* Michelle Thoughts, * Peace Corps

Thanksgiving and Peace Corps conference

Random photo at the PC Office

We are currently in Kingston at an All-Volunteer Conference open to the sixty or so volunteers currently on the island. I’d say almost forty of us showed up since some are off island with their families, others chose not to come, and the less fortunate caught dengue fever. It’s the first time I’ve been back to the “big city” since we swore in six months ago. I have to say that the change of pace and scenery is a welcome thing to have every once in a while.

In an effort to keep the two day conference on a minimal budget, some US Embassy and USAID officers opened their homes to several of us volunteers on Thursday night. Jedd and I got to stay the night and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with an incredibly well-travelled, career Embassy officer, his wife, and two teenage children. Every dish was delicious and brought back the tastes of home. The company, including their guests (mostly Barbadians with some connection to the US State offices who have relocated to Jamaica), were fun, friendly, and engaging. It was fascinating to interact with a family who has lived in a different country every two to three years.

The All Volunteer conference we’re attending has served as a nice reunion and a chance for volunteers to share their experience and expertise with each other. Jedd helped facilitate a session on teaching basic computer classes, mine is on team building activities. This afternoon we’ll head back home, four hours across the island, on another crowded bus and then its back to every-day life.

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