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Many people who like to put golf into a box think of it as one of the prime activities for networking. So, when I went to Maryland to volunteer at the PGA Quicken Loans National tournament, I naturally expected that I would meet a few people of interest. I did! Golf friends from Jamaica. One, I knew, was due to be in the area–my sometime-golf partner, Hubie Chin; some others, caddies from Cinnamon Hill, who were working the summer in the area; others still, a couple who were living in the area and who had mutual golf friends in Jamaica. When I got into conversation with the couple, a main interest was about crime in Jamaica, but after I gave my take on things, talk was positive enough to mention the prospect of coming back to Jamaica. We agreed that there are few better places to live, whatever the realities of crime. 

Bottom line: they were chasing dreams…of being with family and friends…of earning a bigger piece of the cake…or just hanging out for the day, thanks to one of the event sponsors…of maybe going back home. 

When we met up we had more than a little embrace and a laugh. Those who were around saw what they associate with Jamaicans–a lot of fun and friendliness. 

One of the funny things was that Jamaica had a place in the event. 

July 1 was International Reggae Day. On Sunday, July 2, my hosts asked me what music I would like as I sat in their air-conditioned box–anything reggae, I suggested. Strains of Bob Marley and ‘one love’ filled the Sunday morning. 🙂 

One of the vendors, Lipton, was promoting a mango iced tea, offering anyone a chance to win a huge cooler coloured black, gold, and green: I tried to win, and came away with a cooler in the waning hours of the event. 😊👍🏾 It’s huge! I offered it to my daughter, for hosting me this week.

The team for Lipton had some Caribbean connections and we’d discussed where in the D.C. area one could get good Jamaican food. “Cook us some escoveitch snapper!” one begged. I mentioned curried lobster…mouths drooled. 

I wasn’t being paid to be a brand ambassador, but maybe when I travel next I should speak to our politicians who try to attract foreign interests to Jamaica to see whether they want to give me a formal remit. Then again, I prefer to just let the vibes flow, and give the best impression I can of the land that I love.