The events of Saturday July 14th.
The first full day in Sav (Savanna-La-Mar) started the way any good day should, with a stroll to the ocean and fresh mango from the fruit market. A few of us headed out early for the coast. A brisk 15 minute walk south, straight through the city, finds you at the Caribbean coast and the old Spanish fort in it’s spectacular ruin.
Like so many places in Jamaica the market can be both beautiful and hostile with sights, smells, and peddling. One thing you notice quickly in Jamaica is that everyone is a salesperson. Some persistent, some not. Most friendly, a few not. In my experience, regardless of the type of salesman, you’re always greeted with a “g’d mornin’” and a smile.
While we avoided the stench on the fish side of the market, the fruit side provided its own distinct smell with an array of sour and sweetness and interesting sites to accompany. There’s only a few things I enjoy more than fresh fruit, and here it could only be fresher if you picked it from the plant.
With mango in hand we watched the fishing boats skip over the sea and children play in the waves of the old fort’s ruins. By 8am the sun was already high and hot but the fruit juices dribbling down my hand meant I couldn’t have been happier. I snapped a few photographs and we headed back for our drive to visit some old friends.
Two hours away through twisting highways and crater like potholes we ventured to Alligator Pond to visit Mahlon’s Family. Mahlon, one of the sweetest souls I’ve ever met, spent 19 years paralyzed from the neck down. A beautiful Christian and a wonderful man who passed last year leaving his family to remember the powerful example, and attitude, that he wore daily.
After a home cooked Jamaican meal of jerk chicken, ackee & salt fish, breadfruit, and rice & beans with gravy the group headed to the beach rejoicing that Mahlon’s mother wanted to become a Christian. As amazing as the meal was, the news of her decision was better. We piled in, rumbled down the road, piled out, and watched as she was baptized in a shallow river running along the Jamaican shore. The singing and bible study that followed was as sweet as ever.
With a quick stop to visit some other friends, and share some fresh coconut, we headed back to the Kibo for an early night of rest. Much needed with my plans to catch the following morning’s 5:45am sunrise.