people . places . thoughts . prayers
I’ve been in Jamaica for just over two weeks now and classes only begin today so my time has been pretty chill apart from the masses of admin there has been to complete. There has been plenty of time to take in my surroundings, meet new people and get used to what life will be like here.
As you can imagine I’ve met loads of people, and most of them have great names that I have yet to remember… my flat mates are all lovely too and lots of us are Christians which has already created a nice common ground between us, I’m looking forward to getting to know them and everyone else I’ve met more over the next week.
Above is Elisa my flatmate who lives opposite me, shes fun loving, excitable and a great dance even though she insists otherwise. So far we’ve bonded over Hillsong music, our mutual love of The Game of Thrones and a little dance party we made for ourselves on my second night in Jamaica.
Above is Sylvia my Swedish friend who has a wild sense of adventure. So far she’s been to Montego Bay alone and to the Blue Lagoon in Portland with another friend. One day we decided to try and walk from our trip to Devon House to a shopping center in Liguanea which in English terms is not a long distance but is probably not advisable here in Jamaica. On the way we had to ask for directions and got a ride from this dance hall artist called Chico and his French friend Vivian. Later that night we went out with them to experience Jamaican dance hall which was pretty impressive. Other than having adventures, when with Sylvia you’ll often spend time over coffee talking about deep things like social injustice and wealth inequality, or she will take you for runs that nearly kill you.
Here is my friend Tehilla, my younger than me mother hen, shes a baddass in the kitchen always ‘cookin up a stooorm’ and mature beyond years when it comes to taking hold of her faith and living out life for God. We have deep chats over deep fried food about faith, friendship and life. She also teaches me about Soca music and why its better than dance hall – words only a Trinidadian would be brave enough to say in Jamaica.
I also got the chance to meet some of my family that live here in Kingston! That has been so lovely, I spent the night with them the other day and it felt like being back home at Grandmas. Last week it was my cousin Peggys birthday, and it was so fun to be able to celebrate with her. My cousin KD has been teaching me patwa and gives me one hard pinch as well as a stern look every time I get it wrong, which is quite often. It’s helped me to settle in so much having family and other Christians around who I was put in contact with before arriving.
I haven’t been out of Kingston yet, but I’m so happy that I have a whole year to fit traveling around this beautiful county alongside studying. I’ve been to pretty standard places like shopping centers and a place called Devon House which is a popular tourist attraction because of the Ice-Cream they sell and the beautiful house itself. It was built around the 1880s by the first black millionaire in Jamaica.
Initially when I arrived there was a lot of anticipation about Jamaica, what it would be like here, and whether the reality would match up with everything people have told me to expect here. A lot of the initial advice I was given, and the negative stereotypes of Jamaica, particularly Kingston, are things I haven’t experienced. Though obviously common sense and taking care of my own safety will always be important, I haven’t felt continually on edge about it like I anticipated feeling.
The food is great when I buy it, and there are plenty of things I have yet to try like breadfruit, but cooking for myself, which I love to do, has been more of an issue! I don’t have pots or pans yet and it’s taking time to adjust to the cost of things here which will mean I have to think about cooking different meals than I do at home. Getting used to the money has been one factor in the lack of traveling, I’m trying to get a handle of the Jamaican Dollar and buy essentials so I can set aside money to travel.
Its been so nice to have so much freedom since I arrived, being surrounded by beautiful mountains the sun and the fresh has been a dream.
Firstly thanks to everyone who has been praying for me already and messaging me since I arrived, I really appreciate it. I had a skype call with a friend and she was giving thanks for the way that God has provided and protected me so far in my time here, which was a great reminder for me of all the things He’s been doing already!
I think the main prayers for the next few months will be for me to settle into life here academically and spiritually.
The academic term is much longer here, 13 weeks with no half term/reading week *sheds tear* so I will have to get used to a difference pace of academic life. I also think there are more exams here, including mid-terms when I should be having a reading week… *sounds of despair* BUT on the plus, my classes are pretty great for the year and I’m really looking forward to all the juicy class discussions and debates on race and gender.
I would also really like to settle in with a church soon so prayer for that too will be appreciated! I’m writing this on Sunday morning after sleeping in and missing church, ahahah!
Thanks for reading, please let me know how you all are doing and how I can pray for ya if your into that kinda thing