The worldwide Augustana College experience

Colors of the Wind

Great Huts, Port Antonio

All I have to say is, “WOW”. There is honestly no other way to describe my experience here at the Great Huts. When we arrived here a few days ago, it was after dark and I couldn’t see much, then I got in bed and was surrounded by bugs. I thought that this was the worst possible place to spend my time in Jamaica; however, once the sun rose and I woke up to the sound of ocean waves crashing against exposed rock cliffs, I realized that this is actually the most amazing place to experience the tropics of the island. The nature is so rich and surrounds me completely, from looking over the edge (with no fence) down hundreds of feet to the ocean, to sleeping in an open and exposed hut, I have fallen in love with my surroundings.

In just 3 short days, I have experienced more than I could’ve imagined. I have never been so adventurous or blown away. Blue Lagoon is a place that really deserves its name. This 200ft deep paradise was bluer than blue, and the brackish water made for an amazing swimming experience. Because there was both fresh water and ocean water meeting in once place, the water would quickly change from very cold to warm in an instance. The experience of swimming in Blue Lagoon is one that I will not soon forget. Another unforgettable experience that I had was at Reach Falls, a waterfall system in the mountains. Climbing these falls, swimming in the refreshing water, and jumping from heights that terrify me made for one of the best days of my life. Reach Falls had instantly become my favorite place on earth.

Okay, enough with the nature talk (even though I could talk about it all day). The most culturally enlightening experience that I have had, thus far, was spending time at the Port Antonio market. I was finally able to truly interact with Jamaican locals, and I loved it. Even though everyone was trying to sell me their fruit, or their souvenirs, or their artwork, it was great to just talk to some of the people. Everyone is so willing to talk to you. It’s nothing like the Unites States where people put their eyes down when walking past someone to avoid interaction. I am in love with the warmth and welcome that I have experienced from the people here.

Jamaica is blowing my mind every day, which makes me even more excited to get to Kingston and begin teaching.

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