Wednesday, June 30, 2004

last news report from jamaica

We completed our work with the non-profits organizations and the basic schools in Morant Bay and I am now back in Kingston preparing to depart after an eventful fortnight in the country. With the group of Temple University and West Chester University students I've had the opportunity to explore the capital city of Kingston, and the eastern Jamaica parishes of St. Thomas and Portland. Both St. Thomas and Portland are breathtakingly beautiful. Portland is a destination for tourist interested in lush, unspoilt tropical landscapes. St. Thomas is Jamaica's poorest parish, steeped in history of resistance to colonial tyrrany. Moviegoers will be familiar with the Portland coast, since this is where the author Ian Fleming drew his inspiration for the James Bond books. This is by far the wettest part of the island. The upper reaches of the Rio Grande Valley qualify as one of the wettest locations in the world, with 200 inches of rain in an average year. And yes, it rained on us while we were there. We were only able to view a small portion of this parish, and so while there I made plans to return. When I get a chance [after my return], I want to tell you all about the hike we took up from Hatfield in St. Thomas, across the the Cuna Cuna Pass trail [a historic route connecting Maroon communities in the Blue Mountains] and down into Portland's Rio Grande Valley. It was a grueling hike in the heat of the day, and unfortunately on the next day we had to retrace our steps back out to our transportation. Once we get back, the pictures of the Cuna Cuna Pass and the Ambassabeth Cottages will be posted to the Edu-Tourism website. So check in frequently.

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