Mawnin’ brothas and sistahs!
Welp, June is winding down. After Sunday, I’ll have officially been at site for one month. That was fast! Despite the fact that it’s late June, school here in Jamaica won’t end until the first week of July. I’m staving off summer brain…
I’ve spent the last month getting to know the students and teachers. I’ve been testing struggling students to determine what level they’re reading at. I guess they’ve started to get comfortable with me too, because they’ve started to really open up about how they feel about me.
Jamaicans are known for being very honest. If they don’t like something, they will absolutely tell you. While Americans beat around the bush, Jamaicans chop the damn bush down with their machete and then laugh about it.
I just wanted to share some of the brutal honesty that I’ve received while at school:
“Miss, I don’t want to disrespect you, but I don’t think that hairstyle looks good.”—Grade 4 girl
“Miss, the students have been saying that you dress like an old woman. I think it’s the shoes.” –Grade 5 girl, on me not wearing heels
“Miss, I hate it when you don’t wear your glasses. Where are your glasses?” –Grade 2 girl
“Ohhh Miss Dominique you looking so sexy today!” –Female teacher, on me wearing pants
“Miss, we like it better when you wear skirts than pants. You look fatter in the skirts and not so mager (skinny).” –Grade 5 girl
You get the picture. School girls, man! Thank goodness the boys are decent enough to talk about me behind my back. Apparently some of them have gotten in trouble for making suggestive gestures behind my back too, so I guess that makes me the hot teacher! Wait…ew.
While honesty can be a tinge painful, it’s also helped to brighten up my day. My host mom regularly tells me things like “long skirts really suit you!” and “how you canerow up yuh hair so good?” Just yesterday, a high school girl on the bus introduced herself just to tell me how much she loved my outfit. And creepy and demeaning as it may be sometimes, the Jamaican men never skip out on telling you how good you look.
This month’s certainly been full of ups and downs, but I’m slowly finding my way. Hey, I’ve been in country for over 3 months now, so it’s about damn time!
Check out my new Wishlist! There’s a tab above that will take you to either my personal begging list or the one where I plead for school supplies.
Peace be the journey.