Lifestyle

My Kingston — GLAISTER CUNNINGHAM

Sunday, September 16, 2018

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What is your idea of a perfect weekend in Kingston?

My weekends start on Thursday night (lol), with karaoke or live music with friends. Netflix and wine with my Boss Lady on Friday night, a Saturday backyard barbecue with more friends and Fort Clarence with the family on Sunday.

 

What's your morning routine?

Timed to the minute…try to wake up 5:15, inevitably stretches to 5:30, 30 minutes' exercise then we have a complex dance of waking the kids, getting them to eat, shower and get ready while doing the same ourselves to leave the house by 7:00.

 

What's the most memorable meal you've had in Kingston?

Christmas Eve 2013 at my aunt's house near Gordon Town. Sweater weather in a wooden house beside a river, surrounded by people I love, at least a dozen different dishes including a Norwegian recipe for pork chops with a creamy mushroom sauce. The best I'd ever had in my life!

 

Were you stranded on an island with five individuals, who would they be? Why?

That's easy. My wife Danielle (aka Boss Lady) and two kids Elijah and Sahara, best friends Jamel and Graham. Why? Family - Because I have to say that. Just kidding. They're truly my favourite people. Jamel is resourceful and would keep us alive, and Graham is a source of endless entertainment.

 

Were you given Jamaica to run, what three things would you immediately fix?

That's a tough one; there's so much we could do better with. The themes I'm passionate about would be education — focusing on science and technology, agriculture — I'm a big believer in self-sufficiency and buying local, and infrastructure development because I believe that is the backbone of a strong economy.

 

What are HVAC systems?

HVAC is the acronym for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. HVAC systems are basically everything from your air conditioner at home to the large systems used in industrial complexes and commercial buildings. A good HVAC system aims to provide temperature control and indoor comfort.

You've worked abroad, including El Salvador. How did this experience impact your career?

I'd say the experience taught me how to operate in environments with people of different races, cultures and backgrounds. The biggest impact it had on me personally was the realisation that we (as people) have many more things in common than real differences which I think has made me much more open-minded and tolerant. Learning Spanish didn't hurt either.

 

You hold degrees in Engineering, an MBA, and are trained in Project Management. In your estimation, how important is it for engineers to diversify their training and experience?

In today's world, I think it's important for everyone to diversify their training and experience. Lifelong jobs are becoming a thing of the past. We have to keep learning and developing our skillsets because things are changing so rapidly. Whole professions are disappearing as technology progresses. I believe the only way to remain relevant is to be constantly seeking to “upgrade” yourself. Knowledge is power.

 

The University of the West Indies recently opened the Mona School of Engineering. How do you believe this will impact the field for local would-be engineers.

I think it's fantastic! I was in the generation that had to go to the St Augustine Campus of UWI to study engineering, and whilst I think I benefited greatly from the exposure to other people and cultures in the Caribbean and the maturing that happens by virtue of simply being away from home, the reality is that the cost is significantly more than it would be had the option been available here at home. The School of Engineering here in Jamaica, along with the University of Technology make the attainment of an engineering education that much more accessible. This will hopefully lead to more engineers being available to support the development of the country.

 

A night out or a night in?

Can I say both? Variety is the spice of life.

 

Where's your preferred chill spot?

I love Jojo's on a Thursday night. They have karaoke and I love when people let their hair down and just have a good time.

 

Finally, what's your personal credo?

Do what makes you happy, as long as it doesn't cause harm to anyone else.

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