No Problem, Mon!

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Culture and its experiences are vital in understanding the world. Culture shapes the diversity and uniqueness that lies within all of us. I myself have experienced many cultural adventures, but one of them really stood out to me. It was when I visited Jamaica, on a cruise to the Caribbean.

I left for my trip on Sunday, January 15, 2012, with my Aunt Lori. Once aboard the ship, I took a mental note of all the different people. There were people from all over the world! Canada, South America, and Asia were just some of the places where the people aboard originated from. My cruise ship planned to stop in Key West, Florida, The Cayman Islands, and Jamaica. A cruise in itself is a truly eye-opening experience. You start to gain knowledge about different cultures and their customs. While being aboard a cruise is a very worthy cultural adventure, it doesn’t compare to visiting a country outside your own.

When I arrived on the shores of Jamaica in the early morning and took a glance outside my window, I was amazed. Outside my window were steep mountains covered with luscious trees. The sun was just rising, making the sky a palette of pinks and oranges. The scene was so beautiful. My aunt and I had many plans for the day, so we quickly got dressed and went to eat breakfast before exploring the unknown land.

My aunt and I got off the ship and took a bus to the site where we were going bobsledding. Since bobsledding in Jamaica involved going down a mountain in the forest, we took a chair lift up the mountain. While on the lift, all we could see was the lush, quiet, green forest below and beside us. When we finally got to the top of the mountain, we hopped off the ski lift into a small plaza. There was a food court, a small bar, and exotic Jamaican dancers! We ended up getting in the pool at the resort, and it had a spectacular view. After the pool, my aunt and I braced ourselves for what we were doing next: bobsledding!

We didn’t know what was coming next, but we got in line and prepared ourselves. My Aunt Lori and I decided that we should go together. We hopped in the carts and my aunt was the driver, so she received directions on how to operate the bobsled. The bobsled took off on the track and it rounded a corner. Then, all of a sudden my aunt pushed the lever forward, and we started zooming down the track and whipping around corners. We finally came to the stop and were lifted up by another track. Bobsledding was so much fun!

After that, my aunt and I planned to climb Dunn’s River Falls, a famous waterfall near Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We boarded the bus and left for the falls. Once we arrived, we were introduced to our tour guide and then headed towards the falls. On the way, I got a glimpse at what was truly Jamaica. Everywhere you looked people were trying to sell you things and talk to you. Bob Marley shirts, paintings, and necklaces were everywhere! It was interesting to see how the people and market there contrasted with the United States.

Before our group could climb the falls, we had to put our water shoes on and remove anything we didn’t want wet! Then, our whole group held hands in a line to help climb the waterfall. We sloshed through a small river, and then I saw the most beautiful sight, Dunn’s River Falls. The water, the rocks, and the forest were spectacular. We climbed the falls for hours and got soaked before we reached the top, but it was totally worth it! My aunt and I shot a couple photos, and then sadly we had to leave.

Jamaica was one of the most fascinating places I have ever visited. It’s crazy how different two countries can be. The people, business, food, and many more are very unique. Everyone says “Hey, Mon!” or “No problem Mon!” which I think is very cultural. If I had the option, I would visit Jamaica again. It was a wonderful experience. I recommend visiting Jamaica to anyone who is looking for cultural inspiration!





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