'I cook for my member of parliament'
For 25 years, Paulette West, affectionately called 'Mama P', has been cooking for the hundreds who turn out in support of the People's National Party (PNP) candidate for South East St Catherine - and for the past two days, cooking has been her life's purpose.
Without sleep, from last Sunday morning's market rush for fresh produce, to long into serving yesterday evening, the 64-year-old toiled, preparing hot meals for the hundreds of supporters who turned out in support of PNP Member of Parliament Colin Fagan.
"Every election and nomination day, my job is to prepare the food for each and everyone who takes part in the nomination. Even passersby, if they come, they can get a meal," said the proud West, revealing that she cooked a minimum of 500 chicken lunches yesterday.
Where those were short, she said, a huge pot of chicken soup, fish, and curried goat, among other tasty meals, were in surfeit.
Yesterday, following the morning's nomination activities, 'Mama P', her daughter, Michelle West, and Vedet Henry worked feverishly as they served droves of hungry but patient Comrades.
"I have been here whole night. From I go to the market and then come back and I prepare snack on Monday evening - nice, nice fried dumpling, ackee and saltfish, and callaloo," said West.
"Cooking is what I do and I do it with great pleasure for my MP," she said.
West, an employee of the National Solid Waste Management Authority, said she was not bothered that cooking prevented her from viewing the excitement of supporters gyrating on and between cars on Passage Fort Drive and George Lee Boulevard as they marched with Fagan to the nomination centre at Dubai Plaza at the Portmore Town Centre.
The celebration brought traffic to a snarl.