Later on that evening, the 3 of us found a little local bar/lounge on the cliff within walking distance to where we were staying. We talked about possibly pooling our money together to stay at a hotel that: A. had AC and a shower in the room and B. closer to all of the spring break activities (Heartbreak Villas, the name of the place we were staying was about a 10 minute cab ride from the center of town). That night we laughed and cried at the situation we were in. We also made friends with the bartenders who kept us laughing. It had been a good night. This local spot turned out to be one of our favorite spots to chill.
The next morning my roommate rose early and suggested we give the showers a try. We would take turns guarding the entrance to the shower (there was no door or curtain, just an open entry). We found out that we actually liked bathing outdoors, it wasn't bad at all. Back in our room we opened the shutters to find that we had a beautiful view and a nice ocean breeze. We didn't need an alarm clock because every morning around 8 we would be awakened by the groundskeeper singing Missy Elliott's "One Minute Man" as he swept the grounds below us.
By day 3 we had decided that we were going to have a good time regardless of our circumstances and current living situation. You've got to understand this was all new to these 2 Bronx girls, a real culture shock (our friend left a few days before we did). We weren't going to pay for a new hotel room because we had already paid for the one we had. We we were going to get out and explore the island and stay away from our hut as much as possible (we would really only be there to sleep at night).
After overcoming our fear of the unknown, we ended up having tons of fun. We made a lot of friends with local people. Our cab driver fell in love with my roommate and took us all around the island. We spent time at a pool hall in Sav-La-Mar, took a boat ride through Black River and petted a crocodile. We treaded through Dunn's River and climbed Y.S. falls. The trip to Bob Marley's house was also unforgettable. The fact that we trusted a perfect stranger to lead us through the jungle to a ganja farm was also unforgettable. The things you do when you're young.
I spent a lot of time reflecting about Negril after returning (and still do to this day). We met a lot of good, fun and unforgettable people there. The locals, the food, the experience all made it such an invaluable experience. This trip alone made me appreciate, respect and love local living. By the end of our 7 days we weren't ready to go. We had become accustomed to bathing outdoors and jerk chicken and coco bread from the man on the road. And we had learned so much about ourselves and the country we came from.
So you see this wasn't your typical, run-of-the-mill spring break trip. Yes, we did Margaritaville and Rick's Cafe but we wanted MORE. We made the best of our situation; which is what native Caribbean people do everyday. We stopped complaining and LIVED. In the islands, how could you NOT?
Oh, and our departing shuttle ride back to the airport only took 45 minutes ;-)