The next three months are specifically training. We are not working on any projects, just learning how to integrate ourselves into Jamaican culture and how to best use the skills we already have to build new ones. Our first official day of training was done in the US Embassy Residential building.—where all of the American workers in Kingston live. We were told to bring scarves or sweaters because the air conditioning gets chilly. I am not expecting that to be a frequent occurrence. Today we went through what all of the sectors in Jamaica are: Green Initiative, Education, and Youth as Promise II (thats me!). For me there is a bit of frustration mixed with the excitement because we will start talking about one topic then stop because “we will talk about that later in training.” I can’t really complain because any more information and my head would have exploded. We took a much needed break at lunch and the boys played some frisbee in the small courtyard.
After lunch we learned about money and how to use it. Apparently there are 5 cent and 10 cent coins that are considered “red money” and the beggers won’t even take it because it has no real value even though it is legal tender. After the session on money we got our medical kits and mosquito nets. My first thought was, “great, where the hell am I going to put all of this extra crap.” I am still wondering that, but going through the kit was by far the most amusing hours we have had yet. Our PC Nurses Viola and Clarista went through every item in the medical kit and told us we must not take half of the pills inside of it unless we advise them first. If we should run out of anything we can get refills at the PC headquarters in Kingston. Our medical kits also include condoms, but Clarista skipped over those, so when asked if those can also be replenished as much as we need, we also asked if we had to advise her when we use them. She did not just turn red, she turned super red and ensured us that if we were NOT using them she would have a problem. Good to know–I guess–verdict is still out.
Tonight we go to Hellshire, about 45 minutes from Kingston, to continue our training and start our first home stay. It should be interesting.