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Beaches Boscobel, Jamaica: A Tween’s Perspective (Day 3)

Stella, who is almost 10 years old, and I have just returned from Beaches Boscobel in Jamaica, where we were invited to experience the resort. This resort is all about providing a full family experience, so I am sharing Stella’s journal — spelling mistakes and all — with you so that you can get an older child’s perspective, not just an adult’s. 

Writing in her journal on our balcony at Beaches Boscobel

On Day 3, we had a really special experience because we left the resort and had a visit to a local school. The school is one of a number that has been ‘adopted’ by the Sandals Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International. Sandals Resorts International was founded by a Jamaican man by the name of Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, and the Stewart family continues to run and oversee both the resorts and the Foundation. It’s an impressive non-profit since 100% of proceeds donated to the Foundation go directly to projects in the community.

By Day 3, however, Stella’s initial enthusiasm for journalling was already waning. This just goes to show you that writing is work (contrary to popular opinion). I explained that she could use a technique like “Top 10” to spark her ideas along and she decided to go for it. While her descriptions below are quite sparse, I can tell you that she was green with envy that the Jamaican school had so many great painted murals — she just loves murals!


10 Ways My School is Different from a Local Jamacin School

By Stella, 9 years old

Stella's Journal for Day 3

1. My school is big. The Jamacin school was small.

Boscobel Elementary School

2. My school has metal desks. The Jamacin school had wooden two-person desks.

3. My school has 1 mural. The Jamacin school is covered in murals.

4. The kids don’t wear uniforms at my school. The kids wear uniforms at the Jamacin school.

Jamaican children in school uniforms.

5. At my school there is a mixture of black and white people. I didn’t see any white people at the Jamacin school.

6. At my school there is more than one chalkboard. At the Jamacin school there is only one chalkboard in the classroom.

7. At my school each class has more than one teacher. In the Jamacin school each class has 1 teacher.

Stella reads a story to a group of Grade 2 students.

8. My school goes up to grade six. The Jamacin school goes to grade 5.

9. My school has a gym. The Jamacin school doesn’t.

10. My school has glass windows. The Jamacin school has slits in the walls instead of windows.

The Grade 1 class at Boscobel Elementary School.


  1. What a wonderful experience for you!  Wouldn’t it be great to have a pen-pal in a different country? 
    My children often start travel journals with great intentions but by the end of the holiday have had enough! 
    Thanks for sharing all your adventures with us!  I really love hearing about them through a (cool) kids’ perspective!

  2. These are great observations of the differences between your school and the Jamaican school. I’m curious what you thought of the school uniforms? I looked at the pictures and thought they were really pretty, and that it would be so easy to get up each morning and know exactly what you were going to wear. Sometimes I wish my office had uniforms.

    I love that you had a chance to visit a school while you were there, and that you got to see the real country. Well done Stella!

    • Coffee with Julie says:

      Stella replies: 
      Well, sometimes uniforms are a good idea, but sometimes they get boring. I had to wear one in Australia. Sometimes it feels like everyone is a clone, or all works for a factory. In Jamaica, all the girls’ uniforms were dresses, and I didn’t like that because they are hard to run in without tripping and bashing your face on the floor. I think that you can feel your own individuality when you wear your own clothes. 

      Julie replies:
      I loved the uniform that Stella wore when we lived in Australia! It definitely made life easier for me — and for her (although she does not seem to recall this now!). One problem with uniforms is the genderizing issue … the girls’ almost always end up with a dress and the boys get shorts/pants. In Australia, the girls were given the option to wear the shorts from the boy uniforms but I think the one or two girls who chose to do so really stood out and they didn’t really appreciate that.

  3. Great observations Stella, 

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