Country Experience

Hello my name is William Ward and I reside in Chicago, Illinois. I have been traveling to Jamaica since the early eighties. This is probably not a long length of time to most, however to me it is a lot, because I do it three times a year. I have discovered that four months is the longest I can stay away without getting some kind of strange “blue funk”. Like most new comers, I started off in MoBay and gradually worked my way into the interior as my level of comfort increased. I would like to point out that the level of comfort was not one of fear, but one of speaking and understanding the language.

Recently, in February, I was there on business, in planning for construction of a resort. While I was there I celebrated with a friend and ended up spending the night out in Orange Bay. Of the many times that I have visited Jamaica, I have never really spent the night out in what I will describe as the “country”. Everything started out nicely, my friends and I watched a few videos, drank some beers and talked. Well, one o’clock in the morning rolled around and I thought it may be wised that I go to bed. I laid down in the spare room my friends had a proceeded to go to sleep. It was then that I became extremely aware of my surroundings and inhabitants.

There were several roosters around who did not seem to understand the concept that they are suppose to “cock-a-Doodle-do”, in the morning at day break, and not every hour starting at 1:00 am. Next, there was the six or seven dogs that got into some kind of dog war, and began to bark at one another, that escalated in to one of them obviously loosing based on it’s yelling a few minutes later.

At 2:00 am, I know this because I looked at my watch, the roosters were still communicating with each other, and had some how incorporated other roosters from near by yards. The dogs had quieted to an occasional bark, but now someone’s mule, donkey, jackass, I don’t know, had began to bray. It was now 3:30 am, I know because I looked at my watch. Everything seem to have quieted down, when suddenly a mosquito dive bomb my head. I figured, I will just pulled the sheet over my head covering my entire body. Surely she can’t bite me through the sheet. Well, I was correct with the assumption of no biting, however, I did not take into consideration that this was a mosquito who apparently had a watch on and some amount of intelligence. Every 20 minutes, this insect would check to see if I still had the sheet covering my head. It would dive bomb my head, waking me up from a partial slumber, rendering sleep impossible. It continued this until 5:00 am, I know because I looked at my watch.

Moments later my friends awaken, smiles on their faces and asked me “did you sleep well?” I paused for a moment, looked at them with blood shot eyes and politely exclaimed, “sure” it was the best time I ever had since I been coming. Now I didn’t lie to them, I treat everything, good or perceived bad , as a new experience not worth missing. I later told them on the way back to my hotel what I thought about roosters. And believe me it was the same thing I told to the rooster that was in their yard when they were not around. And that was simply that, “I am convince that out side of impregnating chickens and occasionally being eaten, rooster do not have any redeeming qualities”, that would qualify my reason for not ringing it’s neck!

This of course is strictly an opinion, and if it was not for the knowledge that I would have had to compensate my friends for such an act, rooster in the morning would have been on the menu, seeing that I am a professional chef and all. Dogs, well, they are simply just that….Dogs. And lastly mules or donkeys, I can’t say too much about them because even they, according to the bible were used by God to correct a stubborn human, so they can’t be all that bad. In spite of that, I can honestly state that I can not wait until the next time that I visit Jamaica.

William D. Ward