! Op-Ed Columnist - Celebrate Mothers Day by Saving One - NYTimes.com
The week has seen increasing awareness of the difficulty Jamaica is in economically and socially. The Gleaner continues to publish the daily murder count which has reached over 560. This practice is generating much discussion but the dominant opinion seems to be that it is helping to appropriately raise awareness of the terrible issue of violence experienced by the poorest communities in Jamaica. It is raising questions about why the politicians and police force cannot protect people from the gangs and increasing the expectation of accountability for governing effectively. A secondary outcome is the demand that there be more transparency in politics, and there be a clear exploration of the link between politicians and organised crime.
No travels this week, though Tasha and I had a lovely afternoon ambling through Port Royal and the old Fort Charles, ending with fish at Gloria's, a local fish restuarant at which the length of time between the fish leaving the sea and getting to the table is usually less than two hours!
We did not get to see the sunken city lost to the sea in the earthquake of 1692 but it is fascinating to learn a little of the history of what was known as the "wickedest city in the world" in the 17th century.
I was sad to see Tasha off on Wednesday morning. It was wonderful having her here and felt very much as if she was "home for the holidays".
So my six weeks of visitors and visiting is over and my undivided attention will return to what I can accomplish here.