August 30, 2010

Video of the Day

How He Loves by John Mark McMillan

10 Things I learnt this weekend

1. I can drive from Philadelphia to Hamden, CT on my own. Highway driving is not half bad. It can get pretty boring though.
2.I can pack my life into a little Toyota Corolla if I leave a couple pairs of shoes and some clothes behind.
3. Unlike Philly, Connecticut can be 90 degrees during the day and drop down to 63 degrees at night.
4. For every suburb, there is a 'hood. (lol)
5. Pentecostal churches don't always have to be about jumping around and screaming and such.
6. My apartment really is like a 3 minute drive from campus. I didn't REALLY need a car to be here.
7. You can go shopping in Walmart so often in the span of 3 days that the workers will recognize you on that third day.
8. I thought I wouldn't really need a TV in this apartment... that was a lie!
9. Certain people refuse to visit me if I get a pet rat.
10. Drew University freshman biology courses have had such an impact on me that I want to find out which trees are native to CT.

August 23, 2010

10 Things I learnt this weekend

1. I need to let go of some things in life.
2. Hanging out with good friends is medicine for the heart.
3. Back to school shopping can be expensive.
4. My boy constantly reminds me of how much he loves me through his actions.
5. There is nothing to fear but fear itself. Adventurous is the way to go!
6. Summer is almost over, but will return like the tides.
7. Walmart's shipping is crazy fast!
8. I am still recognizable to someone I haven't seen in 7 years.
9. I dislike women who wear size small t-shirts when they're hefty in the top & middle sections.
10. I'm excited to live in a new city.

August 22, 2010


Goodbye Summer!
photo via:

So, Summer is almost over. But I'm ready to start the new phase in my life.

I love the fact that like fellowship with Christ, life is dynamic...... always changing, never a dull moment. And from this dynamic experience, there is a lot to be learned and many people to meet along the way. New experiences. New friends. New likes. New loves. More Knowlege. More Growth. Just..... MORE!

This is awesome! I'm excited!

August 9, 2010

Jamaica -- Day 7 -- Part 2 (August 2, 2010)

-- It's my last full day in Jamaica. It's a national holiday-- Emancipation Day. Pretty much everything was closed.

-- After meeting with my father, I quickly got dressed to venture out for the day. The first stop was at the Little Theater in Kingston, for the Michael Manley Award for Community Self-Reliance Program. They presented an award to the group who they believed has helped the community grow immensely.

-- Cafe Blue in Blue Mountain was the next stop, but we stopped before to take pics by the Bob Marley Statue. Paula said she has never fully taken advantage of the Bob Marley Museum and things like that since she lives so close to all of it.

-- We finally ventured up to Blue Mountain. It was a good 30-40 minute drive up the winding streets leading to the top of the mountain. I don't usually experience motion sickness, but I felt a little sick experiencing a turn in the road every 10 seconds or so, looking down on the lower level of the mountain and having people on the other side of the street almost crash into us several times after driving down the mountain like speed demons.... Yet, I continued to look out the window to capture pictures and videos of the drive. I told Paula and her mom that I was on the verge of having a mini heart attack. They suggested closing my eyes... Haha... I opted to keep them open to take more pics.

-- We took a little detour and went further up the mountains (past Cafe Blue) to a private-looking resort to take pictures of the landscape. The resort/hotel area was beautiful and had a great view. Since I'm afraid of heights (Don't ask how this is possible when I will ride EVERY roller coaster known to man), I walked very slowly to the edge of the mountain to capture some shots of the view.

-- I also have a video from that resort area:

-- Back at Cafe Blue, we ordered dessert and teas. It was pretty good. On our way back down, we picked up a lady and what seemed like her grand-daughter to bring them to town since it was a National Holiday and the buses were not running regularly.

-- I swear I was as nervous driving back down the hill as I was going up. Geesh, it was terrifying! We stopped half-way down though to buy mangoes and ackee from a sidewalk seller. This guy kept looking back, waving and smiling at me constantly. It was a little strange. Paula's mom ordered 2 dozen ackees, 1 dozen number 11 mangoes and 1 dozen black mangoes (or whatever they were called).

-- This guy gave us the 2 dozen ackees and 1 dozen number 11 mangoes like she asked. But then he gave her an additional dozen black mangoes for free.
--After she paid him, he asked: "Are all these girls your daughters?"
-- Mrs Samuels: Yes, they are.
-- Street seller: "Dem look good still"
-- Mrs. Samuels: "Well, thank you"
-- Seller: "Yeh man. Mi wah dah one deh" (and pointed at me)
-- Mrs. Samuels: "Oh, you like dark skinned girls? Is that why you gave me so many mangoes?"
-- Paula: "That's why he kept waving and smiling at you, Jhan."

*Haha. I was mortified!* Here's a video of us driving down the hill when we stopped to buy from this guy. I stopped recording few seconds after we started talking to him because I didn't want him to think I was recording him.

-- When we got back into the city area, we stopped by the University of the West Indies and I got a tour of the campus.

-- Following the tour of UWI, we went to the University of Technology down the street and toured that campus and took a few pics in the Sculpture Garden.

-- That was it for adventures that day. I was hoping to meet up with Jess one more time, but I guess she was tired from the party weekend.

-- My father came back that evening for me to meet my sister, Fiona.

-- I packed and got prepared to leave the island in the morning.

Jamaica -- Day 7-- Part 1 (August 2, 2010)

-- The first part of this day is held close to my heart....

--(8:38am) I just met my father... Spent an hour with him. When I spoke to him last night, he said he'd come to see me at 8am, but he ended up coming at 7:30 instead. I was crying a little in the beginnning, but then I sucked it up. To be completely honest, it was a little awkward because I'm not much of a talker and I didn't really have anything to say or even ask of him. So, I sat there quietly and he spoke most of the time.

-- The VERY FIRST thing he did after he hugged me (after initially seeing each other), was look for the little knob that I have on my ear. [sidenote: Many people don't notice it there b/c it's always covered up by my hair. It is located directly above the tragus of my right ear] I couldn't believe he knew about it. He said it was the same size as it was when I was younger. I guess it's true what some people say: "A parent never forgets their child". :-\

-- He told me about his other children and the order in which they were born. I also have two other half sisters and a half brother. The brother's name is Glenmore and he's 30 years old. The eldes sister is Akelia (I've spoken with her before and try to keep in contact with her as much as possible) is 26 years old and the second sister, named Fiona, is 24 years old and has a 3 year old son. Fiona lives with him.

-- My father also told me about his parents: his mother who is still alive in Jamaica and his father who died in England a while back.

-- He asked about my mom and her mother. Then told me how long he and my mother lived together and how my mom got her visa to come to the US, but worried about my care. He quoted her question to him at the time I was 10 months old in a whisper saying "What am I going to do about the baby?"

-- I guess there is a sense of relief in my spirit now. I have finally met this man whose name I've known forever as the name of my father. The one who I am likened after. The one whose 23 CHROMOSOMES united with my mother's to conceive me. It's a good feeling. I have 2 pictures of him now. I've been asking for a photo of him for the longest time and now I have it. It's mine to keep along with my memory of seeing him.

-- (evening hours) My father came back in the evening to allow me to meet Fiona. It was kind of awkward once again, but it was lovely meeting someone who shares a part of me. ツ

Me and My Half Sister, Fiona

Jamaica -- Day 6 (August 1, 2010)

-- Sunday in Jamaica... The Lord's day. The family and I went to church. I didn't feel well at all.... (probs shouldn't have resisted eating breakfast).

-- Later in the evening, they had a barbecue. I only took two pictures that day...

Me, Cara, Paula, Samara

Paula and Cara talking at dinner

Jamaica -- Day 5 (July 31, 2010)

- We started the morning off with family devotion. That lasted for quite a while and I could see Paula getting antsy. :-)

- Paula and I left for our day trip around 9am. We picked up her two high school friends, Cara and Kris, and Cara's cute little puppy and went on our way.

- We drove along the North Coast of Jamaica and passed a lot of towns. The scenery was great. I took sooo many pics of the landscape, it was kind of unnecessary. The picture taking ceased to record our EPIC drive over Flat Bridge. [Flat Bridge is a small, one lane bridge built across Rio Cobre. It has no sides/railings etc., so it is advised that drivers take precaution while crossing the bridge. Flat bridge supposdely connects Kingston to Ocho Rios/Dunn's River Falls/Dolphin Cove and all the other popular tourists sites in that area.] So, we drove over Flat bridge will chanting "flat bridge virgins". Well, I kinda squealed during that process... I was terribly frightened, but we made it over.

Flat Bridge, Jamaica

- After Flat bridge, we made it through a couple more towns and the famous Fern Gully. FERNS EVERYWHERE!! It was beautiful! I only got one pic of it... not the best quality, but it'll do.

Fern Gully

- We finally made it to Dunn's River Falls in the early afternoon hour. Paula and I climbed the falls alone b/c we couldn't take mister cutie puppy with us. :-\ 'Twas fun. I swore Dunn's River had a death wish for me, b/c I kept tripping and falling all over the place. One of the tour guides said to me, jokingly, at one point "NO DIVING" when I almost went face first down into the water (that would've been disatrous and bloody, btw). I took a few pics once we were out and then continued on our trip around Jamaica.

Dunns River Falls

Me @ Dunns River

- It was an everlasting drive from Ocho Rios to Montego Bay... not to mention to Negril (our final planned destination)! I know when I told Paula that the sign said we were 27 kilometers from Negril, she did not hesitate to step on the gas and we got there in no time. We were supposed to meet up with a few of Paula's friends in Negril, but they magically were not available once we arrived. We did get to see a friend from Drew U, however....... JESSICAAAAA!!..... Love her! Not much time was spent with her b/c she had to get to the ATI Daydreams party. (That weekend, July 30 - August 2, was the biggest party weekend for Jamaicans. Pay for a "party band" and you could get into up to seven parties with food and drinks all inclusive). The crowd outside of the party was ridiculous!... After getting beat up my the falls and driving through the crazy traffic by Negril's parties, I had an intense headache and was ready to go someplace quiet.

Driving by Daydreams

- Our last stop for the evening was a little cafe over looking the waters of Negril: Ev'rytyme Café.

These are some of the pics from their page (It was way too dark to take decent pics of the cafe (long story):

Here are some of my pics:

- We drove back home on the south coast (yes, I can officially say I drove around the island of Jamaica in ONE day). The roads were bad and I feared my life. Also, that headache from earlier was still there and it was kind of worse than it was before, so I slept the entire time. I really enjoyed the trip though.

Sun setting over Negril

August 7, 2010

Jamaica -- Day 4 (July 30, 2010)

- I choked on the product of my OFF insect repellent today. It was either that or would have to suffer about 20 more bites. So, I’m quite glad that I didn’t spare the spray today.

- (2:15pm) I went to the bank and exchanged $170 US dollars. I received $14, 018.00. I wish I had that amount in US dollars, but I’ll live. Hopefully that’s enough to go on the “adventure” around the island with Paula and her friends tomorrow… (Also to buy myself a dress--- It is an unwritten—until now—goal of mine to purchase a dress from whatever country I visit. I know that when we went to Susie’s the other night, the sum of our bill was a little over $13,000, so I’m kind of nervous. That bill was between 6 persons though… Well, 5 because 2 of the girls shared a slice of cake. I guess in all, the bill included: two smoked marlin sandwiches; 3 slices of cake, 2 drinks per person * 4 persons who ordered drinks= 8; and a bottle of water.

- Anyhoo, it’s pretty hot today. For the first time, I’m sitting in this house (with large, open window ‘mind you) and I’m sweating balls. The clouds just rolled in though, so I’m sure it’s about to rain. Hopefully it gets cooler afterwards.

- It rained… a lot!... and definitely became cooler. We went to the clothing store, Emanuelle, to look at their dresses. I found the one that I saw in the window and tried it on. It was REALLY cute on, but the price was kind of ridiculous! $4800 Jamaican dollars!... That’s approximately $55 US dollars for a Forever 21-like dress, but with the Irie-like colors. I just wanted a dress that was black, red, yellow and green.

- Before going to Emanuelle, we also stopped by a pastry shop: Sugar and Spice. I got a ‘palmier’, a flaky pastry covered in sugar. Paula suggested it. It was okay, just a little too sweet.

- In the evening, I attended a play starring Oliver Samuels entitled “Puppy Love”. I was excited to be an audience member of an Oliver Samuels play , especially since I’ve seen this man on DVDs and VHSs since I was younger. The play was good for the most part… really funny.

- After the play, we went on an everlasting drive to the summer house of a family friend in Red Hills to join them for a fish fry went fishing and caught a surplus of fish so they cooked them up all with bammy and festivals. Although the food looked delicious, I could not imagine putting anything else in my mouth for the day claiming that I was “eating”. While at their house, I noticed the wicked view they had overlooking the city especially since they lived on a hilltop. The hosts were excited to allow me to take pics of the view from the deck. They even invited us to the deck on the third floor which had an even better view. I got a few pics (not the greatest quality). We finally left and didn’t get back home until after 1am keeping in mind that we didn’t have much time to sleep. We had to wake up 5 hours later to leave for our day trip.

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