In February, I had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful island of Jamaica for the first time. It was a quick and whirlwind trip.
The people in Jamaica are the kindest, funniest, cheerful and most optimistic kind I have met in a long time. By the time I left, my patois would compete with the best of them. I felt very much "at home". That pic on my bio page is from Jamaica, and it epitomizes how relaxed and free I felt while there.
The similarities between Jamaica and Kenya are hilariously many and again, I am constantly reminded how the world has more similarities than not. Some thoughts:
- “What’s a gyal from Kenya doing here all by herself?” I got that question a lot. Africa and the Caribbean need to mix more.
- Jamaicans see Kenyans as their running counterparts. “I’ll go run the 100m, you go run the marathon” was something I heard a lot.
- I was the only black female guest in my resort. All the staff was black. Figuring out the racial, cultural, social and economic consequence of this was a little exhausting but eye-opening in many ways.
- You can’t walk up or down the sidewalk without tourism phrases being thrown your way like “What happens in Jamaica, goes on Youtube.” Maybe it was just Ocho Rios which is tourist area
- The Jamaican women were fascinated with my braids.
- “Your husband let you travel by yourself?” Heard that often.
- I felt like I was in Kisumu in Kenya. The people from there, which is by Lake Victoria, are dark, strong and their skin is unblemished.
- Men are very vocal. Let’s just say they appreciate a woman who looks good. I laughed often at their creativity. I never felt violated, but I was told it was because I was not in Kingston
- My local food experiences were limited as I mostly ate in the resort. I didn’t have the time to explore unfortunately.
But I did discover their hot sauces...[read more]