I've been working in my new placement for 3 weeks now and it's going well. The pace continues to be slow since my primary focus is networking, which is all about calling people up and waiting for them to get back to you, but I've got some good leads. On Thursday I was fortunate to tag along with Audrey, a Canadian working here for the Jamaican Ministry of Justice as a consultant on restorative justice. She and her colleagues were doing a 'sensitization', basically a presentation introducing the idea of restorative justice, in a community near Montego Bay. Granville, this community, is particularly troubled with violence, and the hope is to place a restorative justice field officer in the community centre in the new year. It was nice to see the community and hear more about Audrey's work.
On another note, last week when I was driving to and from Negril, we heard this song on the radio several times and it got stuck in my head -"banana, banana". The chorus is all of the things the street hawkers sell - phone cards, banana chips, and the cash for gold trade. The song is mostly talks about how hard the life of the street hawker is and gives praise to the residents of 'schemes and gullys', neighbourhoods that tend to be down and out. The video is filmed in Kingston and gives a good idea of what it looks like in some of the busier areas.
In addition, I've decided that the song below is currently the theme song for my year in Jamaica. Things have unfolded here quite differently than I imagined they would (as happens frequently) but it has definitely given me a different perspective on life. In the words of the Mick Jagger...
On the sailing front, I raced both days this weekend, and to my surprise, our boat ended up qualifying to race in the Jamin' J22 Regatta in early December! Visit the Montego Bay Yacht Club's website and you can click through on the left for details on last year's race. In the last two weeks I've had a split lip, various bruises - including both my knees and in weird places like the inside of my elbow - blisters the size of dimes on my fingers, and a broken little toe, all from sailing. (Well, the toe wasn't exactly from sailing, but I was on a boat when it happened...)
Battered and bruised, but having fun!