Hello from Jamaica! The last 72 hours have been a whirlwind to say the least. After my flight was cancelled from Dallas to Atlanta, I arrived around midnight. I shared a shmancy town car with another trainee named Marie. We hit it off pretty well if I do say so myself. We started staging at 12:30 on the 13th. Staging is pretty simple really: we fill out paperwork, try to get to know everyone’s names, and get a very general idea of what we should expect over the next 27 months. There was a lot of information thrown at us, much of which will probably be repeated over and over again during our pre service training here in Jamaica.
After staging a few of us went to dinner at a way over priced steak house a few blocks from our hotel. It was a good last meal with great new friends!
We checked out of our hotel in Atlanta at 2:30 am on the 14th, arrived at the airport around 3:30 only to wait around to check into our flight at 5:15. Everything went smoothly so there was a lot of unnecessary waiting, but we made it to Kingston by noon. Another trainee named Chantal, who will be serving as a youth and sport advisor with me, had her bag taken from baggage claim. It has to be noted that she did not have a generic black suitcase; it was a bright orange duffel bag from target. They found the person who had taken her bag and we able to make the switch, so everything worked out in the end. If that had been me I probably would have been in tears, but Chantal was cool, calm, and collected the whole time.
That evening we returned to Peace Corps headquarters for our welcoming ceremony. This year is particularly special because we get to celebrate 50 years of Peace Corps Jamaica. Jamaica was one of the first nations to request PCVs after JFK announced the start of the program. There were representatives from the US Embassy and various Jamaican Ministries. There was also a performance by the Nexus Performing arts group. Without making this post even longer, just know they were amazing. For their last song they performed One Love by Bob Marley and EVERYONE got up and danced and sang. It was truly a great way to end a very long day.
What I learned today:
You can iron a hem with a hair straightener.
Jamaicans make songs about absolutely everything.