We got word from the U.S. Embassy in Kingston that we were to prepare for a tropical storm. (Tropical Storm Nicole) We were expecting mostly rain, according to the initial reports, but we were in for so much more. Jamaica received the largest amount of rainfall in the area, which was 22 inches, in just a few days. The surprising part for all of us was the high winds; we were not expecting these. While we had downpours of rain for several days in our area, some people in other areas of the island woke up to fallen trees, damaged homes and buildings, horrible mud slides, etc. Flooding ensued, some roads were wiped out, others partially blocked, and the clean up began. People all across the island were without power for several days, and Mandeville, where we are all living, was no exception.
The group took this all in stride. Some ended up “showering” in the rain; others decided to rough it for a few days. The students have been incredibly flexible and have great spirits. They are a great group!
We had a trip to Kingston planned, and we didn’t want to reschedule due to the weather, if at all possible. We figured Kingston, with electricity and running water, would be a better place to be than in Mandeville without. So, we decided to proceed with the trip as planned.