Wild Jamaica

When we made it to the falls, we parked and were quickly grouped and herded in with a swelling group of tourists who themselves were carted along on tour buses of their own from other hotels. We were further dissected into groups of 10 or so with a park liaison as guide and hype-man for the falls. Our guide wore a canary-colored shirt, with a pair of cargos and swimming shoes. He was taut, as many of the Jamaican’s tended to be, with short knotty hair, lanky appendages, and jaundiced eyes. He led us in a number of chants in his thick accent, pumping us up for the coming climb while kindly barking instructions at us to keep the group safe. “You see me”, he yelled, slapping his chest, wild-eyed and clearly enjoying what he did. I could see and hear that other groups around us were getting similar albeit not as enthusiastic treatment as we were. “I’m the leader. You follow me. Look at my feet and you won’t get hurt!” In the moment, I couldn’t help thinking that our lead would lean into my eyes and hiss Barkhad Abdi’s now iconic line turned meme from 2013’s Captain Phillips: “Look at me. Look at me. I’m the captain now”.