Guest Post | Celebrating Jamaica: Home, Sweet Home!
EDITORIAL NOTE FROM CUCUMBERJUICE: The following is a guest post from my friend the one and only Caro (known to some of y’all as @carybbeancee). The post shares her recent trip to Jamaica and accurately captures, I think, the joy those of us who now live elsewhere feel upon returning home. Enjoy!
Date: Saturday, February 26th, 2011
Location: American Airlines Flight #1058
Thoughts: Please God let the flight be smooth. Why won’t these two women shut up? Where am I going later on? Will my BFF be waiting inside my living room? Am I going to get to see my wifeys/Beckys/cuzzies and lovies? I can’t wait to try Scotchies jerk pork! Lawks, look how dem flinging my luggage pon di ramp! Should I read this book now? Or later? Shucks, need to turn off my phone.
FINALLY! After ONE YEAR and 2 MONTHS of not being able to fly home, this trip was LONG overdue. Thanks to having an amazing boss, I was able to travel home for 8 days (well, 9 after my American Airlines mishap) to recruit for the University. Everything was arranged perfectly with the exception of having to leave from Miami Airport. [ugh.com]
The flight went well, even with the continuous chatter of the women beside me. I was even able to have a quick nap before waking up to “Vybz Kartel’s music mashing up our children! What are we going to do?” *yawn* Keep it moving lady. I wonder if she and her friend actually attempted to do something. Ah well…
As the flight began its descent into Kingston, I could not help but be overwhelmed with emotions. (Yes, I’m an emo kid. Sue me.) I pressed my face against the plane’s window and kept repeating “Thank you God for allowing this.” I was so excited that I kept snapping pics with my phone! (I am a REAL gladis!)
For those of you who have flown on Air Jamaica, you guys know how we usually clap as we land? Well, I must have felt I was on an Air Jamaica flight because when we landed, I was the only one applauding… Lame I know, but I didn’t care. I was just SO happy to be back home.
Normally, I am quite apprehensive about going through Immigration and Customs at Norman Manley, but this time, I was pleasantly surprised. I was out of Immigration in exactly 10 minutes and Customs took 15 minutes (including getting my luggage). I will not mention my waiting on a certain Deacon to pick me up. (That NEVER happens to me!!! LOL)
Well, unfortunately my trip was only for ONE week… which is NEVER enough for me because I NEVER get to see everyone. Sigh. I need about a month in Jamaica to do
everything I want to do and see everyone I want to see. During the trip I worked hard and I played harder. I got to see some old and dear friends and meet some of the new and dear friends. Hopefully during my next trip I’ll get to meet up with the ones I didn’t see this time around.
For the work related portion of my trip I got to visit a few high schools: Campion College, AISK (American International School of Kingston), Hillel Academy and Immaculate Conception High. I was received well by all four schools and I had a great time chatting with the students. Especially at ICHS…I felt like I had gone back in time! All of my past teachers were STILL there! (Ms. Mundle now Mrs. Thorpe, Ms. Rennicks, Mrs. Hills, Mme. Williams, Ms. Dawson, Mrs. Lee, Mme. Rampair, Ms. Titus, Ms. Pyke-Lear, Ms. Bartley, Ms. Gordon, Mrs. Ashman-Simms, Mr. Kirkland, etc). That day, I definitely did get a bit emotional as I walked up the steps towards the Front Office. Even the patio is still the same (a little weathered but you get the drift).
For the play portion… heh heh heh… I had a BLAST. I won’t be able to divulge all the details, but let me just say that
I never knew that I could laugh so much during a Taboo game! Anyway, I definitely got a lot done in the short week. I went to Susie’s TWICE (once on Saturday night and then for Mojito Mondays), I went to Medusa’s on Wednesday night and I went to Mas Camp on Friday night. I definitely had a great time on each occasion. I also got a chance to eat out a lot more than usual. I think I’ll dedicate some special attention for this topic…*ahem*
So food. Glorious, glorious food! *drool* My tongue and I had glorious adventures at Spanish Court Hotel, Scotchies, Cuddyz and The Courtleigh. And also at The Campbell wedding. Mmmm mmm mmm! I never realized how much of a soup lover I was until the red peas soup at Scotchies!! Geezum peez, I don’t know if it’s because I was so hungry or if the soup was really good…but damn, the soup hit the SPOT!!! The soup all reach mi soul!! Kudos to the chefs at Scotchies. As for Cuddyz corn soup? It sell off!!! As for the Campbell wedding, Mrs. Siri Saunders did the catering…and might I say drool.org/YUM!!! Siri, you outdid yourself. That bread pudding with the Blue Mountain coffee crème on the inside? I think I need MORE in my life…
Anyway, besides the state of the roads (the craters because those are no longer pot holes) and the fact that the driving has not improved, the trip was great and I could see myself being back in Jamaica as I type (if it wasn’t for that pesky student loan and once I could afford to be on my own).
Oh! One more thing to mention before I end this trip down memory lane… I must say that I am SO disheartened after repeatedly hearing that if I
get the opportunity to reside in the United States for a longer time, I should grab it. Yes, I understand PERFECTLY how our country needs to improve in so many ways…not to mention the so-called leaders…but why is it that I should continue contributing to the “brain drain” once my debt is re-paid to the US government? It hurts me deeply to keep hearing that I must not come back to my sweet sweet island. After hearing all of the discouragement, I promised myself that I would work my butt off AND save as much as possible and return to Jamaica as soon as possible. I miss being around my parents and siblings (though my sister is in the US). I miss enjoying life to the fullest. I miss seeing the mountains EVERY day. I miss the beaches. I miss the mannerisms of my Jamaican people.
Jamaica, I will return one day in the VERY near future.
DATE: Monday, March 7th, 2011
Location: American Airlines Flight #628
Thoughts: Please God let the flight be smooth. Lawks, look how dem flinging my luggage pon di ramp! I wish I got to see Les, Dan, Ali and many more people. Damn, that w*ed was good. Please God don’t let Miami Airport be a nightmare. Shucks, need to turn off my phone.