Our Jamaica day was spent mostly on an excursion to go rafting on the Martha Brae River. When I was little, we went rafting but I only have a vague memory of it. I do, however, remember a small bamboo toy raft that I got as a souvenir which is probably still in my old room at my folks’ house.
So I was excited to go rafting as a grown-up, and take my own kids. The trip down the river was really fun and relaxing, and our boatman, Derek, was a cool rasta, who talked to us all about the river, the local fruits and vegetation, and even about the “old days” in Jamaica which was when most of my mom’s family was still living there. Derek, who was in his sixties, even told us about the political situation of the time, and how he remembered that many of the Chinese-Jamaicans left after Jamaican independence because of the political uncertainty. It was really interesting to hear about the situation from someone outside my family.
The rafting lasted about 45 minutes, and I wish it were longer because I enjoyed myself so much. It was so peaceful, cool with a gentle drizzle at times, and not too many mosquitos.
Soon, though, we were on the mini-bus back on our way to Ocho Rios. We did have a quick stop at a local market and I bought some jerk chicken to see how it compared to my cousin’s. It was yummy!
After we got dropped off in Ocho Rios, we met up with my cousin who drove over from Port Antonio to see us. She showed up with a basket full of fresh fruit which we all sloppily enjoyed near the dock.
Although our stop in Jamaica was very short, it was fun to see a bit of the country where my Mom was born and raised. We’ll be back!