A Jamaican summer
International student shares summertime memories from Jamaica
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 17:04
The word Jamaica may immediately remind you of beautiful beaches and exhilarating vacations, but for Jamaican student Peta-Gaye Clachar, Jamaica is home to many wonderful summertime memories.
The St. Catherine, Jamaica native has lived in Jamaica for nearly 29 years. Clachar is currently a senior majoring in art.
“We [Jamaicans] go to the beach a lot. Most people go to the north beaches because that’s where all the blue, aqua-looking beaches are. There’s surfing [and] snorkeling there. It’s where all the tourists go,” Clachar said excitedly. “We go on different boat rides out into the ocean. There are glass bottom boats where you can see the different creatures under the water. It’s so cool.”
With the beach only a short trip away, the lovely weather easily lures Jamaicans to blue waters and warm sun. Water fun is very common in the hot country where residents keep cool by swimming at the beaches often. It’s no surprise that swimming is a popular pastime.
“One of the most dangerous things I’ve done is swim with nerf sharks. There were about six of them swimming around us,” Clachar shared.
Clachar’s favorite summertime memory of Jamaica is driving out to the country because of the wonderful views and treats available along the road.
“There are always vendors on the road that sell jelly coconuts, sugar cane and other treats. It’s fun to stop, buy a coconut, and they scoop the jelly out of it [for you]. If you’re on a road trip, you have to end up going to the beach,” Clachar explained.
Jamaicans love volleyball on the beach, according to Clachar. Soccer is also very popular. Clachar called it “football with the foot,” smiling at the difference between American football and international football.
While specific foods and drinks are especially iconic of an American summer, —hot dogs, ice cream, lemonade and watermelon--- it is a different story in Jamaica, according to Clachar. Clachar says that Jamaicans are less picky about the seasons in which they eat certain foods. No specific foods ring up an image of summertime, and the food choices aren’t particularly seasonal.
“In Jamaica, it’s always hot, so people eat hot food and it doesn’t matter. It’s always summer in Jamaica. You can go to the beach anytime,” Clachar said, smiling fondly.
According to all-jamaica.com, the average high January temperature in Jamaica is around 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest months of the year are July and August, which experience temperatures around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Considering that Jamaicans don’t experience the drastic difference North Dakotans see between winter and summer, it’s easy to understand why Jamaicans do not have a season-specific diet.
Despite minor variances in summertime activities, the similarities between how you may be celebrating your summer break and the way a Jamaican enjoys the sunny season far outweigh any differences. Although it isn’t always summer in North Dakota as it is in Jamaica, fun in the sun will be something all NDSU students look forward to after finals.