What a great week! I set sail with my family from Miami last Monday and we traveled to many countries such as Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico and Cuba. Apart from the beautiful, calm waters at sea and great food, I enjoyed partaking in many activities around the different countries. We were in a large ship, the MSC Armonia, which was fully booked with 3,300 passengers and crew and weighed at over a staggering 100 million pounds / 45 million kilograms.
Firstly, my little sister, mom, dad and I flew from North Carolina to Miami, Florida.
My first stop was the beautiful country of Jamaica.
A small history of Jamaica, prior to the arrival of Cristopher Columbus in 1494, the land was called Xaymaca, meaning land of water and wood. After Columbus landed, the Spaniards enslaved the native people and were later defeated by the English. Jamaica is now part of the British government and is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II being their queen. Yes, they drive on the left side of the road. As they say of the sides of the road, there’s the left side and there’s sui side.
The motto of Jamaica is “Out of Many, One People” symbolizing regardless of the differences of the citizens, they are one. Their flag of green, black and yellow stands for, Nevermind the hardship of the black people (black), the sun still shines (yellow) and land is green (green).
History lesson is over, let’s get to it!
Since we were already tired from being on the ship and wanted to go swimming, my family and I went down the coast from Ocho Rios to Puerto Seco and arrived at the beach. The water was absolutely beautiful and clear as glass. There I swam, enjoyed eating some jerk chicken and swam with dolphins.
You might be wondering, what is jerk chicken? The local dialect of Jamaica is Patois creole. Some words are
Jerk = Hot and Spicy
Pickney = Child e.g. girl pickney, boy pickney, grandpickney
Iry = Really good, E.g. How are you? Iry man!
Yaa, zeen, ohhhh, hmmm = Yes or agnowledgement of listening (like uhh-uhh, yea, yes, ok)
Yaa mon = Definitely! (reassurance and is used with both men and women)
When there’s something wrong going on, or a problem, Jamaican’s don’t call it a problem. They say, “No problem!” If there is a big problem, they call it a situation. For example, a Jamaican would react like this. e.g. The car is almost out of gas. No problem! The car broke down on the road. No problem, just a situation!
Now you’re a native speaker! Iry mon!
At Puerto Seco, I met my dolphin, Jazz, and she taught me how to dance and surf!
Jazz is a 12 year old female dolphin. Fun Facts about Jazz: She can hold her breath for up to 15 minutes and swim over 5000 feet deep during that time. Dolphins’ skin grows back and replaces every 20 minutes! and when they rest, one half of their brain turns off and sleeps while the other half operates. Once that side of the brain is recharged, information is transferred to the other half and the first half rests. This way, dolphins can actually be resting while they are dancing below!
Jazz loves to swim, especially when I held on. She jumped up in front of me and I held her flippers and she swam over 50 meters with me holding on. I also held onto a board and two dolphins pushed my feet with their noses and propelled me over 50 meters too.
And some more dancing afterwards! We actually sang twinkle twinkle little star and the dolphins twirled in circles above the water, clapped their fins and sang the song with their spouts, which can produce up to 2000 different sounds!
When Jazz was tired, she definitely liked to get a hug and rest in my arms.
Overall, Jamaica was absolutely amazing. I loved the kind people there, beautiful beaches, comfortable and warm sunny weather and delicious food! I can’t wait to return and say hi to Jazz again!
Next up is Mexico and Cuba, where you can learn how cuban cigars and rum is made and see the city of Havana. Stay tuned for the next post!
With Best Regards,