'The vibes feel good' - Jamaican living in Sweden happy to be home

Published: Tuesday | December 24, 2013 Comments 0
Swedish citizen Erik Gripenholm (third right), and close friend Silvia Baldé (fourth right), West African-born Swedish resident, make Jamaica their vacation choice for the Christmas holiday. They are greeted by (from left) Sharon Hislop-Holt, Montego Bay Airports Limited; David Lawrence, of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association; Sandra Scott (second right), deputy director of tourism; and Natalie Brown-Campbell, also representing the airport.They were among the many passengers on the inaugural Thomson TUI flight from Stockholm, Sweden to Jamaica on Monday, December 16.
Swedish citizen Erik Gripenholm (third right), and close friend Silvia Baldé (fourth right), West African-born Swedish resident, make Jamaica their vacation choice for the Christmas holiday. They are greeted by (from left) Sharon Hislop-Holt, Montego Bay Airports Limited; David Lawrence, of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association; Sandra Scott (second right), deputy director of tourism; and Natalie Brown-Campbell, also representing the airport.They were among the many passengers on the inaugural Thomson TUI flight from Stockholm, Sweden to Jamaica on Monday, December 16.
Swedish nationals Klas Andersson and his significant other Cecilia Galliher (first and second left) get a warm welcome to Jamaica for being the first of 300 passengers to disembark a Thomson TUI airline, on its inaugural flight from Stockholm, Sweden, to the Sangster International Airport on Monday, December 16. Welcoming them are the Jamaica Tourist Board's Sandra Scott (right), the deputy director of tourism; and Sadie Brown (second right), TUI Vacation's destination manager. -  Contributed
Swedish nationals Klas Andersson and his significant other Cecilia Galliher (first and second left) get a warm welcome to Jamaica for being the first of 300 passengers to disembark a Thomson TUI airline, on its inaugural flight from Stockholm, Sweden, to the Sangster International Airport on Monday, December 16. Welcoming them are the Jamaica Tourist Board's Sandra Scott (right), the deputy director of tourism; and Sadie Brown (second right), TUI Vacation's destination manager. - Contributed

With successful negotiations by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) to have direct flights from Sweden into Montego Bay, more Swedes and Jamaican-Swedes now have the opportunity to trek between countries.

Kevin Lewis, a Jamaican living in Stockholm, Sweden, is one of the first Jamaicans who, along with his Swedish wife and sons Levi and Lexus, seized the opportunity on Monday December 16, to take the 10 hour-40 minute flight to reunite with his Jamaican family.

So happy was Lewis to be back on home soil, as he walked off the plane hugging his family, his chest expanded as he inhaled deeply then exhaled, shouting: "Yes! Jamaica mi deh. Yow, di vibes feel good."

Deputy director of tourism, Sandra Scott, believes that the Jamaican athletes who had performed well in Stockholm have also helped to market Brand Jamaica in Sweden. "Our athletes have been our marketing and sales arm and have certainly helped to put Jamaica on the map," she asserted.

first visit to jamaica

Swedish real-estate developer Klas Andersson and his fiancé, Cecilia Galliher, are on their first visit to Jamaica.

"We chose to come to Jamaica because of the climate. The weather is nice. Jamaica is quite a very interesting country," Andersson said.

Cecilia added: "I am very curious about the food, the culture, traditions, and the nature."

Sound system operator and record producer, Erik Gripenholm, made his maiden voyage to Jamaica in 2009, having been an ardent fan of reggae music.

exploring jamaica

During his vacation, he used his time to explore Jamaican culture and food, but most important, its music. Although he felt gratified, he thinks he would not have done himself justice if he didn't experience reggae music first-hand and Sting will be his research ground.

Gripenholm is back in Jamaica, and this time, he has brought along female companion - West African-born Silvia Baldé, who now lives and studies in Sweden. They have chosen to spend their two-week vacation in the picturesque parish of Portland - a corner of Jamaica that remains revered as the eco-tourism jewel.

"We will be relaxing and I hope I'll see a few friends, but I will definitely be going to Sting, because I love reggae and dancehall music. 'Super Cat' will be coming to Sting and I wouldn't miss that for the world," Gripenholm said.

Gripenholm has produced the reggae album, Walk in Peace, sang by Jamaican-born Everton Chambers, on his Fast Forward label.

 

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