Busy Days in Jamaica

Well – we had hoped to blog every day, but yesterday was a long and busy day here that did not lend itself to blogging.  So, there is a LOT to catch up on!

Tuesday was another beautiful day in Jamaica. We started off the morning by eating some Jamaican oatmeal, coffee cake, cinnamon sugar toast and fresh fruit.  If we haven’t said it already – no one is loosing weight on this trip.  Pinto’s cooking at the mission house is AMAZING.   After breakfast we headed out to the work site.  We had a lot of fun working together both on RAISE and building Tamikas house.

Kaleena with our famous cooks at the mission house – Pinto and Eli. We built a house for Eli last year and he graced us with his singing group “Journey” on Wednesday night.

At RAISE we continued working on the well by finishing up the wall that goes around the well to help keep the animals out, cleared some bush for irrigation cisterns, and planted some sorrel and melon. The team really worked well together getting the different projects done and bonding with the local Jamaicans.

At the house site we finished up putting up the other two walls, cut out some windows and began working on the roof rafters. We also had the chance to get to know Tamika’s two children Amanda and Dimitri who are some of the sweetest children out there. They had a ton of fun helping build and keep everyone hydrated and cooled off.

Amy Nichols works on the roof trusses for Tomika’s house with Randall on Tuesday

Later in the day we had some of Pinto’s famous fried chicken and went into Highgate for some Jamaican ice cream! We also had the opportunity to visit the Clonmel Potters where we learned how they make their items they sell. It is always a joy to see how much the Jamaican people can accomplish with so much less than we have. Their artwork is simply beautiful.

Wednesday we finished up much of the work we started this week.  We finished up covering the well for RAISE and then did some more clearing and planing on the farm.  The other half of the team finished up the house for Tamika – putting on the tin roof, trim, doors, gutters and paint.  It was a busy day of work that ended with the entire team dedicating the house for Tamika.

Dedication of the house for Tamika with the entire team

The afternoon was a highlight for many of the team members when they had the opportunity to play the local Jamaican high school football (soccer) team.  The score ended at 2 – 0 in favor of the Jamaicans (they were probably playing at about 30% ability) but the team had a ton of fun getting to know them and playing the local sport.

The team after getting beat 2-0 by the local Jamaican football (soccer) team.

Finally, Wednesday ended with an all Jamaican dinner of Jamaican jerk chicken, pumpkin rice with red gravy, festival, slaw, and chocolate.  We were entertained by Journey – a group of local singers including Eli, who we built a room for last year that also works in the kitchen at the CSI guest house.

It’s been an amazing week already and there are still several days left!

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