Sadly, due to lack of computer and internet I couldn’t blog during the Jamaica trip so that calls for an epic post-trip entry. Bear with me and if your eyes start to blur just take a break, grab a sandwich and come back =)
Quick background info: I spent 8 days in rural don’t really know the name of the city cause we were on the side of a mountain, Jamaica on a medical mission trip through butler YMCA. The majority of the team was made up of Butler students (mostly pharm and PA). There were 47 of us all together. Our original plan was to work/ shadow in the hospital and help in rural clinics. Well thanks to swine flu and a parasite outbreak we had a change of plans. I will summerize what we ended up doing everyday (usually planned/ confirmed the night before) and as always if you want more info, I love to talk and will talk your ear off given the chance.
Day 1: Flying. Our first plane was delayed on the runway once we arrived in ATL and all 47 of us literally eneded up having to sprint to the other side of the ATL airport and if you’ve never been there, um it’s huge. We got to the gate about 3 minutes after our plane was scheduled to have taken off. By God’s grace that plane was delayed 20 minutes. Arrived safely. No running water at the retreat we were staying at. Had some girl in pizza hut almost throw up on me.
Day 2: Woke up to a cockroach next to my pillow. Had a time of sharing a few testimonies with the group. In the afternoon we went to Hanbury Home which is an orphanage run by the salvation army and just hung out and played with the kids.
Day 3: Community health clinic. We opened the doors to the retreat we were staying at to do health screening and education for the people in this small town. This day really helped solidify to me that I don’t wanna practice health care without spiritual care. I felt like I had failed my patients and myself. Luckily God is patient and knows that I needed to learn this.
Day 4: Moorelands Girls’ camp, a week long christian camp. I was a camp medic for 24 hours. Two of us got dropped off in the morning and the bus would pick us up in the morning the next day. This was the best day! I LOVED getting to hang out with the 9-12 year old girls. I built relationships with a lot of them. Got to talk to some of them about Jesus. One of my favorite memory of this day was we got to do the rock wall and zipline while the girls were doing another activity and when we got to the wall there was one girl still up there who had been there for probably 20 minutes because she was too scared to jump off. It was great to just encourage her and we just keep repeating how Jesus was stronger than the fear she was feeling. We (the medics, the rock wall staff, and 2 of the camp directors) all prayed for her and with her as she stood terrified at the top of the wall but we also refused to let the enemy win and we wouldn't bring her down. I couldn't have been prouder when she finally (with a little push, hehe) jumped off. The when she came down she said she wanted to do it again! When I got up there I was scared too cause I'm not a big fan of jumping off things so I repeated 2 Timothy 1:7, thought of Jada (the other girl) and jumped! You'd think I'd be used to jumping off things by now...
Day 5: Windsor Home. Another salvation army orphanage. Most of the group helped paint buildings or organize. I hung out with kids and colored/ stickered cards for us to send back to donors. We tried unsucessfully to fit 50 people in a 25 person bus. Fail.
Day 6: The group went back to Hanbury Home to do a clinic with the kids and to measure them for shoes and clothes. I got to go back to Moorelands (just for the morning and early afternoon) to be a medic again and hang out with the girls!!! Got to worship with the girls again and talk to some of them some more.
Day 7: Free day. My goal for the day was to buy as much stuff at the market for $10 as I could haggle for. It was a success. Purchases: 3 pairs of earrings, 3 bracelets, 7 postcards, and a hand carved wooden mug. Found a cockroach in one of the girl’s suitcase. Killed a GIANT spider in our room (see video on facebook) and a cockroach in the bathroom.
Day 8: Traveling. Not too eventful. Redressed Alaska’s wounds from where she fell down the stairs as we were sitting in the airport. Home.
Interesting things that I got to do/ eat: Goat, pig’s tail, crispy pork? (dunno, but it was sooooo good), rock climbing and zip lining at the camp, aki and salt fish, lots of other stuff I tried that I didn’t and still don’t know what it is.