Nowhere else in the Caribbean is the connection to Africa as keenly felt as it is in Jamaica. Kingston was the major nexus in the New World for the barbaric triangular trade that brought slaves from Africa and carried sugar and rum to Europe, and the Maroons (runaways who took to the hills of Cockpit Country and the Blue Mountains) safeguarded many of the African traditions – and introduced jerk seasoning to Jamaica’s singular cuisine. St Ann’s Bay’s Marcus Garvey founded the back-to-Africa movement of the 1910s and ’20s; Rastafarianism took up the call a decade later, and reggae furnished the beat in the 1960s and ’70s. Little wonder many Jamaicans claim a stronger affinity for Africa than for neighboring Caribbean islands. We recently managed a trip for a client of ours; super model Ajak Deng, on her return back to New York, we asked her a few questions of her trip....
RA: Who is Ajak Deng?
AJ: AJAK is an international super model, born in South Sudan and raised in Melbourne Australia. Signed with IMG models and now living in NYC.
RA: Why did you choose Jamaica and was it your first time?
AJ: I chose Jamaica at first because i wanted to go to a place I can fit in. Also I have so many friends from Jamaica and I always wanted to go Jam Jam.
RA: What did you pack for Jamaica or did you pack anything special?
AJ: I packed every swimsuit I possibly have, just a few going out dresses and some casual outfits but mostly swimsuits.
RA: What music did you listen on the plane?
AJ: Eeyyyyy you know if you’re going to Jamaica, you got to listen to that good reggae and dancehall to get me into the relaxing mode..
RA: Where did you stay?
AJ: The first time I went to Jamaica, I stayed at the Caves in Negril. Second time I stayed at the Halfmoon Resort.
RA: Tell us one interesting thing you learned about Jamaica that the average person doesn't know.
AJ: People always talk about how dangerous Jamaica is. I have to learned that Jamaican people have too much love for people who visit their country and are very aware of it. Also the food is soooooooo goooooooood and i can’t get enough of it.
RA: What was the best and worst food you ate and where?
AJ: To be honest I haven’t had bad food in Jamaica so far..
RA: What was the scariest and or weirdest thing to happen to you?
AJ: OMG the scariest thing I did was swimming in the ocean, oh my gosh how do people do it? I was literally in the water for less than 2 minutes and I felt like swimming there for hours.. Big thumb up to people that can swim.
RA: Anything weird happen?
AJ: Hahahah you mean me jumping into the ocean not knowing how deep it is. Oh yeah that was so not funny then but it sure is funny now.
RA: Tell us about one person you met?
AJ: I met this driver named SMILEY FACE but his real name is Andre. The thing about Smiley face is that no one at the resort knew his real name and we kept calling him Smiley face but the last day we all finally found out his real name but anyway smiley face is the best. He will get you the best food you can ever get..
RA: If you could go back and do one day over again, which would it be?
AJ: If i could go back and do one thing over and over again, i would go and live there.
RA: What advice would you give to your friends who are thinking of a trip to Jamaica?
AJ: Don’t be afraid to have a chat with the locales. Oh and what happen in Jamaica, stays in Jamaica. Yea mann…