My First Visitors!
SIGHTED: Two Blond Giants Lost on Return from Trinidad
I know what you are thinking, they look seriously suspicious. Well, against my better judgement, I took them in, offering them food, shelter and Red Stripe. But seriously, my boyfriend Mark and one of my best friends Chris came to visit me last month and it was a week full of fabulousness. We did some touristy things like the Appleton Rum Tour, Devon House, and staying in Negril. The resort was a decadent and glutinous experience, I actually ordered a (several) Banana Colada with a straight face… and enjoyed the heck out of it (them).
The days at the resort were great, relaxing in a way that only beach, sun, and good friends can be. Plus the sunsets in Negril are absolutely amazing. See below:
After Negril we got to spend a few days in May Pen because I had to work a bit but it was great to share my world in Jamaica with them. They got to meet my adopted family and coworkers and I know it was great for both sides to put faces to names.
Example: A few weeks after they left, I was trying to figure out a ride home from a work function and when I suggested riding with someone who lived in my direction, my coworker said “No, I am responsible for you. I told Mark that I would keep you safe. I will take you home.” Awwww. I have good peoples.
In May Pen, Mark and Chris picked me up from my Restorative Justice Training Class and the whole day people were teasing be about how I was glowing. Jamaicans just love to comment on perceived or lack there of ‘extra curricular activities.’ I am not used to that being a acceptable topic for work and they had me feeling very bashful, which is no easy task. After introductions were made, we headed out onto the road and I took them to my fav Jerk Stand, lunch place and corner bar. Needless to say, they were were beyond stuffed and enjoying the less fun effects of the Jamaican heat. The walk also produced my new favorite picture, the beautiful sunsets are great but this just feels more like my Jamaica.
The last night at site, Mark cooked dinner for my adopted family and a few of their friends, around 18 in total. I don’t remember the menu exactly but it involved pasta with callaloo, steak and a Johnny Walker whiskey reduction and it was A-MAZING. The Jamaicans in general, are not known for being the most adventurous when it comes to food but plates were cleared and people were very complementary.
The next day we headed into Kingston to meet up with a group of PCVs and to attend the Jamaica vs USA World Cup Qualifier soccer match. It was epic, please refer to Exhibit A and if you aren’t convinced, Exhibit B.
Sadly the fun did not spread to the performance of the Nats on the field and we lost 1-2. The Jamaicans were not quiet or modest victors but neither would we have been, so we understood their excitement on such a big win. After the game, we went to a bar to hang out with the American Outlaws, the Nats supporters group which included a friend (Hi Amy!). They had to leave to get back to Mo Bay but we partied on in true PCV style we danced our faces off and had a great time. It is not often we get to be obnoxiously patriotic and we embraced it with the vigor of true expats.
Mark and Chris left the next day. Sad panda. It was so great to have them here to experience my world. Jamaica is a difficult place to describe and every time I think I am getting a handle on it, I am thrown a curve ball and I’m fairly sure that will continue throughout my service. When navigating the madrid of complications that are involved in a long distance relationship during service, having points of reference can really help to get you on the same page. Having him here helped remind us that we are still Mark and Marie and it meant so much to me that understanding my new context was important to him.
Having visitors is the best, especially like Chris and Mark, who are willing to be flexible and choose to enjoy every situation to its fullest. Thank you for visiting and bringing me comforts of home, both material and emotional. Love you guys.
Dirty Pelicans (OP Rum and Pespi) for all!