Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day Three- JAFSP

Hard to show the range of blues in the water



It is so hard to recall the entire day because it feels like we packed in so much into one day.The breakfast this morning was the usual: eggs, toast (great bread!) which I tried with guava jelly, coffee (stronger than when I was in France, if it's possible--in Jamaica, though, instead of cream and sugar, they use condensed milk), juice, and watermelon. I met with Tracy W., the other supervisor, about our agenda for this evening's meeting with the music therapy students, and then we all got ready to go to the beach. The beach was not too far away, but we rode in two different vans. Our van stopped at the top of a very rough road and we had to hike down to the beach. Mainly, it was covered in tree roots and rocks, so it was a bit challenging not to twist an ankle, but we all managed. At the top of the hill was a beautiful mango (pronounced "MAHN-GO") tree and some goats. 
Goats digging through garbage and fallen mangoes

One type of mango--"Stringy Mango"

The beach was incredible...the colors of the ocean water here along the coast are stunning!

We were able to eat lunch at the beach, swim, and also walk the beach to visit vendors set up along the shoreline. Most sold jewelry, while others sold unique pieces of art, etc. We all tried to avoid getting burned, but still got too much sun. I could have stayed in that water the entire day, it felt so amazing! It was also a great opportunity to get to know more of the students better, and we had many fun conversations throughout the day.
Beach visited

After we returned from the beach, we had a little free time before dinner which was spent showering and getting things in order for later in the evening. At dinner, we were treated to a dance group who performed traditional Jamaican dances for us. I didn't get a picture, but I did take video of the group. The ages of the members ranged from around 8 to adult. It is so interesting how different people of this culture (and many others) dance as compared to those of us in the United States. The dances hold so much meaning and symbolism, stemming from deep history. It was wonderful to experience, and they even have a  version of the May Pole dance!

After dinner we had our drum class, followed by group meetings (Music Therapy and Music Education, separately). The music therapy group focused on getting their repertoire for the volunteer work prepared, along with beginning to tell the students about the sites where they will be working starting on Monday. I will be at the School of Hope with a group of students, working with the children on both Monday and Tuesday. Then, on Wednesday and Thursday, I'll be at the Infirmary. We're waiting to determine where we will be on Friday. There is so much to take in, from the new drumming rhythm patterns, to the new songs being taught each night, to just learning how things work! Following the meeting, everyone headed down the street for some more music and dancing, like last night, but the group returned earlier than usual to rest up for tomorrow.
This is Lily. She is VERY talkative.
Tracy and I met after returning to create the groups for the coming week (placing students in groups of three, based on many factors), and then returned to our rooms. Tomorrow is going to be a tremendous challenge for me: an 8 mile hike. I am hoping my hiking sandals don't hurt my feet, and also that I don't embarrass myself by passing out in the heat or worse, not being able to keep walking and holding up the group! The reward after the first 4 miles is a waterfall, where we get to swim. I am hoping this motivates me to keep walking through a great deal of discomfort I am sure to feel. Keep me in your thoughts. I'm nothing if not persistent. ;)

Sweet Jamaican beach cat

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