Chris having a go at the dumpling
Volunteers sampling the tasty dumplings
Picture this; 2012, Knockpatrick, Manchester Jamaica – the occasion – Easter Day Camp, lunch time. Two big *duchy pots pon two coal pot one filled with curried chicken and the other with white flour and cornmeal dumplings – A typical Jamaican run-a-boat style. The cook was Ms. Shurla Lewis a member of the Church with which we partnered to have the Easter Day Camp.
Dumplings are a big thing in the Jamaican culture and to have a volunteer in Jamaica without trying dumpling would be unforgiveable. Dumplings are made from flour; the flour with salt and water added is made into a dough and pieces of the dough are shaped in small circles the size of your palms and boiled. Fried dumplings are similar only that baking powder is added and the circles are smaller and then fried. Our volunteers had boiled dumplings at the camp.
dumplings being cooked outdoor Jamaican style
The thing about dumpling that makes it so popular in the Jamaican culture is that it’s a signature, easy and economical food to prepare. The thing that makes it fun to eat is that in a non dining setting using disposable utensils; it’s harder to cut with the plastic forks so most times the person eating would stick the entire palm size dumpling and bite it from the fork – a style of eating not acceptable at dining settings. But don’t worry about cultural acceptance, dumplings break all cultural and social barriers and how you enjoy your dumplings in Jamaica is totally your business. The pictures that follow will explain.
So however you decide to enjoy your dumplings in Jamaica is quite fine whether you want to stick it, cut it, sink your teeth in it or eat it whole in one bite no problem mon just enjoy yuh dumpling Jamaican style.
Antoine Moreau Tutoring Student
Un deux trois quatre are the new words being echoed from the classrooms at the Villa Road Primary and Junior High School since the month of January. Antoine Moreau who joined us from France was our pioneer volunteer. He introduced all the grades at the primary level to basic French vocabulary – the days of the week, months of the year, counting, alphabets and aspects of the French culture were among the lessons he taught. Teachers and students were in tuned to the lessons as this was a first for the school.
“I can’t believe the children would be so into leaning a foreign language,” were the words of Mrs. Thomas Vice Principal at the school as she expressed her appreciation of and satisfaction with the volunteer’s effort. A grade six student in glee commented on how great her experience was “I’s As it drew closer to Antoine’s departure, the Teachers begged for another French volunteer, in fact Mrs. Thomas said she was hopeful that the French classes would continue. *As mi granny would a seh; “day never light dog ha seven puppy.” There was another French volunteer interested in teaching French – the perfect candidate Sabrina Gacon. Sabrina joined Antoine just a few days before he finished his project and now she has taken up the mantle and has been doing an equally superb job with the students. The children getting this early exposure to French serves as a launching pad for those who will choose to study French at the secondary level.
Jamaica has been a melting pot of different cultures including that of France, in fact our patois (a French word) is a combination of English, Spanish, African and of course French words. It therefore is of no wonder that the children would connect to the language. So just as the volunteers have found their love in Jamrock, so has France found its space right a *wi yaad.
Bettina Veldhoff is a final year internship student working on attaining a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Bettina has been volunteering in Jamaica at the Bethabara Primary & Junior High School on the Sight-C project- a component of the care project here at Projects Abroad Jamaica- since January 2, 2012. Since that time Bettina has being doing a wonderful job of ensuring that the children she works with have much better plan for their lives, also she helps them to believe in themselves and remains understanding and vigilant in helping them in any way necessary.
Bettina’s last major project (March 2012) focused on organizing a career forum to enlighten the children about various career choices and share personal experiences about their walk along the career path. Bettina worked with Selina to conduct interviews with the children share a power point presentation, which highlighted schooling options for particular grades and options for study areas. They provided the necessary support, helping to boost the self-esteem of the children so that they could make wise career choices in the future.
Now Bettina is at it again making an impact and meaningful contributions to children’s lives. She has raised JA$15,000.00 to assist a little boy change his surname to that of his biological father. The money- through Bettina’s actions- came from other volunteer, her host family, her Project Officer and others. Bettina now that she has successfully raised the money will hand it over to the school’s Guidance Counsellor, who will later take the money to the Registrar General’s Department and over see the name change.
Bettina was moved by the young boy’s story; who by the deceit of his mother was registered in a man’s name who later found out that the child was not his. The man started to exact his hurt and frustrations on the boy by abusing him, the boy was later removed from the home and sent to live with his grandmother. His grandmother now wants the name change to his biological father who she seemed to know, she was unable to afford the name change and Bettina stepped in to help. The little boy has been undergoing professional counselling to help him make the transition and cope with the scars of the abuse.
The Social Manager recalled that after an interview with the placement supervisor for the Bethabara Primary and Junior High School sports project a request for a Dirty Day was made. As such plans were made to meet the request. First step make site visit, having visited the site the placement supervisor expressed that he wanted to build a sandpit (an idea from a sports volunteer) and playground shed, paint the goal posts and some tyres for marking off the athletics areas. At first I wondered if we were capable of doing this and doing a good job seeing that we were not professional contractors. The placement supervisor, Mr Howard Daley reassured me that a professional contractor would give of his time freely to assist in the making of the shed and the sandpit to a lesser extent. I also went about sourcing a professional from the Seventh Day Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA) our partners on the building project.
We all met as a group and mapped out the measurements and resources that would be needed to make this request a reality. The Social Manager was left with the task to source most of the materials to be used on the day including four yards of sand, lumber, zinc and other items with weirs names like fillets-ok then- already the nerves were high. Thankfully the ADRA representative volunteered to draw the sand and all parties gave their word to ensure that they would be present on the day to see the completion of the project.
On the morning of April 13 twenty-one volunteers and four staff stepped out to undertake a Projects Abroad Jamaica first- building a sand pit. The work began- volunteers and staff were placed in various groups. The playground shed group got an early start as Garfield- the professional contractor who gave of his time was on hand early at the site with the placement supervisor and Social Manager who collected the items from the hardware and delivered them to Bethabara early enough- Garfield used the opportunity to start putting the frame together. A few of the volunteers were on hand early too as they did not leave from the office with the retinue of taxis who transported the reaming staff and volunteers.
Everyone stepped up their game the females were digging and nailing of course the males helped with all that too but they were few in numbers and the females stepped up to the challenge to make the project a success. It was an incredible day and everyone was proud of the end results.
John was a salesman's delight when it came to any kind of unusual gimmick.
His wife Marsha had long ago given up trying to get him to change.
One day John came home with another one of his unusual purchases,
it was a robot that John claimed was actually a lie detector.
That afternoon when Tommy, their 11 year old son,
returned home from school he was over 2 hours late.
"Where have you been? Why are you over 2 hours late getting home?" asked John.
"Several of us went to the library to work on an extra credit project," said Tommy.
The robot then walked around the table and slapped Tommy,
knocking him completely out of his chair.
"Son," said John, "this robot is a lie detector, now tell us where you really were after school."
"We went to Bobby's house and watched a movie...." said Tommy.
"What did you watch?" asked Marsha.
"The Ten Commandments." answered Tommy.
The robot went around to Tommy and once again slapped him,
knocking him off his chair once more.
With his lip quivering, Tommy got up, sat down and said, "I am sorry I lied.
We really watched a tape called Gun Slingers."
"I am ashamed of you son," said John. "When I was your age, I never lied to my parents."
The robot then walked around to John and delivered a whack that nearly
knocked him out of his chair.
Marsha doubled over in laughter, almost in tears and said, "Boy, did you ever ask for that one! You can't be too mad with Tommy. After all, he is your son!"
With that the robot immediately walked around to Marsha and knocked her out of her chair.
Jamaica’s culture continues to ignite the soul of the imaginative, the adventurous and the passionate. Our people, patois, music, food, dance, dress, folklore and vibe speak directly to the senses, all are unable to resist the magnetic pull of J-A-M-A-I-C-A. This little but vocal Island has given the world reggae music, sporting champions and delicious nyammings (things to eat).
From the rising sun, bright and glorious to the setting sun, glowing and soothing Jamaica is alive with the rich offerings of: Jamaicans who are friendly and always has a story to tell, a talented group of persons who always find a unique way to represent an innovation such as a mobile car wash, words that always are evolving and changing based on the “talk” coming out of the latest dancehall song- speaking of dancehall-one of the popular music in addition to reggae out of Jamaica that continuously pulsates through the people leading to the creation of a plethora of Jamaican dancehall moves. Second to music and food dancing is like oxygen to the human body, we breathe to dance and dancehall music can be credited for the creation of the Jamaican dance movement.
We love our food and so do visitors, we are famous for our Jerk options and patties, there are many other choices on the Jamaican food menu, such as the curried chicken, stew peas, rice and peas and the list can go on. All we know is our food- you guessed it “sell-off.” We know how to dress with the swag tun up; our style is unique with emphasis on being “neat and clean” Also there is the traditional element to Jamaica that can be found in many of our plays, books and cultural festivals. Jamaica’s culture cannot thoroughly be explained in a few paragraphs of literary litanies, a trip to this vibrant and promising Island would give the best explanation.
The Jamaican Easter period usually means holiday rest, reflection and raving...
Within the school system rest is the fitting choice; teachers and students alike will be allowed a two week break from school, this is usually called the mid-term break. Because of this break the teaching volunteers- regular and sports- would be without work for this period as such, the project officer for teaching, sports and medicine organised an alternative solution and came up with the Easter Day Camp held at the Knockpatrick Holiness Church.
The camp progressed from its starting date on April 10 and wrapped up activities on April 12. The camp targeted children from the Knockpatrick community who were on mid-term break and wanted to participate in meaningful activities. The Projects Abroad Jamaica volunteers facilitated this need.
On day one of the camp eight volunteers arrived to execute various duties. One volunteer was given the responsibility of registering the participants of the camp. A few other volunteers were responsible for engaging the young audience with ice- breaker activities. The days following were spruced with interesting activities in art and craft and physically spirited activities that left the participants pumped and feeling much more healthy and fit.
Volunteers and participants alike enjoyed the Easter Day Camp and the project officer concluded the camp was a success.
Ackee and saltfish is Jamaica's national dish. (Recipe by ©eatjamaican.com)
1 Can of ackee, drained
1/2 lb boneless salt cod
3 tablespoons oil
2 onions, sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper skin finely chopped up
1 small tomato, chopped
3/4 teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 sweet pepper chopped
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Soak the salt cod in a pot of water overnight to remove most of the salt. If the cod is still very salty, boil in water for 20 minutes. Drain cod and cut or break into small pieces.
Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the onions, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper, tomato, tomato paste and green peppers. Stir for a few minutes. Add the cod. Stir. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the can of drained ackee. Do not stir because this will cause the ackees to break up. Cook for a few more minutes then sprinkle with black pepper.
Best served with bammy, roast breadfruit, fried or cooked dumplings, or fried or cooked plantains, cooked yams and Jamaican sweet potatoes.
PROJECTS ABROAD JAMAICA IS ONE YEAR OLDER AND GROWING STRONGER... Written by the Social Manager
“We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race.”—Cicero
“In doing your best serving others for free, a lot of eyebrows will raise and sneers will curve many a-faces. But in the end those incredulous to what you put up with to help, no longer matter. It's not between you and those snobs, but with whom you have given your hand to lift, and of course to God who is watching and noting it in your book.” _ Inspired by Mother Teresa
Projects Abroad Jamaica celebrated its fourth (4th) birthday on Sunday, April 1, 2012; the above quotes by Roman Philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero and world famous humanitarian Mother Teresa aptly describes the ideals of Projects Abroad Jamaica as we seek, in our service offerings, to explore the principles of unity through community and the love of volunteerism. Within our memories we have created a tapestry of the Projects Abroad Jamaica experience over the last year and we are pleased with our accomplishments and our growing partnerships. We will continue to strive for success.
Three hundred and forty-three (43) faces of volunteerism from a host of countries world-wide peered at us since our last birthday in April 2011 and through these eyes millions of messages were communicated through sentiments of hope, help, humility, innovations, ideas, passion, and pragmatism. We have tried to capture these moments using the newsletters, blogs, social media among other channels so we can share the inspirational messages with our community of supporters?
The year has been a memorable one with many firsts, July 2011 saw seventy- five volunteers being accepted within destination Jamaica (a milestone for us), we have also embarked on seeing the fruition of the Immunitiative Project- HIV/ AIDS care facility in Mandeville, Jamaica. We continue to develop pioneering material that will aid in perfecting our offerings. Our family continues to grow with the addition of new, staff, host families and placements. Volunteers continue to donate to their respective placements as well as working hard making tangible contributions- with these developments the face of volunteerism becomes even more beautifully etched.
Staff continue to think outside of the box to cater to the diverse needs of the volunteers and of course volunteers still are significantly impacted by the uniquely Jamaican term, “Psst Whitey.”
We are one year older and poised to grow stronger, thanks to all the persons who have helped to make Projects Abroad Jamaica possible-happy fourth guys!
Team Jamaica and volunteer, from left Sanikia- Volunteer Liaison Officer, Stacy Ann- Project Officer Culture and Community,Patrina Thomas-Morrison-Project Officer Care, Daria-volunteer, Bridgette- Country Director, Collette- Project Officer Teaching, in front, Denise- Social Manager, missing Cherricha- Assistant Country Director and Desk Officer.
In 2010 a Projects Abroad Jamaica staff penned these beautiful lyrics in the form of a song, later a telented composer put wonderful music to wonderful words and voila... we would love to share the words with the mytrip blog community at this moment, so the words will firstly resonate within us, later we will post the song, but for now enjoy these profound lyrics...
Theme & Marketing Song
We are from different places,
But come to volunteer our services.
Our hearts are in one accord
When we partner with Projects Abroad.
Our talents may differ; our languages too,
But the impact that we make depends on me and you.
As we labour to improve and shape the lives of many:
Projects Abroad Jamaica, we know our destiny!
We know our destiny
We’ll do service all our days:
Our banner we raise!
Help… learn… explore…: our motto we sing;
To reach out to humanity, our helping hands we bring.
We have worked with the young and old
To ensure we achieve our goals.
Our projects are suited to touch society,
Through our many programs – like culture and community;
Through medicine, care, teaching and sports,
Our volunteers commit themselves, and they have our support.
TeamJamaica: standing strong and tall;
It is our aim to please. We incorporate one and all.
Salute to all our placements. Host families we praise.
Projects AbroadJamaica– our banner we raise!
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