Sunday, November 25, 2007
Jamaica Man! - Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving! This Thanksgiving sure wasn't the hometown traditional Thanksgiving. We were in Jamaica Man! Mostly, we were looking forward to getting off the boat. The port was a crazy mess. People were all over the place. We walked through the mess and headed over to the main entrance. The minutes we step out of the port we were summoned over by a Jamaican taxi man. He grabbed us and started walking us down the street. Niel and I weren't sure what we were doing anyway, but our plan was to just take in a few shops right near the port, and then head back to get on our horseback riding excursion. This taxi driver had other plans in store for us. He wanted to take us into town. After much begging on his part, and much unsure confusion on our part, we finally convinced him a drive wasn't in our agenda. I turned to walk back to close shops. He then grabbed Niel by the arm and said "You like you party man?" This was for Niel's ears only. We quickly moved away from him and headed for the shops. We were just about the only cruise people in there….actually the onlyAmericans. The Jamaicans are high pressure sales people. Without fail, at each entrance of a store we would be greeted by one Jamaican who would beg us to come into their store. "T-shirts are 7 for 20 dollar." This is what each Jamaican said. Once in the stores, we were followed around endlessly. They told us everything was on discount. Needless, to say, it was not the greatest experience. We cut our shopping venture short and headed back to the boat to wait for our excursion to begin. We found our sign that read, "Horseback!" A Jamaican man took our tickets and started to walk off. Great! Again, we were unsure as to what was going on. We were both very confused, so we just followed the guy. He walked back and forth for a while, then he glanced over his shoulder and realized we were still there. He then found us a driver and told him to get us on the bus. This older Jamaican bus driver man starting walking with us heading toward the buses. We didn't get to far when he stopped and got in an argument with another bus lady Jamaican bus driver. They were yelling at each other for along time, while Niel and I just stood there trying to figure out what was going on. We did finally make it on the right bus to the horseback riding adventure. The Jamaican people are very poor people. We drove through their town. There was a lot of unfinished, old buildings. The area was very green, but very dirty. We saw many Jamaican children heading to school. They all wore uniforms, but their schools were in very poor condition as well. They went to school in broken down buildings or trailers. There were tiny kids, maybe about 3 years old all dressed up in uniforms too. Our driver told us they start school when they are really young. It was very interesting.The horseback riding trip was very nice. We rode through a tiny little village. Again, the people were super poor. I am not sure what to call the places they lived. They were every worse then shacks. It was crazy to think that is really how other people lived. There were kids playing in the village, and people just hanging around. They all looked really happy. They seemed to like their simple lives. After trotting through the village, we got to ride the horse through the ocean. The horses all followed in a line and we went deep in the water, so the horses heads were barely above water. It was a very neat experience. We headed right back to the port and right to the ship. Jamaica was fun, but not exactly what we were expecting.Once on the ship we decided to try out some of the things we hadn't tried out yet. We both climbed the rock wall and then we went to the bungee trampoline event. Niel and I sat to wait with a bunch of 13 year old girls…haha! I had a blast jumping so high up, doing backwards and front wards flips, I even got two flips in at a time. Niel did it as well. It was probably my most favorite part of the cruise thus far.It was time for Thanksgiving dinner. We headed to the dining room to feast with our great dinner group. The turkey was delicious. It was probably a little more fancy then I was used to, but it was nice. We went the evening show, which was very entertaining. I am not sure if it was the turkey in our stomachs, or the extremely active day, but we were both exhausted. We went back to our rooms and quickly fell asleep.