On November 4, 2010, when I heard the words, “flight attendants prepare for takeoff”, they took on a whole different meaning for me compared to previous flights that I have traveled. I was not only taking off to a destination, but to another country unfamiliar to me. As I could feel the rush of excitement in my body, I kept thinking, Jamaica here I come! My journey was about to begin, and I was ready for what my new adventure would entail. I mentally visualized the beaches, coconut trees, mango trees, beautiful ocean water, and tasty fruit, which increased my level of enthusiasm. However, as Toni mentioned in her post, there was a potential threat of hurricane Tomas, to which I was not excited about at all.
When our plane landed in Jamaica, after walking outside to get into the cab, I could feel the warm humid air brush against me. As I got into the cab, I was thrown off because I completely forgot that Jamaica was a country where the driver is on the right side of the vehicle, rather than the left side as established in The United States. So, every time our driver talked to Toni, who was sitting in the front seat, I kept thinking that the driver is sitting on the wrong side of the car. LOL. When we arrived to the hotel, as everyone proceeded to get out of the car, Imani let out a big sigh, and excitedly said, “Wow, this place is beautiful!” By Imani’s reaction, I didn’t have to see to know that we were in an astounding place.
The next couple of days in Jamaica would be those of education, fun, and relaxation. While waiting for the hotel shuttle, a security guard approached my mom and me. The security guard conveyed that some people take things for granted, and treat others, such as disabled individuals, as though they are lesser of a human being. The security guard went on to commend my mom for being a great parent. After our conversation, it was time for us to go on our tour of Rose Hall; a former sugar plantation aka the home of the ghost Annie Palmer. If you’re not aware of the story, I recommend you research it. Very interesting, yet creepy! I was amazed by the tour guide’s descriptive abilities. Through her dialogue, I was able to mentally envision what the house and objects in the home looked like. Being blind, I didn’t feel left out of the tour, but instead I felt a part of the group.
The following day, I enjoyed myself sitting by the pool, listening to my iPod, and the beautiful sounds of nature. Our hotel was right on the beach, so I could hear the strong currents brush ashore, along with the sound of wind. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of calmness and contentment. However, as Toni mentioned in her post, her experience at the pool was quite different. LOL.
The rest of the trip was a blast, except for the incident I had with one hotel guest. In the gift shop, I politely asked a woman standing by me if I was in her way, and she sharply replied, “Yes, you are in my way.” It is incidents like this one that makes me wonder what people think my white cane is for. However, my mom told her that I was blind, and the woman seemed as though she didn’t care. The woman’s sister (who I will call Erica) overheard the conversation and rushed over to us displaying an overly nice disposition. I assume Erica felt bad because of the rude and insensitive behavior her sister demonstrated. Erica brought over a shirt she thought I might like and described the shirt in descriptive detail. As Erica was describing the shirt, she conveyed that their father was blind. Coincidently, not only was their father blind, but the two women had another sister named Robin. All I can say about this situation is, hmmm… As our trip came to a close, the driver who took us to the airport handed me my bag, and said “I love you.” It was a sincere statement that left me in shock, but validated how compassionate some people can be. Wow, what a way to end my trip!