Pablo and Verena were the first two volunteers to arrive in Jamaica in April 2013. Pablo, the dread sporting energetic volunteer had his orientation on April 02, 2013 and cannot wait to start his Patois classes. He is very much in love with the sub cultures of Jamaica and is keen on been fully immersed in the many dimensions of the little island.
Pablo will complete his language course in Patois before joining the Maroon Project in Accompong St. Elizabeth. He cannot believe that he is really in Jamaica. It has been his dream for a long time and now he is just soaking it all in. He feels very blessed and privileged to be in this position.
Verena will stay for 3 months and will do both the Sports and Care Projects. She has fitness training and experience and has chosen the sports project because it is dear to her heart. A warm and soft spoken volunteer, Verena is helpful and upbeat. She immediately offered her help on her orientation day at the Teaching project Easter camp where she will work for the next three days before joining the Bethabara Primary and Junior High School.
Verena is excited about tasting her first mango. She loves fruits and feels special to be in a country where fruits in general but mango in particular is in abundance. She loves babies and has identified a few who she said she would love to take back home with her. The big wide smile that comes across her face as she expresses her feelings is but a reminder that babies bring real joy to many. She looks forward to the adventure that awaits her in Jamaica and is excited to share her story with family and friends.
Let the Journey begin for this dynamic duo...
Esther Smit came to Jamaica because she was told that helping others in a foreign country is one thing everyone should do once in their lifetime. She carefully planned her trip to Jamaica with her very close girlfriend but had to make the trip alone after her friend became ill. She was told about Projects Abroad by former Care Project volunteer Marianne van Rijn who shared her great experience in Jamaica with her.
She has been having a wonderful time working at the Percy Junior hospital observing and helping with deliveries and surgeries, among other things but loves the Out Patient Department (OPD) very much. There she has helped with patient intake which is one of her core functions back in the Netherlands. Here in Jamaica she is particularly interested in the medical education of patients as she feels their knowledge is lacking concerning critical illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. She has begun to teach patients with whom she comes in contact certain lifestyle choices that would make a difference not just in their longevity but the quality of life that they lead.
She is so passionate about this that, if time permits, she would love to return in 6 months to conduct a wide educational training for both nurses and patients. She feels that the nurses at the hospital work very hard but have limited resources with which to execute their responsibilities. It was this observation that drove her to make the whopping $314,000 Jamaican Dollar donation to the hospital which was used to purchase multi sample pipettes, adult scale, foetal doppler, nebulizers, gluco meters, thermometers, safe light, kettle, bath among many other things including office chairs and computer systems.
She said the donation was a small amount to her but soon realized, after understanding ...
The Projects Abroad Teaching Camp started with a bang on Tuesday April 02, 2013 at 9:00am. The camp which is being held the second time has teaching volunteers engaged in activities with community children. The camp was implemented to creatively utilize the skills of teaching volunteers to meet the social, physical, educational and spiritual needs of children who are on the Easter break and who would not have been reached otherwise.
On the first day volunteers learnt about the children, taught them about themselves and their respective cultures and got them in the mode for learning and interacting with fun getting to know you games. This is the beginning of an inspirational and life-changing 4 days. The children were well behaved and listened to the instructions of the volunteers. Both volunteers and children are very happy to be at the camp. Collette Kerr, the Project Officer for the teaching project did an excellent job organizing and planning the camp. This was reflected in the seamless flow of events and the adherence to the structured schedule that was created. We cannot wait to get into the activities and hear from the children about their camp experience.
So far my time in Jamaica has been dreamy. When I arrived here I was welcomed immediately by my host family. Within five minutes, the three girls I am living with had helped me unpack, and told me that I was going to be their big sister. Having never had younger sisters, it was a treat to be this idolised.
On my first evening my two neighbours came to pick me up and we shared a taxi to the Wednesday night hotspot in Mandeville. Once there I had to pinch myself before accepting I was finally in Jamaica, a land where the trees are really green and the people smile, despite any injustices they may have experienced.
On my first day of work, I had my first experience of the morning taxi services in Mandeville, Jamaica. The cars drive around the whole district, if one wears a red number plate, you can be sure it is a cab. They stop on the side of the road, and you jump into the five seater vehicle, which is normally holding more than five people. On my first journey I shared my ride with six other people. As we bobbed along to some nice reggae music, I took in my lush green surroundings and realised how lucky I was to be living in this dream setting.
On my weekend trip to Ochos Rios, 5 other volunteers and I took a trail of taxis until we reached the pretty beachside town of Ochos Rios. Although the weather was not spectacular, I had an amazing time. We went and visited 9 mile, which is Bob Marley’s place of birth and place of rest. For me, this was a dream come true. I felt very lucky to be able to see this, as not only is Bob Marley my king, but he is King to a lot of the habitants here in Jamaica.
Ochos Rios also had an amazing market of arts and crafts, and other clothes and jewellery. I was overwhelmed by Bob Marley memorabilia. There were colours everywhere. I ...
“Kick him dung!” “Change the ref!!” “Pass the ball!!” “Foul!!” These were shouts to be heard coming from Ridgemount Church Hall on Tuesday, March 19, 2013: local staff and volunteers having some good ole fun! Our Potluck & Games evening started off with a vibrant game of “football” with our spectators shouting advice alternately at their “Team” and together screaming for “Goal!!” at the appropriate time. This warm up activity was followed by “Bat and Ball”, the Jamaican version of baseball with Team Luuk versus Team Kaspar. Interspersed with lots of running, yelling, falling and screaming, staff and volunteers teamed up and had a superb time. As the home runs increased the excitement soared and Team Luuk eventually won this game. Dandy Shandy was next on the agenda, testing the agility and flexibility of the participants as we tried our utmost to avoid the fat “scandal bag” ball which was being thrown at us. “One, Two, Three, Red Light!” or the equivalent of in “Sonne, Mond und Sterne!” German as was leant from Sara, really tested the participant’s speed, agility and balance.
We then paused for the cultural exchange section where volunteers were asked to share a game from their home country with the group. Lisa, from Germany, introduced us to “Ha, Ha, Hoo!!” a game which sounded technical at first but soon had us all in giggles.
We ended the Games section with a medley of relays: Potato race, Sack race and Math race. The competition was high and our flexibility skills were again tested as tall ...
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