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Chronicles from a Caribbean Cubicle

2/27/2008

Building Bridges for Business

It struck me recently that it is quite difficult for a Jamaican who has never lived abroad to understand the economic potential in Jamaican culture and our island's beauty.

Also, it is just as hard for a Jamaican living abroad who retains no ties back home whatsoever to take advantage of the benefits they have of being Jamaican.

Enter the Jamaican who chooses to live in both worlds -- the larger world outside Jamaica and a life in Jamaica. They are a unique resource, in that they understand two worlds that are quite unique, and an understanding of both worlds makes them quite valuable.

For example, is Trench Town a special resource? Only a few Jamaicans living on the island would agree, but this happens to be the place that I was was asked about the most frequently when I lived in the U.S. Could it be turned into a kind of meccas for lovers of reggae music and Bob Marley?

We are gifted with one of the prettiest countries in the world, yet much of our country remains hidden from tourists the world over who would be stunned at the places that don't make it to the brochures, some of which don't even have names. We Jamaicans take the mountains, valleys, waterfalls, fruits, birds, sun -- all for granted. And because we can't see those things with "outsider eyes" we don't think deeply enough about how to share them with the world.

It's not an overstatement to state that we Jamaicans who go abroad truly discover the beauty of our country when we get off the plane in Miami, New York or Toronto. All of a sudden a naseberry, a quiet beach and a walk in the mountains in the morning become luxury items.

Enjoying them becomes a matter of working very, very hard, saving a lot of money, and spending it on the little 2 weeks "dem give us" each year that we use to travel home to try to take everything in at once.

Jamaicans who can see both worlds can see opportunities that are invisible to others. This speaks to new ventures that are just waiting to be started, and those of us who are business-minded could do no worse than to take the bull by the horns, and launch them.

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2 Comments:

  • thing is we don't often have to go home to enjoy home. go to an Asian market to find some of the foods we love or a good jamaican party or some collection of us.

    cuz home will always be home (this from a british born canadian who spent 10 years home and whose parents retired next door to where i grew up in black river). what i have done is find a way to 'work' at home. i'm a professor so i do research at home which means someone pays me to be home and to contribute to my country. my next move is to take my students home (i currently take them to Belize) and get paid for that gig while bringing my kid home and we all hang out with my parents while i go out to 'work' everyday with the students who will be doing service work for 2 weeks.

    some of us do find a way to integrate cubicle/office life with yardie life and bway it feel sweet yuh see!

    By Blogger luvlife0702, at 2/29/2008  

  • luvlife,

    Everyone is going to love you for your comment above!!

    There are "plenty people" dreaming of just what you are talking about...

    By Blogger fwade, at 2/29/2008  

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