The worldwide Augustana College experience

Jewel Runaway Bay Resort: Journal 1

Jewel Resort

Coming to the Jewel Resort has been a very bittersweet experience for me. Before taking our Jamaica class, I would not have thought twice about vacationing in one of these resorts. The rooms and campus are beautiful, the staff is friendly and welcoming, and everything is all-inclusive. Although it is only my second day in Jamaica, I am having trouble wrapping my mind around the luxuries of this resort compared to the outside towns in Jamaica. We have only driven through a few towns so far, but there is a stark difference between the resorts and actual Jamaica. I feel very hypocritical enjoying my time here while also feeling very critical of the overall experience. I am also very aware that I and the heavy majority of the patrons of the resort are white and privileged while the staff consists entirely of people of color. One of my favorite things we have done so far has been our trip to the Green Grotto Caves. I really like getting to explore more natural occurrences in a new place and the extensive caves with an interesting history were fascinating. There is so much history of colonialism here, and I often forget that the British were not the only people to have colonized Jamaica. We learned about how the last Spanish governor of Jamaica used the caves as an escape route to protect his life. Over the years, many runaway slaves also used the caves to escape in order to protect their lives. I am looking forward to learning more about the culture and history of Jamaica from the perspective of people who live here.

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