We had to say goodbye to the all-inclusive resort on Wednesday of the first week, and although it was a wonderful 2 days, I was ready to see what else Jamaica had to offer. Our first stop after the resort was to visit the Seville Great House. We went on a tour that taught us more about how the Jamaicans came to be, and also about the property itself. It was very cool to see how the property was laid out, and to learn about the agriculture of that time period as well.
After we left the Seville Great House, we had to drive about another 3 hours to get to Boston Bay. It was so interesting to drive through the small villages and see the houses and small stores. All of the buildings have vibrant colors, and most look very small in size. Most of these smaller buildings I think were stores that community members owned. I believe that their houses must have been tucked away in the hills away from the main road. As we would drive through larger towns we would see the streets crawling with people and in my opinion, some crazy driving! Also, the majority of the drive was along the coast, which was absolutely breathtaking, and definitely not something you can see in Illinois. There was also a very noticeable economic difference going from the resort to the Great Huts. Around the resorts I noticed much nicer road conditions, as well as shops, while approaching the Great Huts the roads were less than ideal in some spots (although, they weren’t terrible) and the shops were more so just little shacks right off of the road. Overall though, the drive to the Great Huts was amazingly beautiful.
Once we arrived to the Great Huts, we were all blown away with just how amazing these huts/tree house-like places really were. I lived in the hut named “Queen Sheba.” I would like to say I lived in the nicest hut, however, I think any of them would be awesome to stay in for a few nights.
Almost every night in Boston Bay was spent playing dominoes with the locals down the road. This was probably one of my favorite things to do while in Jamaica. For those of you who have never played dominoes, you should learn, because it is a great game! Anyways, the first night we played I was just playing against other Augie students, while some locals were trying to give us tips for winning; so this wasn’t as competitive of a game since we all had roughly the same amount of skill. However, there was another night where Kelly and I played against Kyle and a local. For the first few rounds it went back and forth on who would win, but after that, Kelly and I went on to win 11 rounds in a row! This is a pretty huge accomplishment for dominoes I’d say. So that meant we won 1 game, and we were one win away from winning a second game. So not only did we win 11 in a row, but it was also against a local who seemed to be very competitive, so I was happy to see I could hold my own against the “experts.”
Aside from dominoes, while we were in Boston Bay we went on quite a few excursions. We went into the market in Port Antonio, the Blue Lagoon, Frenchman’s Cove, and Reach Falls. The market was definitely a different experience than anything I’ve ever done in the US. When you want to buy something in Jamaica, you are expected to barter. As most of you can guess, this is not something that comes natural to most American college students; but soon enough I got the hang of it and was able to save a few dollars on each purchase. Blue Lagoon and Frenchman’s Cove were both absolutely beautiful. The water at the Blue Lagoon looked like someone just poured blue food coloring into some clear water – it was incredible. While there we were able to kayak, hang out and play dominoes, swim, or just lay out at a nearby villa where we ended up having a delicious lunch and dinner. Frenchman’s Cove was amazing because the waves were absolutely insane, but also because there was a river connected to the side that was so calm and tranquil. Lastly, Reach Falls was a blast! I got to climb my way up and stream; go underground only to find myself in an underground cave; swim through the cave (we literally were swimming with earth above and below us, so we had to hold our breathes while we did this) so we could get back out to the stream; and lastly, we all jumped off the 25ft waterfall at the end! Like I said, it was a blast.
What I am able to take away from these 4 days at the Huts is that the people I encountered were some of the nicest people you’ll meet. Another thing I learned was that when presented with the opportunity, I was able to get outside of my comfort zone to really allow myself to experience Jamaica. Also, one big thing I learned is that most of the Jamaicans that I met all understand how to live life to the fullest. They understand that life isn’t about the money you do or do not have; instead, life is making the most of everyday and being thankful for what you do have. It was just very inspiring to see people who many Americans would consider impoverished living perfectly happy lives. Lastly, I learned that Jamaican’s know how to cook up some pretty delicious meals; and when you order fish, you get a fish – head and all.
Posted on March 9th, 2015 by Emily Villarreal
Filed under: Emily Villarreal, Jamaica, Uncategorized | No Comments »