Plate of Run Down with boiled dumplings and Irish Potatoes
Fulfill your ultimate tropical food fantasy, try this tasty dish, it will have your taste buds in a state of pure rejoicing, they may even speak to you... take me to Jamaican mon!
· 2 lbs pickled boneless mackerel
· 2 Cup Coconut Milk or 1 Can Coconut Milk
· 1 Cup Water
· 1 Large Onion, chopped fine
· 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
· 2 Stalks Escallion, chopped fine
· 2 Large Tomatoes, chopped fine
· 4 Sprigs Thyme
· 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper, chopped fine (Optional)
· 1 tbsp Vinegar
· Black Pepper
1. To remove some of the salt from the mackerel, soak in water overnight or boil in hot water for 30 minutes. (A combination of this can be done if the mackerel is still salty.)
2. Drain water of the mackerel and cut into small pieces.
3. Combine milk and water in a frying pan and boil until it looks oily.
4. Add the mackerel and cover the pot. Cook for 10-12 minutes on medium heat.
5. Add and stir the onion, garlic, escallion, tomatoes, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme and vinegar.
6. Add Salt and Pepper to taste
7. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Serve with green bananas, yam, roast breadfruit and dumplings, if available.
Jamaica’s hot herbal drinks that are usually consumed at breakfast are referred to as Jamaican “bush tea.” In every imaginable way that name is aptly put.
This is a must share moment with all the mytrip blog family- Jamaicans are notable for many interesting things, we love to invent (can you imagine a make-shift car wash assembled unto a shopping cart- only a Jamaican I tell you), we love to create unique impressions (reggae music and sprint track and field legends) however our penchant for being a truly “Irie-fied’ unique breed does not stop there we love to impart our primal sense of medical knowledge on the sick. I am referring to the many uncertified untrained medicinal practitioners we have in Jamaica; we fondly refer to them as “bush doctors.” My good old grandma was surely one- me and my other siblings were her regular patients a single sniffle, or cough could send her scurrying to the garden to find the ideal “bush tea” to cure our maladies. Below is a list of some of the popular “bush teas”…
The cerasee plant
Cerasse (momordica charantia), the one and only Jamaican bush tea feared by everyone because of its far degree of bitterness, is believed to be a blood cleanser and sugar control agent for diabetes.
And it is widely accepted that a fair consumption of this bitters on a weekly basis will prevent colds, flu, headaches, jaundice, and bellyache…and that’s just for some ailments that this Jamaican bush tea is good for.
Black Mint Tea
The first one that comes to mind is, Mint. We have Black Mint and Pepper Mint as our two favorites. “Mint teas” are used primarily for breakfast, and at times it is given to young children at bedtime. However Black Mint seems to be the more dominant breakfast favorite. But Pepper Mint is the true all-rounder. It is accepted like that because it’s the first piece of bush we boil or steep whenever we have minor ailments like, nausea, headache, vomiting, or any general “bad feelings.”
Another one of my all time favorite herb is Fever Grass, or Lemon Grass as it’s known in some places. As the name implies, we drink it for a speedy recovery when we have a fever. But I like it so much I can drink it anytime, day or night.
This grass grows wild in the rural parts of Jamaica, and is seasonal. The taste is a light lemon flavor. It is boiled in water for about ten minutes and then sweetened with brown sugar. Everybody loves Fever Grass tea; no complaints from anyone.
The ginger root is also used to make tea. Many people make ginger tea to aid in digestion, cure “bad feelings,” cool down, and remove mucus from one’s system. It is also combined with Pepper Mint to make Ginger/Mint tea. Ginger is cultivated on small farms around the island and it seems like there is an endless supply of this root. I say this because I have never heard of ginger being a scarce. Ginger/Mint tea bags are available in packs nowadays.
The soursop fruit and leaves
Soursop Leaf Tea
The soursop fruit, also known as Guanabana in the Spanish-speaking islands, has many uses as in making juice, and ice cream. However the leaves from the tree are used to make tea for such ailments as diabetes and nerves problems. And quite frankly, it is very inexpensive to make. I use to drink it every morning because it cost nothing to pick a few leaves from the soursop tree, boil them in water for a few minutes and in no time you have a delicious tea.
V. I. P Toilet
When most people hear the acronym V.I.P the image of aristocrats and high society people immediately comes to mind. Imaging going to the Grammy and sitting in the V.I.P that would be a dream come true for most of us. Well this is Jamaica and most of us do not have the privilege to go and sit…
I guarantee that for the average person they would not associate this acronym with an activity such as sitting. Yes VIPs do go to games and sit in a specially reserved section. Similarly one will have the opportunity to go and sit on a specially designed seat. The only difference is that sitting on this seat is done in quiet solitude, perfect privacy and sometimes when there is no noise and distractions around.
I know you are certainly wondering what I could be referring to. I speak of the Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) that is used for the disposal of human waste. Will this is Jamaica and some of us do not have the privilege to go to the fancy V.I.P games, party, have the VIP car, house or the TOILETJ. Don’t be surprised if I should say that not all Jamaicans are privilege with a toilet, don’t be shocked, after all this is a developing country. Normally when people don’t have toilets they would go to the bushes, dig a hole or do their thing in a bag and throw it away. Now we can see where this can cause major great health risks.
As such, Projects Abroad Jamaica has joined partnership with ADRA (Adventist Development Relief Agency). Volunteers work with them to build the Ventilated Improve Pit (VIP) toilets for the less fortunate Jamaicans who do not have indoor plumbing.
THE water and sanitation project, aimed at alleviating the challenges faced by several communities, is presently underway in South Manchester. The project is expected to benefit approximately 300 residents and is organized and funded by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ARDA-Jamaica) in collaboration with ADRA International.
The main purpose of this project is to improve the quality of life for the residents of South Manchester through improved water quality and supply and better sanitation facilities. It will also provide training to the residents in building construction and sanitation.
Some of the communities to benefit from the project include: Marley Hill, Thatch Walk and Port Mahoe.
I hope that this does not change our mind from sitting in the VIP section.
Daphne Wake and Staff member; a reasuuring hug after her surprise
...Shh, be quiet everyone she is coming! Silence and then everyone erupts into a harmonious cacophony, “Surprise, Surprise!”
We definitely know how to keep things interesting and different here at Projects Abroad Jamaica that’s why on February 28, 2011 we organised a surprise appreciation ceremony for Daphne Wake, a three time volunteer with Projects Abroad Jamaica and the greatest thing is that we managed to pull it off without her having the teeny tiniest hint.
The wheels started turning in Team Jamaica’s head the moment our Country Director (Dr. Bridgette Barrett –Williams) informed us that we need to truly recognise the selfless contribution Daphne has made having volunteered three times in Jamaica. As a team we decided on the medium, an appreciation ceremony, the idea evolved and we knew it couldn’t be ordinary; as such the end product was- all of the team members deciding on staging a surprise appreciation ceremony for this marvellous woman.
We all had specific roles in executing this exciting play- Invitations were promptly sent to her past and current placements, her host family, other well-wishers and the volunteers. A truly moving citation was compiled and later framed, also an appreciation plaque was ordered for her. Items were being organized for her special entertainment, a production fit for an individual who truly embraces the spirit of volunteerism.
February 28, 2011 found everyone in various moods of anticipation; we were all in full preparation mode. Programmes were printed, food was bought, decorations and venue set-up were done; everything was in place for the last hurrah. By show time all the relevant persons were in position on the roof and now lights, camera, and action.
Paula, the Project Officer for Teaching and Medicine cunningly pulled Daphne away from a staged meeting to convince her to take a break to see what became of the previously communicated get-together on the roof, Daphne having climbed the stairs and rounded the corner rather breathlessly was further robbed of her breath when she realized what we were all up to on the roof. She placed a small hand across her heart and could barely speak as tears provoked by a myriad of emotions slowly jogged down her soft barely wrinkled angelic cheeks.
Daphne's students from the Bethabra school performing an item for her
“Oh my”, she kept repeating, she was hugged and ushered to her special seat where we paid tribute to a special human being. Individuals were allowed to speak of their fondest memories of Daphne and all shared one common element, the element of selflessness. The children of Bethabara paid tribute to her by performing dub poetry and a folksong interspersed with dancing and drumming. The volunteers Addy and Matthias performed a touching song accompanied by guitar and drum.
After, Daphne was presented with her citation and plaque. She was allowed to say a few words, she kept expressing her gratitude and that she really felt loved and appreciated, at this moment tears began to flow freely from Daphne’s bespectacled eyes, and one point she became almost inconsolable and began to sob, If I can recall well almost everyone present became teary eyed. It was a truly moving moment.
Volunteers pay tribute to Daphne
In the end everyone was offered refreshments and cake that said we love you Daphne. It was a wonderful evening paying tribute to a little but “tallawah” (Impactful/formidable) lady. In the end we all mingled and mentioned our personal thoughts to Daphne. What a surprise it was indeed, although it’s no surprise now how we feel about Daphne and her philanthropic efforts.
Projects Abroad Jamaica certainly got their blog on when staff and volunteers alike created a blogging frenzy on a sunny and warm Jamaican day. The day was February 22, 2011, the time 2:30pm, the venue, all three Projects Abroad Jamaica Offices and the outdoor roof, the mission getting the volunteers to blog. Here we go- Ready, Aim and Blog...
Addy Treleaven, Projects Abroad Jamaica volunteer typing his blog
Get your blog on!!!
I remember that day with sheer delight, a measure of stimulating fatigue and sprinkles of healthy anxiety, yes I was like Mother Nature watching her offspring unfurl its petals or watching the four seasons burgeoning in all its individual glory. I observed the volunteers and staff execute their blogging duties with such sincerity and excitement- As I busily traipsed from one area to the next, several thoughts came to my mind, one of which, was pondering who would win the various categories, also-how the games section was going on the roof, not to mention if everyone was logging into their my trip blog accounts successfully. It was a physical, mental and an emotional ride on a Jamaican mule but what can I say, I certainly enjoyed the ride.
The staff certainly thought it was a good idea for the volunteers to have a day of blogging, as such the concept was formulated and plans were made to make our vision a reality. Teasers were designed and posted in all the offices, even the volunteer toilette facilitated the promotion process, bathroom visits were constant reminders that blog day was fast approaching.
Streamlining the event was put into motion; teasers went up, next the regular Social Management Calendars were distributed to the volunteers and the regular reminder texts were sent. The rules and regulations sheets were given to the volunteers the day before, a meeting was later held to prepare the volunteers for the blogging day.
On the day of the blog competition and social the volunteers were given a practical lesson on accessing their individual blog accounts, uploading blogs and photos, this was done by using a projector to demonstrate the process. The volunteers who had pre-prepared their blogs went directly from the volunteer’s lounge, which was used as one of the blog preparation rooms, to the blogging room to upload their material. Meanwhile the other volunteers who wrote on the day remained in the preparation rooms to write up their blogs.
Volunteers outside the upload room awaiting their turn.
After the volunteers were finished in the upload room they went directly to the roof where games, fun activities, music and refreshments could be enjoyed. The refreshments were served after everyone had blogged.
Volunteers and Staff playing dominoes
The staff at this point had been assigned to various duties; The Country Director (Bridgette), Desk Officer & Assistant Country Director (Cherricha) and the Project Officer for Medicine & Teaching (Paula) had the all important job of providing us with the results from the competition, they were the our efficient Judges. The Project Officer for Care (Patrina) was the upload room supervisor, she was to monitor the process ensuring that all volunteers were logging in correctly, answering the queries from the volunteers and also ensuring that the blog competition rules and guidelines were upheld. The Project Officer for Culture and Community (Stacy) manned the roof ensuring that the games and fun activities were going as planned and the Social Manager (Denise) was involved in being in all areas, fitting in where she was needed.
A closer look at the Judging Process
The day was a learning experience for future blog social and competitions as there was much learned, one of which is to ensure that the volunteers are able to log in using their given username and password. Also the winners will be announced and awarded at a separate time, as the event went beyond the slated end time. At the end we all met on the roof to have refreshments and mingle for a short while, some volunteers left others remained behind to help with the packing and tidying up. It was certainly a “BLOGGERIFIC” day!
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