Culture

Growing Up Like A Jamaican – What to do when you don’t have electricity

Written by Dahlia Welsh

Markdown:When I tell people that my maternal grandparent’s home was not wired for electricity until 1997 their jaws often drop open. They want to know what did we do for light and didn’t we get bored without TV? Well, during the day we used daylight and at night we used lanterns. As you can see from grandpa’s letter they didn’t have a television so we actually sat on the veranda where we could catch a cool breeze, play dominoes, read and we even sat around and talked imagine that! When grandma and grandpa did get a TV they only watched church shows and when their eyesight began to fail them they used the TV as a radio to listen to their religious programs. To this day, when I go back to their house we rarely turn on the TV, I guess it’s just ingrained in us to spend time interacting. I’ve had some of the best times of my life right there on that veranda in Blackriver.P.O. BoxBlack RiverMay 30th 1997Dear Dahlia,Greetings to you in the precious name of the Lord who is always with us. This is just a few lines to let you know that I have received yours. The photograph that you sent the glass was broken and whenever you get married you can send more pictures. The one that you sent is on my bed head and every move I make you are laughing at me. Send the cash for us instead as it is very hard out here. Yes Dahlia we have now received the electricity. And you and Lisa (my sister) can make up and buy the television not too much of a small one. If you want to buy over there or buy it here it does not matter. Tell your mother that Grandma wants to see her. May the Lord richly bless and keep you until I see you.Your same,Grandpa & Grandma

About the author

Dahlia Welsh