This is an island in the Caribbean just south of Cuba. It is inhabited primarily by ex-slaves who won their freedom from Britain. Also many people descended from Indians live there, because of the presence of the British.

Jamaica is know for its reggae and dancehall music. Some of the people's religion there is Rastafarianism, which places Selassie I of Ethiopia as it's Messiah.

This is a lovely place to see, but there is a feeling in the air that is not conducive to peace and tranquility. You feel as if there could be a revolution at any minute. There are armed soldiers patrolling the countryside, and some of the locals do not like the white tourist even one little bit.

Perhaps this is what comes from the inhalation of too much ganja? I know that Jamaican weed is some of the strongest and most lethargic dope I've ever smoked. And the heat, the bone-chilling poverty, the lack of proper hair care products . . . on and on.

It adds up to this: You try to bargain for an item at the local markets, and you might leave with a nasty knife wound. There's better places to spend your vacation, mon.

Jamaica is also a traditional Mexican drink. It is pronounced Hah-my-ka. It's made from hibiscus flowers. The taste is rather hard to describe, but it's a bit like watered down fruit punch. It goes along very well with Mexican and Caribbean foods.

Jamaica Flower Water


2 quarts water
3/4 cup dried Jamaica/hibiscus flowers (these can be found at most Latin markets)
1/2 cup granulated sugar or honey
Orange slices and fresh hibiscus for garnish (optional)


Bring the water to a boil. Add the flowers and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar or honey, strain into a pitcher and refrigerate. Serve cold over ice with slices of orange as garnish, or if served in a punch-bowl, add several (rinsed) hibiscus flowers to float in the punch. If you find this too-lacking in taste, you can augment it with two cups of orange juice stirred in after it's cool.

Warning! This stuff stains, badly! Hibiscus flowers are also used to make red dye, so be very careful. Expect to have red hands for the remainder of the day you make this.

When I was younger, my family and I always used to go to Jamaica for family vacations.

Jamaica is an amazing country, full of beautiful beaches and warm tropical breezes. It is full of very nice people, that make you want to go back every single year. It’s the best place to go when you want to relax because it's so peaceful.

Every single year our family has gone to Jamaica, we've stayed at the same resort. It is called the Whistling Bird, and it is in a city called Negril. It's one of the smaller resorts in the area so it doesn't have a rush of people. It's a great place to get away from it all.

We went to The Whistling Bird for so many years, that soon the people who worked there knew us by name. Every year I would get my hair braided by the same lovely lady. I would always play with my Jamaican friends that I had met there. Every year they would look forward to our family coming back to their country, and when I got there they would give me a huge hug. We would play for hours on end because we knew that eventually I would have to go back home.

It was so relaxing to sit out on the beach and gaze out at the water. Sometimes I would wake up early in the morning and go down to the beach, just to be alone. I loved admiring the beautiful nature that most people took for granted. Most people don't realize how beautiful nature really is. I believe that everything in this world has beauty in, but not everyone can see it.

One of my favorite things that I did in Jamaica was snorkeling. It's incredible how many fish are in the ocean. They are really amazing to watch. Sometimes I wish I were a fish and could swim so freely without any worries.

Over the years my family has stopped going to Jamaica, and I really miss it. I miss the wonderful beaches, the warmness, and the peacefulness. I miss the Whistling Bird Resort and all the memories I have had at that place. I miss all the kind and wonderful people I have met in Jamaica. Most of all though, I miss all the beauty that I discovered in Jamaica.

Ja*mai"ca (?), n.

One of the West India is islands.

Jamaica ginger, a variety of ginger, called also white ginger, prepared in Jamaica from the best roots, which are deprived of their epidermis and dried separately. -- Jamaica pepper, allspice. -- Jamaica rose Bot., a West Indian melastomaceous shrub (Blakea trinervis), with showy pink flowers.


© Webster 1913.

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