Another wonderful weekend. The church I have been attending here in Portmore coordinated a trip to Dunn’s River Falls. All along I had been debating whether or not I wanted to attend, but on Friday night I made the decision I would be ready for 8:30am. When Saturday morning came, I could not get up!
I have gotten so used to packing for the beach now, I hardly have to think about it. When I thought I had everything figured out, I noticed I still needed to shave. Luckily I had bought really good shavers and a shaving gel so shaving is done in under five minutes- both legs! The one thing I usually go without (when in a rush…in Canada) is breakfast, especially when in a rush. But not knowing when I would eat next, made it necessary for me to at least pack something. I quickly unwrapped a small bun out of it’s package, cut slices of cheese and tossed it between the bun and placed it back in the package. I grabbed a bottle of schweppes (the drink everyone seem to love here) and placed them all in my bag as I dashed through the door. My ride was already waiting. “I’m sorry I’m late” I said. “Don’t worry, you’ll have the children to answer to when you get to church” my ride said.
The day begun. I watched the ladies in charge take the additional monies from people, then a few devotional songs were sung and prayer sent up to God for protection, a bit of waiting, and 40 minutes later the bus finally took off. All was going well within the first hour, then suddenly the bus slowed down to a stop. The driver got out, what seem like for a pee break and to double check a few things around the bus. Twenty minutes later, we’re on the go again. I was sitting by the window when the driver and his sidekick was passing, so I blurted out, “are there going to be anymore stops?” The answer was “No” and I gave a thumbs up. We were on our way again. Ten minutes later, the bus stops again. Driver gets out; sidekick follows. Nobody knows what’s going on. Bus drives off. And stops again. Now everyone was aggravated. I inquired about the issue and apparently the radiator was overheating! Since I just had a seminar for the youth about maintaining a positive attitude among other things, I decided this would be a good time to remove my novel from my bag. I decided to practice what I preached, believing that all would be well. Prior to that I had already reach for my cellphone and turned it on, and in the moment that I tried to use it, I saw it shut off automatically. Battery dead. I had been having problems with it and of all the time I would have needed a phone this would be it. I was ready to usher someone to get me out of this mess because I wasn’t planning to make any headline news: A Canadian woman among many residents from a local church group in Jamaica died in a malfunction bus. Instead of letting my thoughts go wild, I occupied myself with my uninteresting novel.
Almost an hour later, persons who had left the bus earlier, returned and the bus was ready. It moved with unsteady movements as it tried to crawl up the hills. Surprisingly it made it and did not stop until we arrived at Dunn’s River Falls. The children in the bus screamed in excitement as the bus climbed up the final hill into the parking lot.
And what a joy it was to arrive. After counting and recounting children and placing tags on hands we were finally ready to go inside passing the turn stalls where the security officer counted us again. I bought my rubber shoes for $400JA this time…not the $600 I paid a few weeks ago. I quickly changed my clothes, placed my things in the locker and off I went into the water. I did not even see my group until minutes later. I decided to go see what the holdup was. The lifeguards were debriefing the children about the rules; when it was done. everyone went into the water and I did the same. As cold as it was I didn’t mind. Maybe just the seem fact that that were was so much to do, including climbing the falls makes me think staying in this cold beach is worth it. I got to know a few of the youths, exchanging our talents of swimming and styles of strokes. After several minutes a few of us decided we were ready to tackle the falls. A few of us led to a large group. We had to fall behind the chain of “tourists”as they climbed the falls. Do they do this every time? This is so not the way to climb the falls… Our group escaped where we could to avoid the tourists and made our way up. We stopped to enjoy the water falling in our faces and others deciding to rest a little while. But a few of us just wanted to reach to the top and get back to the beach. Does this ever get boring?
I returned to eat lunch, and arranged a ride on the jet skis. I was riding off to Dolphin Cove! What a sight! I was seeing Dolphins for the first time. So beautiful, so friendly, so adorable- I could have had one for a pet. Not long after we returned to shore. All for the price of $1000JA. When we returned we had a chance to go for another spin without the driver. I skid pass new friends and waved. What fun!
I returned and decided to climb the falls a second time with some of the children. Under 12 needed to go with an adult so I agreed to take them. It felt completely different climbing the falls with the responsibility of the children. At one point, one girl was sliding down the falls saying, “woooooo” I almost thought this was intentional. I grabbed her hand in that second and realized she was actually slipping and falling. Accidents can actually happen if you’re not careful. I think that’s where the rubber shoes come in handy- less chance of sliding.
So much happened that day and quite honestly, I would consider living in Jamaica if it’s just to be able to come to Dunn’s River Falls once a month. Yes at this point, I can truthfully say I am in love.