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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

+  Atlas Forum
|-+  General Discussion
| |-+  Religion & Philosophy (Moderator: Gustaf)
| | |-+  Opinion of the Rastafari movement
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Author Topic: Opinion of the Rastafari movement  (Read 1727 times)
JimSs
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« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2013, 04:20:20 pm »
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100% good people.  I'm not talking about the guys with dreadlocks that you see in town passing dime bags to tourists but the people who really practice the religion - the ones you don't see. 

I had the opportunity to live 7 years in the Caribbean bush amongst the Rasta.  They are the most peaceful and friendly people you ever met.  They are honest, helpful and great parents.  A subsistence lifestyle, tight social community and rarely mixing with the modern society.

I may have been accepted more as the crazy white man, good for a laugh, who built a bush camp on a flat piece of land which happened to border a small creek - until the first downpour.  I really flipped them out when I built my second camp (three stories) in a tree.  They taught me how to make charcoal and took me to their best fishing spots.  They showed me where to find limes, lemons, oranges, papayas, mangos, vanilla and fruits that I never seen, all trees that they shared and ate from.  They taught me to use sand as soap, prickly pear cactus as shampoo and aloe as cream.

My skill was weaving baskets and hats from palm leaves while sitting on a bench in the town square.  Every second tourist stops to watch and talk and then pay $10 a pop.  It was a great job for the day, you could do it in any place with tourists and coconuts and made up to $250. a day.  The third leaf on the tree is the best for weaving, just before it opens up and still a bit yellow.  Needless to say, the Rastaman were 100 times better at climbing the coco trees than I.  They always collected the leaves for me and would never let me pay anything in return.  I would have to bring something like hand tools or rope and just leave them here and there.  I did also give a weaving class to a bunch of kids and some mothers before I left.

One more story of note.  By the time I left the Caribbean I was driving an old Land Cruiser, always with the front window down, key in the ignition and plants growing out the bumpers and and holes.  I came home late one night and left my wallet with nearly $2000. sitting on the hood.  Late the next morning, when I discovered that I didn't have it, I went out the the road where I was parked.  There was my Rasta buddy Herman sitting on the hood of my jeep next to the wallet.  He had been there for hours, didn't want to touch the wallet but didn't want to leave it of fear that someone else would steal it.

I have years of daily stories - and ALL positive.
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JimSs
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« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2013, 04:26:32 pm »
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As for the homophobic comments, the Rastas call gays, 'anti-man'.  They feel it goes against nature but I've never seen any verbal or physical abuse against gays.  I've never seen any verbal or physical abuse against anyone from the Rastafari.
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Kitteh
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« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2013, 09:26:19 pm »
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Hi Smiley you seem kinda interesting. may I ask how you wound up in Jamaica for 7 years?
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This thread reminds me that I should be somewhere else having sex.

Why is the cat freak lady registered in the Pacific?
JimSs
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« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2013, 07:18:51 am »
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Hi Smiley you seem kinda interesting. may I ask how you wound up in Jamaica for 7 years?

Interesting person? thanks, but it's all relative.  Those were the growing years and only a kick-start to the last 35.

It was actually the Virgin Islands in the 70's and not Jamaica, although a few of the guys were from Jamaica.  I was introduced to the islands with a Thanksgiving to Christmas college course.  I earned my three credits by studying and reporting on religions of the island - pop. 3,000 = 13 religions.  It's here at the age of 18 that I found myself, together with a hot classmate, sitting around an earthen oven interviewing the Rastas and passing the spliff.  Two years later upon graduation, there was a lot of pressure to work in the business of my father.  I was proud of my father but feared the lifelong trap of working in a business of which I had no interest and being obliged to live in the same place, as had my parents and grandparents, for the rest of my life.  It would have been hard on my family had I stayed and worked for another company, so the only option was to leave town.  Two weeks after graduation, I told my parents that I had $900. and a round trip ticket from Pittsburgh to the Virgin Islands.  In actuality, I had only $90 and a one-way ticket from Miami.  The guy they thought was driving me to the airport in Pittsburgh was only taking me to the highway to start my 1500 mile hitch to Miami.

I was then forced, for lack of cash, into the bush with it's strange creatures and the Rastafari.  Again, I'd like to emphasize that the Rastafarian are good people.  They may be educated in manners and subjects different to ours, but fundamentally, I'd trust them as I do my own brother.

By the way, it wasn't long before the money ran out.  I walked down a trail to town which brought me to a lumber yard.  I walked in, found the owner and said, "My name is James S, I'm a damn good worker and I need a job.  Can you help me?"  I started the next day and worked side-by-side with three guys in their 70's, who turned out to be island icons and my mentors.  One of the few regrets I have in my life is that I was never able to tell these men how much they meant to me and how much I had learned from them.

Eryting Irie Me Son
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