June 29, 2014

Getting Away...Jamaica

Essentials:  sunglasses, sunblock
and a iPad mini w/the Kindle app

Smooth flight!
I made a promise to myself that I would take some time to myself to relax-relate-release.  This trip was planned since January when Chicago was under several feet of snow and I had reached my patience with bad weather.  

The only place I can truly rejuvenate and rest is in Jamaica.  This school year was really challenging.  Personally I set and achieved many goals that I set.  In some cases, the tasks that had to be completed were so tedious and tested my patience (of which lately I have none!)  Overall I'm happy with the results.
Me and my new
Dr. Dre Beats Headsets

Tumeric Plant
I designated this trip as a 'total learning experience'.  I've done the excursion thing for years so I wanted to try something totally new.  

     Since arriving on June 19th, I learned from the best:  Rastafarians.  This group of often times misunderstood Jamaicans believe is natural living and healing.  Through their instruction, I've learned how to cook steamed spicy Jamaican fish with Callaloo, identify the best plants back home to remedy the common cold and learned how the Tumeric plant and coconut water used together relieves pain.  (yes, my back pain has eased quite a bit!).  Most importantly, their belief of meditation and not 'worrying' about things you don't have any control of is a life lesson.

I had to haggle with a Ratafarian
 to get a good price on this coconut
Another cool thing about this trip is I met a University professor from the UK.  It was really interesting to discuss issues as they pertain to K-12 and higher ed education in our respective countries.  I also owe her greatly because she really calmed me down after I heard about the 1,100 teacher layoffs back in Chicago.  I'm fearful for my job as well as my friends.  I swear this is really tough times!  We go through this every year in my district and it's so disheartening!
My name twin:  Kimberly!

Even though I'm on vacation, I couldn't help visiting a the St. James Parrish Public Library and visiting with a librarian colleague.  Last Friday I volunteered at the Mount Olive Basic School reading books to pre-school children and donated board books for their much needed library.  Sadly, the lack of books in both school and public libraries were dismal and in some cases reminded me of some of the libraries I've visited in the states.  

The Mount Olive Basic School is located in the hills north of Montego  Bay.   The kids were sooooooo cute!  They even sang a little song for me and some of the other volunteers. 

     This experience brought me back to my first teaching assignment of working with young children.   I haven't taught little ones in years so I forgot how 'wiggly' they can be.   One little boy, Wellington, grabbed my iPhone and took some of the pictures you see here.  The pictures came out great, the only problem was I had a hard time getting my phone back!  
Sarah, Wellington and I

Now if I only could meet Usain Bolt, my trip would be complete!

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful experience for you and the people you met. How neat you were with Rastafarians! You should get a PhD in Library Science!