Wednesday, March 12, 2014

31 Jamaica

Twenty First birthday trip...

In North London as a child in the 1960s and a youth in the 1970s I'd been in touch with West Indian culture as there were loads of kids at our school that had come over as their parents sought better work opportunities. West Indies was the best cricket team in the world for most of the 1970s. The final test at the Oval brought to our tellies images of Barbados, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and the other countries that made up the team. Cricket and the telly brought excitement to us for the West Indies as a whole. James Bond and Doctor No brought in the specific excitements of Jamaica. Waterfalls, mountain roads, roadside jerk chicken stalls smoking in half oil drums.

So when I was asked over by a good friend I'd made at Gilwell the year earlier (after the maize castrating events in Soustons) I was delighted to accept.

At 21 I was "The Graduate."

It was a tad daunting. I was still shy in completely unknown groups of elders. And it was a little like this staying with a "successful" ex pat family.

Three weeks of it and I was integrated and in.

Looking back I think it was this graduation trip to Kingston, Dunns River, the Blue Mountains, Montego Bay, etc. that planted the seeds of me wanting to experience a life outside the UK.


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