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Jamaica SST

Jamaica: September 22 – October 4 Field Trips

A bit of a delayed update for everyone! We'll start with our trip to the Appleton Rum Factory and YS Falls on the September 22. When we first walked onto the Appleton Estate, we were greeted by an interesting odor. It smelled like the fresh field of manure, to put it politely. Our tour started out with an educational video about the factory and its history. The tour continued to the other parts of the factory, including the warehouses where the rum is aged. We tried many new things during the tour, such as sugar cane juice and a mixture of molasses and brown sugar used to make rum. We found out how much of a cultural piece Appleton played in the history of Jamaica.

September 28, 2010: Jamaica Weather (AKA) Tropical Storm Nicole

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.  

September 13-17, 2010: Jamaica Classes

This week proved to be an exciting week of education coupled with a fun learning environment.  The students learned about Jamaican Health and Nutrition, Jamaican History, Jamaican Culture, Reggae Music and had time for quizzes over books and lectures as well.  Our guest educators were a delight to have.  They brought a wealth of knowledge. Our weekdays consist of morning classes from 9:30-12:00.  We have students learning American Sign Language (ASL), Jamaican Sign Language (JSL), and Interpreting.  We break for lunch from 12:00-1:30 daily.  The students walk to town for lunch on their own.  On days when it is raining, we have a few students go get lunch for everyone in a taxi.  Afternoon classes resume at 1:30, and the classes end around 3:30 or 4:00.  The afternoon sessions feature local guest educators on a variety of topics.  Each Wednesday we have "Goshen House," which is a day spent at the apartment with the Program Director and his family, or a field trip day.

September 12, 2010, Jamaica: Day 11

We were thrilled to have our first day at the Jamaican Deaf Village Deaf church today. We all met in downtown Mandeville in order to take a bus to the church. At our meeting location, we were able to have conversations with some of the Deaf church members while we waited for our ride. We all jumped in the bus "Jamaican style," and made a 20 minute trip to the Jamaican Deaf Village (JDV). Upon arrival, the students were greeted with acres and acres of beautiful green rolling hills.