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Went on an Adventure Today

12/03/09

Permalink 10:17:28 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Culture

Went on an Adventure Today

So as usually happens with my family, I ended up playing chauffer today, carrying my second mother to Mandeville to visit the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) campus. well, I visited anyway, she went there to work. First of all I must say that the NCU campus is quite unique, I have never been to a church based school so I've never actually seen a campus setup in such a fashion before, also the students seemed quite vibrant and interested in what they were doing and it says to me that there isn't really much difference between a church based institution and a regular institution... well maybe in the teaching but thats for another post. So after leaving the campus my mother asked me the interesting question as to whether I'd like to try another route, I stared at the gas needle and upon seeing we have ample fuel to get lost and refind ourselves I decided to go with my usual sense of adventure and go across a path I had never been.

So we headed off to return to Montego Bay not by going through Hanover, Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth, but instead through Manchester and Trelawny. I can first say that this is my first time driving through this route... that I can remember. My parents were adventurers so I cant say that I've never driven this route before but I personally dont rememeber driving through spauldings, or christiana, or wait-a-bit into trelawny. But truly this was a trip that made me see a part of Jamaica I truly havent seen in quite a long time.

As we travelled through Manchester the air slowly cooled from the high of 30 (celcius) to hovering between 24 and 26 degrees. This was a welcome change as the cool air made the journey more enjoyable and more bearable. However next to the temperature the friendliness of the people we saw as we traversed the countryside also added for a comfortable climate. Personally I'm a "town man", I'm used to people being more gruff and unfriendly and only polite enough to say customary salutations of good morning and good evening (if they even go so far). However this was noticeably different as the people we passed all were seemingly happy to see us and as we got lost a couple of times trying to find our way to christiana, the people were more than willing to give us directions, some people even stopping what they were doing to cross the road and direct us.

The other thing that I saw that managed to lift my spirits somewhat was the produce... Well to be honest we only saw two main types of crops, Yam and Sugar but the copious amount of it and the care which was taken by the farmers was a thing which could only be looked at in awe. Driving through Trelawny somewhere between wait-a-bit and clarks town (I think lol), I realized that every adult man I saw was wielding a machete, and this was certainly not for self defence purposes or to attack another, but it was simply to farm their yam hills. This was obvious because if you looked at the top of every machete you saw there was the obvious red hue of the rich Manchester soil, the same soil that also covered all their clothes, boots, and even the mules that were used to transport them and their goods. Further to this as we passed the acres and acres of hills lined with the sticks used to guide the yam vines.

The countryside changed from an arrangement of random trees, to a mathematical layout of yam hills all with vines equally arranged as if it was done with a ruler, but the smart person knows that those farmer's rulers are a now inborn skill which they do with the precision of any doctor performing delicate surgery. The yam then changed to sugarcane, a familiar sight for me but I cant say I've seen that much cane before, because the cane fields seemed never ending and went on for at least 15 kilometers of the trip, and the scent as usual is sweet and calming.

The seemingly infinite knowledge of my second mother also added to the enjoyment of the trip as I learned the history of alot of the towns we passed through and how they got their names, places where it seemed like we were the only people on the road next to the farmers who walked to and from their fields. Places such as the "alps" so named because the mountains which tower over the valley we drove through, give a picture which is said to be similar to the alps in europe with flat hillsides and towering mountains which were quite scary at times but somewhat welcoming.

As the journey ended and we reached closer to Falmouth and to Montego Bay and the temperature began to rise back into the 30s I got the chance to reflect on the Journey we had just taken. What seemed to last a fairly short time, actually lasted over an hour, but it was an hour that I got to see what I'm sure was the true old time Jamaica (with a bit of a modern flair), a Jamaica which has been long forgotten but still lingers just a bit off the beaten path, one only needs a sense of adventure... and a map.

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Three Ministers

Three ministers - a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Southern Baptist and their wives were all on a cruise together. A tidal wave came up and swamped the ship, and they all drowned. The next thing you know, they're standing before St.Peter.

As fate would have it, the first in line was the Presbyterian and his wife. St. Peter shook his head sadly and said, "I can't let you in. You were moral and upright, but you loved money too much. You loved it so much, you even married a woman named Penny."

St.Peter waved sadly, and poof! Down the chute to the 'Other Place' they went. Then came the Methodist. "Sorry, can't let you in either," said Saint Peter "You abstained from liquor and dancing and cards, but you loved food too much.

You loved food so much, you even married a woman named Candy!" Sadly, St. Peter waved again, and whang! Down the chute went the Methodists.

The Southern Baptist turned to his wife and whispered nervously, "It ain't looking good, Fanny."

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