Our Jamaica Adventure

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Our Travels Observations

On May 31, 2003, our daughter, Virginia Vaughan Barnhill, married Fionn Samuel Damdar in Fairhope, Alabama. Fionn’s family is originally from Guyana but has been living in Jamaica since the children were very young. His parents, Isaiah and Evelyn Damdar, came from Kingston, Jamaica, for the wedding, as did his twin brothers, Sherwin and Ray, both of whom had been living in New York, and an aunt and cousin also from New York. The wedding guests also included some of the Damdars’ friends who happened to be living in the States, along with a host of young people: fraternity brothers of Fionn’s from MIT; friends of Virginia’s from Harvard, El Paso, and Austin; IVCF (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship) friends of both; and all but one of their housemates from the year they shared a house in Cambridge. The reception was a lively reunion for these young friends.

Most of the Damdars’ relatives and friends, however, were unable to attend. Isaiah and Evelyn therefore hosted a second reception in Kingston. Relatives gathered from Canada, Guyana, and the United Kingdom, joining the Damdars’ friends from Mona Heights Chapel for a “wedding blessing” on June 8. Barney (my husband) and I, along with Matthew (Virginia’s older brother), traveled to Kingston for this celebration and a week of other festivities and activities, all planned and coordinated by the wedding couple with a view to giving us as rich and meaningful a taste of Jamaica as possible in eight days.

During that time we spent time with the Damdars, and our host family, Grace and Gordon Russell, in Kingston and also made several side trips to other parts of Jamaica. We thereby experienced a variety of different aspects of Jamaican culture and were introduced to what Fionn, who grew up there, and Virginia, who had visited twice already, thought were the highlights.