Sun | Jan 24, 2021

Diary of a Ghetto Priest | 2019 Jamaica: A people of hope

Published:Thursday | January 17, 2019 | 12:00 AMFr Richard Ho Lung

"I want to live! I have plans! I'll be in prison until 2030. Something will happen, Father. God will bless me. God will guide me. I am his daughter.

"Let me tell my story. Me madda come from St Elizabeth. She go to church every Sunday. After six of us pickney, me fadda collapse and dead' - heart attack. Me madda put us through school . All of we pickney dem work hard in a de garden, me tired of callalloo and breadfruit. All of we go to school. We go to church: Pastor Grant teach us the right way to live.

"But when me go to Aunt Freda in a summer holidays, me decided to stay in Kingston. Me meet one bwoy name Neville, and when me transfer in a St Aloysius and finish school, me try some specialist training in a food and beverage. By that time me and Neville love one another. So me get pregnant. Neville and one neighbourhood gal called Shirley start fooling around.

"Aunt Freda tell me to get out of her house. But she give me a chance, I was getting a job at one restaurant. Neville say him going take care of the pickney, but Shirley and him doing wrong things. I take a knife and shove it into her heart. So now I am in prison.

"After I was in prison eight months, the baby born. Look at her, Father! Her name is Chiquita.

"One day she will grow up and be a beautiful girl. I won't ever do any wrong thing again. Neville came to visit me at prison once a month. He promise he will not do wrong with anyone again.

"I have a plan. I will go back to St Elizabeth. I will work on de farm. I will plant yam and potatoes, and keep chickens in me yard. I will sell eggs. I will have Neville with me. He is now very sweet, father. He is working now. He has a bicycle to go to the construction site. He is learning a skill and save him money.

"Please Father, give me a start when I leave prison. I really like to cook.

"I sorry that I kill the gal. She not so bad. But is feelings: I will have to learn to keep my feelings.

"Father, Father. I want to be a good girl. I will raise Chiquita up as a good girl. I will bring her up in church at Pastor Grant's church.

"I love Jesus. I want so much to do something good in life. I am a happy girl. Maybe someday I will work and do volunteer work. I want to contribute to me people. I really, really want to do good. I, Dorothy, promise you father, I will be a good girl. Neville will be a good husband to me. Him promise me. And look at Chiquita!"