Sunday, June 18, 2006

Thanks to everyone for a great trip!

lighthouse group2
Originally uploaded by Edu-Tourist.

I'm finally back in Philadelphia for good (at least until we pick up the moving van) and am finally able to find the time and the bandwidth to catch up readers with some of the wonderful stories accumulated during our month in Jamaica. There were too many highlights to the trip for me to be able to pick one. So you are just going to have to suffer as I share these several stories over the coming weeks. Special thanks to Nelson and Novella Keith for hosting the group of Temple University students at Carleva Bay: The Center for Global Understanding.

Special thanks as well to Peter Thompson and the staff of RADA's office in St. Thomas. Temple students Jillian Blair and Matthew Borda always enjoyed their trips into the field with Mr. Brown. Some of our more ambitious tours of the region were led by Mr. Colan Parke. Keep an eye on this space for discussion of the difficult state of infrastructure and drainage in the parish as hurricane season comes around again, based on the stories and testimony of our own eyes in the Yallahs River and Negro River watersheds.

Mr. Park also introduced us to the wonderful and engaging guide Bev Smith, a community organizer in Eastern St. Thomas who is developing heritage tourism materials and exhibits to welcome the expected influx of visitors next year. Bev Smith organized a spendid cultural trip of the region on bahalf of the Edu-Tourism staff and students. Early in the morning we drove right of the hill behind Yallahs to visit Orange Park, the old estate house renovated by famous Jamaican artist Barrigton Watson. We enjoyed seeing what he had done with this former coffee plantation. Later that afternoon, we were able to drive all of the way out to Point Marant, the furthest eastern location on the island of Jamaica. Here sits the amazing cast iron lighthouse installed in the 1840s. As you can see from the photo, the lighthouse now runs on solar energy cells that recharge batteries in the lighthouse and keep the beacon lit, stearing vulnerable vessels away from the shoals.

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