Lorna’s Visit Part 1 – An American Retiree in Jamaica

People from around the world vacation in Jamaica for a variety of reasons. Some come to see the countryside while traveling back and forth from tourist attractions. Others come to learn more about its history and culture. Still others come and never leave the comfortable confines of their resort. Lorna’s first visit to Jamaica encompassed all of these reasons. She was accompanied by her daughter Nancy who has been “coming back for more” for 10 years. During that time Nancy has met several Jamaicans and this American writer. Nancy’s ultimate dream is to live here full time, a lofty goal for this young lady. Her plans have taken her to several communities to look for a home, to open a bank account, and obtain a Taxpayer’s Registration Number (TRN). She is well on her way to fulfilling her dream.

Lorna came to Jamaica at Nancy’s prodding, something she would never had done on her own. She was quite content to stay in Canada traveling between the provinces. Lorna’s life has been deeply enhanced in the two fun-packed weeks she spent in Montego Bay this past winter. She did it all! What follows is Lorna’s own story.

Their plane landed in mid December. “When our plane landed and we were in the airport, the first thing I noticed was the heat. I said to myself, what am I getting into? We arrived at Chatham Cottages, unpacked, and rushed to the beach. Wow! It was awesome and this was only the first beach. The water was so clear, clean and warm. The people were very friendly and the guys looked at us like they just saw two movie stars!” And quite an attraction these two pale white women were!

Later, they met the first of Nancy’s many friends, Nigel. “He took us for a drive to downtown Montego Bay. Wow! What busy streets and horns honking everywhere. I have never seen so many white cars in all my life.” Yes, it does seem Jamaica is overrun with white Toyota Corollas. Crime reports in the newspaper end with “…and they made their getaway in a white Toyota Corolla.” But that’s a story for another time. So ends day 1.

The next morning, Sunday, found them looking for a church service to attend. With Jamaica boasting more churches per capita than any other country in the world, you would think it would be easy to find one, but not so. Church services start between 7:00 AM and 11:00 AM depending on where they are located. After spending some time checking the phone book and calling some friends, they found the Hillview Baptist Church. “The church was packed. Only two white ladies in the church, guess who they were? It was a very nice service. The minister was great and their music was just like back home. The women wear their Easter bonnets and the children really dress nice. It reminds me of how we used to dress back in the fifties. Sad, how times have changed.”

After church and lunch, they were off to another beach. “We spent the rest of the day at the Groovy Grouper Beach & Grill on Hip Strip, that was even better than the beach from yesterday. The beach is something else. I couldn’t get enough of it but yet I didn’t want to burn.” Her dinner consisted of Jamaican jerk chicken, yam, and a festival, all Jamaican traditions.

Next month, Lorna & Nancy go sightseeing!