Well, I’m back from Jamaica. It seems very surreal that I was there. I still can’t quite believe it. To be honest, before I left a big part of me was kind of hoping that something would come up that would prevent me from going – I would get a debilitating case of diarrhea, my boss would forbid me to go because I am SO vital to the ongoing operations of the bank, my passport would get revoked by the US Government – SOMETHING. I knew this trip was going to force me out of my comfort zone, make me grow as a therapist and as a human being, and put me in situations where I did not automatically know the A+ answer. It’s SO much more comfortable to avoid growth, you know! Fortunately, the Universe did not comply with this latent desire. My karma in this life is to become more self-confident, and the Universe was happy to oblige to make sure this happened.
The trip started off with an easy plane ride from Orlando to Montego Bay. And then I hit the first snag. My school, The Center for Neurosomatic Studies, was donating 3 massage tables to The Treasure Beach Women’s Group for use during this and successive clinics. Shipping the tables proved to be prohibitively expensive, so 3 of us therapists brought tables along with us. I dragged my 30 lb., unwieldy table through the airport to the “Nothing to Declare” Customs lane. I assumed that since the school was DONATING the table, it did not need to be declared. The Customs clerk quickly disabused me of this notion and sent me over the much longer “Declare” line, full of people with 10-foot high stacks of luggage.
When it was finally my turn, I explained the situation to the clerk. After lots of questions about the table, where I was going, what I was doing, who I was doing it with and for, the clerk seemed very confused about what to do and consulted with several other clerks in the areas. Eventually it was decided that I would have to pay some fee in order to bring the table to the clinic. Argh. They assessed the fee, plus several different taxes, and then sent me back into the airport to get some Jamaican dollars so that I could pay the fee. I paid the fee, showed the proof to the clerk, hoisted the table onto my shoulder and escaped into the heat, where the rest of the group was waiting for me so we could start the 3 hours mountainous trek to Treasure Beach.
If you are at all faint of heart, or if you do not enjoy bumps, sudden, unexpected increases and decreases in speed, barreling around blind corners, sharing very narrow roads with cows and speedy on-coming traffic, I highly suggest doping yourself with Dramamine or some other sedative for bus trips into the heart of Jamaica. That being said, it was actually a really fun ride, especially since we stopped for some amazingly delicious Jamaican food on the way. Jamaican food is the best food. ‘Nuff said. We arrived at our hotel late Saturday night, found the treasured remote controls for the in-room AC units, and crashed into bed.
On Sunday, after a stop for snacks at a supermarket (which was made up of 95% carb snacks and Coco Mania rum), we headed out to YS Falls, a gorgeous natural waterfall that offers zip-lining and rope swings into mint blue-green water. It was stunningly beautiful. Like most of the jungle and coastline I saw in Jamaica, it was so beautiful that it looked almost unreal. Such a beautiful country!
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2!