Jamaica – We Arrive (excerpt 1)

WE ARRIVE
In Kingston. May 18th, Day One.

I took in our new land which looked across taxi lanes and palm trees to the foothills of the Blue Mountains.

The hills stole my attention for more time than I care to share as it was the first love of a Jamaican offering. The tone those mountains cast could cripple any attempt of a lively effort. The colors were somber and still like that of a single scale played in honor of a new morning.

But it was noon. And we were all hungry. Some of us for food. Some of us for sleep. Some of us for the adventures and challenges coming our way.

Each one of us, though, in our individual inclination, grew anxious to begin receiving payment on the journey promised. But the feast of the next nine days began in that initial moment masked as a devotion of reverent appreciation and hunger, patience and sweat.

We would all grow. And with growth comes with a measure of pain.

Not one of our twenty-one students, nor any of us five adults grasped how full our bellies were. None of us understood the kind of hunger that awaited us and the cost we’d pay to rid it off our souls.

We would, soon.

Beyond the Kingston airport in the fields of palm trees, there was leaves and canopy, green and fresh in the sun, and the field was limitless and carelessly lush despite the city’s effort. Typical city nurturing corporate powers. Typical forest fighting for life.

And between those distant fields, the horizon we saw was outlined with colorful billboards and buildings and people.

We watched as Taxis gathered the flowing peoples and drove on tired airport roads and under the canopies.

The gasses from the cars going and coming, bringing and dropping, held to the lower atmosphere as if the palm leaves formed an umbrella of protection for its prized mountain air. The fumes choked the nose but then the body adjusts, as it usually does, and moves on. And so we did.

Words and photo work begged for my hands. To capture and collect this Kingston journey as it began right here.