Greetings from JamRock!
Last weekend was full of cultural visits, including trips to the Jamaica National Institute (not the most impressive museum, but I think they’re working on it), the Devon House (essentially the house the first black Jamaican millionaire built and lived in–totally gorgeous, holy crap), and the Jamaica National Gallery (a fantastic art museum in Downtown Kingston).
One thing that struck me about the National Gallery was the lack of pre-20th century Black Jamaican artwork. In fact, slaves were prohibited from producing artwork altogether. Craftsmanship did, however, come alive in the ceramic vessel work created by skilled black workers during that time period, and we did get to see some examples of that. It was a stark reminder of just how restricted the life of an African Jamaican was in the not-so-distant past. Some would argue that this is still largely the case today. Coming from the US, this is unfortunately a story I’ve heard before.
Today, Group 85 helped to create a wonderful welcome sign using recycled bottles and cement in conjunction with the Port Morant Community Development Committee. Below are some photos my friends and fellow trainees, Steve and Irene, took today. Check out their blog, Peace Corps Baby Boomers:
We’re down to 12 of our original 14, and today Irene gave us the nickname “the dirty dozen.” It was great because we were covered in cement, dirt, and sweat at the time. I’ve started to comprehend why there’s no straightforward rationale behind PCV ETs (early terminations). We miss our departed trainees, but those of us who remain have become closer in spite of it.
We all met up for a late lunch afterward. It was so enjoyable just being able to relax with each other. On Monday, we’ll all find out where our sites are and will head our separate ways thereafter. I’ve bonded so closely with so many of these crazies that being away from them seems pretty daunting.
I know that we’ll all be ok, that I’ll be ok. For now, I’m taking time to enjoy each day for what it entails. I made this slideshow real quick to show off a few photos from the last few weeks. Enjoy! The artist is Protoje ft. Chronixx (who I love), performing “Who Knows.”