Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Brenda from Jamaica January 3

10:38 pm
Jamaica, Day 2
My roommates woke me up this morning at 7:50am. I was so surprised. I had slept like a log the entire time. I am normally able to wake myself up and considering that I slept for 8 hours instead of my normal 5-6 this time round. The day started well, the breakfast was sumptuous and whole with uncanned fruit and one of the yummiest bananas I ever ate. We immediately left for church, and on the way, I couldn’t help but notice tiny shack shops and small buildings: hair salons, clothes stores, supermarkets, you name it, it was all there; it kinda reminded me of home (Kenya) because of the set up. A couple of people mentioned this is like going back a couple of years; to me it was like going home, a very humbling experience to draw such similarities across thousands of kilometres of sea. We got to the church itself which was beautiful, with glass windows directly facing the beach. It was hard to imagine how anyone was able to concentrate on the service with the beautiful waves beating down on the shore right behind the priest. There was more, the church was bright inside with colorful writings on the wall. Being there gave me 'happy vibes.' It was not a big church as I had expected, but it was big enough. It was the second Mass I had ever attended in my whole life. The people were extremely friendly. The music was the best part of it I must say. There were drums, a flute and a jiggy piano tune. They almost had me going on a little dance there. The whole day was really good, but my highlights came later on. The first, when we were handing out flyers to the surrounding community at Steer Town letting them know about the clinic. It was very surprising how welcoming and friendly they were, welcoming us through their gates right to the compounds of their houses. The place is very hilly so we had to climb some slopes and descend some valleys to the houses, but the people were very happy to see us. There was one woman I met, she had been diagnosed with pneumonia a few days back, but she was still ill because she had no money to purchase the medication. Of course, I urged her on to come to the clinic, thinking to myself this is the reason why we are here. For me, I am looking forward to meeting the people, learning about them, their life here in Jamaica, their perspective on life. That is one of the main things I am looking forward to in the coming days. They talk really fast in 'Patwa' broken Jamaican, so it is difficult to catch what is being said, but that is not a problem as they are pretty comprehensible in what they say. In the words of David, our Rastafarian friend who came to address us: Jamaica is about getting to know the Jamaican people for who they are and it may be very different from what is presented to us at face value.
Brenda R.

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