The worldwide Augustana College experience

The bonding blog

Last night was our first night sleeping in a tree and surprisingly it was the best night sleep I’ve had on this trip. Today we had some extra free time because the Port Antonio market wasn’t open on Sundays. So naturally we all headed down to the Boston Bay to grab some sun and sand. The bay has a cliff that those brave enough could jump off of. So I mustered up as much courage as I could and walked through the rocky terrain up to the cliff. Once I had reached the top it seemed much higher than I thought but with the cheering of my fellow jumpers behind me and the chickens who were still in the shallow end I jumped. Without a doubt that was one of the scariest moments of my life but the adrenaline rush that came with it was totally worth it.

We left the Great Huts to grab some lunch at a local bar, The Country Club. The meal was delicious and sitting on picnic tables on the beach just amplified our experience. But our time was short there because we had to continue our travels to Reach Falls.
The drive to Reach Falls was spectacular. When you see postcards of Jamaica those images are identical to the views we had on the winding roads. Once we reached Reach Falls we began walking down to the waterfall to drop off our stuff and prepare for our climb through the jungle. I am honestly at a loss of words to help me describe what our hike was like. We walked through the upper part of the waterfall and tried our best to steady ourselves on the slick rocks beneath our feet. At the top we dropped ourselves down (with much help from our tour guide) into a cave inside of the waterfall. The cave was too short for us to stand in it was incredible to see…until we had to leave. In order for us to make it out of the cave we had to duck under an opening to reach the other side. Not that bad, right? Wrong. There was water splashing down on our heads AND there was not one opening. Oh no, there were two. And I know it doesn’t seem all that bad but my fellow travelers can back me up that it was terrifying. Dr. Egan found a former Alpha student and was socializing with other Jamaicans and they said their culture doesn’t think the cave is that exciting, “But the Americans love it!”
Then we made our way back to the main fall and yet again, were given the opportunity to jump off. It’s was where my courage failed me. I walked my way down to the natural pool at the bottom of the fall where I watched my friends take the plunge off the rocks and into the turquoise water. Now they say that you only regret the things you DON’T do and I really do regret being such a chicken. So any impressionable readers, take my advice and jump (only under supervision and when safety measures have been taken).
This evening part of our group got together and talked for hours about our experiences so far on the trip and about bios bonded we feel. We have done some pretty adventurous things and there are quite a few people in our group who couldn’t do it without 20 other people cheering and encouraging us to take that leap of faith. And so far it has been more than worth it.

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