I met the student group at the Phoenix airport and their professor after renting a 12 passenger van. The Amizade…
From the moment we met Robert in the Port of Spain airport on Saturday evening near midnight, it was obvious to me there was lot of learning to be done, and a lot of fun to be had. Robert was our cab driver, he owns a house near the bed and breakfast we’d spend a short night in in the outskirts of Port of Spain.
As this trip comes to a close, I would like to take some time to share with all of you what I have learned from this amazing experience. I have done a lot in the little time that I had here in Jamaica. From jumping off of a forty foot cliff into a seemingly bottomless ocean to living with four of the greatest kids I could ever meet. But only one of those reasons was why I came here, the people.
In my previous blog post I mentioned Visions Global Empowerment, Amizade’s on-site partner in India. I did not; however, describe Visions as an organization.
What comes to mind when you hear someone mention the word “India”? Do you think of unfamiliar settings? Strong religious influence? Spicy food? These were all things I conjured up in my personal pre-departure expectations of the country. I imagined a colorful landscape with crowded streets.
Today is day three in Jamaica. I’m in love. We arrived at the airport in Montego Bay and were greeted by Mr. Brown and his entourage. Going through customs and retrieving our luggage went smoothly. It wasn’t until we stepped outside of the airport that it truly felt like we were in Jamaica. I’d call it ‘organized chaos.’ “Taxis” (aka beat up cars) were zipping through to pick people up, blasting their reggae music.
Writing about something that has had such a profound effect on your life – personally, academically, and professionally, is a daunting task. You want your readers to feel, see, and hear the same sights, emotions, and experiences that you felt. You want them to understand the connection you feel to the library, the clinic, your homestay family, and the community as a whole. You want to accurately answer the question you are asked on a regular basis, “Why go back to Ghana?”
One of the many sites Amizade volunteers visit in Petersfield, Jamaica is Roaring River Park – home to beautiful scenery and swimming holes, rich in culture and history, and the site of world-renowned limestone caverns.
Today I spent my second day volunteering at Galloway ECI, a preschool for ages 3-5. The children were so wonderful and friendly! The school day starts with a neat time called “devotion”. A few of the students , assisted by a teacher, lead religious songs and the Jamaican national anthem, recite courtesy words like “please” and “thank you”, and name the parishes of Jamaica.
Are you looking for an opportunity to act locally? Do you want to do your part to make a difference globally? Are you an Amizade alumnus that wants to continue to support Amizade’s global endeavors? The perfect opportunity is coming this spring: in April Amizade will hold its 5th Annual Water Walk—in Pittsburgh on Saturday, April 7 and in Morgantown, WV on Saturday, April 21. Join us and walk for a purpose.