The worldwide Augustana College experience

Boston Bay and Port Royal: Forward, But to Where?

By the time we had arrived at the last stop in our journey together, I was certain this experience had ranked as one of the most significant in my life thus far.  I had done and seen so much that merited remembering, met so many incredible people, got to see anew those I had already know.  Yet I found myself (and still find myself) unable to categorize all of it, give it a single moral or purpose in the context of my life.  As I sat with my classmates, eating our last meal together in Port Royal, I had time to reflect.  Across the harbor, the city of Kingston appeared, a distant mirage.  Already the experience seemed like a hazy dream.  Had it all actually happened?  The only proof I had, were a few photos and a select number of souvenirs, a terribly small pittance.

How should I view this experience?  A lesson in being grateful for what I have? An encounter with a world that is foreign? Some of the morals I had derided from this experience seemed contradictory.  Was this a lesson in human frailty? A lesson in human strength?  A reminder of the incredible diversity of human cultures?  A reminder that we are all truly the same?  It will take time and thought before I am able to truly understand the experiences I have had.  I know with certainty however that the words of Stoneman, the Rasta we met in Trench Town, characterize my feelings perfectly.  I have not come back home from Jamaica; I have come forward.

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