I have travelled to many places in the world, and although Jamaica really is my first home, coming back to Jamaica as a tourist and as a citizen I have felt the warm embrace of this country. Truly it is like no other country in the world. South Korea can’t be compared to Jamaica, Japan can’t be compared to Jamaica- not even U.S.A and Canada in their glory can be compared to Jamaica. All my assumptions were null, nothing manifested in reality and I received many scares and cautions from friends and family alike.
What with the crime and violence? It does exist but in the same way it exist in Canada. It is usually in some other community unrelated to me. I have driven through some “bad parts” of Jamaica which had to be pointed out because to the natural eye it’s just another community. The government appears to be working overtime to resolve the “deeply rooted” crime problem. The other day, I learnt that a woman behead her ex-boyfriend’s child. And in the same day/week, an 82-year-old was dismembered. Yes these are the same stories that create scares into people’s minds. You would assume that this is a day to day occurrence and can happen anywhere. If I wasn’t careful, I could have allowed these fears and scares to rob me of this beautiful experience.
Saying goodbye is not always the easiest thing to do but I felt I have been doing a good job at it. Since last week I have been preparing myself. Firstly, I reminded the youths and teachers at YMCA I would be leaving. I had a chance to speak a message of encourage to the class where I had been devoting my time- the best gift is getting the children’s undivided attention, which often is a difficult thing! I can only hope that I inspired someone. When I went to the soup kitchen last week- tuesday and thursday I reminded them that those were my last days- they encouraged me to come back and be sure to serve in that capacity again. In the near future, I think I will take them up on the offer.
I felt I didn’t get to see my entire family in person- some I spoke to on the phone. I spent a lot of time with my cousins those I knew when I was little. Maybe this trip was an opportunity to meet cousins- even new baby cousins. I think those moments added to my unforgetable moments.
There were so many highlights about this trip- I mean I had opportunities to serve in the community (different schools, soup kitchen) and in the church. I had the opportunity to visit 9 parishes out of 14. I had many chances to visit beaches, the zoo, mountains, spas, museums and waterfalls.
I got the sense that although Jamaica may not be a large country in comparison to others, there is so much to do. The experiences are endless. Unfortunately I did not visit a resort (I suppose it is something that can be done on another occasion). But that did not take away from the other experiences. People who go to resorts don’t go to the Zoo do they? They wouldn’t really visit Bob Marley’s museum, or would they have been to Dunn’s river falls twice?! Would they have had the opportunity to climb the falls twice in one day? And although I did not stay at a resort I had two opportunities to eat at, what I thought was, the most beautiful restaurant in Jamaica – Strawberry Hills. And I also went to Usain Bolt’s restaurant, tracks and records” twice. So I don’t think I was robbed because I did not make the time to visit Jamaica’s beautiful resorts. It will certainly be done sometime this year- I feel 🙂