Thursday, January 16, 2014

Our Time in Jurassic Park (1/16/14)

Today we went to another work site in Windsor, Jamaica to switch jobs. Those who were working on limestone and doing physical labor would now be drawing architectural models and those drawing last time would be washing limestone. It was going to be a difficult job because this house was inhabited, as opposed to the last site, and the man who lived there did not want to be disturbed. At least that's what we planned on.
After a long bus ride through a beautiful forest and up and down rocky hills, we arrived at the house. It was very different than the previous worksite because the one in Falmouth was about the size of a large living room and this one was huge! We walked up to the house hesitantly, being bit by mosquitos with every step we took and saw the ruins of a brick archway directly across from the house. Suddenly, an older British man emerged from the house with open arms, a huge dog, and a vague resemblance to the genius doctor from Jurassic park. He immediately began giving us a history lesson on what the ruins were and how they relate to John Tharp, who owned the house. Apparently, it was a military base for the British, stationed there because it was next to the Martha Brae river and in the hills, which made it good for countering guerrilla warfare. 
He was asking us questions and keeping us engaged, we all agreed that he was great to listen to and we could do it all day. We had to go inside after a few minutes because it started to rain really hard (the first time since November). So the man, who's name turned out to be Michael Schwartz, told us that he was who lived in the house and started to give us a tour. He showed us the crack that runs down one side of the house because a corner is sinking and gun slots in the bedrooms left over from it being a military base. He explained a lot of stuff to us about architecture and it turns out he thought we were college students majoring in it. He was so surprised to find out we were High School students! He took us down to his shop which he built himself and explained the mechanics of the lever windows he was making.
Next he took us into a room in the shop and told us the story of who all had owned this house after it was John Tharp's overseeing house. It was owned by a few people, but most notably it was owned by Miriam Rothschild, a very wealthy and important British woman. She had married a very, very attractive naval officer who had to move to a tropical climate because a lung disease. He moved to Jamaica and stayed at Good Hope, where he met more than a few wealthy divorcees and young socialites. Soon, sheer proximity took over and he had several secret lovers to keep up with. So, he used the house we were at to house his mistresses. People who lived in the area claim to have seen a woman named Sally ride there on a horse every day.
After the tour, it was time for lunch so we had to head back to Good Hope. We couldn't stay and work in the heavy rain. So we took the bus back through scenery that the Rain Forest Cafe would murder for, everyone sleeping along the way. Even though neither drawing or working happened today, I was really glad we got to listen to Mike because it was a really great experience and one of my favorite things on this trip so far.  

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