Monday, 28 November 2011

I endorse road safety

Show your support of road safety in Jamaica.

Facebook: National Road Safety Council

Twitter: RoadSafetyJa

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

White Tail Bucks now at Hope Zoo

We missed it!
On the last visit to the Hope Zoo we did not walk past the big cat enclosure as I assumed that they are still vacant, but they are not. Zoo Curator Orlando said that they now have two White Tail Deer bucks as permanent residents. I am so sorry that I missed them.

Visiting Suki
Back in the 1990s I went on two expeditions hoping to see these deer living in the wild in the parish of Portland where they breed as an introduced species....or to the farmers an invasive species. These two now in Hope Zoo, according to Orlando, were captured as fawns and are now three-year old bucks. They are too difficult to be kept as pets any longer, so have been turned over to the zoo. The only sighting of the deer on those expeditions was a dead one that had been shot by a hunter and the meat divided for those who felt for a taste of game.

On last Sunday's zoo visit we also looked in on the  friendly spider monkey, I think that they call her Suki, again. She will be a favourite when fully installed in her enclosure.

Cockatiels at Hope Zoo
On other matters, there were about two children's parties going  on in the gardens when we passed through. One had a Cinderella castle bounceabout. It is nice to see the place active with families. I hope that the Blue Tent musical event went well the day before. It would be a suitable venue for a lit fest.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Pickney Korna at the Independent VoYces Literary Fair

Kellee L Merchant reads from
her book, Patrick the Proud Parrot.
She also illustrated the book and drew the many activities.
Pickney Korna at the 
Independent VoYces Literary Fair 2011
The second staging of the International VoYces Literary Fair was held on the evening of November 5 and on November 6 at the Strawberry Fields Together beachfront property in the district of Robin's Bay, St Mary, Jamaica. The two-day event was organised by writer Judith Falloon Reid and her husband Michael Brown.

The children's programe, called the IVLF Pickney Korna, was held on November 6 under casuarinas trees. The programme was co-ordinated by UWI graduate student, Peta-Ann Long, and assisted by Shauna Malcolm and Safi Harriott. The activities featured story reading, drawing, and a drumming lesson by Human Resources Practitioner, Hugh Shim, of Drums for Peace.

Kellee L Merchant read from her children's activity book Patrick the Proud Parrot (LMH 2010). Merchant's book is a thriller that encourages children to be obedient to parents and to also treat friends and others with respect. It has 17 activities including word games and pencil and paper activities. Toddlers can appreciate hearing the story and primary school age children can find activities at their level.
Joel Mc Gowan (far left)  participates in the drumming lesson
with Hugh Shim of Drums for Peace
There was one youth reader on the ILVF programme, Joel McGowan, who read from his book of poems, Journey by 9.

In addition to the structured events, some children enjoyed a dip in the sea under the supervision of their parents.

Among the booths at the festival were Jamcopy, the Jamaica Business Journal, St Mary's University of Minnesota, Calabash Creations by Albert Jonas of Irish Town, Beyond Jewellery, Bookophilia bookstore, natural fruits and juices, and a stall with Rasta themed apparel, arts and crafts.
TheIndependent VoYces 2011 programme webpage is at this link:

Space to relax at IVLF
Mother and daughter at Open Mic

Other articles:
Idependent VoYces ring out in St Mary

Gwyneth Harold is the writer of the young adult novel, Bad Girls in School
Review of novel

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Hope Zoo - November 5, 2011

Hope Zoo, November 5, 2011

Today's visit to Hope Zoo was special as I heard the male ostrich roar. The zookeeper said that they sound like lions, and Mr Ostrich certainly did!

Monkey Island
Work continues at an amazing speed at Hope Zoo. Masons and gardeners seem to be working to deadline. Individual enclosures in the snake house are being renovated. The central what I call "jungle house" has been cleared and a monkey is awaiting full release in there. Additional individual cages are being occupied by parrots and macaws with a lot of character. They act out and speak back to you.

A back hoe is moving earth on monkey island and the long disused monkey wheel has been removed, perhaps for repairs.

Three Scarlet Ibis birds are in a renovated enclosure and I understand will be on a diet that will brighten their plumage.

Scarlet Ibis birds - they look more pink and cream than red
A very charming female primate