In the middle of yam country, the hills roll away in all directions from where I am standing. Life moves along at a more respectful and sedate pace than in the cities. The hills of Trelawny are miles away from Kingston in every aspect.
It’s Friday and the yams have been readied for market; time to reap the benefit of much hard work. At intervals along the roadway, mini buying stations comprised of piles of yam, and a scale, are set up. This is where the bartering, chatting, weighing, and packing takes place.
Wait-A-Bit is yam country central, everyone is a yam farmer and proud of their occupation. After all, these are the yams that a young Usain Bolt, a son of Trelawny soil, would have grown up eating. If you didn’t know this, the people will tell you; should you dare to forget, they will remind you.
Driving along the main road between Low River and Wait-A-Bit there are stately pines interspersed among the yam plots; evidence of Jamaica’s failed attempt at Forestry. Under the trees, carpets of matted pine needles form a dense carpet for fallen cones. Emanating from this is a wonderfully rich fragrance. Life is good in Wait-A-Bit, really good.
The trucks are now packed and the farmers have been paid or given I-owe-you notes. Tonight the local bars will be abuzz; tomorrow it’s back to the fields and the cycle starts all over again. Yes … life is good in wait-a-bit.