By: Kimone Montique, Greenheart Exchange Work and Travel participant and Ambassador Scholar

Hey batter, batter swing! This is not a phrase you hear in Jamaica or any other Caribbean country, simply because we do not play baseball. The closest we have is cricket, and there aren’t too many similarities.

For starters, the bats are shaped significantly differently. We do not have pitchers, either. Instead, we have bowlers and the technique is different too. Sports in Jamaica are always quite competitive, regardless of the age of players or the level of the sport. Families and friends fill the stands and buy food and drinks from vendors who pass through. They sell drinks, donuts, hot dogs, and lots of other things at the games.

Here in Branson, Missouri, it was quite different. In Jamaica, we cheer much louder and harder than the fans here in Branson. If our team lost, we would encourage them by telling them where they went wrong. The players would get a good roasting by fans, coaches, and even families because we believe in tough love. However, we do have umpires and we believe that sports are used to bring people together.

1,2,3 strikes and you’re out!!!

Experiencing baseball for the first time was pretty much like going to my first football game. Having great friends who explained the sport really encouraged me to cheer when the Branson Pirates made a good play. However, I am sad to say my competitiveness and desire to win can bring with it bad sportsmanship. I’ve learned that not all games are meant to be won. No matter how old you get, that lesson will always be hard to grasp. So, unwillingly, of course, I accepted Branson’s loss and moved forward.

Lost today, but never defeated!!! Strike!!!

If you want to learn about American sports too, look into our Work and Travel program. Keep up to date with Kimone and our other participants on Instagram. Follow Greenheart!