The worldwide Augustana College experience

Jamaica Blog #1

We arrived in Jamaica and traveled by van to the Runaway Bay Resort. The poverty of this area was immediately evident. Entire families lived in small shacks, and I was stunned by the living conditions and the crowed of people everywhere. Many families put large pieces of sheet metal together for their shelter, and we saw men with push carts who were collecting the sheet metal and anything they could find to add to their space. There was litter everywhere and lots of goats and stray dogs. Traffic was a free-for-all.

 

Runaway Bay Resort was a typical all-inclusive resort that was very pleasant and enjoyable. The personnel were very helpful and hospitable. Some even had secret handshakes with all the children. We loved the beach and just being a typical tourist for a couple of days. Liz and I were walking on the beach one day and went outside the resort area, but when men started yelling at us we quickly turned around. This was our first indication that we had to be very careful about where were. One day we went to St. Anne’s and to the bank. Venturing out of the world of the resort bubble, we saw much many murals that depicted Jamaican pride and politics. Everyone stared at us as it was evident that we were not locals. The driving was extremely rough in the stick shift van. I loved this area though because it was my introduction into Jamaican cuisine as well as Reggae music.

 

We went to the Green Grotto caves and learned that Runaway Bay got its name from the pirates who ran away and hid in the caves so they wouldn’t get caught. We also saw many bats in the caves. It is said that bats keep the mosquitos away. They used to allow parties to be held in the grotto but they scared the bats away so now parties are not allowed. We enjoyed our days seeing the sites in the Runaway Bay area but were really ready to move on to Kingston.

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