The worldwide Augustana College experience

My first post

After arriving safely in Montego Bay our first stop was at Jewel Runaway Bay resort. When we first arrived at the resort we learned the true meaning of “Jamaicantime”. Upon arrival we waited for a few hours to finally get room assignments where the friendly Jamaican staff helped us find our way. At the resort we spent a lot of time getting acclimated to the new climate and culture. There were lots of activities planned for the guests throughout the day, but many times these activities did not start on time (more evidence of the “Jamaicantime”). For instance, I played volleyball for hours on the beach with some friends I had met while we waited for the scheduled activity game to start. The game was supposed to begin at 3:00 but I’m pretty sure it was nearly 4:00 by the time a staff member came over. Of course we never really knew what time it was because there were never any clocks anywhere. But leaving the cold and snow behind it was nice to catch up on our vitamin D. We were able to participate in many activities including kayaking, snorkeling, and of course laying on the beach. The resort had been a great way to allow our bodies some time to get used to the heat and humidity that comes along with visiting a Caribbean island.

On our final day at the resort we left our friends behind as we headed first to see the Seville House. The roads leading up to the house were quite terrifying. The potholes were so large we were forced to abandon the vans and walk part of the way up. The house looks out on the bay where Christopher Columbus first landed when he set out on his voyage. At the house we became adventurers and walked around to see more of the beautiful landscape and in our sightseeing we stumbled upon a “farm” (for lack of a better word). The men who ran the farm allowed us to go into the pig pens and fawn over the baby piglets. The men also kept peacocks which we were able to go into the cage with the animal. Overall this farm was quite different from the ones at home.
When we piled into the vans for the last leg of the trip to Port Antonio I’m not sure any of us were quite expecting the road conditions that we encountered. Many of my fellow travelers struggle with motion sickness, so they were already anxious, but I haven’t had much issue with that. But the roads we drove on we’re the most winding and potholed that I had ever been on that I even began to become a little bit car sick. One of the surprises along our drive were a group of Jamaicans known as jonkanu (spelling?). They stood in front of our van until we nearly ran them over. We only encountered them once but it was e most unexpected thing we could have imagined.
Once we arrived at e Great Huts in Port Antonio we were all thankful to get out of the cars. We got settled in and shown around the resort. My group is staying in the coolest tree house ever made wholesome other groups have a tower looking out over the ocean or a private bar area for their own personal entertaining. We are all quite impressed with the architecture of the resort and it ill be hard to replicate this experience ever again. Once all of us were settled in we walked up the street to a local bar to grab a drink while waiting for our dinner. A few of the Jamaicans here were a bit pushy with their goods, as Dr. Egan had warned us about. But this was definitely the most natural Jamaican experience we have had at this point. During dinner we had the pleasure of the entertainment of a local dance group who taught us about the Jamaican culture and we even got up and learned some dance moves ourselves. After dinner some of us took a dip in the pool at has been built into a cliff and overlooks the ocean. The view was breathtaking and to add to the mesmerizing night sky, Katie Cluver and I saw our first shooting star together. And since we saw it in Jamaica we are sure that our wishes will come true.

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