Jamaica Day Four – Concrete!

JDV3Today’s project was to pour concrete for the roof of the guard shack.  This was a multi-step process that involved the entire team.  The first part consisted of shoveling sand and stone into approximately 9 wooden boxes, which were then lifted and pour into the concrete mixer.  Water and cement were then added and mixed in.  The cement was then poured into a wheelbarrow, shoveled into buckets and handed from person to person up to the roof where it was poured and smoothed out.  It rained off and on throughout the morning, which we were very grateful for, as it kept us cool.  For lunch the lovely ladies in the kitchen made a “Jamaican pizza”, which was a cornmeal crust topped with bacon, hotdogs, and peppers.

After lunch we did a little more work for about an hour, some of us digging trenches and others priming walls on the second floor of the conference center.

We then cleaned ourselves up and headed to the infirmary.  This is a government supported facility where those who are unable to care for themselves live, primarily consisting the disabled and elderly.  The living quarters are very cramped with beds in rows lining every wall, some buildings with a row of beds down the middle as well.

The rain was heavy this afternoon, which confined us to inside the buildings or sitting on the porch.  We visited with the residents for about an hour, mostly talking and listening to their stories, some of us singing and dancing with them.  It was a very humbling experience, to say the least.

We headed back to JDV, where dinner was waiting for us.  We enjoyed fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and tomato cucumber salad.  We ended the night relaxing by playing some intense card games with one of the residents and the night watchman.

Ali Mickle