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Nov 7th

Went to church today at the Anglican church. 7Am is a bit early to be wanderin around Spanish Town but the service was familiar enough to be worth it. It was nothing like last Sunday.

11-82 Anglican Church Spanish Town.JPG

Went to Ocho Rios yesterday. It was really quite a shock. Ocho Rios is such a pretty area. It was difficult to get used to seeing so many different white faces. I honestly had not seen another white person (outside of the PC trainees) for a couple of weeks. They all looked so awkward and bizarre looking in their tourist get ups. Everything was so expensive. The worst part was the beggars & locals asking (repeatedly) if we had money to change or if we wanted to buy sinsemilla. It was not only the request but the frequency of it that bothered me. I got very tired saying “No”. The worst thing is the guilt as if I should be guilty for being American. Sometimes, I think I should.

11-82 Pete and Deb in Ocho Rios.JPG

For the first time, and probably not the last, I’ve been having a homesick/wanting-to-leave feeling. Culturally, I’m feeling much better. At first the “black faces” made me uncomfortable. But the trips into the market & streets of Spanish Town have quelled most of my discomfort. I’m still not as assertive as I would be with white people, but I’m working on it. My biggest complaint is with the climate. I have been plagued with mosquito bites and sweated many a nite away, wrapped in sheets trying to keep from being bit. The fan in our room has removed some of the discomforts from both sources but, when I think about the house we’ll have on our island my outlook is not so gloomy. We brought enough netting to do ten or more windows (if necessary) And I guess I’m more interested in getting settled in than anything else. I want a place of my own again. I can then start to deal with the elements.

The only cultural surprise in Ocho Rios was the discovery of “nudity” here in Jamaica. Actually it could be termed a lack of modesty (in U.S. terms) when showering. On several occations I observed women bare breasted and washing in the public showers. I was quite taken aback and surprised to have no mention of it in our training. Everyday has been quite an experience.