I just recently returned from Jamaica, a once in a lifetime vacation with my husband, sons and their significant others.
I was told by many that had visited Jamaica, that the drive from the airport to the resort would be hair raising and that animals are hit and killed daily. So with my anticipated excitement for the vacation, I was also dreading the drive as I didn’t want to witness anything horrible. I actually had a headache and my heart was pounding when we landed.
The moment we landed the lushness and beauty of the greenery was stunning. Beautiful flowers on trees, exotic, just how I imagined, we were newbies to the Caribbean. All of our eyes were wide open with awe at the beauty.
As we boarded the bus I had decided not to look out the window and would just close my eyes. It would be a 45 minute drive and I could do that with my eyes closed. The drive started and we were told by the driver that we would be travelling along the coast line for a bit, then we would be going up through the mountains too. The bus was packed with excited travelers, all looking forward to a week of sun and R and R.
I tried so hard not look, and when I did, I saw green lush landscape. Half-finished houses, small shacks and lots of goats. The goats were either tied to a pole or loose, all away from the busy road, thank god. I saw donkeys, some tied, some loose, all away from the road, thank god again. There were horses too, the same thing, it’s like they knew to stay away from the road.
I did not see one dog, or any bodies, which was a huge relieve for me. I am sure it happens, but it didn’t on the days I was travelling to and from the resort.
Once at the resort, I thought I would see strays, but no, only 3 cats, I was able to befriend one of them. There were also little geckos which I was told the cats hunt and eat. The cats were thin and flea ridden. I felt sorry for them and wished I had brought some Revolution, but then I realized that one dose wouldn’t really do any good.
I had to turn off the part of me that wanted to help and save them, I was on vacation and this was a once in a lifetime family vacation. The thing that I really noticed was how the staff looked at me oddly when I was giving food, or petting the cat. They don’t see animals as we do, as house pets. This is not saying that there are no pets in Jamaica, as I am sure there are, but the staff I chatted with didn’t have pets.
Most of them grew their own food and killed their own chickens and goats. Once I realized that I was on vacation and not there to save the animals of Jamaica, I was able to enjoy my vacation. The people and country are beautiful, and I accepted that they have a different culture and view on animals.
We will be returning next year, and I hope the cat I befriended is still there.