The worldwide Augustana College experience

Reggaecize, running and the Huts!

What an amazing time Jamaica has been so far! The first day of travel was rough between being caught at the airport an extra 50 minutes, the 4 hour flight with a child kicking my seat and going through immigration and customs for my first time ever! It was pretty crazy but everything ended up going pretty smoothly. After we got through the airport in Jamaica we had to wait for our vans, so what better time to try some Jamaican food? We all got patties and they were delicious but then we had to sit and wait until our vans were ready, which of course felt like forever. When we finally got on the road, things were a bit rough (literally got hit in the head with a suitcase) but the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. Our van was taking pictures of everything in sight.

We then finally made it to the hotel about an hour and a half later and waited on our rooms. Most people got their rooms, no problem… Unfortunately, we had a room that wasn’t quite right. Our room only had 2 beds for 3 people, so we waited to get the correct room. When our room finally was “ready” we got taken over there and it was still being cleaned, so they moved us to another room and added in an extra cot since it also had 2 beds. Rough. We finally got settled in and got to go down and try some Jamaican food at our buffet and it was great. The rest of the night was pretty much devoted to relaxing and having a good time on the beach.

The next morning we got up at 8 so we could head down to the beach and pools. We scoped out the beach and Carly and I decided to go kayaking! I had never gone before but it was so much fun, I had no idea how great it would be. I loved being able to just be out there and enjoy the water without a care in the world. We then headed to the pool and enjoyed our time at the swim up bar. The staff throughout the hotel is so friendly and just really funny! We spent most of our day out of the beach and in the pool, but one of the coolest things was laying out on the beach and getting to witness a destination wedding! Carly, Steph and I looked behind us and a wedding was just starting. It was so great to see and just seemed like a really fun wedding. After we had dinner, we all decided to go to karaoke in the resort lobby and it was a great time! we sang so many songs and we all sang “Don’t wanna miss a thing” together and it was wonderful! After about 2 hours of singing out hearts out, we went on to the Hurricane Disco and ruled the dance floor For a few hours! It was such a blast and a great way to end our last night at Runaway Bay.

When we got up I decided to take a nice run down the beach and got to see some of the local public beach which was so nice. It was fun to see the Jamaicans just out on the beach enjoying their day. Unfortunately, it was extremely hot and I ended up with blisters, but I have to say that it was worth it to get an in person encounter with the “local” beach. After we all enjoyed a little more time at the beach and pool we were on our way to the Seville house and the Great Huts. The Seville house was such a great piece of history even though we only got to other the outside, but we also came to encounter a few locals that lived right by the house and we got to talk to them and ask about their livelihood raising everything from pigs to peacocks. After that we began the trek to the Great Huts and the views were amazing. Some people started to feel carsick with the winding roads, but for me the discomfort was that suitcase that just continued to hit me in the back of the head. But, it was still amazing to see everything as we travelled through and we finally reached the Great Huts.

Carly and I were quickly taken to our hut which consists of a bedroom and bathroom, completely open to nature, so it will definitely be an experience. We toured a few of the other huts and headed into town with Mike and several other members of our group. It was great to stop into a bar and have a drink with some of the locals. We heard stories from and older gentleman who lived in England for 49 years and he was so fun. We also met a very sloppy drunk that was just full of laughs. We made our way back around 7 for dinner and I had grilled chicken with red stripe sauce, but Mike had Carly, Stephanie and I try his curried goat, which actually wasn’t bad! While we were eating we got to experience more culture by hearing some authentic music and seeing some dances! We even got a chance to learn some of the dances with the dancers themselves. I got pulled aside by Scion who is actually trying to be a dancer and he was fantastic! He was actually a great dancer and I really enjoyed every second, he was a blast! Shortly after I got to talk to him and looked at some of his great paintings and drawings. He’s also an amazing artist, who would’ve thought! Tomorrow were off to more adventures in Port Antonio!

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