Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Tropic of Capricorn

Not to, you know, make anyone too jealous, but this was the view from our hotel room in Jamaica. And yes those colors are real.

The vacation was very relaxing---plenty of sun, sand, swimming, SCUBA and sex (you know, the essential "S's"). We had a great time just being alone together, especially after the prior week of family and graduation.

The weather was gorgeous and sunny most of the time; it rained twice, but since we live where it's sunny 300 days a year, it was nice to snuggle inside and listen to the rain patter on the porch.

I also learned to SCUBA dive and actually got certified while we were there. I know this will sound corny, but I fulfilled a life dream by SCUBAing and I am SO proud of myself. Kneeling on the bottom of the ocean was absolutely amazing and was not nearly as terrifying as I initially thought. I had a few moments of panic on the surface when my feet just hung down, not touching anything, but after we descended to the bottom, the fear completely disappeared.

I have to be honest though. Driving to the resort from the airport was a bit strange. Since most Jamaicans are of African descent, I felt very much like I was back in Kenya. The school children in matching uniforms, driving on the left, the verdant rolling hills. The houses even had the same jerry-cans on the roofs to collect water; I could even tell which out-buildings were the toilets and showers. I almost felt like I was betraying my roots or something---I lived like that and now I was one of those rich white people who got chauffered around to spend their thousands of dollars that I despised. And the disparity between rich and poor is so evident, and like most places, racially divided. The hotel is staffed by Jamaicans, again most of whom are black, and even though I applaud the hiring of locals, it smacks so much of neocolonialism---whites being served by blacks. I'm having a difficult time explaining in words what I felt, but it was definitely an uncomfortable feeling.

White guilt, perhaps?

1 comment:

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