The worldwide Augustana College experience

Taking in Natural Jamaica

So, I realized this morning that I forgot to talk about something very interesting that happened on our drive to the Great Huts! While we were on our way there we says some Junkanoo on the road, we didn’t know much about them but something that I’ll definitely want to google! They more scared us than anything, dancing in the middle of the street, but it was definitely interesting.

Our first full day in Boston Bay was pretty interesting too. We started the day off at the Great Huts for breakfast, which was delicious. Then some of us hit up the local beach for some fun in the waves. Some of us even got adventurous and decided to jump off one of the cliffs right by our hotel into the ocean. It was such a thrill, but sort of felt like jumping off the diving board at my pool… But to a more extreme level, and definitely more beautiful. After that we made our way towards Reach Falls, but stopped in Long Bay first for lunch and an. Absolutely gorgeous swim in the ocean. The water was perfect and the waves were great! We also got to talk to some locals and they were extremely nice, they had lots to tell about a beachside place that had been flooded out by Sandy, so that was interesting to hear. After lunch, we began our beautiful trek to Reach Falls!

Once we got to Reach Falls, the waterfall was beautiful but we had no idea what was in store for us. We started heading upstream into many different levels of the waterfall and walks through very rocky and slippery terrain. It was crazy! Once we finally got to the “top” we were told that we had to slide down into a little cave where we were pushed under rocks and back to the main stream! It crazy such an adventure! But that wasn’t even the best part. We made our way back downstream and got the opportunity to jump off the top of the waterfall which was such a rush! You better believe I was so there. It was so great just so jump off and into the water. How many people can say they jumped off a waterfall in Jamaica? We made our way back to the Huts after many pictures and decided to head out to dinner down the road and it was delicious. Pur table had a little miscommunication with the owner of the restaurant but with Mike’s help, we got things figured out. We then headed to the bar for a few drinks and dominoes. I had some great conversations with some of the locals but I also had some conversations that I didn’t really enjoy. we were told that we would get a lot of attention, and I have had several men tell me that I’m beautiful to which I say thank you, no problem. But I was not prepared to have men persistently ask for my number and ask me if I would come back and visit them again if they paid. I felt as though no matter how much I said no, the men were being very pushy. I can’t let this overshadow the great talks I have had with the other people in town, but it can be a bummer. Just something different I’m not used to.

New Years eve was also quite the adventure. We started off with breakfast at the Great Huts and all got together to head to the Port Antonio market. We all piled into the vans and made our trip to the market. Several people exchanged their money and we headed down to the market. We walked through the vegetables and then got to many different shops tended by the Jamaicans. We looked around for a bit and then moved on to the meat market which was just a trip in itself. Not only were the butchers just sawing away at their meat, but a little girl turned to her mom and said, “Mommy, look, white girls!”. I couldn’t help but laugh. I was the first one behind our tour guide and he asked if we wanted to go to the marina and I just agreed right away. I had no idea it was going to end up a tour! We went to the Errol Flynn Marina and found lots of great flowers that I had never seen before. We saw flowers that closed up when you touched them as well as flowers that just could be pushed open to show the flower inside. It was so great!

Then we made our way back to the market and I picked up a few things for family and friends and even tried some raw sugar cane! We got to play with a little boy who was there with his parents and he was absolutely adorable and so giggly. It was so fun to have the interaction before we headed on our way to the local supermarket. We picked up a few snacks and drinks and headed down to Frenchman’s Cove and played in the waves and got some lunch. The waves were huge and just barreled over us, but it was so much fun. The water in Frenchman’s cove was warm and cold due to the river running into the ocean. It was such an experience, but it didn’t stop there. We then went to the world famous Blue Lagoon and I couldn’t believe my eyes, the water was so clear and blue and it went down 250 feet. The swim was great and I loved the workout, it made me miss lifeguarding over the summer. It was so refreshing and amazing to see the water and how blue it was. Words can’t even describe how great it was. Then we headed to Anna Banana’s for dinner and I had a delicious vegetable stir fry with a baked potato and some rice and peas. We then ventured back to the Huts for our New Years in Boston Bay. We hung around at the Great Huts for New Years and were entertained by a live band and a fashion show until about 11when we all went back to one of the huts and had our last hour together and rung in the new year!

After another delicious breakfast on New Year’s Day, we began making our way to Kingston. The scenic views were absolutely gorgeous and words can’t even begin to describe how amazing it was. There were so many waterfalls, trees and plants that we’ve never seen before. Everything was breathtaking! We stopped to get some blue mountain coffee and take pictures in the mountain. We continued to make our way up the mountain and as we weaved through we encountered a car that simply wouldn’t wait and slammed into our back end which sounded worse than it actually was, but was still rough and gave us all a bit of a scare. We had several other encounters that were close calls, but no other accidents. Around 3 we made it to Strawberry Hill where we had lunch. This is also where Bob Marley went after he got shot, so it’s quite a piece of history. The lunch was delicious, but it was definitely on Jamaican time. Around 6 we finally made it to the Knutsford Hotel in Kingston! Our room is gorgeous and driving through parts of Kingston was very cool to see. I think I’m safe in saying we’re all excited to start teaching at Alpha tomorrow! Time to get a good nights sleep At the hotel tonight!

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