…Justice feels special all the time but he feels even more special in Jamaica.
I’ve never actually met Aliona in person, even when we were both on the island at the same time. We connected via the internet and our shared love of travel, especially to Jamaica. More importantly she’s a firm believer in the power of travel and is dedicated to ensure her son, Justice, and children everywhere are exposed to cultures outside of their own. As Justice says, “You’re never too young to be a citizen of the world.”
Here’s more about Aliona, her ties to Jamaica and her new book, Justice Pon Di Road…
Aliona and her son, Justice
Stay at home mom…working harder than I ever did at a nine to five!
Tell Us a little about yourself
I took my first trip overseas as a high school graduate. I went to Kenya for a month for an international women’s conference and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa from 1999-2001. I call myself an “aspiring globe trekker”. I haven’t been to many places, but the few I have been to have had a huge impact on my life. I hope Justice will have an interest in the world we live in. I hope he will be interested in seeing the world and learning about different cultures.
On a different note, I just learned to swim after fifteen years and four sets of lessons. Needless to say, Justice took his second set of lessons this summer and is signed up for more.
Justice in Negril with Uncle Ian
When was your first trip to Jamaica?
In the spring of 2008, I went to Port Antonio by myself. It was my first trip to Jamaica and I had a blast! My love affair with Jamaican cuisine, however, was started in 1989 when I lived in Brooklyn.
What’s your Jamaica connection?
Justice’s dad is in Jamaica so we have family there. My son has the great fortune of being the product of two dynamic cultures. I want him to be knowledgeable and familiar with both.
Three favorite things about Jamaica
The natural beauty of the place! OMG… such rich and vibrant colors…so many shades of blue in the water and I love that it’s so green. The second thing I love is the food. I try to eat ackee and saltfish every day when I am in Jamaica. Third, I love how proud Jamaicans are of their country. I love how much love Justice gets (from total strangers!) in Jamaica. It’s apparent to me, that Jamaicans love love love children. I had no idea! Ok, that’s four things….did I say I also love how Jamaicans don’t pronounce h’s???
Justice (center) with family and a kitten
How did Justice Pon Di Road come about?
We don’t own a TV so we read a lot of books. I love picture books. I wanted to share the story of how well loved and how much affection and attention Justice gets in Jamaica. The book is my attempt to combine three things I love: being a mom, writing and travelling.
More about your Jamaican children’s book
Justice Pon di Road
is a children’s picture book about a toddler (Justice) and his mother (me). Together we experience the sights, sounds and tastes of island culture through the kindness of strangers on a morning walk. Inspired by our trips to Jamaica, the book includes a glossary of patois words, facts about Jamaica and a map of the island.
Want your copy of Justice Pon di Road?
The full color book is now available for purchase here