Rags to Riches & Kingston pon de river 2012

During the day I eat with Royalty,

Converse with the powers that be,

Guide the movers and shakers…

But at night I dine like a pauper;

I commute with the poorest of society;

In the early mornings I converse with the King Himself,

Before leaving to start it all over again.

(Copyrighted 2012 OMB)

I was priviledged to join the Assemblies of Holiness church in a weekly trip to downtown Kingston – specifically the Poor Relief Department (aka “Poor House) to feed several homeless persons. Honestly, you don’t appreciate what you have until you’ve engaged in an activity like this. If you have a queasy stomach, perhaps its not for you, as sadly these street persons dont always have the opportunity for a bath or clean clothes. I was happy to be able to do the little that I could and felt awed at how they initiated the singing of a hymn of praise before eating the meals we provided.

On a different note, it was also the culmination of the literary, arts & music festival – “Kingston pon de river” in Boone Hall Oasis. What an experience! From the comfortable (& free!!) shuttle ride into the mountains to the Oasis, to the easy flowing river strewn with boulders, lots of local craft on display, food, drinks and good music. All set amidst lush bamboo and old trees, flowers, birds and thousands of insects. It was poetry galore from various artistes, some accompanied by drumming, a comedic interlude that set us rolling, a gospel jazz component featuring an American artiste on sax and live band rocking some serious oldies. Minister of Youth & Culture, Lisa Hanna, also did some reading from one of her favourite books.

Somehow I ended up on camera as one the performers jumped off stage, came over to me and started singing “Baby I love you” to which of course I had to respond in my best singing voice. Thankfully the rain did not start pouring! The evening culminated with drumming & dancing around a beautiful bonfire just after dusk and a walk along a pathway lit with tealight candles. Thanks Shalini for the great company as we took it all in from our vantage point on beach mats on the grass:) It’s really the little experiences in life that have the ability to give the greatest pleasure.

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