(Denne kommer på engelsk, for det har jeg lovet Danna, som vil bruge det til sin guide-business):
Everyone who goes to Jamaica owes it to themselves to get in touch with Danna for inspiration on where to find the real Jamaica. Forget about the street hustlers in Negril and the cruise ship invasions in Ocho Rios, go explore the beauty of the green island, the culture and its people. Danna will took me to empty beaches and invited me to visit her family in the country-side, but she also showed me how a big town in Jamaica can be a relaxing and comfortable place to hang out.
Here’s what my day out with Danna was like:
We met up in Mandeville and walked the busy market, where all the produce of Saint Elisabeth is nicely presented and the farmers are not one bit more interested in selling to you than to everyone else.
Then we got in a taxi to Santa Cruz and had a traditionel Jamaican breakfast at Tibb’s (one of Danna’s cousins) and met another cousin who drove us to Hope River. On the way we visited Burnt Savanna Basic School and the teachers welcomed us into the classroom. The smallest children were staring at me with open mouths. It just so happened that they were doing the topic ‘Travel’ with the six year olds and since none of the teachers had ever travelled they were more than happy to pull out the world map and let me take over. “Don’t be all shy just ’cause she has white skin”, said the teacher to the students, “she’s just the same as us on the inside!”
When I left I shook hands with all the children and they sang a goodbye-song, no longer shy at all. Aw so cute!
Then we walked through Burnt Savanna to reach Danna’s cousins’ house and see some vacant land that she owns and will one day turn into a hostel or camp site… Maybe. We drank water straight from the well and sat around with the cousins who didn’t seem to be doing much on that Wednesday.
After that we went to Black River and watched the sunset at a restaurant called Las Vegas – I’m quite sure they had no idea what Las Vegas is. It was on the beach. The empty beach. Nice!
One the way back we made a stop at a pop-up street party. Police came by and the music stopped for five minutes and was then turned back up.
On the route taxi back towards Mandeville we were pulled over at a police raid. There was a big bag in the back of the car and when they asked whom it belonged to, no one claimed it. Police searched all our bags, but didn’t find anything and just kept the bag. As soon as we drove off the lady in the front got out her phone started shouting to someone about the now gone bag. So lucky Danna and I hadn’t seen who owned it or we might have innocently told the police, which would’ve probably made the guys on the other end of the line very angry. “The police will just keep it and sell it in another county”, someone mentioned. Ganja is everywhere, yet still illegal.
Anyway, what a day!