The Highest Point in the Caribbean

Alison Leaver ’16, a biology major with a minor in Latin, writes from Jamaica; she is one of the students dropping us notes from around the world as they participate in Ripon College’s Liberal Arts In Focus program this summer. Leaver is taking “Peace Studies in Jamaica” with Professor Joe Hatcher.

Reaching the Peak

Imagine walking up a steep and narrow footpath with rocks and tree roots making a bumpy terrain. Now imagine walking that path at 1 am with only a small flashlight to guide your way. Finally, imagine doing this for five hours straight with minimum breaks.

This was what we experienced when we climbed the Blue Mountain Peak, the highest point in the Caribbean. When we finally stumbled our way to the peak, it was freezing! The wind was howling and we were practically standing in a cloud. Everyone was huddled together, bundled up, and sharing snacks while we waited for the famous peak sunrise. Unfortunately, the clouds never cleared and we missed the sunrise.

Very anticlimactic.

With that, it was time to for the long hike back down the mountain. It was nice to be able to see where we were going and the views were incredible! Three hours later we made it down the mountain and arrived at the only coffee shop in Hagley Gap and Penlyne, Jah B’s. There we sat drinking hot Blue Mountain coffee and resting our aching muscles while we reflected on the huge journey we had just completed.

This was one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences of my life and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.

Photos from the Peace Studies in Jamaica program


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