My mom, dad and aunt flew home today after a three-week visit. It has been SO nice to have them here; I loved showing them my life here, and felt honoured to show them the many wonderful things Jamaica has to offer.

In addition to our trip to Craighton Estate to learn about coffee, they also visited local sites such as Lifeyard, Paint Jamaica, the Trenchtown Culture Yard, the National Gallery of Jamaica, Port Royal, Devon House, the Appleton Estate, the Bob Marley Museum, and the new Peter Tosh Museum.  They enjoyed daily life in Kingston, spent some time volunteering at the YMCA, and reveled in relaxation at Jake’s Hotel in Treasure Beach on the south coast of the island. We made sure to sample local delicacies like jerk chicken and pork, ackee, salt fish, june plum and sweetsop, and indulged in plenty of rum and Red Stripe.

Before they left, I asked them about their impressions of Kingston and Jamaica. Here is some of their feedback:

Likes: The people! Jamaicans are warm and welcoming, service is excellent, and people are generally very helpful and generous of heart. The concert at the National Gallery by local performer Jazmyn was a highlight! The food was amazing.

Dislikes: The heat was very oppressive and made it difficult to enjoy some activities. The condition of the roads is unpleasant – they are so full of potholes that it makes for some crazy car rides as drivers weave around to avoid them. My aunt said she was surprised there was nothing she really didn’t like (as usually there is *something* one doesn’t like when one travels).

Surprising: Jamaica was cleaner than expected and the garbage that is around is not smelly, which adds to the cleaner-than-expected feeling. There was not as much reggae and calypso music as expected. The island, and Kingston in particular, are more more interesting than anticipated – it is clear that there is more to Jamaica than resorts and reggae. They said they regret not seeing more of island during their stay.

Thank you mommy, daddy and Auntie Carole for your visit and your generosity while you were here. I can’t wait for our next adventure! xoxo