Sunday, February 06, 2005

More of jamaica

still in port antonio, jamaica, but we've had some interesting forrays into the countryside. first was a raft trip down the rio grande river. eight miles inland out to the ocean on rafts made of bamboo by the captains of the rafts. two people sit on this very long flat bundel of maybe 15 bamboo rods, in a nice chair of bamboo. then the captain stands out at the very front and poles our way through the small rapids. very fun and we have good video footage of it.

then back to port antonio and for me, an afternoon of soccer. i got a real ball here and even some new turfs so i was happy to run to the local field in hopes of some exercise. i was the only white person on the field of perhpas more than a hundred of all ages and all playin in little games around the large field. i started juggling by myself and eventually drew in five others, so we got a 3 on 3 game and played until it was too dark to see. it was great to run around, and fun to play with a 2 foot ditch running through our mini field that was on the side of the big field. the ball was considered out if it went into the ditch but you could pass it to someone on the other side of the ditch and still be in fair play as long as it didn't fall in. and they even asked if i was coming back tomorrow - a question which i took to be a great compliment. not having played in a while i guess i held my own. they didn't talk to me much, and i still can only get a few words here and there when they are talking but i can understand them mostly when they speak to me without their native slang. the next day we went inland again tor three hours to st. catherine where a woman that had lived with rob's family was living. it was very neat to drive through the countryside and see many little and big (kinston) cities of jamaica. the house was made of concrete, there were goats everywhere, and we were the only whites in the whole town as far as we could see. and everyone said hello by saying, "you alright?" and the customary response is, "ya man". there was a funeral there the next day which we ended up going to, for the woman's brother in law. the service was a new experience and involved an open casket, many amens, many songs, a few cell phone rings, and much jesus talk. the burial followed in which the casket was lowered into a cement cell covered by boards, then plywood, then a crosshatched frame of rebar, and then cemented over as we all sang songs in the hot sun, while a boy was rolling around an old tire in the adjacent field and a few more were practicing their cricket in the farther field. quite an experience with many images we will not forget.

then we said goodbye to norma and her jamaican family and rode back three hours with dickey, who gave us more lessons in the jamaican tounge, much to everyone's enjoyment as we bumped along with the loud regee that came nonstop from dickey's speakers.

now we prepare for the super bowl, which we will watch in the marina television, (not much market here for american football - it's all soccer and cricket here) and we'll get our immunizations tomorrow of yellow fever, typhoid and hep. A, with malaria pills soon to follow. our dingy still is holding up though we can put no pressure on the floor of it so we must look funny going back and forth all on the side tubes.

hope you are all well, and i welcome updates from all of your lives. i may not be able to responde to each of them, but i very much value news from all of you back home. thank you to those who have done so already. it is nice to know that people enjoy getting the updates from crazy horse. adios, go patriots!
ben

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