Tarik, the Cuso International Jamaica Program Director, came to Montego Bay from Kingston last week and we had a series of successful meetings. Turns out, we have two very real new placements developing here in Montego Bay. One is with an existing partner, and we would focus on helping them build their volunteering capacity, and another is with a brand new partner that seems very much on the same page as we are in terms of community development.
This new placement is especially exiting, because it will allow us to work with community members directly. We have schemed and plotted several ways to do this, but they haven't worked out up until now. But, as you can guess, being able to work "on the ground," so to speak, is an important way to reach people and communities that are experiencing poverty and violence. Asking people who live in communities what they want for their communities, for their families and for themselves, and then helping them realize those goals is very meaningful work for everyone involved, (even if it is also really slow, difficult and frustrating at times). So I am excited that our meetings went so well, and, fingers crossed, I'll be able to share more on who these partners are and what volunteers will be doing with them once details are finalized.
On other news, things are blooming here and mango season has arrived!
|Sometimes we still eat papaya. (This pic's for you, Erika, I was testing camera settings - not bad, eh?)|
|Once the blooms start to fall there is a glorious red carpet underneath the tree.|
|I walk up and down this hill regularly to get to town.|