Global Teachers: Ms. Miller!

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Ms. Miller is an educational assistant here at Nauset Middle School. She grew up in Jamaica and lived there the first 16 years of her life. She grew up near the ocean in a town called Discovery Bay. She tells me that she has visited Jamaica every year since she moved here in 2013. Her family lives in Jamaica so it can be hard not seeing them, but luckily, they are able to talk on the phone frequently. 

Ms. Miller told me about some of the differences from living in Jamaica to living here. When Miller first moved here, she felt that there was a lack of culture. The weather is different here and even the way you operate at home is different too. 

“Literally everything, everything is majorly different,” said Miller.

During Christmas time in Jamaica, they have what is called Grand Market. During Grand Market, which takes place on the 24th, across the country, parties are thrown in town squares and up and down streets. At these sprawling street parties, vendors sells crafts, clothes, toys and specialty foods. 

The entire town is invited and people serve food and drinks and play music. 

“No matter how far you walk there is a huge 100 pound speaker there blaring music.” 

There is not even an age restriction to come to the party! You stay at the Grand Market until five AM on Christmas Day. Afterwards, you have a meal with your immediate family. On the 26th, which is Boxing Day, it is commonly family reflection day. This is when Ms. Miller meets up with extended family, everyone flies in to see each other, and they have another big cookout. 

Miller did not go to Jamaica this year because of Covid, but she said she misses it. “I do wish I was seeing my family this year.”

Next, Ms. Miller told me about some of her favorite foods from Jamaica. She  said that rice would be her go-to breakfast meal. “Rice is something that is very prominent all over the Caribbean.” Ackee, the national fruit, is served with salted codfish, yams and dumplings. 

If someone were to visit Jamaica, Miller suggested that they find a local beach, instead of a touristy one. At this beach you can find people who go out and catch lobster and fish and they will cook it right there in front of you. You can even eat and drink as much as you want. She also suggested Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, which is a big waterfall that you can actually go and climb. If you go to Jamaica around Easter time you can go to a  kite festival. The kite festival is the equivalent of a carnival with all the carnival foods, but you are flying a kite. 

Miller says that she would love to have the opportunity to go to her home country more often. She said, “Jamaica is a beautiful country; beautiful beaches, music, and food.” 

“I love my country, I am proud of where I am from, I am proud of who I am. I am proud of the way my culture has shaped me and I  think that it’s important to remember your values and where you are from.”