Lost in a fight with a waterfall

This is about to be a long post so feel free to turn back. For those of you who are reading it please appreciate that a majority of it is typed with one hand because its currently too painful to move any of the fingers on my left hand.

8am: There are 7 of us waiting to leave for Dunn’s River Falls. It’s a waterfall near Ocho Rios (Ochi) on the north coast. Peter’s host mom arranged for a mini bus to take us all up there. 8 am quickly turned into a Jamaican 8:00 and we left around 8:45 just before it started pouring rain. Jamaicans hate the rain so the roads weren’t too terribly crowded.

10am: We saw the beach and decided to stop and take a look. Any inclination to jump into the water quickly went away when we saw the amount of trash on the beach. It was truly disgusting.

We also found some new goat friends roaming around and being the tourists we were for a day we took a bunch of pictures of them.

11am: We got to Dunn’s River in the pouring rain with thousands of our closest American friends from Carnival Cruises. As Marie put it, it was sun burnt white people on parade. Its funny we have been here for almost a month and we all take ownership over Jamaica and whenever we see white people we are intrigued to know why they are here, except in this case. We used our PC ID’s to get a resident discount into the park, which was pretty cool. There were a few people who asked about which cruise we were on because they hadn’t see the orange bands before. I mean we are kind of a big deal.

11:30  The tour guides start making stupid Jamaican jokes to the tourists telling them to yell “yah maan.” When Josh asked if he could pay for the pictures in red money they stopped treating us like complete idiots. We walked all the way to the bottom of the falls, along the beach, and formed a line with about 20 other people. We held hands with these people most of the way up except when we wanted to take pictures then got yelled at for not holding hands. We weren’t the only people, though, the cruise ship people wanted pictures too!

1pm We were literally 10 feet from the top of the falls and I stepped forward and it was a little deeper than I thought and I fell forward. Naturally I used my hands to brace myself and I felt a shooting pain through my hand. My thought at the time was I hyperextended my pinkie, but the pain was pretty bad. We walked to find Peter’s host mom and by that point I knew something was wrong.

1:15 Daryl pointed out the first aid clinic, so Marie and I walked over there to talk to the nurse. She looked at it and said there was a definite deformity in the pinkie finger itself but I will have to get an x-ray to be sure.

1:30 Marie and I leave the falls for St. Ann’s Bay hospital in an ambulance. It was Marie’s first time ever riding in a ambulance. The whole ridiculousness of the situation made it a bit easier to take my mind off the added pain due to horrible Jamaican driving.

2:00 We arrived at the hospital with the nurse from the falls and another nurse took my blood pressure and determined that I didn’t actually need to go to the ER. I was in so much pain at one point I nearly lost my temper because they wouldn’t give me ANY pain medication until the doctor saw me.  At that point I decided to change out of my wet bathing suit. I have never been so repulsed by a bathroom in my entire life. There was puke in the sink and overflowed toilets. Yes, this was a legit hospital.

3:45 Finally get called into see the doctor. We explained that we are here as volunteers and we will be working with youth and sexual health. This got her going on a tangent about how she never thought she would be ashamed to be a woman, but some woman make her feel that way when they don’t accept the fact that baby dad number 10 won’t help any more than baby dad number 1. Once we finally got her back on track she gave me a prescription for pain medication and x-rays. I went to the “injection room” thinking I would still get pain pill. Wrong. She pulled out a big needle. I stuck out my arm and she told me to bed over. First shot in the butt: check.

4:00 X-rays completed and Marie and I sneak a peak. It did not take MD after my name for me to see that there were two clear fracture lines in my hand (palm not the finger). I got a soft cast put on and will have it on for the next few days until the swelling goes down. I will have to see a doctor in Kingston to ensure that I will be able to have it treated here and not DC, but I would hope a doctor here could put a simple cast on it…

Thank you to my amazing friends who waiting with sketchy people outside the hospital for hours, and especially Marie for making sure there was more laughter than tears.

What I learned today:

Sadly, not all of Jamiaca’s beaches are beautiful.

Don’t go to Dunn’s River of Cruise Ship day.

Be persistent in the hospital or you will never get anything done.


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