The ticking clock ebbs and flows with astounding irregularity. At times, the length of a day feels arbitrary. April zipped by and dragged on. I felt myself being shoved forward as I desperately grasped around me in hopes of collecting moments that might be important later. I allowed myself to be pulled in every direction, as I’ve done for much of my life, but I also soaked in lots of life. Oh, and I turned a year older!
April saw a change-of-the-guard of sorts. The new group of trainees had arrived on island and their training was in full swing by April. I spent a week with the new Education trainees, giving them guidance, listening to their stories of the Jamaican experience and getting to know them. In the later parts of service, it’s almost expected for Volunteers to be jaded, “over it,” or just generally near their limit of patience with the way of life in a developing country. I have felt this way during many parts of my service, but to be around a group of people who were just starting to see Jamaica and learning about it with the earnest that comes from newness and nervousness was a profoundly refreshing experience. I am grateful for the opportunity to see Jamaica anew once more.
My Grade 6 library monitors and I made this training video. Ms. Taylor and I set up a Skype session with our pen pal classroom in California. Both were awesome moments of success at work. The students had SO much fun using technology to enhance their learning. It was especially wonderful connecting the Grade 4 kids with a 4th grade class at my old elementary school! Sharing culture has been a huge part of my Peace Corps experience (it accounts for 2 out of our 3 Goals!), and moments like these really brought it full circle. I am grateful for these kids, grateful for moments like these when we succeeded together.
I am reminded what a full life I lead. This photo was taken after Jake’s Triathlon in Treasure Beach, Jamaica. It was the last time we would all be together in Jamaica (except for Duncan in the back there…more on him later). I am so grateful to know each of these people! Petey, Jordie, Jess, Al, Dunc, Jenn – I’ve learned so much from each of you. In your own unique ways, you have brought light into my life. Luk ow unu tan bad! Nuff lov fi all a unu, big up unu self!
…because can we really go a day without more Ashriell photos? Here she is wearing my glasses and scolding me while doodling on my chalkboard nightstand. Endless amounts of gratitude for this sweet girl.
“At some point, the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.” – Toni Morrison