Wednesday, July 15, 2009

June 2

June 2nd was quite possibly my favorite day in Jamaica. Mark, Jack, Lindsey and I piled into Mr. Parke's jeep and headed out to the day's site, which happened to be the Hope Gardens in Kingston. Mr. Parke dropped us at the gate because he had to go to a meeting for the upcoming Green Expo, so we were free to explore for the day. Within the first ten minutes of being there, I started talking to a boy who was having a spliff for breakfast. He said he worked there and offered to show us around.
First he took us to the butterfly garden. He showed us the beautiful garden and then told us that he actually planned and planted the garden! We were all so amazed, we couldn't believe that we were actually chillin' with the person that created this little piece of paradise. His name is Denver, but his pet name is Bruce because he is a huge fan of Batman. Bruce then proceeded to tell us all kinds of information about the butterfly garden and he offered to take us to a near by zoo.

We walked a few minutes down the road and then payed 80 Jamaican, which is about $1 U.S. to enter the zoo.
Once inside, I realized this zoo was extremely different from any zoo I have been to in the states. First, all the animals that were featured are native to Jamaica. The zoo was home to crocodiles, iguanas, mongoose and small pigs. It also features slithering snakes, a few owls and this cute and quite friendly turtle.
The land the zoo sits on is also more natural than any of the zoos I have been to in the states. Instead of paved walkways and landscaped gardens, we walked on rolling hills and were shaded by large mango trees. Bruce taught us how to throw rocks or fallen mangoes at the ripe mangoes on the tree instead of using a large stick or climbing the tree to get at the fruit. Bruce has a pretty good shot; I was nowhere near as successful.
We spent awhile just chatting at the zoo and learning more about each others' cultures. All the conversations I had with Bruce came so easy. He was the first person I really connected with in Jamaica; I felt like I knew him forever, especially when he said that, as I was thinking it. We ended up spending all day with him, just walking around and talking. We kept worrying that we were going to get him in trouble since he really didn't work all day.. we walked around with him for the better part of four hours.
After the zoo we wandered over to a pond covered in lily pads. We saw a boat in the water and we all wanted to take a ride, so Bruce talked to the owner who was relaxing under a nearby tree. The owner agreed to letting Bruce be our captain, so Lindsey, Mark and I boarded the small row boat. We had aspirations of traveling the seven seas in the wooden boat, but we soon found out that probably wasn't going to happen. We literally went three feet when we realized we were either too heavy or Bruce wasn't a very good captain. So, as fast as we were in we were out again.
After our boat ride we sat under a shady tree and wasted time. We talked, Bruce rapped and we posed for pictures and tested out my three inch tripod. The mini tripod worked really well; I laid my bag on the tree roots and then balanced it on there. We also carved something into a tree in Bruce's butterfly garden, so that he wouldn't and couldn't forget that day. Everyone carved their initials and I carved the inside of a peace sign.

Bruce if you read this, comment so I know you're still alive! Also, I hope you got my letter and the pictures of all of us...MISS YOU!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah this is Bruce. Just wanted to let you know that I visited the site and I really appreciate the constant big up in your writings. I would have responded earlier but I don’t have much access to the computer. I received the letter you sent along with the photos and I’ll reply as soon as it’s possible. I miss you too!!!!!! Hope to see you soon. Say hi to Mark, Lindsay and Jack for me….……