The worldwide Augustana College experience

“Mom look! White People!”

The roads here are more chaotic than the streets of downtown Chicago. Today we departed from Jewel Runaway Bay on our way for the Great Huts of Port Antonio. Twisting and turning through the mountainside, cars rushed past us and served around corners as we did the same. Had I have had my PT Cruiser, it might have been less terrifying. But in our 12 seater van, unfortunately it led to a lot of swerving and stalling.

What good is a road trip without one memorable stop along the way? The Seville Plantation House was this stop for us. We ha a brief tour and reviewed Jamaican history (much like I had already hear in class). Though I was still caught off guard when our tour guide said, “ In Jamaica our culture is basically gone. We are more American than anything else”. Once again, the dominance of tourism was evident.

Driving through the countryside, the numbers of tourists quickly dwindled. We quickly found ourselves to be the only white people in the area. Clearly being a part of the majority in America, Jamaica put us in the position of the minority. This became most evident when a child on the roadside pointed and shouted, “Mom look! White people”.

Sadly, this statement made me immediately uncomfortable standing out for being white. While the other passengers continued to snap touristy photos of the local civilians or wave as if we were celebrities, I sunk into my seat wishing to be part of the Jamaican culture, not just a spectacle.

DSCN6247Luckily, this wish was slightly granted at the Great Huts. Once settled in, a group of us went to the bar in the huts. Listening to music and having a Red Stripe (Jamaican beer), Jenna and I suggested music to our bartender. We gained “respect, mon” when we requested songs by Vybz Kartel, a popular Jamaican dancehall artist. Our group soon migrated to a local bar with Dr. Egan. We spent the reminder of the evening playing dominoes into the night with the local Jamaicans while sipping on Jamaican rum. A prefect night for a perfect trip.

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