We never got around to sharing this video, although we’ve had it for a while. This is Jedd’s co-worker sharing various thoughts about Jamaica. Don’t you think he should have his own TV show?
This past Sunday Michelle and I were invited to a high school concert in a different parish to support my supervisor’s daughter. We didn’t think too much about it, just another opportunity to see a different part of the country and experience a high school concert.
After a beautiful- if hurried- drive through picturesque farmland and then hairpin turns overlooking the island during “golden time,” we reached the historic all-girls high school. It sat like a chateau at the peak of a humble mountain.
We had just enough time before the show to greet my supervisor’s daughter, a “senior” in the steel pan band. We also discovered that one of my summer camp volunteers would be in the choir, as well as the daughter of one of our favorite bus drivers.
The concert featured steel pan (steel drum) bands, dramatic and entertaining choir performances, and short solos by several piano students. We were pleasantly surprised at the girls’ talent and have never enjoyed a high school show so much. The choir pieces were performed like musical numbers, many of which were cleverly written in Jamaican patois by the music teacher herself. Hopefully the short video clips we put together will give you a sense of the entertainment value and the energy in the room that night!
We had no idea what we were in for, but we both agreed it was an unforgettable, truly enjoyable night.
– J + M
Values: Choosing Freedom October 2009. You could say this is where it all started. We were well on our way to buying a house but instead, we changed the trajectory of our lives.
The Waiting Game The challenges of being nominees in the Peace Corps application process- a process which apparently has changed since we’ve been serving in Jamaica (hopefully for the better).
You Want to Send Us Where? Things with our placement did not turn out as we expected. This was a difficult bump in the road but it turned out for the best.
Looking Back At 2011: Our Year In Review (VIDEO POST) With almost nine extra months on our hands before our new departure date, the door of opportunity swung wide open. 2011 was packed full of adventures we never dreamed were possible.
Peace Corps Invite!!!!!!!!! (VIDEO POST) A short video capturing the very exciting moment when we opened our official invitation. We knew the region in advance but were surprised to learn our country.
Crossing the Waters (VIDEO POST) In March 2012, we were finally off to meet the other 36 members of PCJ Group 83. The video depicts our transition from home- farewell parties and packing- to staging in Atlanta.
Community-Based Training (Part One) (VIDEO POST) Upon our arrival in Jamaica, we moved quickly from orientation in Kingston to our first home-stay community for several weeks of general training.
Life Pon di Hill and Rise and Shine: A Morning in the Life of a Trainee Here’s a glimpse into each of our “Hub” communities where we spent about 5 weeks doing sector-specific training while living with host families. The video on this page also shows more of the education sector’s Hub training.
Volunteer Shadowing (VIDEO POST) Having the chance during our training to shadow a currently serving Volunteer brought our soon-to-be life as a PCV that much closer.
Swearing In After about 10 weeks of training, we were finally sworn in as official Peace Corps Volunteers. Jedd was chosen to give one of the speeches at the ceremony (his speech transcript is included in this post).
Home Sweet Home (VIDEO POST) Before swearing in, we found out our permanent site placement and were able to visit for a few days. After swearing in, we got settled in to our apartment, got to know our amazing host parents in the house above us, and started work at the community center and school. (We also celebrated our 4th anniversary!)
There are many more posts from our Peace Corps journey, experiencing the ups and downs as well as sharing what we’ve learned about Jamaican culture… Browse here.
Following my recent post, Current Volunteers Tell All, I’ve continued to send questions to my fellow PCVs via text message. This time the poll question gives some insight into the various obstacles we face.
If you had to choose your #1 challenge or stressor here, what one word sums it up?
- The most commonly mentioned challenge was: Apathy. It’s nearly impossible to help a community when no one wants responsibility for making change. Continue reading “To Care or Go Crazy”
I’ve always been fascinated by names. And names are a really fun part of Jamaican culture. Apart from given names, many people also have “yard names” (nick names) that friends and family have always called them (and that sometimes these become so common that no one knows their true first name anymore). Jamaicans also use identifiers or descriptors in the place of names when they’re calling out to people on the street, whether they know the person or not. Below you’ll find examples of the various types of names we’ve heard in Jamaica.
Cheyenne, Timera, Annielle, Amoy, Sereina, Henry-nique, Dellesia/Delecia, Asheka, Toni-Ann, Keisha-Ann, Shelly-Ann, Shamara, Shanae, Tasha, Soini, Yolande, Tashina, Soini, Yolande Continue reading “My name is Joe, but you can call me Al: About Jamaican Names”