The worldwide Augustana College experience

Anna Dispensa Blog #3

The third part of our trip consisted of our trip to Port Antonio specifically to stay in the Great Huts. Upon arriving at the Great Huts, I was a little bit stressed out. Up until this point, I had never slept in outdoor accommodations, therefore, this was new to me. Our hut in specific was named the Queen of Sheba and had two floors with a kitchen, sleeping spaces, and both an outdoor and indoor bathroom. The first night, I was nervous that there would be bugs in my hut, but everything turned out alright and it was actually very cool to fall asleep to the ocean as well as the sounds of nature.

While I did enjoy the isolation of the huts from the typical resort vacation for a few days, it was nice to travel back into the indoor air conditioned hotel for the last night. During our time at he huts, though, we did participate in a few excursions and events which were amazing! Two specific things in which we participated in that I greatly enjoyed were going to Reach Falls as well as playing dominos with the locals at a bar near the Great Huts.

When driving to Reach Falls, I did not really know what to expect going into this excursion, but it was definitely more than I expected. I thought that we would simply be admiring the waterfall at Reach Falls, not actually hiking though the river only to Reach the waterfall and jump off of the top of the waterfall. Being able to climb over rocks and though the river to reach the waterfall was not only an adventure, but also somewhat of a team bonding activity. The rocks were slippery and at many points, there were places that were not easy to go through. During this time, we worked as a team in ensuring that everyone was able to get though and make it to the waterfall.

I loved this team bonding aspect as it not only brought us closer as a group but also went to show how far we have come since the beginning of the trip. At the beginning of the trip, I only knew a few people, but by the end of the trip, I feel that I have gotten to know everyone a little bit better and have a whole group of new friends.

The other event that I greatly enjoyed in which we participated in while in Port Antonio was playing dominos with the locals. Even though they kicked our butts at dominos, it was fun to interact with the locals as well as get some tips on how to improve our dominos game. Being able to talk to Jamaicans really added to the trip because it allowed me to feel less like a tourist and really become immersed within their culture.

Overall, the entire trip was amazing. I really enjoyed how we started at the resort embracing the tourist side of Jamaica but slowly transitioned out into less touristy areas. Although I enjoyed the entire trip, my favorite part was being able to work in the schools in Kingston. I wish that we would have had more time at the schools, as being able to observe as well as engage in a school in a culture that is different from our own was amazing. I will surely hold on to all of the memories and experiences that I have had from this trip, as it was truly a one in a lifetime trip that has impacted me for the better and really allowed me to broaden my horizons in regards to cultures and lifestyles that are different from my own.

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