“Success loves a witness, but failure can’t exist without one. “

I am sitting here eating Deviled Eggs because I don’t really have any other food in my kitchen and I’m pretty sick of scrambled eggs. Most of the day is has gone from a downpour of goats and mongooses to clear skies, but either way its been disgustingly hot. I guess that is summer in JA for ya!

A week ago we had a Fish Fry for the senior team to raise money for their upcoming trip to Canada. They have an invitational tournament scheduled with a club from outside Montreal.I was invited to go, but the trip is scheduled to happen in 3 weeks and only half the team has money for their visas, so I have my doubts about it actually even happening.  Overall, the Fish Fry was a good day. I got to learn a lot about Jamaican cooking. I had the torturous job of having to cook festivals (fried dough). They smelled SO good, but used the little self-restraint I have not to even TRY one. It was tough.

A few of the guys who hang out around the FA (I’m not really sure what they actually do) were our DJs for the day. They started drinking white rum around 10am, how they made it through the day will always be a mystery to me.

We also started U15 girls Competition. ~Deep Breath~ It has been a huge source of frustration/tears/anger/joy for me. Getting the girls to come out was a challenge to say the least. Our first few training sessions we had 3 or 4 girls who had minimal playing experience. They were excited to learn and to work with each other, but they didn’t always come to training. It took the president of the FA to go out into each of their communities, talk to their parents, and give them taxi fair to get them to come to the first match day.

Our first match day was a day of polarizing emotions. Without spending the next hour hashing out details, it became very clear that no one knows my role within the organization. Am I a coach? A manager? A fan? Or just the strange white girl who is completely out of place. For now, I am going to go with the strange white girl who is out of place. That was tough, but to see these girls who had never played together win one match and lose the others by very close margins made me really happy! I am not sure what is going to happen in the future with the team, but for now I have stepped out of the picture.

My supervisor  had told me that I should start a summer football camp for the last week of July. Well, it’s the last week of July and I can tell you that it’s not happening. Foreseeing that that would happen, I tried working with the president of the FA to continue the grassroots program that was started when I first got to site. The basic layout of the program is that I will spend a day in different communities around the parish (ie Monday: Yallahs, Tuesday Golden Grove, etc) for 4 weeks. I will work with the coaches in those areas to train kids ages 6-12. There will be a session for boys and a session for girls in an effort to encourage, not discourage female participation. I submitted a proposal to the JFF for equipment and haven’t heard back…

This past Friday we had a safety and security meeting for our parish at a local hotel. It was the first time I had been to the beach since moving to St. Thomas. The water was quite rough and the warning sign didn’t do a justice to the rocks Jackie and I encountered so we didn’t spend much time there and made our way up to the restaurant just before it started pouring rain. It was nice to have everyone in the parish together to catch up. I miss my YAP people, but I get to see some of them next weekend in Portland!

What I learned today:

Cultural differences aren’t an excuse.

Rum and milk…it’s a thing. (GROSS!)

Support can come from unexpected people.

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