Tuesday, August 30, 2005

We are PCVs!!!

That's right, folks... as of Friday August 26, Jenni & Aubrey (the other 2 Michigan Tech Masters International students), I, and the rest of Jamaica Group 76 are officially Peace Corps Volunteers! Here is a picture of us just before our swearing in ceremony. It was great to be able to share this experience with good friends.

Here's a pre-swearing in picture of me and our bar owner, tender, and friend, Judy. Judy's Corner Stop is the bar in Heartease, St. Thomas, that helped me survive training.

We are now in our sites scattered throughout the island, and for me that's Montego Bay. I haven't actually been to "work" yet because when I arrived, the places they showed me were all rooms in people's homes. Though in general I had a good homestay experience, I am ready to move into my own place.

Like Jenni mentioned in her online journal (http://travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/jennipost/jamaica/1125076620/tpod.html), I was initially not envisioning being in a large city with many tourists. And we do get treated like tourists... a lot. I swear, if I hear the soldiers deck of cards story from a hustler on the Hip Strip one more time. In such a place, it seems impossible to become "integrated in the community" as Peace Corps so dutifully preaches. But what I'm finding is that there is an integration that takes place. You get to know the people working places you go a lot (like Doctor's Cave beach!), the drivers forever trying to get you to take their taxis, even the guy who "entertains" you with that story you've heard 12 times before. And after a while, they know you. You become part of that fabric, however tattered it seems. I'm a long way off from that right now, of course, but I can just begin to see it.

It's great to see the responses and comments on here. Please keep posting! I'll do my best to keep y'all updated on me and my awesome life in Jamaica.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice to hear you're doing well drew. sadly, the last of our crew has departed houghton, and myself and adam are left to start a new semester. the new mi's are great (11 new cees) though, and we're getting to know them quickly. myself, i've been invited to serve in madagascar in february. not bad, hey? thats all for now then. best regards from north country, luke

Fri Sep 09, 06:53:00 PM  
Anonymous J-word & H-town said...

Nice Hair Drew!!! We love it, and we miss you.

Sat Sep 10, 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Drew. Re. the hair, do you suppose they're treating you like a tourist because of that? ;)

I was a PCV in Port Antonio 1989-1991 and still keep in touch with my Jamaican friends from then. We adopted our son Nigel (now 16) in 1990 and conceived our daughter (now 14) while there, too! I would like to correspond with any PCVs in Port Antonio and/or Kingston. I need some info. from Jamaica that PCVs might be able to help me with. There used to be a newsletter called Kisko, but I'm not sure if it's still being used. Thanks! jillgat1@yahoo.com

Thu Jan 04, 04:14:00 PM  

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