“This is where I grew up,” my mom says with a smile as we rode through the parishes of Trelawny, Jamaica.
Trelawny is a parish in Cornwall County in northwest Jamaica. It is bordered by the parishes of Saint Ann in the east, Saint James in the west, and Saint Elizabeth and Manchester in the south.
We are on a small, tight tour bus with ten other people (including my sister) as we sit firmly in our seats while the bus rocks back and forth on a high, steep bumpy road. As the bus goes faster, you can even hear the leaves of the palm trees scraping the windows.
I was excited. This was my second time going back to Jamaica in twenty years. I feel like I missed out on so many things there; although I am not a native. Physically being there surrounded by the people, the music, the food, and even trying their native tongue made me feel like I was part of their society.
My mom laughs as she remembers old roads she used to walk on while staring out the window and smiles as she sees the school children walking in their colorful, well pressed uniforms. “The girls always wear bows and ribbons in their hair,” she says in patois, the country’s native dialect.
I take in all the sights and sounds while we ride through Manchester and Montego Bay. There are so many cuts and corners that you could easily take a step forward and be in another town within seconds. The weather is humid, but the cool, balmy breeze made me feel like I was in paradise.
As we finally reach the town of Negril, we go to a cafe in the area and bought gifts at the gift shop, drank coconuts and enjoyed the beautiful view.
I couldn’t stop taking pictures. The frustrating part of the picture-taking process was that I couldn’t pack the sunshine and spirit back home! Taking pictures doesn’t do this place justice, but I tried the best I could to capture the essence of Jamaica.
As the day came to an end, the thunder started to roll and dark clouds blanketed the sky. I was in a hurry to get back on the bus in fear of getting drenched.
I am happy that I got to see Jamaica again thanks to sailing on The Royal Carribean cruise line. Since my last visit, seeing it now as an adult, I have a much greater appreciation of my time spent there and learning the culture. I definitely want to visit again in the future and explore more of what this beautiful country has to offer.