My Husband I just got back from our vacation in Jamaica. It was our third trip to the same resort, Couples Negril. Over the three years there we have really enjoyed the resort, and made some good friends. Some of whom are workers at the resort, some are vendors, or musicians on the beach, and some are guests.
This year we were thrilled to be back at the resort and among some people that we have grown to care about. Everything was really great except the beach drink service, evening dinners and service. After 3 days is was apparent that there was something wrong and soon after we knew that we needed to go and talk to the manager. I don’t bring this up to put down Couples Negril, but to praise them. We went to talk to Wayne Williams, the operations manager, about the trouble we were having with the service. The very next day service improved to the level of the Couples we knew, and loved from the two years previous. The change was astonishing to us. The staff is just the best group of people. They truly care about their guests, and their happiness, and go over and above to make vacation a satisfying experience.
This year I was really looking to get off the resort, and get a taste of the real Jamaica. We had the opportunity to do this twice, once with our friends Donnavon and Andre; once with just Andre. Donnavon is a wonderful musician, and Andre is a vendor. They both work the beach. Our afternoon with the pair was to lunch at a spot down the beach to a place called, “Office of Nature.” We had great afternoon hanging out with some them, and some other locals having a sing along and just chatting about Jamaica, and their life there. The second day; however, was quite an experience. Andre took us to place called, “Percy’s Riverside Retreat.” It was out in the country in the middle of a sugar cane farm. Percy and his family ran the retreat which consisted of a kitchen, a bar, beautiful grounds, and some quiet areas with hammocks. They were very warm and welcoming people who were eager to share their piece of Jamaica with us. Our next stop that day was to Andre’s home. After seeing Andre’s home he took us to him mother’s home where we met two of his younger sisters. Then we went to a little bar where Andre hangs out sometimes in the evenings. The bar was a plywood building. It even had plywood floors. Very basic and simple, but it did its job.
Now I am going to get on my soap box a little here. Jamaica is a third world country, and the people are very poor. Andre’s home is very small – literally the size of our horse shelter. He is proud of his home, as he should be, and he works very hard, 11 to 14 hours a day, walking probably 10 miles seven days a week making a living for his family. He is not sitting around feeling sorry for himself and waiting for handouts. We, as Americans have it very very good. More Americans need to get out of the U.S. and see how life is for most of the rest of the world, and learn from the experience. Jamaicans have this outlook on life that I am trying to adopt. They call it “Irie.” I believe that Irie comes from having so little, but being happy and thankful for what one does have. The more a person has the more a person has to worry about keeping those possessions. Are our possessions really so important that our lives have to be so full of stress?
I guess the moral to the story is - Go to Couples Negril you will not be sorry and while you are there get off the resort and experience Jamaica and maybe even learn something. At the very least you will have a great day with some wonderful company. Thank you CN. We can't wait to see you all again soon.