The worldwide Augustana College experience

Fricke Jamaica 1

The first few days at Jewel Runaway  Bay were amazing! Getting acclimated to the island was not a hard process at all. All that was necessary was some SPF 55 and making sure there was a kayak available for me to take out in the ocean. Well, there were actually a few things other than the sun that I had to adjust to. It was a bit hard when we had to learn to communicate with others without our cell phones. We were all in different parts of the resort but we still managed to run into each other and hang out as the day went by. And as the day wore on it became very nice to not have to worry about checking my text messages, email, or Facebook. It’s now to the point where I do not want to check any of that because I just want to experience the island.

Another difference that I had to adjust to was island time. Whether it was checking into the hotel room, waiting for food to be cooked, or even arriving at one of the resort activities when it was scheduled to be taking place, I noticed that down here in Jamaica the people are very laid back and not conscientious about schedules. The people think that things will happen when they happen and if things are running late then oh well! For those of you who know me this is VERY HARD for me to accept. However, while I have only been here for three days I think I am learning to be more relaxed and take things as they come. I’ve realized that if my reggae-size water work-out class doesn’t start right away it is not the end of the world.
This might just be my experience at the resort, but I have noticed how extremely Americanized everything is. The music especially was shocking. Driving from the airport to the resort I heard Justin Bieber and Rihanna on the radio and the resort was all about “Gangnam Style.” I had been expecting to listen to a never ending stream of Jamaican music. It has been quite the opposite experience. The food was also delicious but, again, what you would find at any American restaurant. I hope that at the future destinations we will be able to interact more with locals and the Jamaican culture. It was nice though being at the resort for the first few days so that we could experience the touristy part of the island and get acquainted with certain aspects of the Caribbean before being completely immersed in the culture.  Now we will be able to compare and contrast the tourist life style to our future destinations.

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