Jamaican Experience 2012

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My Jamaican Experience, 2012

We left Eastern Connecticut State University around 2:00AM and reached John F. Kennedy Airport in New York around 6:00AM. Before departing to Jamaica, the girls above, Rebecca, Nicole, Alyse, and I took a quick picture before leaving the United States for one week. These girls live in Noble Hall, which is where I live and work as a Resident Assistant. These are the girls who inspired me to go to Jamaica and I am so thankful for them because I had an eye-opening experience. However, the reason why we took this picture of us was because we wanted to capture every moment of this trip. Thus, this picture started our amazing journey to Jamaica.

This was a quick picture of me boarding the plane. This was the second time ever boarding an airplane. Last time I went on an airplane was when I went to China six years ago. At this moment, I started to have mix feelings, I was happy that I was going, but nervous as well because I did not know what to expect.

This was our first night in Jamaica. The girls were all getting ready to hit the town and be able to explore the Hip Strip. This was our first encounter with Jamaican people. We were all nervous and stuck together hand and foot because the people kept coming up to us and asking us to buy certain things that we were not interested in. All in all, it was important to stay in groups with people you know so you can be safe. Other than that, we watched the sunset, which was probably the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen in my life. The colors were magnificent. Also, I could not believe how fast the sun set in Jamaica. It was completely down in ten minutes.

This is a picture of some of the students who went on the trip. This picture is taken after we went to Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We wanted to take pictures, but we did not want to lose our cameras to the water. Moreover, Dunn’s River Falls was an extraordinary river fall that we were able to climb up. It challenged us to use our natural strengths and to put our minds in a confident and physical aspect because the point of the challenge was to climb it. Overall, I believe this activity really brought the group together because we were able to experience climbing up a river fall for the first time. We helped each other when one was not able to climb up a certain rock or if someone who could not, we would tell them that they could. In all, Dunn’s River Falls was an excellent icebreaker activity that made our group become closer.

This was our first day at Bethel Primary and Junior High School. At first, I thought it was going to take the children a long time to get used to us being there because we are clearly different and foreign to the students. However, my perceptions were clearly wrong because the students came up to us and kept asking us where we were from and why we came to Jamaica. It was quite overwhelming because the student wanted their picture taken, they wanted to touch my hair, and they wanted to hold our hands. Overall, I am glad that the students liked us and I feel that this picture displays the friendship that I made with girls from Bethel.

This is also from the first day and I still cannot believe amazing the children are. All they wanted to do is to get to know us and to show us everything about their school. For example, students kept pulling our hands in different directions to show us where they get their lunch, which was in back of the school, and where their classroom  is, etc. In all, the children were sweet and so innocent. I believe that this picture displays how happy the children were to see us.

This is a picture of the group and we are playing “Brown Girl in the Ring.” This is a nursery rhyme game where a person is chosen to be in the circle and has to go around the circle skipping, then they have to make a motion and then choose a partner to go in to the ring. In this nursery rhyme, they classify the person in the circle by the color of the person’s skin. This shocked almost everyone in the group because it made us realize that the Jamaicans distinguished us from the color of our skin. Overall, the game was quite fun and it made us closer to the students.

This picture was taken on the third day at Bethel. I am reading to a student name J, who seems quite interested in the book. I was really excited about reading a book to a student because I really wanted to practice on my read aloud skills. Also, some of the students did not know how to read, so I wanted to them to experience a story first at hand. While I was reading, I had my teacher’s voice and used my skills, for example, asking questions that focused on student comprehension. In all, I was really happy that someone captured me reading to a student because it was a special moment where I read to a child, who maybe never had someone read to them before.

This girl was one of my favorite students at Bethel. This girl was a handful and would constantly leave the classroom.The teacher, teaching 39 other kids, did not have the time to constantly to stay in the room. Thus, it was Rebecca and I’s goal to keep her in the classroom and focus her mind to the schoolwork. From doing this, it actually worked because the student was paying attention, doing her work, and listening to her classmates. The teacher told us that this was the longest she has ever sat in her seat. Rebecca and I were very proud of our accomplishments.

This is the teacher that I volunteered for. She was a very kind woman and allowed me to assist in her classroom. I was able to correct papers, help out in a lesson, and interact with the students. She probably was one of the teachers I would like to visit again because she was very grateful for having the volunteers in her classroom. She even gave the volunteers and I gifts so we could remember her.

After we left Bethel on the third visit, the group and I visited other schools, particularly high schools in Lucy and Roseas, Jamaica. This is a picture of Hannah and I at Roseas High School.

We are at St. James High School.

This is a picture of me on the cliff near a fort at Roseas High School. Roseas High School used to be a war fort where a battle happened in the late 1700s.

This is a picture of the girls at Negril Beach in Negril, Jamaica. One of the prettiest beaches I’ve ever been to. The water was so clear and pure. We stayed on the beach till the sun set.

This is a picture of Rebecca, Leah, and I at Rick’s in Negril, Jamaica. Rick’s has cliffs where people can actually jump off from 40ft to 10ft cliffs. I did not do this because I am scared of heights. However, other people did and had a lot of fun!

This was a picture taken on the last day in Jamaica. We were all sad to leave because we were leaving a place that we loved and finally felt like home. Overall, we were all glad that we went to Jamaica because it opened up everyone’s eyes and their perspective on the world.

Some other pictures throughout the trip:

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Jamaican National Anthem

Eternal Father bless our land
Guard us with thy mighty hand
Keep us free from evil powers
Be our light through countless hours
To our leaders, Great Defender
Grant true wisdom from above
Justice, truth be ours forever
Jamaica, Land we love
Jamaica, Jamaica
Jamaica, Land we love.

Teach us true respect for all
Stir response to duty’s call
Strengthen us the weak to cherish
Give us vision lest we perish
Knowledge send us, Heavenly Father
Grant true wisdom from above
Justice, truth be ours forever
Jamaica, Land we love
Jamaica, Jamaica
Jamaica, Land we love.

The words of the Jamaica National Anthem were written by the Reverend Hugh Sherlock, the music by the Honourable Robert Lightbourne.