My husband and I just returned from a much needed romantic vacation to Jamaica. We decided we will never go 5 years without another vacation. The first couple of days were a little different since we had never taken a vacation without our son, who just graduated high school, and we missed his presence. He was on a Senior/Mission trip with our Pastor in Asia while we were in Jamaica. Once we talked on Skype, things were okay. 😉
We had been to Jamaica before on tours while on cruise-ship vacations, but never to an all-inclusive resort.They are indeed very different, though they both have their perks. We were ready for a more laid-back time together. We stayed at the Carlyle near Montego Bay, and were greeted, “Is this your first visit to Jamaica?” We replied, “No.” “Welcome home!” They said with a sincere smile.
We actually did a zip-line at the Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios. The strong native guys helping us at each of the 5 stations would say, “Come up mumma.” One of their Patois words for mother. I am sure that was a compliment, right? It was not so scary until the station with the sudden vertical drop. It’s a good thing I did not know about that before hand. I screamed, and Ron laughed, of course. Well, now this 60-year-old woman can say she actually accomplished a zip line before she goes Home.
The best thing about the whole time, aside from the wonderful fun with my hubby, was the native people. They truly have a heart for taking care of their guests. In talking with them, we learned that their economy continues to decline since they voted the Labor Party in (just another term for socialist). They say 75% of what they earn goes to the government. They are very happy to have a job, and told us that if they lose it, chances are, they will not find another for a very long time.
We contributed at one of their craft markets just down the street from the resort (buying some very unique gifts and, of course, I love their dresses) where many do not have jobs and these markets are their only source of income. It was fun haggling with them over price, and doing so respectfully they were very fair. We only took what money we were willing to part with 😉 and did not stay too long because of the strong smell of ganja (marijuana); did not want a contact high. It is legal for them to have 2 ounces on them now. We even got offered some on the street, but politely said, no, we do not want that. As always, legalized drugs do contribute to some of the problems.
Even though these hard-working people in the resorts lead difficult lives, they keep smiling and asking, “You okay? How you doin? Can I help you?…” The most awesome thing about it is, they are genuine, not just because it is their job.
When we left, they gave hugs and some even had tears saying, “See you next year.”
We left with a list of brothers and sisters in Christ, and some not, to pray for. The Scripture 2 Timothy 4:2 “..be instant in season and out of season…” was driven home for me.