Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jamaica - Day 4 (Wednesday)

On Wednesday we headed to a local 3rd - 6th grade (I think) school with approximately 1,700 students. Yes, I said 1700! It was loud, chaotic and teeming with energy to say the least :)
The school supply packets that we were going to be passing out had been delivered a few days earlier and were waiting for us in the computer lab - the ONLY air-conditioned room in the school... Before we started passing things out, we got to participate in their morning announcements. There isn't a PA system in the classrooms, so all the students gather outside and listen to the principal do the announcements over a microphone. There is also a song (hence the drummers pictured below) and prayer:

Looking out from the second floor at all those students!

Ryan gave his testimony:

And Jim, Cheryl and Pastor Douglas did a short presentation where we presented the school with some much-needed athletic equipment and several sewing machines.
And this is less than half the kids! After the announcements, we split the students up into groups and each group went into three classrooms to do a little talk about where we're from, answer questions and tell about the gospel bead bracelets. Since we were limited on time, the students only presented in three of the classrooms, but we did pass out supply packets to EVERY SINGLE room :)
My group about to enter their first class:
AHHHHHH!!!! I knew that it was going to be crowded, but I didn't expect to see 55+ kids in one room! They were crammed into every nook and cranny and it was HOT!

The kid below was hilarious! First, as we were passing out supplies, he asked if he could take my picture with his cell phone (not sure where that picture's going to end up! ha!) then he asked me if I thought Sarah would let me take his picture with her :) After I had taken this picture he asked Sarah if she was a cheerleader (not sure what that's all about) and then took her picture with his phone. hahahaha
The school supply packets were a big hit and we were told afterward that for 95% of the kids there, that it would be the ONLY gift they would probably ever receive
We passed out beanie babies to a couple of the classes of younger students:
After all the packets had been distributed, we hunkered down in the lab and ate some Jamaican "pattys"... I'm not exactly sure what they were... but they had meat and cheese on the inside and then they were fried :) they were delicious!
Then the school gave us each a coconut (apparently a BIG deal) and Douglas showed us how to empty them into a water bottle...
Cute picture of Charlie and Sandy:
After our quick snack the principal told us that they had a special presentation for us.
The choir sang...

.... there was a special traditional dance...

... and then we were each presented with a photo and special gift! :)
Cheryl receiving her gift:
The kids who presented me with my gift (the girl who gave me mine was 11... and WAY taller than me. hahaha)
Since we had SOOOO many people in the van, we had to cram 4 people in the back seat (instead of the 3 as intended) and since I was alot smaller than most of the guys on the trip I couldn't "pull rank" and had to ride in the very back behind the stinky, smelly boys blocking the AC. This was my view almost every day :) hahaha
We left the school and headed to Pastor Douglas's first church up in the mountains...
Cheryl brought the boys old shirts to paint in and they immediatley cut the sleeves off and turned the sleeves into headbands... and then posed for this picture:
They painted the back hall and the Pastor's office:
Once the painting was done, but before we piled into the van AGAIN, they posed for a quick cover shot:
What an attractive group of young leaders :)

After another great dinner back at our place courtesy of Gloria and a quick daily recap meeting, it was on to "manscaping"... Sarah plucking Garrett's eyebrows :)

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