Jamaica through a stranger’s eyes pt. 1

Hey guys! If you have been following us on Twitter you would know that we had promised you a series of guest blog posts from some of our foreign friends who came to Jamaica and wanted to share their experiences.


The first few posts will be from Kate Busse who is from Indiana (United States) and decided to keep a kind of electronic [photo] journal of her few months in Jamaica while interning at the United Nations Environment Programme Caribbean Regional Coordinating Unit (based in Downtown, Kingston).

Kate decided to share her experiences with us, we do hope you find them interesting.

Jamaica. The Simple Life.

My story, mostly told in pictures, of summer 2013 spent on the blissful island of Jamaica. (I will attempt to play catch up as it’s the 9th of July and our time here is almost over.)Work, finals, graduation, pack, boom! I suddenly found myself in Jamaica. I couldn’t believe that I ended up here. A day after walking across the stage, accepting my bachelors degree in Environmental Management, I hopped on a plane headed for Kingston. Knowing almost nothing about the culture, the city, where I’d be living.. I headed towards 17 Dewsbury Ave, a place that I would call home for the next 3 months.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a house full of welcoming faces from all over the world. Housemates from Colombia, Jamaica, Germany, Canada, the States, and Belgium made my time here that much more fulfilling.

Day 1 at the United Nations Environment Programme (the reason for this mini life adventure):


They gave me a desk, what?!

We hit the ground running with our first weekend here. Port Antionio via minibus. Ohh the minibus.. Little did I know that my first minibus ride would set the stage for the many rides to come. As we squealed tires through the mountains all while 4 guys hung out the side of the bus, blasting reggae music, clearly exceeding the max capacity of the bus by 17 people- i fell in love. The ride on the way home was a tad less enjoyable considering that a very large woman sat on 1/2 of my extremely sun-burnt body. In pure desperation I tried rubbing coconut meat on my sweltering skin for relief as Jeff told absurd childhood stories.


Port Antonio is beautiful. Compared to the rest of the island it’s lush green, with very little tourism development. Blue Lagoon was our first stop, where cold spring water intermixes with the warm sea, creating a blue wonderland. A poorly constructed rope swing held most of our attention for the stay.


The Blue Lagoon

Boston Bay was our next stop. The infamous day where I fell in the love with surfing, Jeff spent 2 hours picking sea urchins out of his heel, and Lacey was serenaded by quite possibly the least talented Jamaican rapper on the island.


Boston Bay 

The next few weeks were spent getting to know co-workers at UNEP, checking out the local bar scene, attending live shows, and getting acquainted with the city. Lessons learned: White rum is strong, when “bomboclat” and it’s various combinations should be used, and juice in Jamaica comes in bags.

Contact Kate:




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