An Eye Opening Exerience - My Family Travels

There are many recollections of memorable family vacations and reunions, however there is one vacation that stands out. 

It was a cruise vacation on the Royal Caribbean ship liberty of the Seas with my family: mother, father, and brother. The ship would visit in the western Caribbean Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Labadee Haiti. 
Jamaica was beautiful, fun, and hot. My mother is from Jamaica so I know more about the culture and language of Jamaicans. One of the most popular places to visit in Ocho Rios is Dunns River Falls. People actually risk their lives climbing up the waterfalls. The rocks on the Falls are naturally formed and rugged, and are covered with slippery, slimy moss. I have never seen so many adults falling, as if they were walking for the first time. This event was fear and fun rolled up in one. 
The next island to visit was Labadee, Haiti. Labadee is the cruise line’s private island. Here, we were to enjoy a huge waterslide and have lunch. We were having fun, my brother and I, but we were also tired from the heat. I decided to rest for a while before lunch and that’s when I noticed a metal fence surrounding us with Haitians on the other side looking at us. I thought that was unusual at the time. 

During lunch I asked my parents what the reason was for the fence, and why was it necessary especially when people in Jamaica weren’t separated from the visitors to the island. I wasn’t prepared for the answers to my questions. It was not easy to understand that everything we were enjoying, food and fun, seemed so unattainable to the people on the other side. 

My mood was changed on Labadee and for the first time I felt guilty about the food and fun we had. I know that situations exist like this in many parts of the world but this was my first time experiencing sadness for a people that struggle each and every day with poverty.  

Since then I have researched and read a lot about Haiti and I am now more aware of the suffering of the Haitian people. Now I contribute to fundraisers whenever I can. 

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