The worldwide Augustana College experience

Jamaican Experience 2

   While at the great huts we had many adventures and unique experiences. Just staying in the huts themselves was an experience. We showered, in our bathing suits in groups, at the edge of our cliff in the open. We were introduced to many large and different bugs, which was the reason for our mosquito nets. Our place also had a connecting living room where a large portion of our group spent a few nights together, as well as New Year’s Eve.  There we played cards and talked about our experiences these past few days. The most common reflections of the trip were the amazing views and the stories that will last a lifetime.

         My favorite, and the most reoccurring memories of our group, came from our Reach Falls journey. At first when we arrived we had no idea what to expect when the Jamaican guides told us to follow them. We were hiking, swimming and climbing up the running water while using teamwork to help our group make it to the top. It was amazing until we reached the top and thought the only way down was a ‘water slide’. I was freaking out, but luckily we were all informed that it was an underground cave. We all found the courage to climb down into the cave and somehow swim our way back out into the open. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I am sure none of us will ever forget.

         We also have some small funny stories that have happened throughout the last couple days that will make our trip more memorable. Like when Isaac, Paige and I went down to the beach New Years Eve night and ripped and fell through a hammock, as well as our journey driving through the narrow, rocky roads in the mountains.
           Our experience in the market was interesting. We had a Jamaican man tour us around a harbor where he introduced us to interesting plants. I was really interested in the Touch Me Not plant. I have been exposed before to many plants through my grandfather’s nursery business, and I thought that this unique plant was amazing the way it closed up as one touched it and then reopened once everyone moved away from it. Stinkin Pretty was another exciting find. This plant’s flowers are beautiful, but the leaves really do smell awful. During the rest of our trip to the market we met a couple more interesting and especially nice Jamaicans. We also went through the meat section of the market where we saw raw animal meat and identifiable body parts. It was sort of nasty, since we were so close we could have been sprayed with guts, but I am glad I passed through it. Overall we spent our time in the market buying a few souvenirs and taking in the Jamaican atmosphere.
       Tomorrow we begin teaching! I can’t wait to meet the Alpha School students and interact with them in a school setting.

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