Greetings from Jamaica!
Not a bad looking crew for 1:30 AM
The trip here was uneventful but LONG! Fourteen excited folks met at Lourdes at 1:30 am on Monday (yes, that was AM) and headed to Columbus. We sailed through all the check-ins, security checks, flight connections and customs. Even the 2 1/2 hour bus ride from the airport in Montego Bay to St John Bosco Boys' Home was a breeze. (OK...the road was VERY windy and steep, but our faithful bus driver managed to avoid the MANY potholes!)
Really...our driver should be here to pick us up ANY MINUTE now!!
And who are the cast of characters, you ask? From Lourdes: Megan Dorner, Jessica Harris, Derrick McCain, Shayla Soliday, Anna Stoiber, Coach Andre' Smith, Rachel Duff-Anderson and Sr. Barb Vano. From Siena Heights U: Aubrey Crosby, Eric Gilbert, Alan Marine, Andy Switzer, Deqorrie Whitman, and Sr. Pat Schnapp.
Today (Tuesday) we had an unusual "treat" Most of the group headed into Kingston and found themselves cleaning out a building that was a total disaster. The space is going to be used for some volunteers that will be working with another school that the Sisters of Mercy operate in Kingston. Three trips to the dump later, the rooms were cleared of all the debris and now Sr. Susan (director of St John Bosco) can bring in some skilled workers to redo plumbing and electricity.
A young man at Alpha School demonstrates his woodworking skills.
While a few in the group made a final trek to the dump, The rest of us took a driving tour of some of the neighborhoods in Kingston. We stopped at a trade school run by the Mercy Sisters. Area residents can learn cooking & sewing skills free of charge. We also saw areas of incredible poverty...and Sr. Mimi shared that we weren't in the worst spots of the city.
Tomorrow is a holiday here (Labor Day)...if the weather holds out we'll help with planting banana trees and then direct some activities with the boys here. There are now 162 young men in residence (3 new ones arrived today).
A young woman works on sewing a stand that will be used to display the curtains they're making to sell.