I’m trying to decide how I want to do this. I’m wondering if it’s even worth it to try to describe the amazing amount of fun and sunshine and memories that were made on this trip. I’m even wondering if this is going to be a 2-part session or if I should cram it all in one. You see, about 2 weeks ago, (well, now it’s almost 3 weeks) me and several of my friends flew to Jamaica to meet another friend and spend some time touring, enjoying sunshine, and getting away from it all. So, when you put all of those together into one week, and then try to fit in one blog post, it seems almost impossible. I’ll try, but just know that if you weren’t there, it may get kinda boring scrolling through all of the pictures, so if that happens, kindly exit your browser and just forget the fact that you wasted the last 5-10 minutes reading something that you felt wasted your time. 🙂
Also, I feel I should inject about right in here, that I am an avid people watcher. I love to watch people, and listen to the conversations going on around me. I’m also a bit of a number-lover (good thing, as I spend most of my time in an office) 🙂 Anyway, I found myself very intrigued with all the different forms of job titles that are being performed in an airport, the languages that must be known, and how they handle payroll for everyone. (I do it for about 10-15 guys, and that’s enough for me! I’m sure they do it an easier way than we do) I also found myself very curious about the pay rate for these jobs. Some of them are very demanding, and must include some pretty good people skills. I never did ask anyone what they got paid, but I was curious! 🙂 (nerd alert!)
Also, on another note, Atlanta airport, you had one of the louder TVs blaring political news that I didn’t care to know about. Oh well, comes with the traveling, I guess.
We took a picture the first morning we were there and the morning we left. I think the sunshine did something for us…at least a little. 🙂
The first day we were there was a Sunday. We went to church, and then came back and had a relaxing afternoon, just doing a bunch of relaxing things, and catching up with Marie. As you can (and will) see, smoothies were a highlight of this trip. And, we almost always had to taste each others to see if they were any good. 🙂 We also experienced a Jamaican grocery store. Very much like America’s stores, very modernized an all.
Monday didn’t really go according as planned. We were planning to go with Marie and some others from the orphanage to a school that they help out in every week. It ended up, Marie got a new baby brought in to be placed in her care right before we were planning to leave, so she didn’t go along. We had done some cleaning in the morning, we made some food to take to the school, and folded laundry to help out. We still went, and we had lots of fun helping the children color, playing with them, and just showing love. We came back and ended up going out for smoothies and I had my first experience driving in Jamaica. The gasps coming from the passenger side as we traveled up the road on the last stretch of their road were enough that it was scaring me as well. (I wasn’t that sure about the whole ordeal to start with, so this didn’t help any!) 🙂 We made it safely.
Tuesday, we went to a place called Blossom. It’s an orphanage/school that the mission goes to help out once a week. (I think it’s once a week, anyway) We weren’t supposed to take pictures so there will be no pictures of the children. The babies crying, and not enough arms/hands to go around. It was a day we all enjoyed, holding babies and just cuddling them, because usually once you put them down to go find another, they would start crying again. We fed the babies and a few helped with the toddlers lunch, and then we got to play with them at recess. There was a Norwegian work team there and it was so interesting to hear all their plans. They were a music team, and they were traveling around for a few weeks. Obviously, Jamaica was on their list, and Los Angeles I think was one. There were several stops yet. Before we talked with them, we heard the children singing and a few of the guys sang with them. Two of us noticed how beautiful their singing sounded, and then we found out they were with a music team and it made sense. We wanted to ask them to sing a song for us, but none of us were that brave. 🙂 We made it to the beach on this day, and there were a lot of people everywhere! It wasn’t just spring break for Melita, let’s just leave it at that. I drove Louie again, and the gasps from the passenger side were fewer and I felt a little better about it, so we survived again!
Wednesday, we were just around the mission there. Marie had child care duty, so she had to be there. We played with the children there, and just hung out, and had fun. One of our group got sick and was down for a day. It was good we had no plans for the day, but still I’m sure she feels like she missed out on a day of fun.
Thursday was a big day! The one who was sick, woke up happy and excessively cheerful in the morning. Not that I blame her, but just pointing that out. 🙂 We were going to head to Dunn’s River Falls, and so off we went. It ended up raining. Like, not just a drizzle, but a good, hard shower. So we went to do some touristy shopping instead. We ate at a fast food joint, had a jerk burger and french fries, and by the time we headed back to the falls, the rain had tapered off, and we were able to climb it. To be honest, I. don’t. like. water. But, I was determined to do this, because, honestly, how bad could it be? And, just to say I did it was an accomplishment in my book. About halfway up, we met up with a lady from England??, she was celebrating her 60th?? birthday, (sorry, some of the details are a little spotty for me) and her children had paid for her to come there, so of course she felt she should do it. We (or rather, most of the other members of my group) helped her up. I was just concerned about getting ‘me’ to the top safely. I obviously was shaking at one point, because they kept asking me if I’m ok, and noticed that I was shaking. Needless to say, I did accomplish it, thanks to some good old-fashioned Eash and Coblentz stubbornness, and the hands of those around me helping me out when it was about waist-deep, and I was getting a little more petrified (thankful for friends that I can count on like 4, 3, 2 😉 ) ……..but then I was done. I had done what I set out to do, and that was to climb to the top. The others wanted to go back in, and do it again, so I sat on the benches on the path, waiting for them to come back up and trying to catch my breath again. 🙂 (some of this might be slightly exaggerated, but if any of you don’t like water, you may understand this version better than others reading this) This was one of the highlights of the trip for the others. While I was glad I did it, I can’t say I loved it as much as they did. 🙂 We also had a good laugh at a rant that one of us gave when a kind young man tried to give us pointers on how to park at a restaurant. This rant was hilarious, and we were bursting with laughter in the car. The young man had a smirk on his face, and that made it even funnier!! (and it made the rant-ee a little more ranti-er.) We also ate supper in this cute, little, open-air restaurant with viney flowers as the roof. It was pretty cool!
The next pictures are just a conglomeration of a bunch of random times and places. (most of them were Thursday’s, I think!)
Also, Thursday evening, after we got back, the game players played Rook. I held and fed a baby. So much cooler than Rook, in my book! 🙂
Friday was the beach day!! In the morning, we had a little more time to play with the children at the mission. Then we went to do some more shopping, and went to a fabric store as well. A story in the fabric store…I didn’t see it happen, but the store security guard got a kick out of it!! Marie had told us to watch our purses carefully. So, we did. One of the group went up to another one to try to get something out of her purse never knowing that it might cause a scare. The one being ‘stolen from’ 😉 reached down and grabbed the hand of the person who was reaching in and soon realized it was just her sister. The guard apparently saw all of this, and had a pretty big chuckle out of it. 🙂 I wasn’t involved, so I think it would’ve been funny to see as well! 🙂 We went to the beach, and it was hot. It was kinda cloudy, but still sunny, and pretty humid. Just as we were getting ready to leave, it started raining again. The place we were going to eat was called Pier 1 and it was out on a pier, open air, and you could look out over the ocean. Because of the rain, we got a corner room, that was hot an musty. We debated asking them to move because by now, the rain had slowed down, but didn’t. It ended up getting stormy, with lightning and thunder, so we kept the corner in the room. The food was great, even if it took a long time to come! 🙂 It poured rain most of the evening. We decided to run to the car, and some of the water was way past ankle deep, as we splashed to the car. Then the rain slowed traffic down, and when we got home, we had to start packing and cleaning. We had a few deep discussions, and some braids were done. Then, off to bed we went, cause traveling home was tomorrow!!
Friday we traveled home. I was really worried about driving to the airport. (thus the practice sessions earlier. I knew I wouldn’t want the airport ride to be my first driving experience) It was early enough on a Sat. to not be busy. So we fueled up, and dropped off 2 of them with the luggage and then 2 of us went to park the car. I parked it in the wrong place, so we had to go back to park it right, and then we went through security, checked in, and we were ready to fly!
This trip was amazing!! Here are some things I learned.
*’You can count on me…..’ 🙂
*Jamaican culture is bright, happy, cheerful, easy-going, and l.a.i.d.b.a.c.k.
*Jamaicans will blast their music anywhere. We even went past a store that was blaring a song about Jesus. (I don’t remember the song anymore) And….No one seemed to be offended by it!
*Apparently ‘you all have one husband’ can have 2 meanings. It can mean you all share one husband, or you all have only one husband each. P.S.–I took the question the wrong way, and the ladies asking were horrified until I finally understood. 🙂
*For some reason (and I’m not sure why, or if we’re the only ones), you feel more free to share about your Christianity and why you have a veil on your head in another country.
*We are ‘USA-ans’ 🙂
*Prayer really works!! I knew this before, but we prayed several times over there for specific things and God answered!! One of the biggest was Marie’s boy was not sleeping well. One evening, he woke up around 4 times or so. (he’s right around 2 yrs. old) We prayed for him the night before we had a big day planned so that he would sleep good, and Marie would be rested up for the next day. One of the girls talked to Marie just recently, and she said he hasn’t woken up during the night since then!! Praise the Lord!! Another was for healing for the one who got sick. The next morning, she felt better. Overly cheerful, but better!! 🙂 Praise the Lord!!
*On a side note, I had no episodes while I was there. Even with the stresses of traveling, etc. 🙂 It’s been super long since I had one, and you all can keep praying that the health continues!! 🙂
*Security officers are not as scary as they seem. They are just doing their job, and if you are friendly and open to them, they can be friendly as well.
*There are people from all over the world, and we only see a part of them. We met (and at least a couple of our group did some talking!!) to people from Norway, Jamaica (no, duh!), Canada (2 groups), England, and I’m thinking there was one from Israel??
*Apparently Ohio and Hawaii sound kinda alike. One person asked us, “So you say ‘hello’, or …….’aloha’?? Then we realized what the confusion was.
*Friends, trips, and making memories are great!! But, there’s a time when this girls has got to get back to normal life, or the grouchiness sets in….To my shame! And we all said, AMEN!! 🙂 🙂
*Singing in the car with friends is like pretty cool.
*Sharing time with friends, giggling in the dark about the Big Dipper, and sharing hard things we struggle with, laughing at hilarious moments, being touristy…..These all make for great memories!
I honestly don’t feel like I’ve shared it all. I feel like there are important memorable experiences I left out. Hopefully, this was not boring, and hopefully, it gave you a bit of a view into our trip. It was great to go and get a week off of work, and great to come home, and get back to work. 🙂