Saturday, September 25, 2004

News from Linnette Wilks via Brenda Cushner-George of Ancestral Memories. Our little corner of Shangri-La, the Ambassabeth Cottages at Bowden Pen, sustained serious damage from Hurricane Ivan. The Bowden Pen farmers are making efforts to clear the principal trails, but more funds will be necessary to complete the work and the rebuild the damaged cottages. Posted by Hello

Friday, September 24, 2004

concern over our friends in Hayfield

After our return trip over the Cunha Cunha Pass, we were welcomed back to the Maroon village of Hayfield by Sylvan Sutherland (a.k.a. "Shaggy") and his family. It was a Sunday afternoon and residents were enjoying the fine mountain air. Along the road I stopped to have a conversation to Shaggy's grandfather. With the arrival to Jamaica of Hurricane Ivan a week and a half ago, family's residence was destroyed, and Shaggy's grandparents had to take refuge with Shaggy's sister near Retreat, along the coast. Posted by Hello

placing the blame: hurricanes and global warming

Caribbean editors and bloggers are seeking to place partial responsibility for the rash of hurricanes this month on the United States. Does this constitute a collective displacement of blame onto another country? Or is it a case of appealing for international solidarity at a time of great trauma and loss? I'll let you decide, but as with many of these climate-related debates, the jury is clearly still out. For the British Left's perspective, see reportage in the Manchester Guardian. For an American Free Market approach, see the blog called Tech Central Station. Of course the cloudy state of scientific discourse on this issue won't deter editorial writers for the Jamaica Gleaner or a blogger from Trinidad from offering their two cents.

Turn to the Edu-Tourism blog for further coverage of this raging debate.

death toll in haiti surpasses two thousand

It has been a difficult hurricane season in the Caribbean. Americans take notice of Hurricane Jean as it approaches Florida and the East Coast. Yet any student of development will quickly recognize that Jeanne's fury is felt more intensely in countries like Haiti and Jamaica, where infrastructure and building codes are not up the par, and houses cling to steep mountain slopes. You may want to check out the New York Times for the most recent events in Gonaïves.

news of hayfield and bowden pen

Sylveen Sutherland called me last night, and I returned his call today. His family has lost their residences to Hurricane Ivan. Shaggy also lost his farm. The grandparents are living with his sister near Retreat, the same place he was staying when he visited us at the Whispering Bamboo Cove Resort. Given the crowding at his sister’s, I assume he is what we might call ‘marginally housed’ right now. Approximately ¼ of the houses in Hayfield were lost in the storm, and they are yet to receive any assistance from the government or from Bath. Through their own efforts they were able to clear the many large trees that blocked the Bath – Hayfield Road. The Cunha Cunha Pass trail is still very rough – many downed trees need to be removed. Shaggy has been down to Bowden Pen - apparently damage was sustained at the Ambassabeth Cottages but they should be ready for visitors by December if not sooner.

I also just now got off the phone with 3D Projects, where I spoke with Valerie. She lives in Airy Castle – they experienced damage, but not as much as Hayfield. She is still without power and water.

A group of 2004 Edu-Tourism alumni hopes to meet on Sunday, October 3, to discuss fundraising activities at the residence of Nelson and Novella Keith in Germantown.


Monday, September 13, 2004

jamaican hurricane ivan relief fund

[from the SOCA listserv] Hey everyone, I hope all is well. As we all should know by now, Hurricane Ivan has created great havoc in the Caribbean and experts have predicted that it will do the same devastation in other areas. As a request authorized by the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, DC via Dr. Alston B. Meade, Honorary Consul to Philadelphia, the Jamaican government is asking for your financial support to assist the Hurricane relief efforts in Jamaica. Please send checks or money order to Consulate of Jamaica, P.O.

Box 24174, Phila. PA 19139 and should make payable to: Jamaican Hurricane Ivan Relief Fund 2004.

Also, please be reminded that Professor Gordon Shirley, Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States will be in town on Thursday, September 16, 2004 at the Bryn Mawr Ave. New Testament Church of God, located at 2227 Bryn Mawr Ave. (in the Wynnefield section of Phila.) and you invited to come join him in a "Community Meet & Greet". The Ambassador will discuss Jamaican hurricane Ivan victims, damage The Hurricane caused and the relief efforts. Doors open at 6:30pm and event starts at 7pm. For more information, please email me at

Judi Martin

Novella's news from Jamaica

Hello everyone,
thanks to those who have been thinking and sending good thoughts about Jamaica as it's been going through this. We've just heard from Dave, Nelson's brother, who says he and family members are fine and (in his characteristic fashion) "it wasn't that bad." He was able to speak on the cell phone with the man who takes care of our new "Center for Global Understanding" in St.Thomas, who told him that there was only fairly minimal damage -- so we hope that's also true for all our new and old friends in the Parish. Of course, those who suffer most usually are the many who don't live in well-built houses -- but that's all the news we have for now.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

ivan sideswipes jamaica overnight

It appears that Ivan thankfully took a turn to follow the southern coast of Jamaica last night, delivering punches of intense wind and rain to St. Thomas and Kingston, but avoiding the devastation that would have occurred if the hurricane's eye had made landfill. Some newspaper reports have speculated that Jamaica's high mountains are partially responsible for the change in Ivan's course. Check out an updated storm track.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

jamaica prepares for hurricane ivan

BARRING an 11th hour shift in its direction, Hurricane Ivan, having already wreaked havoc in the southern Caribbean, was on course to hit Jamaica with a thumping blow by tomorrow and forecasters warned that its impact could be more ferocious than Gilbert 16 years ago." Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in St. Thomas.