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Welcome to Jamaica, where we visit the Maroon People and learn about a unique beekeeping tradition. Then, we visit a rehabilitation center that's helping the homeless overcome daily challenges.

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Transcript

- [Stephen] If you had a choice to pack up all your things and paint a picture of the world we live in, what would you do? You ask yourself, what do I have to lose? ♪ Baby let me follow you down ♪ ♪ Follow you down ♪ ♪ I'm all in pieces, just waiting ♪ ♪ For you to come round ♪ ♪ Round ♪ ♪ To sing you this song ♪ ♪ Baby, let me sing you this song ♪ ♪ Bent cigarettes and these hard fingertips ♪ ♪ Are what I've sacrificed to deliver you this ♪ ♪ Song ♪ - We find ourselves living on this planet we call home, yet we are so disconnected from it all. We feel like complete strangers. The pursuit of happiness, the pursuit of love, the pursuit of adventure, and the pursuit of freedom. My name is Stephen Friedman and this is the story of chasing the sun. It's the flavor, it's the culture, it's the color, it's everything and more. It's a place where you can come and get lost in your thoughts, in your imagination, and it's one of those places you have to come to. Me explaining it to you right now just doesn't really justify how amazing this place is. It really does not. Yeah, I can basically just round it off in saying yeah, mon. It's the respect, it's all that. - [Mr. Ford] Black green and gold, yeah. The black, green, and gold is our color, Jamaican color. Well, the history of Charles Town is really the Maroon, the Charles Town Maroon in which we are a part of it. - [Frank] It's about a bunch of people; Africans, Ghanaians, who, for freedom, freedom for them was like a breath of fresh air. They could not live without it. And they formed a group of resistance. They fought the British when they came in 1655, for 85 years of armed conflict, after which after the victory at the Spanish River, the British said enough was enough and they signed a peace treaty for the first time in their history with a non-government organization. And what they have to offer, the values that made so few a people defeat so powerful a country, are values important to Jamaica, and I think, important to the world. - My name, I'm Frank Lumsden, I'm the colonel for the Charles Town Maroons, Maroon is transformation from slave to maroon. That's what I'm telling on this, this the Middle Passage, which countless Africans died at that stain into the museum. I chiseled out the the forms and then I used a stain to burn that into the wood. The last job that I had I traded securities for Oppenheimer in Chicago, and then I made a switch to art, just like that. I couldn't have done this if I didn't have control over my time, I could not have achieved this. - There is a lot of history here. - [Stephen Friedman] So I was at the Maroon Festival and decided to go for a bit of a stroll, it was very, very hot and I came across this little bee farm, which was right there and chatted to some of the guys, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Ford and man, they have a really cool job. They literally, they're so passionate on what they do, and they produce the sweetest thing in the world, well they don't produce it, but the bees do and it's just really nice to see like, a rural bee farm and how a bee farm has helped this community and helped the people of the area and yeah, they just gave me pretty much the lowdown, like even a bigger picture of how important bees are, in the world that we live in. - I'm Donald Ford, you are at the the Nyam Jam rest stop, in Rosil at the moment. I was born and raised in the Sierra. We are about to leave out and come again to do community work. - We are bees keeper. I have been doing it for some approximately five year now. I'm Carlton Walker. - [Ranmar] We have the fruits. It's a very fruitful era. And where we got the fruits you got a nice taste of honey and there's a lot of people love it and we like to have all the world to come and enjoy, because it's really good. And I think we have the best one agricultural, the JS, and they name it the number one name brand honey. And we also would like everyone to come in and have a taste of it. So here we have the rest stop and we have the honey bar over there. My name is Mr. Robinson. Ranmar Robinson, I am from this community, and we are in Rosil and we are in the Blue Mountain valley, also. Nervous, I was scared. You know, I was like this, when one pass my ears. I was scared of bugs. When I do like this, I can't catch him, you know, so they stung me. When I learn about it now, I learn that the more quiet you are, gentle is the more I drink over there. So I love it, I love it. - Once you're scared, you're going to get strength. So you just have to be brave. You let them do their work, and you do your work. If you love them and work it together . They get very aggressive some of the time. - Well, it's not a thing that you'd like to do because it gives them a little trouble, but it's just to control them, because when they come at you like this, come at you and to sting you, that's where we take to calm them. When we spray the smoke on them, it's to calm them, that we can deal with them to get the honey because as you know, we're robbing the honey because it's their food and we need some to eat, also. 'Cause it's good. So we have to just calm them to take also. Without the smoke, then you have trouble with them. So it'sjust to keep them calm. - Without the bees we don't have a tree. Yeah? And without the tree we don't have the people because we get the oxygen from the tree. Yeah? So the bee pollinate for the tree And thus the tree can give us life. And then we can survive. That's why we have to nurture, we have to take care of them. Sometime I was down by the river, swimming and I would see bees struggling in the water and I try to take it out and I try to save him because that's in the world. This is of value. So I don't help put it down, I try to save him. If you can go and survive and get back life and fly and do his work, well that will end good for me. I really love, love the bees. I love to see them. - [Stephen] So I'm staying in an enchanting place It's called the Great Huts, right by Boston Bay and it is magical, man. It's surreal. It's one of the places what I dreamt of as a kid. It's kind of like a fortress on top of this amazing cliff face. You kind of get lost in your imagination and it's amazing. The parrots, just singing and chirping and there's turtles, there's everything. There's all these little hermit crabs everywhere, lizards everywhere. - Hi, I'm Dr. Paul Rhodes and you're at Great Huts Resort on Boston Beach in Portland, about 10 miles east of Port Antonio. There were no shortage of villas or palaces or high-rises, or all-inclusives And I thought, as a single businessman doing this on his own, that the building of huts was called for, that this was a way of my providing in my own small way, but hopefully in a meaningful way, a celebration of the roots of the Jamaican people. I also love intuitive art. I've made a number of friendships with a number of wonderful intuitive Jamaican artists whose works is primarily Afrocentric. So we show their masks, and their sculptures. I'm attempting to specialize and do what feels right to me, which is definitely a part of my own Judaism and a part of my own sensitivity as a doctor, celebrate their story, and I'm just thrilled that there's an interest in that. The fact that it's so open and un-built-up, that it's so tree house-like, that it will appeal to the child in us. And in fact, I spent my childhood days at Bungalow colonies in upstate New York. If you're a New Yorker from Brooklyn, 30 miles north of the city was considered upstate and that was the country. We were at a resort maybe 90 miles north of the city, and that was wilderness, and my childhood memories from age one until 10 or 12 of sleeping, we would hear the crickets and see the beautiful shooting stars. They were so bright. There is a sense of wanting to recreate the childhood wonder here. - So when I got a chance to meet Doctor Paul and basically, we just started having a conversation, and he told me what he's actually doing here. It was very humbling and it's amazing what he's actually given to the people of Jamaica and it all starts on the streets and housing the homeless and giving them the opportunity for a second chance. - So I'm very proud to be a co-founder of the Port Antonio homeless shelter. We are about six years old. I was moved by the plight of street people. - Dr. Paul started helping the homeless population of Port Antonio in 2005. He had to tackle a lot of red tape and bureaucracy, but he finally managed to secure a building for the Portland rehabilitation management center in 2009. - Well, Bob, you know. Bob Marley is our favorite, because he really is a messenger. He sent a lot of message out, yeah. And redemption song. We see those things going on. Songs of freedom. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, yeah. None but ourself can free our self, our mind. - It's a great place to rehabilitate yourself and get back in society, not to stay here, but get help and get back. My name is Janet Somers. You know you're off the streets, you get a bed, a roof over your head and clothes on your back and food. - [Dr. Paul] We've had amazing volunteers. Now the reason we've just had a major shakeup at the shelter with the new administrator, the hiring of Amanda, who you met and you can just look at this woman and she's a lioness. Don't mess with her. She's an expert international beggar, and she's not going to take no for an answer to help her flock. - I am Amanda Thompson. I'm from St. James, living in Monteca bay. Well, we are grateful to Dr. Paul, who has started this program, because he was the one who engineered getting all these volunteers from the different disciplines to come to Jamaica to see what Jamaica is like, to experience the shelter, work with the residents and to see how they would like it. And since then, it has been expanding. - [Dr. Paul] We don't have a lot of money for employees, so we have an employee there all the time, but we need much help in interacting with the residents, motivating them, doing activities with them. In some cases, nursing or physical examinations of them, and at any given point in time, we have three volunteers who find us primarily from workaway.info and Great Huts, my resort are houses and provides meals for the volunteers, and in exchange, they volunteer for the shelter. - [Emma] My background is that I'm a palliative care nurse. Where looking after patients in a hospice setting and decided that I wanted to do something different, rather than looking after patients that were coming in, and I always knew the end result, I knew what was going to happen to them. I wanted to come somewhere and look after people where I didn't know the end and I could perhaps make a difference to the outcome of that story. My name's Emma and I'm from England and I'm here in Jamaica volunteering at the homeless shelter for six months. The vibe is sober, everyone is real friendly and especially when they find out that you're volunteering here. They really want to welcome you into the community. They're grateful to you. "Let me cook you this meal, "let me show you this." They very much want to share their culture with you. - On a daily basis, starting in the mornings, the residents, male and female, they have chores that they are asked to do when they are awake. So they get up and they clean up their work, their area, make their beds, have their shower and then prepare for breakfast. After breakfast, sometimes we have morning prayers, and we talk about things that we would want to do at the shelter for the day. They're also involved in art and craft, in singing, in dancing, dance class over time, on various days. They get three meals a day, breakfast lunch and supper. And we have somebody who comes from the Red Cross who prepares the meal everyday. We also have the bee project by the Uopian Union, and they gave us those five boxes that you see out there. - They go down to the bees and dry the honey then get really mad, upset. So I can't go near and pick up the mango down there or anything because they come back, swarm your head, and they're flying, all of a sudden just mm, sting you. - These bees, they really sting you, you know, it's really, really terrible. - And again, I go to these meetings at the shelter, and I see these 20-something year-olds and it's a way of revisiting myself. They're learning about themselves and they're feeling real good about what they're doing, and that's happy for me. - So I'm currently a rising senior and I was designing a summer internship at school and if I design an internship and if it gets approved, then my school will pay for all of the funding, so I decided to choose Jamaica and the internship had to be surrounded around social justice and human rights and I chose Jamaica. I really enjoy the culture and wanted to get to know more about the people and the environment, so that's one of the reasons why I chose Jamaica. My name is Talani, I'm from Maryland, and we're currently at the homeless shelter in Jamaica. - They're usually between college and grad school or they're doing this as a summer internship, and I wanted them to have the kind of life-affirming, life changing experience that I had in 1974, when I was a medical student working in the Hanover health department. - Just the whole environment, I'll definitely miss it, as well. - There's something that I need. I need to be needed. I need to feel that I'm helping. I would say that at moments when I'm taking a very intimate history of a patient, that's when I feel most at home, most like myself. And maybe it's a healing of the self, maybe it's that I need to feel necessary, but I just know, and I think that this is true for many people who give, that we receive as we give, we feel connected as we give, and Jamaica has just been a wonderful place to share. It's a beautiful country, beautiful people, gracious and grateful people. You don't know to what extent the experiences today will shape your life tomorrow. - [Stephen] There's nothing better than actually just booking that air ticket, knowing that you're going to a place that you've never been before and just getting lost. No one knows you, no one knows anything about you and the same thing goes for me. I don't know that person or that country or the culture or anything, and it's kind of just an escape. ♪ Written in the stars for us ♪ - I think what's also so unique about this place, especially for me, it's right by the main surf spot here in Boston Bay and I got to surf with the local kids and unlike any other crowds I've ever surfed with, these kids were just like, open arms. They were excited to be here, you can see them showing off in the water. ♪ I think it's written in the stars for us ♪ ♪ I'm only meant to be with you ♪ ♪ Shine a light on love ♪ ♪ I only want to deal with you ♪ ♪ Shine a light on love ♪ ♪ You and me, I know it's true ♪ ♪ Shine a light on love ♪ ♪ I'm only meant to be with you ♪ - They just wanted to know everything. Wanted to know where I was from, what surfboard I was riding ♪ Gone a long time wishing ♪ ♪ I spent a long wandering ♪ - There was just something about surfing with these kids. Just kind of made me fall in love with surfing, in a weird way. I guess, I got to appreciate it a lot more because it's not about how well you're surfing or things. It's about kind of sharing moments, and just getting hooted at every time you get a wave and you do a turn or something like that. It was cool. It was really, really a special moment for me, and I was lucky enough to share it with the locals here. ♪ 'Cause you and me, you know it's true ♪ - I love letting my imagination go wild and just seeing things around me and movements and things like that. So what motivates me waking up everyday is the story that I can create for that day and that's what motivates me to travel. It's just being able to be me. ♪ Shine a light on love ♪ ♪ Shine a light on love ♪ ♪ Yeah, yeah ♪