Emma in a blouse by
Jamaican designer Courtney Washington
Emma Lewis is a writer, and blogger - regularly contributing to Global Voices and Jamaica Gleaner. She is director of both the Natural History Museum of Jamaica, and Recycling Partners of Jamaica. She is very active and passionate about environmental issues. Jenny asked her some questions about her life in Jamaica...
1. You have lived in Jamaica for 31 years - what is Christmas Day like in Jamaica compared with your childhood in Sussex, England?
For me, Christmas Day has changed over the years, depending on who I am spending it with, and where. We have lived in Jamaica for 31 years and we love Jamaican Christmas Day eats: baked ham, candied sweet potatoes, and a drink of sorrel (with a drop of white rum in it). Jamaican Christmas menus tend towards sweetness. At home in Sussex, England I always enjoyed the delicacies we ate only at Christmas: Turkish Delight, all powdery in a round tin, dried muscatels on the vine. Again, rather sweet!
2. What are the favourite plants/trees in your Jamaican garden?
I love everything in our Jamaican garden: lignum vitae trees (Jamaica’s National Flower); our stately guango tree; and our big bushes of pink, red and orange bougainvilleas.
3. What/who inspires you the most?
I am inspired by Jamaicans’ creativity, resilience and independence.
4. What do you wish you had known when you started your career/move to Jamaica?
I wish I had known how very trying life is for many Jamaicans, before I came here – how hard people work.
5. What items do you covet/would buy from Jenny Mein Designs?
So hard to choose, but I would buy the Caribbean Garden bone china set and a tankard mug. I love the breadfruit cachepot, too!