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

Time: 10:50AM

Location: American Airlines Flight #1058

Mood: Ecstatic

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. []

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…

Caro’s eye view of Jamaica as the plane began its descent.

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

Marsha, Me, DJ @ Susies.

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.

Immaculate - a little weathered but still familiar.

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

Me, DJ and Mandi @ Medusa’s

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!!! Siri, you outdid yourself.  That bread pudding with the Blue Mountain coffee crème on the inside? I think I need MORE in my life…

The scrumptious bread pudding!

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

Me & the broskies

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

Time: 3:40PM

Location: American Airlines Flight #628

Mood: Sad

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.

12 Responses to “Guest Post | Celebrating Jamaica: Home, Sweet Home!”
  1. Aurie says:

    Cary!!! Mi sistren!!! I’m so glad that the one dem call @cumcumberjuice decided on you for a guest post!! I thoroughly enjoyed your musings and thoughts. LOL, i could even hear your voice as you were describing some things. I’m so glad that you were able to get work to spring you to Jamaica. It doesn’t really get a whole lot better than that. Continue to be blessed gurlie! Yuh dun know seh ur bloggin bruh ova here ah pray fi yuh.

  2. petchary says:

    What an intense week you had! Sounds like you had an amazing trip, and of course it’s always good to be home. But – I know it is hurtful – DO think about staying in the US. You can always come home for holidays and fun!! As my husband always says, “Jamaica is not a good place for young people.” My son, who was brought up in Jamaica, is here for now but plans to leave by year-end… Anywhere. Unless you are into parties every night with the same people all the time, and unless you have PLENTY money, living here is no fun. You are bound to get homesick – but there are mountains and beaches in the US too (not the same ones, of course…) Jamaica is SO limited. Just make the most of ALL the opportunities you have over there and DON’T come home unless you have a REALLY GOOD JOB to go to!!

  3. Caro says:

    RE: Aurie…
    Thanks so much bro! I really had a blast and I am definitely blessed. Thanks for the prayers as always and I’m glad you enjoyed my musings. *grin*

    RE: Petchary…
    Thanks for your comments. I can appreciate where you’re coming from but I still stand by how I feel about returning home. I don’t think I would just get up and leave right this moment, but definitely when certain goals are achieved, I’d love to go home and attempt to give back in some way to the country that raised me and helped me become the person I am today.

  4. petchary says:

    Hi Ms. Cucumber: I perfectly understand how you feel about Jamaica – it’s home and it’s your comfort zone. I am talking about opportunities, and progress, that’s all. Giving back is good… Make sure it’s appreciated though. Some Jamaicans come home and end up disillusioned after a couple of years. Make sure your contacts here are good… Personally, I don’t want my son to stay here too long…. Sounds weird I know but he’s 24 and has traveled extensively and needs to hit the road again (although I love having him around)… He’ll soon get itchy feet…

  5. Carole-Anne says:

    Petchary, thanks so much for your views… 🙂 And all the best to your son.

  6. DawnieJae says:

    Hehehe mi get feecha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woiiiiieeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so glad you came … Finally I was able to meet one of my twitter besties!!!!!!!!!!! Love u hon …. please make sure Ren is on the flight when next you return!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  7. Carole-Anne says:

    @ DawnieJae awww shucks… Im glad I got to meet you too! 🙂 And I will try my best to have Ren with me on my next trip. =D Thanks for reading lovie!

  8. Carole-Anne says:

    @ DawnieJae PS. love you too hon!

  9. Simma says:

    I loved this!! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Carole-Anne says:

    Thank you so much Simma! 🙂 (And you are most welcome *grin*)

  11. shumpy says:

    lovely – left me homesick 😦 but smiling at the similarity your trip home has with trips I’ve made. I’m quite emo too esp when it come to Ja visits and being w my fam. I know the feeling of longing for home. It’s like no other place can replace it (& likely no place ever will)…hope soon to be boarding a non-Air J flight for my own visit. Thx for sharing

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