Tonight is Thursday and our last night at JDV. I can’t believe our week here is already over. We have packed as much as we could into our last day.
Some of us woke up early to watch Ionda walk the cows across the road from one field to the other. This is a ritual that happens twice daily. The cows are put out to pasture during the day then walked back across the road and secured at night. It is very interesting to watch them parade across the road like kids crossing the street going to school.
Breakfast was at 700 am, then we were off to finish some of the projects we had been working on all week. There was more concrete to be mixed and poured, a room we finished priming and sweeping, continued building a concrete and cinder block flower bed as well as other little chores that needed finishing. All the staff at JDV works closely along side us.
Veronica made us an American lunch of spaghetti and garlic bread and we were off to Knockpatrick School, also part of CCCD. We meet with the staff and students of this campus. There are approximately 75 children that live on this campus. It houses students in primary school , grades one thru seven and high school, grades eight thru twelve. The ages of the children in the grades is somewhat different than what we were used to based on the age the child came to the school and the skill level the child was prepared to enter at the time they arrived. Stephen, Kayla and Haley took time with several of the boys teaching them soccer skills. They bounced the soccer (football as it is known here) ball off there heads, and did some fancy foot work with the boys. They then got involved in a school yard game of soccer (football) that seemed to wear everyone out.
After we arrived back at JDV we visited the Community Store. Local residents make items and sell them at this store. Most of us purchased hand made jewelry, wood carvings and key chains, hand sewn purses and bible covers and t-shirts.
After an anticipated dinner of grilled Jamaican jerk chicken, fried bammy ( a fruit they fry like a French fry) and festivals ( similar to cornbread) we were off to the Mandeville Baptist Church for a community presentation
With the help of Ben, who did the sign language interpretation, Stephen Roberts and myself did a first aid and personal safety presentation for the deaf community. The presentation was well received by all that attended and they asked many questions during the event. We handed out printouts for them to review as well as safety whistles, key chain flashlights, prayer rocks, coloring books and stickers.
I hope we accomplished the task that Ben requested on the day we arrived, to turn these visits from Mission trips to Relation trips. I know from my perspective I have developed a lot of new relationships this week. Relationships with the staff, with the residents, with their children and with the people I traveled with from Faith Promise Church.
This has been an eye opening experience in so many ways . I don’t know who benefited from this trip more, the people at JDV from what we contributed or me from what I learned from the wonderful,loving people at JDV.