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hat A Gwaan’ is Jamaican patois for ‘What is happening?’, ‘¿Qué está sucediendo?’ in Spanish ‘Che cosa sta succedendo?’ in Italian or ‘Qu'est-ce qui se passe?’ in French. As with every nation, Jamaicans like to know what is happening on their island and gladly listen to the latest news on current affairs, events, attractions, celebrity visits and of course island gossip. And there is no shame in being a bit nosey. Be sure to read what the Jamaica Tourist has to report on the latest goings on so you are well informed in case someone asks you, ‘What A Gwaan?’ W

‘HOTTIE’ JOSH LUCAS RANG IN 2009 IN OCHO RIOS You just never know who you will run into at Evita’s. Known as the ‘Ochi’ hotspot for the rich and famous, restaurateur Eva Myers frequently hosts celebrities at her chic Italian eatery. The latest to visit her trendy Evita’s is internationally acclaimed actor and certified ‘hottie’ Josh Lucas, who partied away New Year’s Eve at the fun, Ocho Rios hangout. While the Hollywood star gained mainstream exposure with his roles in ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and

AMBASSADOR LAGRANGE JOHNSON SAYS FAREWELL After completing her three-year tour of duty as U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, Brenda LaGrange Johnson bid goodbye to the island with a January 14 farewell reception at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston. The Ambassador and her husband Howard J. Johnson, who departed Jamaica on January 20, will be missed at the Embassy and among her many Jamaican friends. Upon her retirement from the State Department,

Restaurateur Eva Myers with Hollywood star Josh Lucas (Photo: contributed by Eva Myers)

‘Hulk’, the actor is also known from the movies ‘Poseidon’ comedy ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ with Reese Witherspoon.

and the romantic

JIMMY BUFFET CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY AT MARGARITAVILLE MOBAY ‘Parrotheads’ who were enjoying the Christmas holidays in Jamaica, got to party away the night with Jimmy himself at Margaritaville Montego Bay on December 25th. The beloved singer was celebrating his birthday, in true island-style, with the staff of M’Ville in the friendly city, rubbing shoulders with a host of fans who were thrilled to kick back with their idol.


Jimmy Buffet with fans (Photo: Margaritaville)

Miss Jamaica Universe 2008, April Jackson, lit up the recent Palmyra Foundation fundraiser with her charming presence. Despite the weather sending unexpected ‘blessings’ from above, the gorgeous Jackson enjoyed the evening with Frame by Frame’s Max Earle, The Palmyra’s General Manager Lester Scott, Palmyra Foundation’s Chairperson Kathi Constanzo and radio personality and MC Michael Anthony Cuffe. Jackson flew into Mobay specially to support the efforts of The Palmyra Foundation, which has hand-delivered 65,000 text books to 12,971 public infant school children across the island in its first two years. www.thepalmyrafoundation.com Miss Jamaica at the Foundation caption (Photo: Heidi Zech)

ASAFA POWELL AT JAMAICA JAZZ & BLUES Prior to the 2009 season, Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell found time to slow down and enjoy the music at this year’s Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival. The athlete was snapped with Palmyra Sales Executives Stasia Stephenson and Caryll Mullings-McDonald while perusing luxury real estate opportunities in Rose Hall. Perhaps Powell is considering the purchase of a permanent spot to cool out on the island’s north coast, when he isn’t speeding down the track?

Asafa Powell visits The Palmyra at Jazz Festival (Photo: Heidi Zech) LENNOX LEWIS HONORED AT 27TH AFJ GALA The American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) honored Lennox Lewis with its prestigious International Achievement Award for his professional success as well as his special love and connection with Jamaica and its people at its 27th Annual Gala at Gotham Hall in New York City. “We are pleased to celebrate a sportsman with roots in Jamaica,” commented Keisha Phipps, AFJ Executive Director. “His success and commitment to giving back is truly admirable,” continues Phipps. This year’s honoree joins a distinguished list of award recipients including Edgar and Louise Cullman, famed fashion icon Ralph and wife Ricky Lauren; renowned billionaire and philanthropist Michael Lee Chin; entertainment mogul Chris Blackwell and musician and social activist Harry Belafonte. Keisha Phipps, Ambassador Sue Cobb and Lennox Lewis (Photo: Steve Mack)

Mayor of Kingston Desmond Mckenzie presents a token to former U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica Brenda LaGrange Johnson (Photo: courtesy of Embassy of the United States, Kingston)

LaGrange Johnson will join the Council of American Ambassadors to serve as a travelling goodwill ambassador and remain involved with the projects she oversaw during her tenure.

RALPH LAUREN &FAMILY RINGS IN NEW YEAR AT ROUND HILL Once again, the Lauren family rang in the New Year in style at Round Hill Hotel and Villas. A visitor to Round Hill for over 20 years, Ralph Lauren has been recognized for his ongoing support of various Jamaican causes, including the Association of Hanover Charities, and was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Governor General and the International Humanitarian Award by the American Friends of Jamaica. Apart from rest and relaxation, Mr. Lauren finds inspiration for his designs from the natural elegance of Jamaica and graced Round Hill’s Pineapple House with his luxurious design a few years ago.

From left to right: Son Andrew Lauren, Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Ralph’s brother Gerry, Ralph’s daughter Dylan Lauren of the famed ‘Dylan’s Candy Bar’ with partner (Photo: Round Hill Hotel and Villas)

JAMAICANS ON TOP AT ‘08 REGGAE MARATHON Veteran long distance runner Linton McKenzie and Arieta Martin ran away with the top spots at the 2008 staging of the Reggae Marathon in Negril. From a field of 754 entrants representing 18 countries, McKenzie was the first to break the tape in 2:40:08, while Martin led the female finishers in 3:28:16. Commenting on the 10K, which was introduced last year, race director Alfred Francis said “of the 250 participants, Kemoy Campbell won with a time of 30:35.” Other highlights of the event included the presentation of Reggae Marathon Lifetime Awards to octogenarians and longtime rivals Burt Carlson (83) of the USA and Jamaica’s Roy Thomas (82). Reggae Marathon will take place on December 5, 2009 this year and is expected to be even bigger and better. (For more information: www.reggaemarathon.com). Arieta Martin, female winner of the 2008 Reggae Marathon receives the Rita Marley trophy from Race Director, Alfred Francis. (Photo: Errol Anderson)

JETBLUE ADDS DIRECT FLIGHTS BETWEEN MONTEGO BAY AND JFK Great news! Budget airline JetBlue is commencing service between New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and Montego Bay as of May 21, 2009. According to airport officials, the carrier will be adding daily service between the two airports and also open up easy access connections to numerous northeastern cities in the United States. For more information or to book your next trip to Jamaica, log on to jetblue.com.

JetBlue now flying daily from J.F.K. to Jamaica


CALL 1-888-PALMYRA TODAY [TOLL FREE 1.888.725.6972 Jamaica only] JAMAICA TOURIST 47

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