Thursday, January 7
Day #6 of the 2010 Jamaica Medical Mission Trip
Wow - time flies - and especially when you're away from home and in the Caribbean.
Today is our day off from work - and not only do we get to sleep in a bit, we get to hop on the bus and head to Ochos Rios for the day. Woo hoo! Life is good!
The drive to Ochos is about 90 minutes - but we stop along the way for some scenic overlooks, parks, and photos.
A beautiful scenic overlook on the way
We weren't sure what to make of this guy - is he a Jamaican cross-dresser?
The Back Row Broads on the way to Ochos Rios
We hit Ochos along with all of the passengers from the Carnival Liberty cruise ship, which is docked for the day. A little bit of time is spent shopping - and being the Queen that I am - I head off in search of more Crown Jewels. Rainbow sapphires, anyone? I am a Queen who likes her bling, I'll be the first to admit.
After a successful & productive shopping trip, we head to lunch at the famous Ochos Rios Jerk Center - which still seems to be overrun with tourists, which explains the "Jerk" in the name of the place. Those sly Jamaicans. Anywho - being that spicy food is out of the question for me - with my super-sensitive tummy - I sample the fish. And I have to tell you, Dear Readers, that the fish? Was awesome. It was flaky. It was moist. And it had a full-bodied vinegar flavor that I like with my fish. Yummo. Thumbs up for the fish & chips at the Jerk Center.
After flirting with some of the local Jamaicans who managed to stumble into the Jerk Center (what were THEY thinking? Were they there to laugh at all of the jerks???!!), on we went to Dunn's River Falls - a must-do while in Ochos Rios. I climbed this back in 2006 with Hubby - and once was enough for me, thank you very much. Besides - I am still somewhat hobbling from my blistered and bloody feet (sorry - graphic!) and I need some TLC - I do NOT need to hurt my tootsies any more by climbing around on some rocks. However - if you've never climbed - you need to do it at least ONCE in your life. Put it on YOUR Bucket List. Seriously. What an experience.
Cam & Val, two of our pharmacists, scampering the Falls
Some of the rest of our group,
A long drive back to Falmouth...and along the way, we begin seeing cars and cars parked along the side of the highway. Empty. Just parked along the shoulder. What??! What is going on? Where are the people? And why are they parked there? We then see a few police cars on the shoulder - and then - a huge crowd of people - all gathered on the right side of the road - staring off a few hundred yards into the bush. Our driver, Fernando, decides to appease our curiosity and rolls his window down to find out the scoop.
"What's going on?" he yells.
"A body" was the reply.
Oh, lovely. Yes - a dead body was discovered in the bushes on the side of the road. And the Jamaicans were stopping and gathering to assist the police in possibly identifying it. Gruesome? Yes. But part of the story. And part of the experience. Did we stop? No. Thank goodness. We kept going. Actually, my prayers went out to the family and friends of whoever it was that was lying there. And I prayed that it was due to natural causes. I guess we'll never know.
We arrive home, and after a delicious dinner of pumpkin soup, I top it off with a very bad tummy ache. Uh oh. My stupid, sensitive stomach. It can never just kick back, relax and have fun. It always has to have the last word. Always wanting attention. I take one of my magic pills that my doctor gave me - which normally does the trick (duh - hence the name "magic" pills!) - and I wait for the magic to begin.
And I wait. And wait some more. By 10:45 pm, I have had no relief. I've popped another Magic pill and 2 Pepsids by this time - and nothing is working. I eventually drift off to sleep with a belly full of pain. Sigh.
Such is the life of a Queen with a bad gut. All part of the adventure, I guess.