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


  1. Nice entry! I'm sure the two of you will meet a lot of amazing people on your journey. In some ways, I am envious. I love to travel. But I have my own journey here on the Monterey Peninsula! Love and light to both of you. You are truly ambassadors of Peace & Love. Is there some way I can get email notifications when you post a blog entry. I just happened to think to check your blog today. I want to keep better track of your trip. Are you tweeting about it? I can't keep up with all my Twitter friends. Thanks, guys. Love you, Paul

  2. This is BRILLIANT! The single mother phenomenon is rampant in this part of the world and is a cause for much social distress. I pray for a greater sense of responsibility by both males and females to allow for better lives for the children of the future! Love, Sherri

  3. Hey paul,

    Sweet note and i love seeing your spiritual awakening process unfold.

    If it is any comfort, I have had pangs of jealousy of you over there in my high school town yet i've channeled it for good---to inspire us to do this!

    Sorry the entry cut off on one paragraph, that we me, of course, and i will fix it up later once we are back in old belchertown, woo hoo!

    bot tweeting in twitter much these days and i will ask keith about the blog. I do know you can subscribe to it in right of page and control the notifications, you will figure it out.

    check this out, pablo--i am writign this actively onlien from our dining space, buckled up as keith blazes down rt 2, heading home from cape ann.

    will be in touch soon, thanks for checkign in, i have a goft for you from our pre-travels, paul, where shall i give it to you on teh itnernet?

    lve ya,

  4. Hey Sherri,

    Yes, absolutely me too. and both da mamas and da papas gotta love dem pikney dem!

    Love ya gal,


  5. Paul,

    All of our blog posts automatically feed to my Twitter account, @nursekeith.

    Sherry, thanks for the nice comments!