Leo, Aliya, MLK, and the Parrots: A Lesson in Mentorship


Dr. Leo R. Douglas, a Jamaican ornithologist, conservationist, and all-round extraordinary scientist and person, was a recipient of The New York University Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award, which was presented to him on February 2, 2021. Leo (can I call him Leo, please?) is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Liberal Studies at NYU. … More Leo, Aliya, MLK, and the Parrots: A Lesson in Mentorship

ICYMI in Jamaica, February 23, 2021: The Martian Wind Edition


I would like us to go back to quiet, low key life on our island, where nothing much happens. The past week has not been in the least quiet or low-key. Crime and COVID-19 are running along hand in hand and picking up speed; and the Prime Minister seems to be busy with something else. … More ICYMI in Jamaica, February 23, 2021: The Martian Wind Edition

ICYMI in Jamaica: February 16, 2021: The Hanging In There Edition


The last two weeks have been busy (I skipped last week) and the weather is bright and breezy. However, as COVID-19 numbers have begun to really take off this month (an extended “spike”) the mood of cautious optimism in January seems to have evaporated – although we have had some lighter moments in the past … More ICYMI in Jamaica: February 16, 2021: The Hanging In There Edition

ICYMI in Jamaica, February 2, 2021: The Degenerate Behavior Edition


Happy World Wetlands Day! There have been several events on the day, although mostly virtual – including an Instagram chat organised by the #WetlandWarriors – yes, the #Youth4PuertoBueno strike again! Crime and violence continues to hit the headlines, COVID-19 churning away in the background, and social media is wringing its collective hands over it all. … More ICYMI in Jamaica, February 2, 2021: The Degenerate Behavior Edition

Treading Water: Jamaica’s Ranking on the 2020 Corruption Perception Index


National Integrity Action (NIA) held a virtual press briefing this morning, to announce Jamaica’s latest rating on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. The island is ranked at 69th out of 179, alongside Tunisia, Bulgaria, South Africa, Hungary, and Romania. Six CARICOM countries are ranked higher than us: that is, Barbados, Bahamas, St. Vincent and the … More Treading Water: Jamaica’s Ranking on the 2020 Corruption Perception Index

ICYMI in Jamaica, January 26, 2021: The Mystery Plane Edition


This year is going to be warming up, according to my friends who do weather. It seems to be warming up in more ways than one. Our yard is turning into a dust bowl. We have had no rain since Christmas in Kingston. Other things are warming up too – the gently rising COVID-19 cases … More ICYMI in Jamaica, January 26, 2021: The Mystery Plane Edition

ICYMI in Jamaica, January 19, 2021: The “Gang-Related” Edition


It’s been one of those weeks that makes you weary. But, we toil on. The New Year (which we welcomed in rather muted fashion) already seems old. However, we were described by one overseas media house as a “gutsy” island. Sometimes one just feels tired. Perhaps it’s the humid, not-quite-ready-to-rain weather in Kingston. Nevertheless, let … More ICYMI in Jamaica, January 19, 2021: The “Gang-Related” Edition

Martin Luther King Day in Jamaica: The Dark Cloud of Violence


Today was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States. Jamaica: On New Year’s Eve (I was just reminded just this evening) I heard an eruption of fireworks, from people’s yards. There was a curfew, so there was no public display downtown. What I also heard was the insistent pumping, the flat thump of … More Martin Luther King Day in Jamaica: The Dark Cloud of Violence

ICYMI in Jamaica, January 12, 2021: The “Heartware” Edition


It’s 2021, and everything seems to be happening at once. It’s hard to keep up. Education, health, crime (crime!!), travel and tourism – and more – all seem to be “hot button” issues. The new year is already shaping up to be quite crowded; we need to wrap our heads around some fundamental issues, and … More ICYMI in Jamaica, January 12, 2021: The “Heartware” Edition

ICYMI in Jamaica, January 5, 2021: The Back to School Edition


What a week. After the relative peace and quiet of the holidays (apart from an intrusively loud motorbike rider – we need to do something about the “enhanced” mufflers they put on their bikes) we were thrown straight into 2021 with a great deal of agonizing over “back to school” (a dilemma shared by other … More ICYMI in Jamaica, January 5, 2021: The Back to School Edition