Dick and Jane go to Jamaica


Well, maybe not really, but it’s always what I think when I see these ‘children crossing’ signs.  I took this picture from the car on my way to the airport in Montego Bay.  I’ve been meaning to take a picture of this sign for years.  I want it to be accompanied with text: “Caution, cute and chubby little kids passing!”

And the school children are incredibly cute.  On a cab ride back from town early in my trip, we stopped at the basic school to pick up the three-year-old daughter of our driver.  She was beyond adorable: little green jumper uniform, white shirt, puffy braids and little barettes, black mary janes.  Too cute.  Our car was full (taxis here get packed to the gills.  I always make sure to wait until I can have the front seat so that I don’t have to squeeze anyone in beside or on top of me).  When we stopped at the school, we had four teenagers crammed into the back, and no more room.   I said she could sit on my lap.  She stood outside the car, checking me out, giving me a shy smile.  I opened my arms for her and she smiled wider and accepted my embrace.  I lifted and settled her on my lap and shut the door.  I expected her to be a little squirmy — in the arms and on the lap of a stranger — but no, she leaned right back against me, her body limp and relaxed, and started playing with my bracelet.  I felt that sad little reminder pang (“No, you won’t get to have one of these.”), but mostly I just felt comfortable, happy that she hadn’t hesitated to come sit with me, happy to have this adorable baby in my lap.

There’s a big problem with road safety in Jamaica, lots of billboards telling people to “Walk Good and Drive Good,” telling us that the children are our future … so we should be careful not to run them over on the road.  Seriously.  Of course, it might be safer for walkers and drivers if there were sidewalks anywhere, but I guess that hasn’t occurred to anyone yet.  No, people just have to walk in the road and squeeze themselves into and against whatever is on the side of the road to avoid getting hit.  The Dick and Jane Crossing sign is funny to me, but it’s really not funny at all.  Little kids shouldn’t be out in the road, having to protect themselves against traffic.  There are so many vehicular deaths every year.  The chubby children sign is clearly not getting the job done.


4 thoughts on “Dick and Jane go to Jamaica

  1. road safety has always been a problem here (in Ja). i agree we need more sidewalks. but i think its more a people problem. drivers arent careful enough and neither are the pedestrians.

    its disturbing to see the little ones strolling along the road with no supervision. who is teaching them the proper things to do??? and when u seem how some of the adults use the roads as pedestrians … its like there is no hope for the kids! and then there is the speeding and drunk driving issue!!!

    hopefully we will get it right before too many more lives are lost


    1. It always frightens me to see such young kids on the road. I am usually a walker when I’m in JA, and I know how scary that can be sometimes, especially coming around blind corners. I can’t imagine letting a small child take those walks alone.

      I, too, hope there will be some change before many more precious lives are lost. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. What parish are you in?


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