Chatting With More Creative Jamaican Medics

It’s a new month, so I’m starting June right with a new blog post. Last Christmas (#blogmas2020) I had the idea to feature five health care workers doing great things outside of their careers in medicine and nursing, simply because I always get asked how do I make time to blog consistently as a medical doctor. To be honest, it’s not easy but I believe people make time for what they love, and I love blogging, exploring Jamaica and trying new things. Today I’m back with seven medical doctors making time for their passion projects to inspire you all to ford your own streams. Read part one here.

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Lethe, Hanover

Lethe is a rural district tucked away in the hills of Hanover, Jamaica’s second smallest parish. This small community sits on the banks of the Great River, one of Jamaica’s major rivers, which forms the boundary between the St. James and Hanover parishes. Lethe is easily the third most popular place to raft in Jamaica after the Rio Grande and Martha Brae rivers in Portland and Trelawny respectively. Rafting on 30-feet long bamboo rafts along the Great River in Lethe under a historic bridge and the cool viridescent canopy of towering trees and bamboo is an unforgettable experience.

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Tryall Water Wheel, Hanover

I’ve heard of the Tryall Golf Course and Beach Club in Hanover on the outskirts of Montego Bay before, but I didn’t know that the property had a gigantic waterwheel. I noticed the Jamaica Heritage Trail signs while driving through the area some weekends ago, and decided to stop. I was in for a pleasant surprise. This still functioning cast iron waterwheel was assembled in 1700 by Henry Fairchild, the first owner of the estate. It was damaged in the 1831 Sam Sharpe Christmas slave rebellion but was subsequently restored.

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Fort Charlotte, Hanover

Last weekend I had the immense privilege of visiting and staying in Hanover, Jamaica’s second smallest parish, on the northwestern coast of the island. Hanover was the last of Jamaica’s fourteen parishes for me to visit and I accomplished that feat last August with a stay at the Grand Palladium Hotel. However, I didn’t explore the parish otherwise so it was exciting to be back less than a year later. I knew I had to check out Fort Charlotte in Lucea because I love exploring historical gems. One thing about forts is that they always command an amazing view of the harbour since they were strategically built to defend the nation’s waters.

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Hampden Estate Rum Tour, Trelawny

Nestled deep in the Queen-of-Spain valley of Trelawny, Jamaica lies the Hampden Estate. Hampden Estate was established in 1753, and still produces rum to this day using centuries’-old traditions with just a few modern upgrades. This relatively small sugarcane estate and rum distillery occupy roughly 3,500 acres and have remained in continuous operation for over 260 years, making some of the world’s most sought after and award-winning rums. Their aged rums are bottled as Hampden Estate rums, while their unaged rum is sold as Rum Fire white overproof rum. Interestingly enough, majority of the rum produced by this estate is exported to Europe, and the waitlist for a shipment of Hampden rum can be as long as two years. Very little is available on the local market so many Jamaicans are unfamiliar with the Hampden brand, but the Hampden Estate Rum Tour will change that.

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Where To Get An Adrenaline Rush In Jamaica

Adrenaline is a hormone released by two tiny organs located atop the kidneys, known as the adrenal glands. Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is the “fight-or-flight hormone.” Adrenaline is released in response to stressful, exciting and dangerous situations. Adrenaline helps the body to react more quickly by increasing the heart rate, increasing blood flow to the brain and muscles and stimulating the body to release energy stores for fuel. When adrenaline is released suddenly, it’s referred to as an adrenaline rush. That rush is euphoric and addictive and makes people willingly put themselves into situations which could potentially be dangerous! Today, let’s take a look at eight ways one can experience an adrenaline rush in Jamaica.

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Brae Head Falls, Clarendon

Clarendon is not a parish which comes to mind when one thinks of a Jamaican adventure, but it’s a parish which has been on my mind to explore for nearly two years as an adventurous nature lover. Clarendon is a parish on Jamaica’s south coast in the centre of the island and has a population of 246,000 people, most of whom reside in and around May Pen on the Vere Plains. Clarendon is bordered by St. Catherine to the east, Manchester to the west and St. Ann to the north. The parish, like all 14 parishes of Jamaica, is washed by the Caribbean Sea and has attractions like Milk River Bath and the recently crash-landed plane at Rocky Point on its south coast. Up north is mountainous with rivers, a nature reserve and the geographic centre of Jamaica at Bull Head Mountain Peak. It’s surprising that the area isn’t marketed for ecotourism, but again Jamaica is a country which is full of unmarketed potential. This is the first time I’ve ever ventured into this side of Jamaica and it didn’t disappoint. The waterfalls in Brae Head are often listed as being located in the neighbouring communities of Crooked River or Trout Hall, just because Brae Head isn’t on the map of Jamaica! Here’s how to find this remote corner of Jamaica.

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I Got the Oxford/ Astra Zeneca CoVid-19 Vaccine!

Outside has been “locked” since March 10, 2020 when Jamaica recorded its first case of SARS-CoV-2, or CoVid-19. Dozens of deadly diseases have been eradicated due to vaccines, and now it seems this coronavirus could suffer a similar fate! Astute scientists around the world have come up with vaccines which can either prevent us from getting the virus, or decrease the severity of illness should we get it. However, the conspiracy theorists, doctors with degrees from social media university and a few fear-mongering headlines have driven fear into a population which is already overwhelmed and inundated with news regarding this pandemic. Three cases of blood clots in Europe and every side effect or allergic reaction to these vaccines have made news with little additional information provided for comparison and clarity, placing more skepticism and worry in people’s minds.

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Sheldon Levene: A Jamaican Content Curator To Watch

Sheldon Levene is a Jamaican photographer, app creator, motion and graphic designer who curates Jamaica’s history, natural beauty and experiences through digital media. I first found him on Instagram, my favourite social media platform, in 2018. At that time, his feed was already populated with dozens of photographs documenting Jamaica by air which invoked feelings of awe, nostalgia or a combination of both. His growth since then has been remarkable.

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Millbank Falls, Portland

By some stroke of luck, my favourite parish of Portland in the northeastern side of Jamaica remains lush, green and untouched by mass tourism. Portland is home to the Jamaican Blue and John Crow Mountains which has species not seen in other parts of the island, let alone the entire world. It houses the Windward Maroons, an indigenous group of Jamaicans who are direct descendants of runaway Africans and Amerindians. The Jamaican Maroons are a proud people and have called the rugged inhospitable mountains home for over three centuries. Their governance is largely independent of mainstream Jamaica, they live off of and respect the land, and have managed to preserve their rich heritage and traditions to this day. It’s in this region of Jamaica that Millbank and its majestic waterfalls are located: the Upper Rio Grande Valley which is Windward Maroon country. Here’s how that adventure went.

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