The emotions were flip-flopping as I set out at 4:30 a.m. for the 6 a.m. flight from Philadelphia to Montego Bay, Jamaica. What would I learn to be "the truth" about the escalating violence in Western Kingston? Would I enjoy this sojourn if things weren't right everywhere on this beautiful island? The reality was that my friends and family in the Kingston area expressed their concerns and concurred that it would not be a good idea for us to attempt getting together this time. They were staying in. Those who could were working from home. Others were receiving messages from employers about the need to be safe (rather that insisting that they put themselves and/or others in danger), and others were being offered special transportation options.
Hortense Gordon and Sybil Beaumont
That said, I went about enjoying the drive from Montego Bay in the parish of St. James to my childhood home, Toll Gate in the parish of Clarendon to check in on my Mom, who arrived two weeks ago and was visiting with her best friend, and one of my elementary school teachers.
Next I checked in with my cousin Dell - conducting the inventory of family members through stories, and while enjoying mangoes and naseberries.