Dear friends and family,
We are happy to share this month’s interview with you of another inspiring fellow Jamaican! Her name is Deniese Dennis, an uprising children book’s author living in neighboring France. Here’s a little of her story:
What is the story behind you coming to France/Switzerland?
My husband Bo is Dutch. We got tired of doing the long-distance relationship, so when he moved here for work we decided to move the family here as well.
What does writing children books mean to you?
Writing has always been an important part of my life and self-expression. I remember how important reading was to me as a child. It opened up the world to me and created new possibilities. It is my hope to be able to inspire children as well. For me it is a way of capturing and preserving memories and moments whether they be real or imagined.
Where does your inspiration for your stories come from?
My inspiration comes from different places. Some of it from my own childhood and some of it from my interaction with children. I want to use my writing to capture what it means to grow up in rural Jamaica, the beauty, innocence and challenges of that experience.
If you were to send a message to the children in Jamaica, about their dreams and hopes for the future, what would you tell them?
There will be times when no one else might believe in your dream, but do not allow that to stop you. In those moments be your biggest fan, don’t be afraid to encourage yourself, never give up on yourself, even if you mess up or make mistakes keep believing in you and in your dreams. If you can believe then your actions will reinforce what is inside of you and you will find ways to get there.
I believe that God created each of us with a specific purpose, he has given us the unique talents we need to create that destiny. Dream big, God is a big God and his plans for you are bigger than you can imagine. Pray always and commit your dreams and desires to him, he will show you the way forward and when he does, don’t let fear stop you from doing it and taking a chance because your path might be different from others and that is ok.
What about Jamaica do you miss the most?
Where do I start. I miss a lot of things about Jamaica.
My family I think I miss the most. It is hard not being able to see my mom whenever I want. I also miss the food, my mother’s cooking, the flavour and the spices that makes our food unique.
I miss the tropical climate. My best memories of home include the endless hours we spent as kids at the river.
What about your new life here do you appreciate the most?
I think being with my husband has been the best part of being here. The fact that we have finally been able to live together and get pregnant has been a big blessing.
I also love how multicultural and diverse the population here is. Our friends are from various nationalities and that keeps things interesting.
When can we expect your next book?
I am hoping to have my next book completed by the end of 2018. However, I am not too set on a deadline as I am pregnant and also want to focus on my baby and family.
What’s happening in Switzerland?
Summer is on its way! Yes, it might not be obvious every day as we’ve had a few cold days as well but really and truly we are headed towards summer and look forward to the many fun summer activities that come with it. We wanted to share some of this region’s nicest spot by the lake Léman to enjoy a BBQ, play games, swim or get a tan.
– Plage d’Hermance (GE)
– Genève Place (GE)
Remember to protect your ski with sunscreen and drink enough water when enjoying a full day by the beach (it’s not a Jamaican beach but it does get hot!). Also, for those of you enjoying BBQs, remember to use a standing BBQ that will not damage the grass (the little floor BBQ found in most gas stations are usually not allowed in public places).
We’re looking forward to linking with you again soon!
Since its creation in 2005, the JAS has been able to complete the following projects:
Holland Primary School, St. Elizabeth
Shalom Christian outreach Centre, Hermitage, St. Andrew
- Provided financial support for the purchase of back-to-school materials for children as part of an outreach program