I've been waiting for this day since December and now that it was finally here...I was nervous. I was wondering if I would get along with everyone in my program since it was made up of mostly girls. I was also dreading the flight because flying just isn't my thing. I was wondering if I would miss my friends and family and if I could possibly survive without my kitten Charlie. I was hoping Jamaica would be everything I wanted it to be. I was also concerned with my future site for my service work. However, I was pretty pumped about some aspects of the trip... I couldn't wait to jump in the ocean, learn a new language and finally visit another country.
My flight from Philadelphia to Atlanta passed by in one short nap and I slept most of my second flight too. When we arrived in Kingston at the airport we had to wait in super long lines to get through customs. After we waited for nearly an hour it was time to pick up our luggage...but wait, our luggage was nowhere to be found. Me and three other gals who all had the same connection were joking about losing our baggage and after searching for a half hour we realized it was no joke. I had to come to the realization that I would be stuck in a white t and sweatpants capris for four days. Sweatpants may have been OK for Philly at 5am when I left, but it was about 85 degrees in Jamaica when we landed. Needless to say, I felt extremely dirty even with numerous showers and I still cant even look at those sweatpants...I think they will be going in a Good Will bag extremely soon.
We waited at the airport for everyone to arrive and then we piled into a van and headed to Yallahs. We stopped at a grocery store for lunch where I picked up a block of cheese, chips and a sixer of Red Stripe. I soon found out that cheese in Jamaica just isn't the same. Lack of cheese and excess of mosquitoes are my only complaints for the island. Anyway, we drove about an hour and then we reached our destination and home for the next five weeks..Yallahs, St. Thomas. We lived in a villa on the beach in a small bush town.. the only 'town' in Jamaica is Kingston. Our villa was a ten minute walk from Yallahs Square where there are two super markets, a gas station, a few bars, a collection of stores, vendors who sell Jerk chicken and fish and a Juici Patty.
The first night we went up to the guest house on the hill where a few of the students stayed. We ate a delicious meal and I even tried a piece of curry chicken...yes spice and meat. I was being quite adventurous. After dinner I sat and watched the sunset on a bed/swing that hangs from an almond tree in the villa's yard. Little did I know that this bed would soon be where I slept. Sleeping outside was great because it was cooler with a slight breeze so I wasn't sweltering hot anymore and the wind also kept the mosquitoes off me. I would wake up in the middle of the night to crashing waves and lights from the fisherman's boats.