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Sometimes, It’s All in the Hands

I started out with a clear idea of what I wanted to do for this week’s Travel Photo Thursday, but by the time I finished going through my photos, I decided to do something I call, It’s All in the Hands.

Our hands perform many different tasks throughout the day. But I’m fascinated by people whose hands pull nets full of fish, hammer nails or pound stone, keep tradition alive – ordinary people doing ordinary things with their hands. Here are a few I met during my travels.

I never tire of watching Fay, who I call the Peppermint Candy Lady, make peppermint candy from scratch. It’s a tradition she learned from her mother. She has taught to her son, who she believes will continue it.

Peppermint Candy - Adding color

Peppermint Candy – Adding color

I noticed him, moving slowly, determinedly in the heat of the afternoon, closing the distance between us, one hand clutching a string of freshly caught fish. This is a normal sight in fishing towns and villages in Jamaica. But with a large cruise ships docked several yards away at Falmouth Pier that day, it felt out of place. He smiled when I asked if I could take his photo. 

It's all in the hands

Fresh catch

When the guide at Holywell Recreational Park heard me say I’d never seen the raspberries that grew in this part of the island, he slipped quietly away, returning moments later proudly bearing a handful of beautiful fruit. These are a different shade of red than those in the U.S. but just as sweet.

Sometimes, It's All in the Hands


Limestone rock covers almost two-thirds of Jamaica. It was used in the construction of many of the old buildings in the island. I watched as this worker hammer a rock to get the right size and shape to patch a hole in a retaining wall.

Sometimes, It's All in the Hands

Breaking a limestone rock

My sister designs and makes jewellery; she also teaches. She works primarily in silver and has made most of the silver jewellery I own. I love her work but until a few months ago, I’d never watched her make any of her pieces. Here she’s showing a group of women how to make a simple necklace using copper wire and gemstone. I think copper wire is her new favorite material. 

Sometimes, It's All in the Hands

Making jewellery


Linking up this week with Travel Photo Thursday, which Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox organizes. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.





  1. What a great theme for a photo blog. I love your photos, especially of your sister’s hands and the one filled with berries. Your sister’s hands look like young hands!
    Leigh recently posted..Prairie Mountain – A Year Round Day Hike from CalgaryMy Profile

  2. Interesting point of view…
    Muza-chan recently posted..Japanese traditions, Momijigari, autumn nature celebrationMy Profile

  3. Interesting article, Marcia…
    Muza-chan recently posted..Japanese traditions, Momijigari, autumn nature celebrationMy Profile

  4. It was quite interesting and creative. This is what I call a piece of art.

  5. Amazing piece, lovely and beautiful prose.
    Rachel M recently posted..Hybrid Solar Eclipse; Views from SibiloiMy Profile

  6. Oh Marcia, this is simply a beautiful post. I’d never thought about focusing on the hands before. Wonderful topic!
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  7. Hi Marcia, such a beautiful post! You have to admire those people who livelihood depends on challenging hand works. Love all the photos, but particularly like the one of the limestone worker. It depicts a really hard hand work.
    Your sister makes jewelry? Does she sell them? If she does, I hope she has a link somewhere.
    Marisol recently posted..Bhutan: The Temple of the Divine Madman and His Ubiquitous SymbolMy Profile

  8. Great post, Marcia! It’s amazing what our hands can achieve and how important they are. I put them right up there with our feet! I bet that peppermint candy is delicious. It’s lovely that she has passed the tradition on to her son.
    Nancie recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday — November 14th, 2013 — In the Heat of Summer TravelMy Profile

  9. I love this theme and the pictures are wonderful. Great job!
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  10. What a clever post, Marcia! I admit I don’t focus much on the hands but this has given me much thought and to be more observant. It really is amazing what some people with talent can do with their hands. Love that one with the berries.
    Mary recently posted..The Beauty and Serenity of the Byodo-in Temple in OahuMy Profile

  11. What an interesting post Marcia. The peppermint candy had me intrigued. It looks such an intricate process.
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  12. I like the curation of your photos. It’s great when you discover something after reviewing them.

  13. These are very inspiring photos Marcia. Our hands are indeed very powerful and can do wonders in so many ways.
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  14. What an interesting idea for a series, Marcia. I particularly like the red of those raspberries.
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  15. I like the theme of this post. I wouldn’t mind using my own hands to make peppermint candy and jewelry, but I do not envy the guy shaping the limestone. My own hands are looking older, but I try to view them as evidence of my hard work.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..Seeking The Statue of Liberty in ParisMy Profile

  16. I bet the raspberries you had in Jamaica were sweeter than the ones here. And does your sister sell her jewelry online? If so, I’d love to see her work as I’m a sucker for a cute pair of earrings!
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  17. Great outlook, Michele. Your hands are evidence of your hard work. I’d love to be able to make peppermint candy, myself. It’s high art, if you ask me.
    I don’t envy that guy either but he really seems to like what he does. I think that’s what’s important – to love what you do.

  18. They were surprisingly sweet, Dana.
    She doesn’t but I’ll ask her to send some photos, if you wish.

  19. This post really struck a chord with me, Marcia. Last month in New York, I spent an evening at Monday Night Magic watching the hands of veteran magicians as they performed sleight-of-hand tricks. The next night I attended a performance of Jersey Boys. I think of dreamt of pale hands dancing against dark suits for a week!
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