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The view from the hill looking at Kingston

Thank God today is Friday.

I’m tired. A good tired feeling.

Yesterday we spent two (yes only two) hours with 30 awesome Jamaican youth and I was spent. Although we had a lot of fun, I told our trainer I may not have the energy for two years of this. I digress.

As Michelle mentioned in the last post we have been living apart these past couple of weeks to train in our specific project areas. Both of us have been really busy so we haven’t noticed being apart too much and we have been very appreciative that PC has arranged for us to visit each other a couple of times.

Currently I live on a beautiful hill that over looks the ever busy downtown of Kingston. While my host dad says daily “It’s cool and quiet” this small town on the mountain road is very much alive with people out and about and honking drivers going way too fast for this quasi populated area. Compared to my last homestay experience the town is a lot bigger and more spread out. It is really green here, very hilly, and the trees are large and plentiful. The hill side is scattered with houses tucked amongst the trees, something that makes this populated area seem more rural and spacious (I have really taken a liking to the fact that the area is not zoned and developed like you would see on a Hawaii mountain side or any US suburban area for that matter). Your eye focuses more on the natural beauty here and less on the houses and roads. Everyday I try and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings by walking with my host family or by running up and down the hills with other trainees (trying to avoid barking dogs that hop fences and cars on the narrow roads).

Yeah, I kind of love it here.

Highs:
– Getting to travel alone and spend Easter with Michelle and her homestay family
– Learning a lot about Jamaica, youth in Jamaica, and a lot about myself in the process.
– Getting to know other trainees. PC does attract amazing people.
– Host family and their cooking. It’s been really fun and the food, so good. Curry Goat.
– Facial hair. Mustache.

Lows:
– Mosquitos. I’m sure there’s a good reason for their existence but I hate them, with a passion.
– Missing people. Life is still going on elsewhere.
– Facial hair. Mustache. We have a competition going on with all the guy trainees. We will see what I look like after four more weeks of this.

In-between:
– Internet. What a blessing to Skype and Facebook. Sort of a curse to be connected and always wondering what you are missing out on.
– Hot water. It’s nice, but we might not have it in the future once we get placed in a community.
– Ambiguity. Not knowing what’s to come and to plan can be stressful, but also makes for a fun ride.

Enjoy the pictures I took around my community and till next time, walk good.

-J

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My new favorite flower. Not sure of the name yet

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Anthurium. A small reminder of home in Hawaii

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The largest spider I’ve ever encountered

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Sunset over the hills

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Jamaica has their own berries, who knew

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a makeshift kitchen right at the edge of a cliff

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We hiked to a dam close to our hill

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The lush bottom of the dam. This is where the overflow goes

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The dam lake/reservoir. Yes there is fish.

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Fresh catch of the day. In the background a stand-up paddle board made of bamboo.

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