If you ask anyone about visiting Jamaica, they’ll tell you that “Jamaica nice”. This holds true whether the trip is for work or play, just ask US President Barack Obama! In fact, no visit to Jamaica is ever strictly work…being on the island makes play almost automatic.
A Moment to Remember
President Obama arrived on the island on April 8th and left on April 9th. In that time he (among other things) participated in bilateral talks, addressed university students and attended a wreath laying ceremony at the coveted National Heroes Park. Though off the agenda, he also stopped at the world-renowned Bob Marley museum.
While official business took center stage, the moment that will no doubt standout in many Jamaicans’ minds is the moment the sitting President of the United States of America said the words ” Greetings massive” at a town hall in which he addressed a gathering of enthusiastic students.
“Massive” essentially means “everyone”, “crowd”, “group” or “friends” depending on the context. The term is often used in phrases such as “Big-up all mi massive” (meaning “Shout out to all my friends”) or paired with the word “crew” (e.g. “Big-up all mi massive and crew”). His initial words would immediately be outdone by the words “Wha Gwaan Jamaica?” which basically translates to “What’s up Jamaica?”.
A Historic Visit
While he is not the first sitting US President to visit the island, President Obama’s visit is historic for a number of reasons. These include his:
• Legacy as the country’s first black president
• General goodwill efforts within the region (taking into consideration the purpose of is overall visit to the Caribbean)
• Recent position on Cuba
However, for many (mainly those born after 1982 or who were too young to remember the visit of President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan), this visit is more exciting for the mere experience of witnessing what will no doubt become a notable point in history.
Looking forward to Visit Number Two
While it is not likely to happen while still a sitting head of state, like many who come once, President Obama seems set to visit to island again. That is simply the allure of Jamaica. If you don’t believe us, why not come and find out for yourself?