September 2012

IUP in Jamaica: Roaring Rivers and Summer Camp

IUP in Jamaica: Roaring Rivers and Summer Camp

Hi all! Yesterday we experienced our second full day of the AOC Summer Camp and we’re all starting to get into the swing of things. We love the kids here so much and they never fail to welcome us as soon as we arrive for the day. There are three groups of kids separated into kiddies, juniors, and seniors so we’ve all been experiencing each group as much as we can and they’re all very happy to have us. For part of the day they have a lesson and complete school work based upon the lesson, then we break for lunch which usually consists of delicious curry chicken and rice, and the rest of the day is fun and games.

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Preparing classrooms for a new year of school in Jamaica

Preparing classrooms for a new year of school in Jamaica

Bring on the paint! 13 of us IUP students plus Galloway’s teachers and other community members split up between two classrooms to start painting the walls with fresh yellowish/cream paint. As we were dipping our paint brushes into the buckets of paint and splattering the walls and ourselves we realized how hard we were all working as a group, counting on one another for help.

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Roaring River Park in Petersfield, Jamaica

Roaring River Park in Petersfield, Jamaica

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.

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Welcome to Petersfield!

We were greeted with the warmest of welcomes by Mr. Brown and promptly continued our journey, making the one hour drive to the rural community of Petersfield. My eyes stayed glued to the windows as we pulled into the town: beautiful colors, trees, and flowers – goats, cows, and chickens grazing along the road – and people everywhere! Walking to work, walking to school, selling mangos and breadfruit along the streets and socializing with each other on the Sunday afternoon.

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A Special Visit to Jamaica

A Special Visit to Jamaica

On the first day of my internship at Amizade, Brandon asked the newly arrived interns if we wanted to go to Jamaica for a special event. I did not hesitate to accept the offer. The next day we were purchasing tickets to fly to Montego Bay. They called us the “Miracle Babies.” Let me explain the special reason for this event. On May 16, the Governor General Sir Patrick Allen visited the community of Petersfield, Jamaica for the first time in 50 years.

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Sports Day!

Today was Sport’s Day! All of us went to the Galloway ECI to support the kids. I was excited for them because I had been watching them train all week. All of them were clad and shining I their team colors. The students raced to see who could count correctly and write their names the fastest. Unfortunately team yellow did not win. It seemed every child’s parent came out to cheer them on. It was a big local event. People were selling candy and water. Parents and relatives were yelling at the little athletes to run faster.

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Service, the Roaring River, and Caribbean jerk chicken

Today we went to Galloway ECI, a preschool for young children. I have to say, these kids were so full of life. They were tamer than their primary school counterparts, and had that spark that toddlers exude when discovering their world. I helped a classroom, drawing pictures of animals and writing their names underneath. The kids would then copy my drawings and writing and bring it to me for approval. Watching their faces light up when they correctly completed the assignment gave me a genuinely great feeling.

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Volunteering and Learning at Galloway ECI, Jamaica

Volunteering and Learning at Galloway ECI, Jamaica

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.

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Getting Ready for Jamaica

As I sit with five other members of the Amizade Jamaica Spring Break group the night before we are supposed to leave, a mix of feelings are surrounds us all. We are nervous, apprehensive, excited, exhausted, scared, and happy. We don’t know what to expect, but we all realize that this is going to be an experience that we will never forget.

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