Montego Bay, Jamaica
Haile Selassie Iniversity of Higher Reason
January 2010

One Day Archives Roots Simmons English Joe Higgs Music School Joe Higgs Music School Tech Give Thanks Comments Sports Arts and Artists Sandy Macone Lynn Abbott Food For Thought

Flash Player and Javascript are required to play this music


Kaylia Forbes was our first blossom.  Her father, Ras Lenny, heard about a new school called Haile High that taught about computers and other technical subjects hitherto unknown to poor Jamaicans. One day he brought Kaylia by, and all our lives were changed.

Sam and Kali
Lenny and Katy

Though classes were free, it was difficult to find kids able to give up their Saturdays to study topics alien to the primary education they suffered throughout the week.  But Haile High was different.  Our classes began at the beach where we learned to swim and play with new friends from other parts of the island.

Swimming in a ring
The class of 2002

Then we gathered beneath the old cottontree on the hill and became as one in an adventure unique to anything we’ve ever experienced.   First, there was lunch that we prepared and served by ourselves.

Then we sat upon the staircase, our makeshift arena for lessons in Spanish and other subjects new to us.  There was "Signing", a language that enabled us to communicate with others who could not hear or speak.  We even learned about health and what made us "tick."

Clea and many keyboards on the stairs
The class of 2003

Often, some of the older kids would teach us things they were preparing for their homework due on Monday.  They said that teaching it to others always got them an "A", and that their teachers often deferred to them on topics they, their teachers, had yet to embrace.

Opal and two little kids

Opal Kentish, who had a handicapped son, became the school’s Administrator.  Her niece, Cleo, became our Director of Curriculum. Haile High was up and rolling.  We were the school.   It was our school and we decided what we wanted to be taught.  If an eight year old girl learned something new, she would teach it to another kid… in a fraction of the time it took someone older to do.

Cleo connects some wires  under a table

After our lectures on the staircase that served as our hall, we got to work with some old computers Kali had carried down from America.  As time went on he brought better ones; laptops that were donated by people who had heard about our little school in Montego Bay.

The class of 2004
The menelik computer lab

Soon we had enough computers to seat 12 students.  Kali made furniture; stools and desks and rooms, and the school grew...and we grew.  Eventually every kid that came to Haile High became a teacher, and we gleefully passed-on all that we had learned to all the new kids that joined us.

Aneika, Britteny and Chin in the lab
We learned, and then we taught, that the mysterious world of computing was simply based on only two numbers; a one and a zero, and that when added-up with millions of other ones and zeros, we could make a book or a video that could be instantly shot around the world and into the ethers of space so that others could experience our growth… just as you are doing as you read this.
The class of 2007

Soon we had a school of music, inspired by and named after Kali's Brother, Joe Higgs. That's how we learned how to make the "heartbeat" of our native Nyabinghi culture with three drums:  The Bass called the Father; the Fundi called the Son or Dawta;  and the Akette – the Mother.  We learned that when played together as a family; a new feeling came upon us.  We discovered that feeling was the essence of our being… the heartbeat of life!

Drumming seen from the balcony
The class of 2006

One day a man came by to teach us how he trains dogs to lead the blind.  It was interesting to know about folks who are not as fortunate as us.  Other people dropped-in to tell us about old things, like the plants found everywhere on our island that can be used to treat all manner of illnesses.  They had learned about the herbs from their Grandmothers, and were pleased to pass on what they knew to us kids.

Andy and the kids
Wash, Sam and the kids

Best of all!  Kali's Queen, Sam, often flew in from the States carrying more equipment and all manner of new thoughts and ideas that made our eyes big and our minds open to a world beyond all frontiers.  Queen Sam's visits were a big draw, and attendance grew beyond all expectations.  There was never a problem finding teachers to handle the tasks, for we were all teachers.  And that became the predominant theme of Haile High: One teaches another… only at our school, we each teach many more.

The class of 2007

Now, with the ever growing trend toward crime and violence in the city, Haile High has relocated to smaller communities where our students are safer and closer to home.  We call these schools "Satellites".  They are run by our students whose efforts are aided by funds, equipment and instruction from abroad.  They are autonomous, yet are guided lovingly by a nucleus centered in the "squatters" community of Longbay (where Opal and Cleo reside) and are backed by Kali & Queen Sam from America.  We still come together as One whenever we can.


You can donate for the kids at Haile High through PayPal

This Beautiful Garden with a vine
Red Hibiscus
White Gardenia
Pink Hibiscus
Blue flowers

Founders of Haile High
     Queen Sam (Lynn Abbott)
     Kaliflowa (Alessandro Macone)

This Beautiful Garden
Red multi-flower
Yellow multi-flower
Peach multi-flower
Pink multi-flower
Pink Hibiscus


Haile High opened the door

On a recent visit to Jamaica Kali and Queen Sam journeyed to Accompong Town in the Sovereign nation of Maroons to check on our satellite Haile High school there. On arrival they drove into town they were impressed by the new museum and other facilities, including an Internet resource center. (right photo)

Accompanong Internet center

Upon entering the building they saw what Haile High would look like with a lot of money. On the left were a line of cubicles – each with their own computer, screen, and chair. On the right was a small library with reference books and two desks – one for the director and one for the tech. Except for the age of the equipment, it was Haile High!

Sam and the kids
As they showed the picture (left) from the first day of Haile High in Accompong, some of the students gathered around to look. One young man proudly pointed to the picture and grinned, “That’s me! That the first time I touch a computer.” Ennorio Ashmel Barnes is now an accomplished computer operator who helps others learn in the Haile High way.

Stay tuned for more about the visit and what our Haile High students are doing now. It’s pretty impressive!


New Faces at Haile High

Sister Reba
Director of Advanced Studies
Haile High, USA

Reba studied history at St. Michael’s College in Vermont and is presdently enrolled as an English major at Framingham State College.  She is looking forward to working with Haile High students in Jamaica, as well as guiding those students who are able to attend advanced studies at Haile High, USA.

Sister Reba
Shania Stoley

Shania Stoley

Shania is a teacher at “Shumba”, Haile High’s Joe Higgs School of Music at Catherine Mount, Montego Bay.  According to Kali, “she possesses a voice and sense of music that is destined to one day grace the boards of the Metropolitan Opera Company”.  Shany is 10 and will be the first of Haile High’s Jamaican students to visit Haile High USA in Massachusetts.  

Reba and Shania checking out the laptop

Kali, Reba and Shania



Haile High Jamaica is happy to announce a new school at Katherine Mount, Montego Bay. Not only is it a new satelite of Haile High, it is SHUMBA, the official band of the Joe Higgs School Of Music. Aided by Aneika & Venika Smith of our Flankers School, we opened for business on Saturday, 24, 2009.

Left to right are, Aneika, Samyka, Shania, Kaliflowa, Venika and Michael.  All are adept at playing the Iabinghi trio of drums (Kette, Fundi & Bass), as well as singing.  Individually, Aneika and Samyka play keyboards, while Shania is studying guitar.  Michael will play the trumpet, and the ever popular Venika will be featured on vocals and dancing.  Kali plays reeds and teaches.  We are yet a likkle rough...so don't look to buy the CD.  But, watch wi grow!



When I first was told that Shania was coming to visit with her mother I expected a typical nine year old to come waltzing in the door.  However, Shania proved herself to be a bright, helpful, and humorous girl. She was eager to begin working with the laptop Kali found for her to bring home to Haile High, Catherine Mount, her school in Jamaica. 

Being such a helpful girl, Shania jumped to assist Sam with preparing dinner without being asked.  She also made the beds in the morning and helped serve breakfast for everyone gathered.  Shania behaved responsibly, being careful with electronic equipment, and was also inquisitive, asking questions about everything she saw. 

Shania explored the Haile High USA location thoroughly, commenting as she went.  She said that Kali is “so handsome” after seeing a pencil drawing of him adorning one office wall.  Not only was the house “so big”, but it was also “beautiful” to Shania’s eyes.  She seemed about ready to move right in herself, and she certainly would have been a joy to have. 

Not only was it great for Shania to see Haile High USA and explore it’s resources, but it also gave her an opportunity to see how the website is created and put up on the internet.  This gave her a broader view of how Haile High operates, and hopefully added to her excitement about the process. 

Shania was also able to visit with a friend of Kali’s named Mary who helps Haile High.  This was a rare opportunity for this elderly lady to see the product of all the work we do at Haile High. The visit went very well, with both women getting along fabulously.  Upon leaving Shania remarked that “Mary is a good woman.  She is nice and sweet”. 

I was infinitely impressed by Shania’s sharpness of mind and hunger for knowledge.  Seeing such a strong desire to learn, even in one student, creates a gratifying feeling.  Having met Shania, I am very excited to meet more Haile High students and teachers!


Shania's Mother finally gets a break from the beauty parlor!


Samyka tries Michael's trumpet.  Oh well, back to the keyboard, Sam!

Here's an interesting story that could only happen in Jamaica:  One day many years ago when Kali was passing through the lobby of the Drs. Cave Beach Club, an older woman at the desk stopped him and thrust forth a lovely likkle 3 year old girl.  She ordered Kali, "Look after dis a ya pickney!"  Somewhat bewildered, Kali took the child's hand and headed for the beach.  They then spent several hours bulding sand castles and playing in the surf.  It was a wonderful moment in time. For years, Kali wondered what ever became of his tiny friend....all he knew about her was that she mommy worked for
Air Jamaica as a flight attendant

A decade later....Guess what?

After the dissolution of Haile High's Cottontree residence, Kali returned to Jamaica for this season's work of rebuilding Haile High at Flankers, LongBay, Cousin Cove, Bullet Tree (Westmoreland) and AccompongTown, St. Elizabeth.  He took residence in a rental at Katherine Ave., up in the hills above Mobay.  Saturday, while enrolling his new students, he sensed something mysterious was happening.  Upon further investigation, he discovered that Samyka's mother was a "stewardess"  for Air Jamaica.  In a "one in a million" chance, he soon found out that the woman at Drs' Cave was Samyka's Grandmother...and that he had moved into the very home of the little girl of whom he was entrusted so many years before. 

Now Look!

Inexplicably, here is another example of the mystical ways of this mystical country.  After a decade, Jah had united him again with the likkle girl on the beach.  Kali offered Samyka his hand and said, "it's nice to see you again."  Non-plussed, Sam stepped upon she skate board and rolled-off to do her homework.  Because she is the elder of the group, Samyka will the Adminstrator of Haile High, Katherine Mount.

2009 Mission – Linking the Five Remote Schools

Haile High banner flying as Accompong Town celebrates Treaty Day

First stop – Accompong

The Haile High banner flies (limply) above Rubber Cawley's residence and school as the celebrants of Treaty Day parade down Accompong's main street on their way to the statue of hero Cudjo; commemorating the triumph of the Maroons over Great Britain. The Maroons are a Sovereign Nation within Jamaica, and where the nation first ever to cast-off the yoke of England… 39 YEARS BEFORE THE BATTLE AT CONCORD IN 1775. Haile High takes great pride in being part of their culture.

Rubber presents a new computer to Kevan

Haile High Celebrates Treaty Day at Accompong Town with the acquisition of a new laptop for its computer school here. Rubber Cawley (Administrator of Haile High Accompong Town) presents a new Toshiba laptop to teacher Shevan.
The computer was donated by an American Angel named “Mary.”

Concord Rotarians Donate Laptops to Jamaican Schools

On a recent visit to Jamaica, David and Grace McWalter of the Concord Rotary Club, presented the students of Haile High Cousin Cove and Haile High Montego Bay with laptop computers. The schools, which currently number seven (located in five parishes) are training centers that instruct young children how to teach computer skills to the handicapped.

The schools are desperately in need of used laptops to expand their footprint in Jamaica. In their eight years of operation, the concept of training young students has proven to be a success beyond expectation.

With the kindness shown by Concord Rotary, Haile High will be able to expand to further regions of Jamaica where poor children reside… children who would otherwise never experience the benefits of a medium common to most Americans, and to some affluent Jamaicans.

The McWalters in Cousins Cove

David and Grace McWalter visit Cousins Cove to present Haile High School with laptops donated by the Rotary Club of Concord, Massachusetts. Tasheika Perry, Director of Curriculum (left) beams with joy as 7-year-old Princess types her first letter on one of the computers.


The McWalters at Doctors Cave Beach

David and Grace McWalter join students from Flankers and Montego Bay during an outing at Doctors Cave Beach. With laptop computers, even the beach can become a “classroom”. In the foreground are two units delivered by the McWalters; who were, of course, required to participate as students themselves.

The Wall

The mural on the wall
Joe painting the wall


The evening before the last class was held, Kali and Queen Sam sat out on the porch enjoying the Queen Menen Tarry. In recent months it had once again become a source of conflict. Now the next day Joe, a sign painter, would be coming to paint the wall. We had chosen the words and graphics but it would be up to Joe to bring our message alive. How this splendid creation was accomplished, Jamaican style, is another story! Stay tuned.

Tamesh, Teboh and Palawas


Tamesha joins Teboh and Palawas with the Binghi beat. All of our students are taught the heartbeat that is so essential to Jamaican music. Her Daddy is a Rastaman, so she is a natural on the subject… and loves to play at every opportunity.

Opal listens to the Binghi beat


Administrator of Haile High, Opal Kentish enjoys the rhythm of the Binghi Beat while Joseph paints the school’s wall. The man on her left is Ruddy Perry of Cousins Cove, who has opened his plantation there to our satellite school. His daughter Tasheika and wife Vern are its teachers.

Haile High goes International in ’08!

On 14 May, Kali, Queen Sam and Cleo closed the door on the CottonTree location of Haile High for the last time. All the equipment, supplies and structure that had been its home for eight years was now in the hands of its students. It’s up to each of them to keep their part of Haile High active. Together we have learned a lot more than how to turn on a computer. Together we have built Haile High from a dream to a success. Now we are taking another step. Here are the caretakers and their missions.

Yellow flower

Long Bay, St. James Parish

Opal Kentish has been Administrator for Haile High since its inception. She will continue this role as she takes on the added responsibility for communicating with all the branches. She is ably assisted in this by Cleo Reid, Director of Curriculum. Together they will oversee the educational process at each school and conduct classes inna Opal yard on Saturdays.

Computer station
Opal and kids

Flankers, St. James

Red Apples
The Flankers location

Veneika and a studentMany of our students come from just up the road from Haile High in Flankers. Sisters Aneika and Veneika Smith will run the school there and hold classes in their new classroom on Saturdays. Both girls are talented in the visual and musical arts. Logically most of Haile High’s musical equipment befell to their care. They will soon be featured on YouTube in “Jamaica Phone Call”; a video shot at Haile High just before we moved.

Pink Flower

Bullet Tree, Westmoreland Parish

Sam and Sash Sasha brings a broken computer to Kali

Sashane Brown is the administrator of the first remote branch of Haile High. She holds classes on she Granny front porch. Bullet Tree is a two hour trek from Montego Bay. Maintaining communication with Haile High Central in Long Bay will continue to be a problem. However, Sash’s faith and determination always seems to find a way to overcome such problems.

Cousins Cove, Hanover Parish

Green Plums
Kimone and Dervil
Derval (on the left)
and Kimone

Haile High’s interest in Cousins Cove began with an introduction to Derval, a deaf mute living there. Several visits from Kali, Queen Sam and Kimone (our resident sign language expert, shown in the picture to the left) soon had Derval communicating with his friends, Vern, Ruddy and Tashika Perry. This has been helped considerably since Kimone and her two sisters (one of whom is deaf mute) developed their own version of Patwah sign language. Vern and Tashika will be administrator and teacher since Haile High brought computers to this lovely location.

Young Ruddy
Ruddy Perry passed away
in 2008. Click here for
the full story.
Perrys at home

Accompong Town
Sovereign Nation of the Maroons

Sam and the kids
Sam and Rubber

Seventeen years ago Kali first went to Accompong at the request of the town to video record their historical celebration of winning their independence from Great Britain in 1736. During the three months he was there, Kali stayed with Rubber Cauley, who kept a small store in the center of town. While he has retired from shopkeeping, The building is still there and now houses the Accompong branch of Haile High. Rubber’s grandson, Shevan, is the teacher.

The Rubber Store

And more to come…

With the opening of the branch in Accompong, Haile High has taken the first step toward its ultimate goal of international schools all over the Third World. Stay tuned for more… the next step is Indonesia!

 And that is the Family Store called Haile High, where nothing is on the shelves but fun and education...free to anyone willing to learn and to pass on to others, that which they've bought by their time and interest. Click here to see a document with the first two lessons we teach at Haile High. Click here if you need the free Adobe Reader software for PDF files (to read the document).


Haile High needs funds to expand its work in Jamaica. With five new schools in four parishes, the time is right to help make our proven concepts available to more locations. In our eight years of operation, we have never begged money; nor do we intend to now. However, we have some exceptionally unusual and exclusive premiums to offer those who have asked about contributing to our school. Here they are:


Cops vs Rastas screenshot
An exciting futbol match that Haile High arranged when tensions arose between the Police and Rastafarians in 2005. Never viewed before, this hard fought (and sometimes hilarious) game video is a must to anyone interested in futbol, Jamaica, and the quelling aspects of settling old disputes on the green turf of Jarrett Park in Montego Bay.

Cops versus Rastas news story thumbnail
Click the image to see the full-size story

This DVD is offered as a premium for donors sending $20 (US) or more to:

Or donate via PayPal by clicking the button below:

Lynn Abbott
153 Summer Street
Acton, MA 10720

(For addresses outside the continental U.S., please add $5 for shipping and handling. Allow 3 to 4 weeks for delivery).

The Rastas team
The Haile Lion

And more exciting premiums to come …

Haile High Student Graduates at the Top of Her Class


Roxanne writes:

At St James High School I have been getting good grades in the different areas. In English Language I scored 85% Average, Mathematics 80% Average, History 82% Average, Spanish 75% Average, Information Technology 98% Average and last but not least My Vocational Area which is Business 92% Average. My overall Average is 87.4%. On April 4, 2008 I went to prize giving and I got a Trophy for the must Outstanding girl of the year I got the Principal’s Trophy.  I will continue to do my best because only the best is good enough

Patwah in dhe Mix!

Cleo, Monique, and Aneika

After hearing about a language expert’s explanation of why Patwah is a better language than English (easier to understand and therefore learn, clearer at communicating ideas and the verbal part of the Jamaican culture) they decided that we need to be more active in enlightening the world about Patwah. Toward that aim, a writing assignment was developed, here are the results.

Assignment: What have you learned at Haile High that has meaning for you? Answer in Patwah and then translate into English.

From Opal Kentish – Administrator of Haile High

Since mi cum a Haile High mi learn how fe use a computa an nuff more ting. Haile High all teach mi fe swim a sea. A seven year since mi daya nuff thing mi get fe use computa a Haile High teach mi. Tanks to Haile High.


Haile High gives me the chance to send e-mails to my friends overseas. When I came to Haile High it was first time using a computer. Haile High teaches a lot more things like Spanish, Sign Language, Art and Craft, swimming, drumming and much more. Haile High is a gateway to greater opportunity.

Veneika Smith – Teacher at Flankers – 11 years old

When mi fus Cuma Haile High mi learn how to use a computa and how to use the keyboard an ya nowwa mi love most then mi teach how use a computa. And mi have mi own a class mi self. Class nice yo see. Mi teach a likkle girl an im name Tamesha. Mi se class nic yo sey mi love class.


When I first came to Haile High I learn how to use a computer and how to use a keyboard and you know what I love most I have my own class and my class is very nice. I teach a lille girl and her name is Tamesha. I love class.

Tamesha Lemonious – 9 years old

Since mi cum a computa class mi learn bout fear*, all type of language and how fi use di computa an mi draw som tings and write som letta an nuff more tings. Mi love mi computa class. Mi float pawn mi back a swimming class. Di wata did cool afta dat wi go inna heat room in der did Hot


Since I came to computer class and learn about fear*, all types of languages and how to use the computer and I draw some things and write some letters and a lot more things. I love my computer class. I float on my back at swimming class. The water was cold after that we go in the Heat Room. It was hot there.

*Fear is not a subject at Haile High, however, we instruct that it’s an impediment to proper education.  For more about fear, click here.

Haile High’s 2008 Winter Season

Jezuan, Kali and Sashane at Bullet Tree, Westmoreland where Kali had driven to deliver another computer to Sashane’s school to replace one that had been damaged by flooding. Click the picture to see more about Bullet Tree … kali, Jezuan and Sash at Bullet Tree
Okeya cu
Okeya's first visit to Haile High
Sharlene cu
Sharlene is deaf but that didn't stop her
from learning at Haile High since
Kimone can sign in Patwah!
Tamesha helps new students: Sharlene and Okeya.
Tam Okey Sharlene first day
Vaneka now A younger Vaneka
Everisha Hood; age eight, on the first day of school.
Everisha Hood
How soon they grow up! Above, Vaneka at seven on her first day at Haile High. Left, Vaneka at 11 ready for the new school year.
The group
Another hard day at Haile High and new friends made!
We put Vaneka to work
teaching John's grandson,
Ricardo, how to swim.
Ricardo and Veneka
Opal and the group
Vaneka, Sasheena and Roxanne look on as Opal instructs Yanice.

Click on the photo to see Haile High’s newest publication: ‘The Path Less Trod’

Back To Top