The worldwide Augustana College experience

“No Problem” Time

It’s hard to believe that Christmas was just four days ago. When you’re on a trip, you almost lose all concept of time. That seems especially so in this beautiful, carefree environment. I asked one of the workers at the hotel what time it was last night, and he told me it was “no problem” time. That was the answer for everything at Jewel Runaway Bay, “it’s no problem.” And there, nothing was. It was my first experience at an all-inclusive resort, and I can see why so many people would do a vacation that way. There’s food ready for you at any time of day, free drinks all day, and an array of activities from snorkeling and scuba to karaoke night and reggae-cise in the pool. We even saw a wedding taking place in the beach chapel while we were laying out. Everything one could possibly want on a vacation was right at our fingertips. At a place like Jewel Runaway Bay, there’s no need to step off the resort at all. And while we were enjoying the convenience of that, I did find myself thinking that people who come to Jamaica for vacation and go to a resort like that don’t actually experience the Jamaican culture; they’re experiencing the resort culture.

The drive from Ocho Rios to Port Antonio was an adventure. The roads are narrow and winding, which is interesting in a big stick-shift van. As we were curving around the roads through the mountains, we saw beautiful scenery, huge mansions, and small roadside stands selling food and other goods. The highlight of trip drive was through downtown Ocho Rios where we saw Jonkanoo. It was this group of people in crazy masks and costumes stopping cars in the middle of the street and dancing. Apparently it is some sort of African religious tradition. It was the craziest thing I have ever seen. Unfortunately since we weren’t expecting it, we didn’t have cameras ready so very few pictures were taken. Hopefully we will see it again on another drive.

The culture and atmosphere at GreatHuts feels so much more authentic, and the scenery and the views are breathtaking. I’m honestly at a loss for words to describe the beauty of it. I’m looking forward to seeing how beautiful the rest of Port Antonio is over the next few days. The trip is off to an amazing start!

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