Öckerö gymnasium

My ”new” impressions of Jamaica

Yellow, red and green, welcome to Jamaica!

After some days here in our first ”real” harbor, Montego Bay, Jamaica, it feels like the people onboard on T/S Gunilla starts to get into the daily routines.

Maybe you have already heard about the standard schedule for us students onboard plenty of times, so that’s not what I have planned to tell you in this blog. Instead I would like to tell you a little bit of my impressions of the first stop, Jamaica.

My watch, Midships tend to have luck when it comes to the schedule in the different ports. If you are one of those who actually read these blogs on a daily basis, you might already know that everyday one of the three watches must stay on the ship all day to work, clean and guard the boat. On the previous trips that my class and I have made, Midships have been the watch with most luck consistently. Many of the whole-day-trips that we have done with all the watches together have tend to be on a day when Midships have the watch onboard of the ship, but instead have ability to join the rest of the class on the trips. But unfortunately this pattern is not visible anymore and Midships have only got halv of a leisure day so far. But actually the watches onboard isn't that bad either…

By just having halv of a day in Montego Bay, I might not be the ultimate person to express an opinion about Jamaica, but I will tell you a little bit from my measly experiences. Jamaica as a country is actually exactly as my prejudices told me it should be. The first example is the weed. The ganja, the Bob Marley, marijuana. Yeah, you get it. Before we came here, I was aware of that the drug is widely spread in Jamaica and that many Jamaicans smoke it in religious contexts. But I didn't think it was so easy to get in contact with the drug. All you have to do is to walk down the street and you will surely get asked if you want some. That’s a big difference from the culture in Sweden.

The other thing I thought about is the colors. Jamaica is strongly influenced by the Rastafari culture, and according to the Rastafari, the three colors, yellow, red, green symbolizes the sun, the blood and the living on earth, and you see the colors everywhere! The combination of colors are on posters, souvenirs, commercials, on cafes and even on the street. Literally, on the street!

And the last thing I’ve noticed here that matches my preconceptions about Jamaica is the reagge music and Bob Marly. Everywhere I go I hear ”Three little birds” or ”The redemption song” from speakers. But isn't it fantastic? Even though I haven't got surprised by the country I’ve got a good impression of it anyway, and the Jamaican culture really lived up to my expectations, so far.

And tomorrow my watch and I will have one whole day to examine Jamaica better, and get more impressions of the country. I’m looking forward to that! Bye for now.

Alice Sahlström

Midships watch


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