Monday, 1 February 2016

Day 12: What's the problem?

W. Rains Browning

I’ve spent much time on this trip thinking and reflecting on the things I’ve seen. Maybe it’s just the whole angry teen thing, but their seems to be a problem here in Falmouth.
Falmouth is a town with a rich history, happy people, beautiful beaches and yummy food. Places like this usually draw in tourism. The question is then, why do the people of Falmouth not benefit more from the tourism. While it’s only been about 10 years since the construction of the port, Falmouth remains to have degrading houses and people who work on unlivable wages or have no job at all.
The problem has many roots. Let’s start with the port. The port is a quasi-American Jamaican fantasy land with modern buildings that vaguely resemble Jamaica because of the colors they’re painted. There are American business like Quiznos, Frank’s and various jewelry stores. There are also Jamaican “stores” that sell wooden crafts, t-shirts and fruits. For a tourist, it’s seemingly perfect. They have what they think is everything they could ever want out of Jamaica in this port surrounded by 10 foot walls. Ok, we know this is a problem, but there are also other problems.
For the tourist that “bravely” ventures outside the wall it is very difficult. They take one step outside the gate and they are SWAMPED by at least 20 taxi driver. If they attempt to venture into the more authentic craft market they get yelled at more by people trying to sell them things. The tourist are overwhelmed. They would rather feel safe and comfortable in the fake Jamaica, opposed to feeling scared and overwhelmed in the real Jamaica. If the tourist were able to get past the chaos that meets them it can be nice. In the town square they are harassed far less. Jamaica also has much more to offer than a Bob Marley T-shirt.
Their are more things that contribute the problems in Falmouth. My perception of the port over the first week in Falmouth was that it’s evil and needed to go. After thinking more objectively, I realized that the port can be a blessing. The port can bring amazing things to this town however, both the people and the port need to work together so that it can effectively benefit the town of Falmouth.

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