Published: October 1st 2011September 17th 2011
I completed the Katimavik program on August 18th and returned home that day. I spent the rest of summer visiting family and friends whom I haven’t seen for 6 months and missed very much. I wanted to get involved in the travel industry so I wanted to find work in a hotel. I worked at a Future Inns Moncton as a housekeeper. The work was not bad, but I really started to get bored of it, and Moncton. So almost every night when I got home I looked for work anywhere but here. I looked everywhere from in Canada to overseas. I came across an ad in a place called Mount Edge, Jamaica. It was located in the Blue Mountains, about 30 minutes away from the capital; Kingston. Ever since I was young I had this fascination with the little island of Jamaica. Maybe it had something to do with Bob Marley and the fact it was located in the Caribbean, but I always wanted to go there. So I contacted the man about working there. After we emailed back and forth I realized how serious he was. He wanted help with the bookwork, which not many around there know about. He told me I wouldn’t get paid much but I would receive free room and board. I was extremely interested but my parents and friends thought I was crazy!! I reviewed the place and emailed some people that had stayed there. They had nothing but good things to say about it.
After about a month I had enough money saved up to go and was more than ready to leave Moncton. I took off on November 10th, my first trip outside of Canada. The trip didn’t exactly start off good before I even got out of Moncton. Of course I had to listen to my music too loud waiting for the plane to board. I almost missed my first flight! Luckily they found me just in time to board. From there I went to Toronto and stayed the night. That was extremely uncomfortable, slept on the floor with my jacket as a pillow and sweater as a blanket. I felt very haggard the next morning and woke around 8. My flight was around 12, so I just wondered the airport aimlessly.
About an hour before my flight I went to sit down at the gate. Within 5 minutes I had a Jamaican man talking to me. I cannot recall his name but he was very nice and we talked about many things. Well as many things as we could. He had a very thick accent and was hard to understand. That’s one thing I was not expecting at all. I figured Jamaicans pretty much spoke English. Which they do in for the most part but also have there own language. its called patois, a girl explained it to me as broken english. for example wha gwan means whats going on. Anyway so we finally board the plane and some how this guy I was talking to was seated right next to me. We talk a bit on the plane and than I watch a movie. After a while he asks if its okay to sleep on my shoulder. It was kind of cute and funny as we just met each other. If I can recall it was about a four hour flight. It was very long and I was seated at the window, I just look out at the ocean in disbelief I was finally there. It was just so beautiful all the mountains and the clear blue water. Once we land everyone on the plane starts clapping, I ask the man why, and he says there just giving thanks to being back home. I thought that was really neat.
So I go outside to wait for Michael to pick me up. The man I will be working for. Im pretty much the only white woman out there so It was pretty easy to pick me out from the crowd. So I meet Michael Fox and Micky they take my luggage and we drive away. Im just amazed by the heat, mountains, and plants. The drive was so exciting and kind of scary. They drive so reckless and fast there but I was more excited then anything. At this point I cannot stop taking pictures of everything. They make some stops along the way picking up food, and what not. So I really get to explore the place, it was like a different world. I loved it! A lot of the people were yelling “RASTIFARI” at the driver, mickey. Rastifari is a religion in Jamaica. Most of them wear long dreads, smoke a lot of ganja. Theres more to it and I will get into it later.
So we start to go up the mountain, it was absolutely the craziest drive of my life. The mountain was so steep and the turns so sharp. They actually have to beep when they turn a corner to warn people that there coming. It was scary but at the same time I felt totally safe. Going through the Blue Mountains was the most beautiful place I have ever been at that point. There was so many different tropical plants, flowers, animals. On the way up they see some Germans that were staying with them and pick them up along the way. We arrive to Mount Edge after about a thirty minute drive up the mountain. they show me around the place, i go into the kitchen and meet everyone thats staying there. There was about eight people staying there from Germany, Mexico, US, and Austria. The man from Austria was also staying there a few months to work on farm. I explore the place myself, theres about 6 small cabins where people sleep. The prices per night range from thirty to eighty dollars. There two farms on both sides of the guest house. They grow vegetables and herbs. They have another business where they sell and deliver the food to locals and restaurants.
So my first night there everyone got together in the main house, and had a few drinks of Appleton rum. I loved it! Meeting these people from all over the world and getting to know there stories. They were all really interesting and nice. I really got to know one man from the US, Andrew He had just came from Brazil and was teaching English there. He was older, like close to forty. We spent the next week exploring together. We had some crazy fun times!! We made plans to go into town and go to a beach in Port Royal. We walked for about half an hour and hitched a ride down the mountain. All the locals are super nice and always helpful. They took us to a small town just out of the mountains, called Papine. From there we took a bus into Kingston. We were pretty hungry by than so of course we stopped for some chicken burgers. Took another bus to Port Royal, a little past the airport. It was about an hour drive. So we get there and first go to a bar and have some of that white rum. Than we go to the beach, it wasnt the nicest beach thats for sure. There was alot of trash around. There was also alot of stray dogs running around. Which was really cute, but i wouldnt go near them. We explored the area some more and stopped at another bar and played pool. Andrew was there the night before and met some ladies. They were all joking around about how he was there husband. So after a few hours we take bus back to Kingston. We were going to go back home but we notice there was a music festival downtown so we just had to get off and check it out. It was pretty late by than but it was exciting. We got alot of people looking at us. Its rare you see white people in that area as theres not many tourists. I even got called white gal a few times. We walked around for about an hour, had one guy trying to get my address in Canada so he could write to me hehe. The men there are very flirty!!
So we take a bus the small town of Papine, and try to hitch a ride up the mountain. We got offered to go up on two bikes but they were asking for too much money. Than a man named Mr Reid picked us up. He works up just past Mount Edge at a small store. So the next day I start working, do some book work. Not going to get much into the work as it kind of boring. I also helped with the farm once and a while. There was a woman there who cooked and cleaned but when she was gone I would.
For the age difference me and Andrew got along so well. He was hilarious and my cheeks would actually hurt from laughing so hard at him. He ended up calling me little sister and I call him big brother. We were both a lot alike, very adventurous and up for anything. We went and swam in waterfalls together, explored around the area, cooked some meals together. He stayed about two weeks than went to Miami to start work. I'm so sad I didn't get any contact information from him and I will never see him again. That's one thing I do not like about travelling, meeting some amazing people and maybe never seeing them again.