The worldwide Augustana College experience

Jamaican Experience 1

    The first few nights we were in Jewel Runaway Bay I was surprised by the lack of Jamaican cultured we were exposed to. There was music all over, but it was mostly American. Although the Jamaican food was more authentic than the music… a touristy feel was everywhere, and it took away from the Jamaican feel that I am hoping we will get later on in our stay in Jamaica.
    We did have a nice encounter with a young Jamaican boy, who was vacationing and told us where he lived on the island as well as a little about his life. I was anxious to travel to the Great Huts in Port Antonio to experience more authentic Jamaican culture.

    As we were driving thought the great huts I was in awe over the lifestyle we observed from our drive. We were finally breaking away from the touristy atmosphere and experiencing Jamaican life. We found many children playing sports (soccer) and Jamaicans who dressed similarly to our American style. In many ways we seemed the same, except we definitely stood out. The men who caught a glimpse of us in our van would smile and wave and a little Jamaican boy even yelled out to his friends, “white girls, white girls!”  We were finally entering a less touristy section of Jamaica.
    The Great Huts is nothing like I’ve ever experienced before. It’s a very wilderness feel. Everything is wide open to nature as well as the tiny, and not so tiny, critters! The views are wonderful and the authentic food was amazing.  At dinner we experienced authentic dancing, music playing and singing. We even got to  join the dancers and learn for ourselves. I loved experiencing that part of Jamaica up close. We also went to a bar and met a few Jamaicans who were kind and talkative. I definitely experienced more of the Jamaican culture in just these past couple hours, compared to the majority of our trip so far. I can’t wait for the next couple of days!

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