As well as the Workaway website, Megan lists herself as a host on http://www.airbnb.com and http://www.couchsurfing.org. AirBnB is for people who want to pay to rent a room/house for a holiday, and Couchsurfing is for travellers to stay on people’s couches for free, so there was a variety of people staying at Megan’s throughout the 3 weeks I was there.
Patricia is from Brasil and a few years older than me. She’d been travelling since January (to St Vincent and Barbados doing some volunteering) and she was in Jamaica for a total of 3 months. Her main reason for travelling was “I’ve had enough of the corporate world” (she used to work for IBM). She’s the one in denim shorts in this photo (the other one is me):
Then there was Cameron, around my age, a girl from the US. She’d been to Jamaica once before to volunteer in a school ‘cos her uni had a programme for it. She came back ‘cos she loved it and wanted to see more of the island.
There was a German couple, Jannika and Ainska (hopefully that’s how you spell their names). They’d just finished uni and wanted to have some adventures before looking for a job. They’d been to America first and after Jamaica they went on to Cuba.
Jannika, Ainska and Cameron went up the Blue Mountains for a couple of days and there they met a girl called Liese from Belgium who later came to stay at Megan’s. She’d also just graduated and wasn’t sure what she wanted to do as her job.
The last one was an American guy called Chris (well he was born in Jamaica but moved out when he was 2 months old and doesn’t act at all Jamaican). He didn’t actually leave on good terms but that’s another story.
Everyone (except Chris) was really friendly and I doubt I would have met such a diverse group of people if I’d been a “normal” tourist staying at a “normal” place. I became really good friends with Patricia and hopefully I’ll be able to go and see her in Brasil one day, and I’d definitely meet up with the others if I was in their country.
This picture is (from left to right) me, Debbie (Megan’s Jamaican friend), Cameron, Liese, Patricia and Megan at the Blue Lagoon: