Peace Corps Jamaica Day 1
Our very first picture when we arrived 2 years ago

Today marks a huge milestone for Michelle and I (and the rest of our volunteer group), our 2 year anniversary of living and serving in Jamaica. It’s hard to believe.

We often say “the days go by slowly, but the months go by fast.” It’s been a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. Challenges and joys. Laughter and tears. Yes tears, but lots of laughter. Some days we’ve had to really question why we are here and other days we couldn’t be more thankful. We’ve come across an amazing group of characters. Strangers that have become friends. Friends that have become family. A strange new country that has felt at times, home.

When we get back to the states next month, people will ask us to try and sum up these 2 years. What do we say? All I know is that whatever happened….happened. Our lives have forever been changed from this experience and in the end, we are still thankful for it all.

Some of my favorite memories, thoughts, and photos from these past 2 years (in chronological order):

– After 2 years I still can’t eat/handle spicy food (I was hoping I would be able to by now).

– I’ll miss the sights and sounds of Jamaica (video)

My first day at work meeting community members
My first day at work meeting community members

– Had time to practice cooking (ie. Cucumber juice, Calaloo Pasta, and Mackeral Rundown) and helped to start a volunteer cooking blog to document our cooking adventures in Jamaica.

What we looked like after a couple of months.
What we looked like after a couple of months.
Learning how to stuff lobster, bake bread, and caught a decent sized fish.
Learning how to stuff lobster, bake bread, and caught a decent sized fish.

– Put on a couple of youth summer camps (video) and was amazed by their dancing skills. 

– Lived through a hurricane that didn’t directly hit our area and felt my first major earthquake (a massive 3.2).

– After one year I questioned what the heck I was doing here.

Endured many days of "isolated afternoon thunder showers" - the typical daily forecast.
Endured many days of “isolated afternoon thunder showers” – the typical daily forecast.
I've fallen in love with rope swings, cliff, and bridge jumping.
Fell in love with rope swings, cliff, and bridge jumping. Sorry Mom.

– Met some amazing fellow volunteers doing some awesome work around the island. They are also really fun to be around as well. (video)

Got to go to Washington D.C. for the first time and visit the PC Headquarters! Didn’t get to meet the President though.

– Celebrated many family events with our AMAZING host family (like our host sister’s wedding)

One of our favorite places - Galina Breeze, St. Mary Jamaica
One of our favorite places – Galina Breeze, St. Mary Jamaica

– Made amazing friends through an awesome organization called American Caribbean Exchange (ACE)

– “Small up’d myself” in buses and taxis in ways I didn’t my body could manage and yet, I still love Jamaican public transit.

Spent our first Christmas on our own in Jamaica
Spent our first Christmas on our own in Jamaica

– Tried to showcase my limited ability in speaking Jamaican Patwa. (video)

Learned a lot about our host country from our friends. (video)

Made some incredible friends along the way
Made some incredible friends along the way
Here's to the next adventure
Thankful for these past 2 years…here’s to the next adventure.
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