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Heading to Jamaica tomorrow!

July 25, 2012
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You know you travel a bit much when you are wandering around work and this thought pops into your head: “I’m going somewhere soon, where is it again? Oh yeah, Jamaica. Tomorrow.” (I guess it could also be blamed on the fact that I’m getting old, ha)

For anyone who thinks our trip to Jamaica is a “vacation” =) – from the US Government’s travel site:

CRIME: Crime, including violent crime, is a serious problem in Jamaica, particularly in Kingston and Montego Bay. While the vast majority of crimes occur in impoverished areas, random acts of violence, such as gunfire, may occur anywhere. The primary criminal concern for tourists is becoming a victim of theft. In several cases, armed robberies of U.S. citizens have turned violent when the victims resisted handing over valuables. Crime is exacerbated by the fact that police are understaffed and often ineffective. Additionally, there have been frequent allegations of police corruption. Tourists should take all necessary precautions, always pay extra attention to their surroundings when traveling, and keep windows up and doors locked while in a vehicle. Travelers should avoid walking alone, exercise special care after dark, and always avoid areas known for high crime rates.

Each year the Embassy receives several reports of sexual assaults against U.S. citizens, including cases of alleged sexual assaults at tourist resorts, some of which involve resort staff. It is important to realize that sexual assault allegations generally do not receive the same type of law enforcement attention in Jamaica that they would in the United States. Local law also requires the presence of the victim at each stage of the judicial process in order for a case to move forward.

 U.S. citizens traveling in Jamaica should maintain careful watchfulness, avoid secluded places or situations, go out in groups and watch out for each other. Don’t be afraid to ask or call out for help if you feel threatened or encounter individuals who make you feel uncomfortable. Report any suspicious activity to the U.S. Embassy, local police and, if appropriate, to the hotel’s management. As a general rule, do not leave valuables unattended or in plain view, including in hotel rooms and on the beach. Take care when carrying high value items such as cameras and expensive cell phones or when wearing expensive jewelry on the street. Women’s handbags should be zipped and held close to the body. Men should carry wallets in their front pants pocket. Large amounts of cash should always be handled discreetly.

The U.S. Embassy advises its staff to avoid inner-city areas of Kingston and other urban centers, such as those listed in the section on Safety and Security, whenever possible. Particular caution is advised after dark and in downtown Kingston and New Kingston. The U.S. Embassy also cautions U.S. citizens not to use public buses, which are often overcrowded and are a frequent venue for crime.

Yikes.

Please keep us in your prayers! Please pray that we can be a blessing to the ministry over there, that we can get a lot accomplished, and that we stay safe! I will post pictures when we get back.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2012 12:03 pm

    I’ll be praying!

  2. aleassa permalink
    July 25, 2012 3:53 pm

    I know another church who just finished a mission’s trip to Jamaica, they did a VBS. I have personally never wanted to vacation in Jamaica, for those very reasons you just posted…scary! I’ll be praying for you, I’m sure it’ll be an awesome trip with nothing to fear.

    • July 25, 2012 4:03 pm

      Oh wow, no way. They must have visited the same missionaries we are visiting! Because they said they had a group doing VBS right before we come, which is why we ended up not planning a VBS after all. Too funny! The Wesleys? (Thanks for the prayers!)

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