I have been in Jamaica for almost 10 weeks now and have successfully completed Pre-Service Training with a group of 33 other volunteers. For this, I am more than thankful. This phase of service comes to a close this morning with a (rather anti-climactic) swearing-in ceremony. I will be off to my permanent site just an hour or two later and my first day of school is on Monday.
Many people wonder how this training has compared to my previous experience. The short answer is that comparing the two is similar to comparing apples to oranges. They're both fruit. They're both training. They both have a peel and seeds. There are PC mandated sessions for each training worldwide. Two major differences stand out to me this time: (1) I'm not under the influence of drugs, which had completely changed my perspective and attitude, and (2) I was able to--more or less--expect what was to come. The combination of these two realities proved for a rather smooth 10 weeks.
Highlights of training:
- living with two different Jamaican host families proved to me the diversity of personalities amongst Jamaicans.
- spending 5 weeks with only my Education sector for sector-specific training resulted in closer relationships.
- climbing Dunn's River Falls and playing the "tourist" in Ocho Rios (north coast) for a weekend.
- meeting new volunteers and continuing to build relationships amongst my co-workers here. There are some really incredible people to know in this context.
Philippians 4:13 & 14 is on my heart this morning:
"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."