Journals from Jamaica - A Look into Dr. William Morrissette's Travel Journal

By on June 8, 2015

June 1, 2015

We did a little sight seeing over the weekend on the northern part of the island.  It was nice to get out of the city and see the more rural areas of the city.  We were back in the classroom today and a lot of what we saw was placed into context.  Our presentation included a discussion on President Obama's recent visit to Jamaica and the current battle between the U.S. and China relative to which country will have the most influence on the island in the future.  We learned that China is making substantial investment here with hopes of reaping natural resources.  The U.S. interest has waned since President Reagan and the end of the cold war but now is returning due to China's advances.  We also heard from Dr. David Gosse on the history of slave control in Jamaica and how that has translated to current attitudes.  Tomorrow we are back on the road to visit Bob Marley museum and Devon House. 

We are happy to have hit our two week mark and feel we can make it to the end.  We have had a lot of light sickness due to food, bugs, and roller coaster bus rides.  Little spiders have infected my laptop and I watch them run around as I am typing.  IT will love this laptop when it returns.  And, still have the lizard in my bathroom.  Apparently he lives there and has no intention of leaving.  We have agreed to just leave each other alone.  Many of us are spoiled in the U.S. and trips like this really help to keep us in check.  I am glad I have made the trek and look forward to the last week.

June 2, 2015

A good day today.  The campus has turned green from the rain so we are now seeing it as the landscapers had intended.  Summer term 1 has started on campus so many new students have arrived and the food vendors are loaded with fresh fruits and meats.  This was something we desperately needed.  We started our day with a visit to the Bob Marley museum.  We studied his music and social justice messages prior to our trip and it was nice to finish up at the museum.  The students met Rohan Marley, Bob's son and founder of Marley Coffee. They also met one of the original drummers for the Wailers.  We learned a lot about Jamaica's political history from the tour and were able to see the crime scene where gunmen tried to kill Marley.  We spent the afternoon at Devon house which is a historic home in the center of Kingston.  Their claim to fame is that they have an ice cream factory on site and have the fourth best ice cream in the world.  It did taste pretty good.  Tomorrow we are off to a Rastafarian community in the morning and Port Royal in the afternoon. 

June 3, 2015

It was quite a day. We visited a Rastafarian village community today and it was a very unique experience.  It was up in the mountains so a bit of a hike just to get there.  Once in we were led through their worship rituals and then they provided a question and answer session where we learned a great deal about their faith tradition.  It was very close to what one might experience during the civil rights black power movements so, again, a really incredible experience.  I will be teaching world religions this fall and look forward to including my experience in this community.  This afternoon we visited Port Royal which was the infamous port that pirates frequented in the 1600's.  This port is also where they filmed the Pirates of the Caribbean movie.  It seems like it has been a long time since we left 437 Boylston to embark on this trip.  We have five days left and are looking forward to wrapping up and heading home.