19 Jan PM – Arrived as an American, leaving as a Jamaerican

 It was only 14 days ago when we were all lined up at JFK airport buzzed with excitement. Behind the excitement, I was feeling anxious for finally arriving to the moment of my life, which I have been anticipating for 3 years. Upon boarding our flight, new curiosities entered my head of what obstacles were ahead of me. I found it difficult to map out what I was going to accomplish, without knowing much about a place I have never been to before. It was not until my nerves had settled once we were in the air that I remembered a simple idea. This thought I recite time to time in my head to remind myself how to depict the present. I once read that right now is the youngest you will ever be, but it also is the oldest you have ever been. With that being conscious to me, I was enabling myself to make the best out of this experience.

Besides the fact that this class will satisfy a BIO lab requirement, the ultimate goal for me was to become a better person. I measure that in all the new knowledge I will gain from this trip, inside the classroom and more importantly outside the classroom. Also, I will become a more worldly oriented person knowing the ways of life for someone in a less developed country. I must say the people of Jamaica are loving and caring for the guests they welcome. They are not afraid of telling you many stories and teaching you the struggles of their lives. Before meeting any Jamaicans, it was hard for me to understand what they encounter on a daily basis in order to survive. Life is not as easy for them as it is for us because they do not have as many luxuries as us. It was a shocker for me to find out that most people do not own computers or own a car. I couldn’t imagine operating in America without these two “accessories”.

It is going to be sad for most of us to leave this beautiful island, but I must say I could never be happier. I am not implying that I dearly miss America for having hot showers or that I can access Wi-Fi anywhere on campus. I am happy because I have achieved my ultimate goal. I was able to immerse myself into the cultures of the Jamaican’s. When possible I talked to as many Jamaican’s as I could in trying to learn something about them. The most satisfying moments were when I was able to relate to them. It was amazing to be able to have gone through the same struggles as someone. In many instances I have shared similar experiences with them, even though we have grown up in different parts of the world. When I land back on American soil I am going to carry with myself many memories and new experiences that I will be able to share to others. Since I am bringing back a piece of Jamaica with me, I will consider myself an American with the understandings of the Jamaican people, a “Jamaerican.”


A view from our oceanside villa.

 - Chris


5 thoughts on “19 Jan PM – Arrived as an American, leaving as a Jamaerican

  1. Written from the heart and representing what each of you encountered on this wonderful adventure. As a parent, it’s heart warming to hear such positive feedback. Even though I haven’t met any of my son’s buddies, their diaries describe such a wonderful and intelligent group of students. Many best wishes for your future endeavors. Good luck and be well.

  2. Thank you all for sharing your daily journey in Jamaica, and for the priceless memories!! This unique experience has made you all stronger people. Enjoy your last day in ‘sunny’ Jamaica and have a safe trip to ‘cold’ NY

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