Image from http://freespeechjamaica.com/.

Image from http://freespeechjamaica.com/

My most memorable memories of girlhood were being able to explore a bit further field. At the age of 12 we had our first family holiday abroad and it was to….JAMAICA! What made this holiday even better was that we went with my best friend’s family.

As we journeyed up to the airport in the early hours of the morning, we were full of apprehension of what to expect whilst also being extremely tired! It didn‚Äôt help that our boat journey off the Isle of Wight was extremely choppy! The flight was soooo long, but I can say that it was definitely worth it when we got to Jamaica. The hotel we stayed in was incredible ‚Äì it had everything that you could possibly think of, even a trapeze ‚Äì which we had a lot of fun on! I got to stay in my best friend’s room for the whole holiday which was a dream come true ‚Äì it was like we could be adults and do our thing. This for us was drinking non-alcoholic cocktails and eating chips on our balcony.

Although we had lots of fun in the hotel, we also enjoyed activities outside around the island. These included swimming with dolphins, horse riding, shopping, and a visit to the home and resting place of Bob Marley. As we were driving around Jamaica, we had an awesome taxi driver called Teddy (which was great as someone in our favourite football team was named Teddy, too), and everywhere we went we seemed to always listen to Bob Marley. The song I always remember was Buffalo Soldier. Excitement aside, we were not naïve to the devastating history of Jamaica as we had been studying it at school that term, and I honestly believe that this holiday shaped me as a human being today.

One last adventure. My friend and I were so interested in the paranormal world at that age, so it was very important that we visited ‘The most haunted house in the Caribbean’, Rose Hall. I found this noted in one of my books that I had got from the book fayre at school a term previous. Rose Hall was situated on an old sugar plantation and was haunted by Annie Palmer, a supposed white witch who murdered 3 of her husbands. As we first walked in, there was a huge portrait of her, and it was one of those creepy ones where the eyes followed you around the room. But what was fascinating to us as 12 year olds was her tombstone; there was one cross on one side and the other side was blank because they didn’t know if her soul was inside. Apparently in 2007, investigators concluded it was made up.

Oh yeah, I also met the Jamaican Bobsleigh team at the airport when we left. How cool is that?

-Charleigh Powell
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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