As a PCV in Africa, I used to join the jesting about volunteers assigned to the Caribbean. They aren’t real volunteers. They have more than a couple of paved roads, abundant fresh produce, and electricity. We referred to them as the “Posh Corps.” Now I’m in Jamaica, in the Posh Corps.
Not much has happened during the first two days here; ergo, I do not have much to write about. The flights were short and uneventful, but we were all very sleep-deprived upon arrival. Peace Corps has been celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011, and PC Jamaica is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012 (they’ve been in country for 50 years). So I really feel like my duration of PC experience has been one big party. Ok, maybe not. But it was funny to me that the partying hasn’t ended yet. The evening of our arrival included a big welcome party for our group. Important people made speeches and we saw a cool performance of the nation’s top vocalists. They were incredibly talented.
Our group of volunteers consists of 36 people that includes 4 married couples. We’re high on the female-to-male ratio and quite diverse in age. The first couple of days have been overwhelming in the sense of trying to make connections and remember things about my teammates. Slowly, slowly it will come. There is another returned volunteer on his second tour, and it feels good to have a “buddy.” Training is not very different. It’s the same information in a different context. I don’t feel so overwhelmed with the information this time around because I have a sense of what everyone is talking about. It’s been good.
My heart is so settled here. YES, I absolutely miss my parents and sisters, and not being able to contact them instantly is rather annoying. But I know that our purpose in life is much bigger than that.
Tomorrow we move to “homestay,” which means that we are all assigned to live with a Jamaican family for 2 weeks. Each volunteer is assigned their own family, but we will be within walking distance of each other.
I apologize for the lack of photographs. Hopefully they will come soon.
Please feel free to write!
8 Worthington Avenue
Kingston 5, Jamaica, WI