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Two days ago I went with other five volunteers on a trip to the sea shore in Ocho Rios. We left Mandeville at 8.45 am and after two very long hours of driving across the Jamaican roads and several head hits on the roof of the car because of the bounces we finally got to the wonderful Caribbean beach.
After a very nice day we were about to leave and we were waiting in the van parked in a park just outside one of the several chicken fast foods of the place, when a typical Jamaican man with dreadlocks came in our direction. He was bringing a black bag and we suddenly thought he was one of those whose attention was caught by our group of “whities”, but when he stopped close to the car window he threw out of his bag six muffins.
We immediately recognized the shape of the Marijuana leave printed in black colour on the top of the pack and his words drove away even the last doubts: “Come on guys! Get some of these! Eat them and you’ll be like oooooohhh!!” These words together with his funny moves and shakes made the six of us immediately laugh so loud we could barely breath.
In the end, after we refused his kind offer, we left Ocho Rios with a smile on the face, nice pictures to show and a funny story to tell. Definitively a positive experience!
Sunday the 16 at 10 o’clock in the night my volunteering journey to Jamaica started. Since the first moment I’ve arrived I’ve noticed the differences between this country compared to Italy. People are more confident and pleasure, they welcomed me as a member of their family, and make me try all their typical food, the language and their activities.
My other experience started at the Rose Hill primary school where I had to look after more than 20’s kids, the first day we worked in the school, I had to look after a group of 15 girls, I had to make them create a poster about the job they would like to do in a future, and as I was supposed to follow the people which wanted to became teachers I knew almost girls would have come to me for the poster.
Girls aged was between five to thirteen, they all had clear ideas about what teachers job is, and why they wanted to became as them, so I made them wrote in the poster their ideas about becoming teachers and why their dream job was that instead of others.
All girls were excited and happy to do this activity they all helped me and treated me as a friend, I was really pleasured with all of them. So as we finished the activity before we had to I brought all the girl in the playground to play and Italian game that also in Jamaica was popular it’s called 1,2,3 STOP, they wanted me to play and they all played better than me, they had more enthusiasm, energy than me!!
It was my first time that I helped a school and the community, after the first day I was proud of myself and I couldn’t wait to start a new day helping the children with different activities. Now that one week has passed even if I’m so happy of what I’m doing I’m even exhausted because this children have too ...
As we all know Jamaica is known all over the world not only for the fantastic views and beaches but even for their interesting plants from where they are able to produce Cannabis. However as soon as we arrived I was shocked by the words of the Projects Abroad staff that told us that Ganja was illegal in Jamaica and that the Police was really severe about it.
Just a few days passed and I realized that probably they had exaggerated and that actually these substances were pretty easy to find.
My personal experience however arrived just during the first weekend when during our free time on the fabulous beaches of Ocho Rios we saw people not only smoking Ganja but even offering it to us with complete easiness as if these substance were legal here in Jamaica. At the start I thought it was just a case but the final proof arrived to me when a guy not only offered me the actual substance but even some typical muffins containing Ganja. This scene made the all group laugh and start a conversation with this strange guy that explained us a lot of things about Jamaican culture and how this substance is diffuse all over this fabulous island.
This experience was not only one of the funniest moments we passed together but even an important lesson about Jamaican culture and habits.
This is my second and last week in Jamaica! Just one week ago I was in this office with no wonder of what I had to expect from this experience and even if the time flew away so quickly it seems more than a week! I thought it was impossible to learn about so many different things and have different experience in just seven day.
I am working at the Rose Hill primary school; there are 115 students and just six of us! For all of us, this is our first experience volunteering and the first time in Jamaica , therefore when the first day we found ourselves in front of a bunch of kids screaming “Wag wan”, “Mi deia” and “Mi criss” we were all so confused. Since that day I had no idea about the existence of another language in Jamaica and I was more than sure that they were all speaking English, instead I deal on a daily basis with children that, even if they are aware of the fact that I don’t know patois, continue to talk to me pretending that I understand what they are telling me!
They constantly scream in this language which was unknown to me and while they scream they make so many facial expressions and move their body as reggae rhythm is flowing in their veins. They have a completely different approach to the Italian children I have met. They all sing and dance as professionals but like all the kids in the world they love to play! They never want to stop, they go from a game to the other and they are never tired. We try to keep up with them, but it’s really difficult, they are full of energy and we all feel old compared to them! But when they try to make us part of their games by screaming to us “Yuh play with mi miss” we are invaded by their energy and we get the chance to relive our childhood but with different ...
Cruising down Bamboo Avenue, the wind whipping my hair across my sun burnt face, it felt surreal to realize that I was actually in Jamaica. Ys Falls was the destination, and a trip I have been eagerly anticipating since my arrival in this sun boasting country. So many people, some of whom have never even been to Jamaica, talked such wonderful praise about this beautiful tourist attraction that I couldn’t help but feel a little excited and anxious to see what lay ahead of me at this so-called ‘’magical fall’’.
Once we arrived at Ys Falls, I tilted my face towards the glistening sun which was almost dancing in the clear, blue sky. It was very hot today, but the smell of jerk chicken wafting from the tiny kitchen distracted me from my discomfort of the extreme heat. My nostrils flared and my mouth watered at the thought of a big, juicy burger after our adventure up by the waterfall! We took a mini shuttle bus as far as the beginning of the waterfall, passing strange looking trees and luscious green plants en route.
My attention was immediately drawn to the colour that popped from every nook and cranny this place had on offer. To my left, was a bright blue pool with a footbridge and brown sun loungers resting nearby. Then to my right stood an enormous tree surrounded by blooming yellow plants and pink flowers with soft petals. Directly in front of me, was the waterfall!
I have to admit, it took my eyes a second to adjust to the beauty of the place. The waterfall was just exquisite. The water was crystal clear apart from the occasional mucky areas. Nonetheless, the falls stretched a distance so far that I had to take a zip-line in order to really take in the entire picturesque scene! From high up above, swinging like Tarzan among the ...