Sunday, September 25, 2011


Welcome to the land of Jamaica! Where the houses are never finished and people honk to say hi, thanks, and please. Early in September we were able to go to Jamaica for a week. This is where Jordan served his mission so it was a vacation plus a chance to go see some people he knew and see what it was like for him. It is definitely a whole other world down there.

Our second day there we went to Montego bay, which took about an hour and 20 minutes via taxi ride to go to church where we would meet up with Brother Smith, whom Jordan taught and was baptized recently the Branch President in another branch until it was closed down. It was so good to see him.

Jordan and BrotherSmith with some kids at church

Our ride home was quite interesting. We were in a taxi-bus with 17 people and 3 children stuffed inside. I was sitting on a “cross seat” which is a board that connects two seats in the isle so more people could fit in. What an interesting and squishy experience! I wish I had pictures but I thought it would be rude...However round trip cost us both about $20 instead of the $160 the hotel would have charged us.

A few days later we went to a cool spot called Dunns River Falls. It was really cool. We got watersocks/shoes and were able to go into the water at the bottom of the falls and then hike up it! We had a guide taking our photos, which was nice. But there weren’t very many show worthy photos. Too bad.

Afterward we went to downtown Ocho Rios. This was by far my greatest culture shock. It is so rundown and I am not used to it, and SO many people walking around. It is just CRAZY! I was a little overwhelmed and then I saw this..

The Church!

The story doesn’t end there. We ended up following a mad man while looking for a good authentic place to get rice and peas and chicken. A cop told us we didn’t need to follow him and he was just going to ask us for money. Jordan realized he should have known. I guess he was a little rusty in his Jamaican culture haha. It took us a while longer to find some food but we eventually did in the really run downmarket place. I was slightly scared to be where we were. But nothing happened and we got the food we wanted. I had to just keep thinking that Jordan has eaten food like this before and didn’t get sick..... So I ate it, and it was delicious!

This was our hotel. It was massive, but we learned how to get around and find things.

One day we went to see Brother Smith and his family at their home. He has 4 or 5 grandchildren living with him. So we hung out with them all. We gave them a suit case full of clothes and they LOVED it. Brother Smith also made us Curry Chicken which was wonderful and then we went to the beach where Jordan baptized him. It was beautiful.

Alia playing with my hair

Our last visit was with Tamara and Claudine, which was about 2 hours away in the middle of Jamaica. What a ride! It was crazy. It was basically driving in the bush the whole time on these little windy roads with a million and one pot holes. But it was cool to see more of Jamaica during the drive. We met up with them at KFC in the town of Mandeville. We chatted for a while and had lunch and then headed home.

We had a taxi driver take us there and back and so he hung around with us for the day too. It was kinda funny! He just sat around and then when we got lunch he sat with us and stuff.And when Jordan went to go pay for the food no one said a thing or batted an eye. And he paid for everyone including the driver! It was kinda funny even though he was intending to pay for everyone anyway.

Some highlights fromthe trip:

· The maid that wanted to hang out with us and take us around on her day off
· Cherisa’s new yard names, Splinter, Necky, and Mrs. Steps
· “Owls are in style you know”
· “Do we have to go to the tennis courts?
· The taxi driver hanging out with us all day
· Brother Smith saying “Church Stop and 1oclock” which we misunderstood thinking it started at 1. We were a little late
· “It’s nice to see a taxi driver that is young and pimp, its refreshing”
· Swimming in the pool after dark and eating jerk chicken and we weren’t even cold!
· Snorkeling
· Naps
· Japanese dinner
· The only reason to get out of bed was so we didn’t miss breakfast
· Crazy taxi rides

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