Sunday, September 20, 2009
A Reggae Artist on the Beach
Here we are on Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts with a reggae artist (Zeblum?) from Jamaica, who was doing a shoot for a music video, despite the insistent wind and blowing sand. They began filming at sunrise, and when we arrived at 11, they were still getting shots of him dancing on the rocks, one of his songs blasting from a boom-box.
At Mary's insistence, we went over to speak with them on a break from the filming, and he graciously posed for a photograph, saying "We are all family, mon. Bless the mama, bless the papa, blessings, blessings on all. Rastafari!" This sweet, loving man also said, "Family, keep dem togeder, mon. Jah Rastfari".
For me (Mary), it was especially nice to hear this message from a Jamaican man who may wield wide influence on his fellow Jamaicans. From our experience implementing our humanitarian relief project in Jamaica, we learned that it is common among certain segments of Jamaican men to father many babies from many mothers. This cultural norm still exists today that Jamaican health workers described to us as a contributing factor to the rise of single mother households unable to meet their most basics human needs. In our outreach to "the bush", we witnessed firsthand how sadly right they were and thus committed to channel resources from the richest country in the world to this rural area of Jamaica in St. Thomas parish. How we did that is a story for another time.
Meanwhile, Keith and I made a lasting special friend, Rainford Brown, during our 3-year project. He is an artist whom we hired to repaint and decorate the dilapidated children's ward of Princess Margaret Hospital in an impoverished rural Jamaica area. Since there is much suffering and little work on this part of the island, we've also provided annual financial support over the years, thanks to many friends and family who've joined us in this tithing. Rainford has thus been able to slowly build a little home that will now house his growing family. Yes, we recently learned that Rainford and his girlfriend will be having a baby in late January! We just sent him an early holiday gift that was a portion of the proceeds from the sale of our house. 1% for peace, right?
After our photo opp. on the beach that windy day, Z. warmly hugged each of us in turn and blessed us once again. Sweet.
---Keith and Mary