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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cafe Blue On The Mountain

Cafe Blue Irish Town
Recently I went up to Strawberry Hills on an assignment, however, I made a stop at Cafe Blue for a good cup of the original Blue Mountain Coffee. Being an avid coffee lover I could not let the opportunity to enjoy the taste of freshly brewed Blue Mountain coffee go by without firmly and eagerly seizing it. What better way to enjoy that flavour and aroma than to go to the Cafe Blue that's closest to the source, Cafe Blue Irish Town.

Cafe Blue located along the main road through Irish Town
The Irish Town location is quite a bit of a drive away from the hustle and bustle of the city of Kingston along very rough, narrow and winding roads. This location is definitely not the Cafe Blue to go to for a quick cup of Java, rather it's a must stop is you are heading up into the Blue Mountains. It's perched on a hillside along the main road running through the rural community called Irish Town.The original and first Cafe Blue location opened by the parent company Coffee Traders Ltd, carries a somewhat rustic charm and a relaxed atmosphere, qualities that befit its location in the hills of the Blue Mountains.

The interior of Cafe Blue Irish Town
Coffee machine used to brew fresh Blue Mountain coffee
This quaint coffee shop serves up several mixes of coffee beverages guaranteed to tantalize the tastebuds of any coffee lover. However, they are not just limited to coffee, but they offer tasty cakes and pastry that go well with the smooth taste of the world famous Blue Mountain coffee. It's definitely worth the stop if it's even for a few minutes, which might turn to a few hours on the terrace if you have good company. If you just can't satisfy with a cup or two of that wonderful Blue Mountain coffee you can take some with you as the Cafe Blue offers a wide variety of wonderfully packaged Blue Mountain coffe as well as coffee mugs for the true Blue Mountain coffe enthusiast.

My cup of coffee which I enjoyed on the terrace at Cafe Blue
Tasty pastry and cakes at cafe Blue
Several types of roasted coffee available for purchase
Coffee Mugs for the trie Blue Mountain Coffee lovers
So if you are in the area of Irish Town, going to Strawberry Hills or even to Holywell and you love coffee then Cafe Blue is a must stop for that Java craving!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Blue Balloons for Autism

Blue ballons being released by the audience at Emancipation Park
Autism is a disorder of the neural development that manifests itself through impaired social interaction and communication as well as restrictive and repetitive behaviour. It is estimated that this disorder affects 1 in 88 children world wide. Autism no doubt robs a child of living a normal life and deprives them the opportunity to achieve their full potential in life. The effects of this condition also translates to the parents and caregivers who have to take special care in to attend to the needs of those affected by Autism. The plight of the persons affected by this condition and the emotional and financial strains of those family members who have to care for them. But how can the general public be sensitized bout Autism?

Autism Awareness banner at Emancipation Park
April has been selected as Autism Awareness Month with the purpose of sensitizing people worldwide about this condition that affects so many children and adults worldwide. The Jamaica Autism Support Association along with help from the Digicel Jamaica Foundation launched Autism Awareness Month on Sunday April 1, 2012 at the Emancipation Park with a ballon release ceremony. The ceremony featured a Prayer for Autism by Sarah Newland-Martin, a special poem for Autism written by a staff member of Digicel, musical entertainment by a drumming band comprising of Autistic children from Genesis Academy as well as songs from children of Promise Learning Centre, who are also affected my Autism. The ceremony culminated with the grand finale, the release of blue ballons that were handed out to the audience during the ceremony as well as balloons in the colours of our national flag. However, those who attended were not limited to only blue balloons as Dekal Wireless provided blue bulbs in support of Autism Awareness Month. I was there with my camera and took a few photos of the event to share with you all.

Child getting her face painted with pictures of blue balloons

Drumming being done by Autistic children from the Genesis Academy

Blue balloons being handed out to the audience by Digicel Jamaica Foundation volunteer Jodi Henry

A group of Autistic children from the Promise Learning Centre

A child in the audience receiving her balloon

Nicole Rochester reading Sarah Newland-Martin prayer for Autism

Kathy Chang Cofounder of Jamaica Autism Support Association

Christy Almeida member of the Jamaica Autism Support Association
Prof. Maureen Samms-Vaughn of the UHWI , Patron of JASA
Byron James Digicel employee reciting his poem for Autism

Samantha Cantrelle Executive Director of the Digicel Jamaica Foundation 

A member of the choir from the Promise Learning Centre signing during the song presentation

Member of the Audience enjoying the performance 

Audience member with blue balloons

A child with his blue balloon

Blue balloons being released by the crowd

Green, black and gold balloons being released

Another musical presentation from children of Promise Learning Centre

Audience member and her child at the ceremony

Blue light bulbs in support of Autism Awareness Month provided by Dekal Wireless
This ceremony was just the beginning of Autism Awareness month, as several buildings across the world, including Jamaica were lit in blue on April 2, 2012 in support of World Autism Awareness Day. Some of the local buildings and areas that were lit in blue included Emancipation Park, UWI Chapel, AZMART, Phillip Sherlock Centre UWI, the Digicel electronic message board as well as several homes across the island. There will aslo be other activities geared towards sensitizing the Jamaican public about Autism in a continued effort to gain support for those affected by Autism. Hopefully, this will result in an increase in the awareness as well as support for those who are directly and indirectly affected by this condition. For more information about Autism and how you can help you may contact the Jamaica Autism Support Association.