“Whoo-hoo!” I finally get to go out of the country on my own, meaning no family members tagging along. I was thrilled. It was finally time for a change in me, the people, and the world.
I arrived to Kingston Jamaica where the humidity felt like 100 degrees. Being in a sweater and sweatpants made me feel like I was about to have a heat stroke, especially because where I came from had 0 degree winters. I noticed there were enormous amounts of trash lying everywhere. As our group was getting ready to get on the bus this little boy came up to me and said, “Here, I will help you,” as I was about to unload my luggage. I was stumped. My teacher told me, “Don’t say yes, he just wants money.” I couldn’t believe the words that came out of her mouth, but decided to do as she said.
We went to eat right when we arrived to Kingston. We ate at a little shack that served fresh fish. We ate under a tent where you could see abandoned dogs walking around and children in diapers wondering off. Flies were everywhere and ants were crawling all over the table. Birds were walking all over the place and seemed to not notice people. I saw this boy pick up a bird and throw it against the building. Talk about animal cruelty, eh?
As we were eating this little girl came up to one of my friends and said, “Can I please have your leftovers when you are finished?” My friend immediately replied back saying, “Oh… yes sure.” One of the Jamaican tourists told us that kids would wait for people to finish eating and then when they left, the kids would go and eat it or go and grab food from the trash can because they didn’t have enough food to eat. Right when he said that I felt so appreciative for the people back at home. When we eat in America, we don’t have to worry about not having enough food to go around the table. There are people starving all over the world, yet some people in America are being diagnosed for anorexia or bulimia. I took it was so hard. I started to tear up and gave all of my food to the little girl. She thanked me and left, barefooted.
As I arrived to my host families home I grew to enjoy Jamaica. They lived in a beautiful tropical home where one could see the wonderful view of the mountains. I felt like I were in a movie theater overlooking the beautiful island of Jamaica! Then I quickly snapped back to reality when I saw a Jamaican mom trying to sell coconuts by the street. She had 3 kids and they were still so young. I realized that being prosperous in Jamaica came to those people who worked hard and were dedicated to getting an education. Otherwise, you’d have to work by the streets or ask for money. Life in Jamaica went two ways. You were either rich or poor and if you were poor people would treat you with disrespect.
Arriving home I felt like I learned more than I knew before. I learned to love my family and country so much more. I’m thankful to be in a world where food isn’t a problem. Helping people is now one of my biggest priorities. Whether it is donating, just giving a dollar, or smiling to make someone’s day. Anything counts.
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