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Trip Off to Jamaika-let's reggae (: Off to Jamaika-let's reggae (: 29.09.2013 - 21.12.2013   12 Wochen Jamaika...eine Zeit mit hoffentlich vielen neuen Erfahrungen und... Ramona Alexandra (DE)
Jamaika

Off to Jamaika-let's reggae (:

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12 Wochen Jamaika...eine Zeit mit hoffentlich vielen neuen Erfahrungen und Begegnungen, eine Zeit, um an die eigenen Grenzen zu gehen, sich selbst besser kennenzulernen, viel zu erleben, eine Zeit, um die Musik mit jamaikanischen Kindern zu teilen, eine Zeit um etwas Sonne in ein jamaikanisches Waisenhaus zu bringen...eine Zeit für mich, die ich hier mit euch teilen möchte (:

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  • 29Sep 2013

    1 How everything started 29.09.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Welcome to survival camp – streets turning into rivers – getting lost – meeting other volunteers-being on TV


    Yeah man,

    I can still hardly believe I am really in Jamaica! There’s so much I have already experienced that I actually don’t know where to start. I am so thankful to be here and collect all these wonderful or at least interesting experiences that I am about to enjoy every single minute in this amazing country!

    If you asked me about my flight, I would simply describe it as very exhausting. It wasn’t enough that it took me about 25 hours to travel to Mandeville (Jamaica). Also my fear of flying and immigration, a delayed flight, changed gates, too much hand luggage (in the end had to reduce it to 3 pieces to travel on, on the last flight the guitar was placed in the cockpit) and a more than one hour queue at the immigration in Miami were challenges I had to face. In the end I was really proud having arrived in Mandeville and met my host family! When I finally noticed the toilet doesn’t work and I was attacked by ugly insects at night, there was only one thought left – WELCOME TO SURVIVAL CAMP!

    The next day I had to get up early for the orientation day of projects abroad. Luckily there is the time shift (7 hours earlier here), so this wasn’t that difficult (except of the taking a shower with almost none, but very cold water). Soon a route Taxi came to pick me up – from the first drive on till now I am again and again happy when I have survived the drives. The taxi drivers really drive dangerously thinking to hunk is the solution to everything. Arrived in the town, Mandeville was finally shown to me and Beth, a girl from Australia. In addition we got a lot of information about our stay in Jamaica and May Day High School – my working place for the next two months – was shown to me. The thing which both amazed and frightened me this day was the rain, as soon whole STREETS were TURNING INTO RIVERS. Finally I was really glad to arrive home. There something really beautiful happened – Kayanna, my smallest host sister and Kamille were saying hello to me (before this they were really shy!) and after I gave them my host presents they really liked me. Afterwards they discovered my guitar with shining eyes having had only one wish – to play it soon. So after a really good Jamaican (CHICKEN!!!) dinner, I played some music together with them which I really enjoyed. But when they discovered all my electric stuff (mobile phone, i-pot, lap top) with again shining eyes and told me the “Whities” spent too much money, I really felt sorry for them. This finally really made me think about the European life style – why do we spent so much money?, why do we throw things away which are still good to use?, why in the world we so often don’t appreciate what we have?

    The day afterwards was the day I GOT LOST. But let me start from the beginning. In the morning I successfully made my way to May Day High School. There I was welcomed friendly, above all by the principal who took me in his office in the morning to wait till the second lesson (as I was too late for the first). Talking about typical Jamaican/German food, the school system, the government and finally the water system really amused me. Unfortunately he also told me about about a school bus accident with 4 dead students. Finally he brought me to the music teacher, Mr. Bulgin, and introduced me to the class which was clapping in the end. The whole morning long now I listened to typical Jamaican music lessons. These were really shocking me as the teacher was always screaming at the students and they were very (!!!) noisy – I still remember a lot of noisy lessons in Germany but I promise none of them is comparable to them! After all the lessons we were cleaning the music room trying to get a free desk for me and make it more comfortable in there. Afterwards my plan was to visit the office of project abroad to contact my friends at home, ask where I could get money for my “phone” from and tell them about my trip to Kingston on Thursday. This was more difficult I thought, as soon I got lost in the town. I really couldn’t remember where I was and at first didn’t even know the office`s street name. GETTING LOST is not that terrible they told us since we always can phone them when we don’t know where we are. Only stupid, that my phone didn’t work at the moment. Finally I really felt helpless. In the end it took my about 2 hours to pass a way which usually lasts 10 minutes. When I noticed that there isn’t WIFI as they told us and only Skype (no mail!) works at the laptop there, I was a bit frustrated. But this shit wasn’t enough! I finally couldn’t find the right taxi station. Luckily the taxi driver from the morning found me and took me home! I really like him; he is such a friendly, nice guy! For dinner I had again a typical Jamaican food, but you have to say it tasted like “Gulasch”! In the evening I again spent a lot of time with my hostsisters playing music and telling stories.

    Wednesday finally was the day I first felt home in Jamaica. In the morning I was introduced to about 1000 students in the big Assembly they have every day. As they all welcomed me very friendly, I soon felt comfortable in school. The Assembly itself really amazed me. 1000 quiet pupils listening and speaking a “prayer”. Finally lesson started. But Mr. Bulgin and me at first had some free time, so he gave me some of his reggae music, wrote my individual timetable and let me contact my friends trough facebook. But no, I wasn’t relaxing all the time, today also was the day taught my first two music lessons alone. I was really excited as I was very afraid of not being able to keep those noisy people calm, but without a show-off, I have to say they were quieter than with Mrs. Bulgin. Maybe because I am not screaming at them all the time? To sum it up, difficulties of course were the pupil’s Jamaican accent and the fact I had no idea what they have learnt already, but actually I am really satisfied with my first two good, but exhausting music/recorder lessons. In the afternoon I met some other volunteers by chance – that was the moment I really started feeling home here as I was about to make friends up to now and all of them were really nice, friendly and likeable. They even offered me to spend the weekend with them!!  So either I will be hiking in the Blue Mountains or going to Negril. I am really looking forward to this!!

    Today was the day I was filmed for TV, yes, you have heard right, I will BE ON JAMAICAN TELEVISION ;). Haha, but I am sure, you think the wrong now. But let me start from the beginning. Today there was the big trip to Kingston for the choir of May Day High School (MDHS), so I had to get up really early (5:15) to reach on time at MDHS. Of course again you couldn’t rely on the Taxis. I was really afraid of missing the trip to Kingston, but finally I only came about ten minutes too late, so I was in time. Anyway, being on time in Jamaica means something completely different than in Germany (the music teacher was more than 30 minutes too late!!). You may have all hoped, I will be more on time when I come back…mhh, I am not sure. Finally the trip to Kingston could start. It took us two hours by bus to come there. As I was afraid of the dangerous driving, the pupils were noisy all the time and I enjoyed watching the landscape, it was never boring. In the end, we reached our goal – Kingston. I actually haven’t seen that much instead of the Jamaican Television Centre there, but what I saw, really made me sad – so much poverty, so much detruction!! But I haven’t told you, why we have been to the Television Centre, right? It`s because there was a singing competition “ALL TOGETHER SING” the school choir took part in. You may ask what this is, but actually this is easily to explain. You can compare it to German DSDS, but instead of single persons, school choirs take part there and instead of stupid judgments and bad performances, there are really wonderful people and choirs. It’s really again and again amazing how music can connect people. All the students grew to such a big team and worked hard together. I really felt the excitement some minutes before the performance. I almost felt like one of them and encouraged them they will do it and should go for it. Finally, after praying, we went into the studio. Heartbeats. Silence. Then the performance: the gospel song “Stumps”- I really like this song. It was really awesome to see how such records are made and the performance of the choir was simply unbelievable. I almost had “Gänsehaut”! and the little boy who rapped did amaze me the most. I really like him!! After the performance we were allowed to listen to the next choir, which was good as well (not so good like us of course ). So we were part of the audience who will be shown on TV, so you could see me as well . Finally we went outside the studio and now there was this amazing moment after performances. All the pupils were cheering and hugging and felt proud, Especially my little rapper boy was really poud and couldn’t s believe soon to be on seen on TV. That was the moment I had really nice talks with this boy and some others as well. Slowly but faster and faster I really get familiar with all the Jamaican children – I am sure there will be good friendships soon. On our way home, I had “Gänsehaut” again. The whole way long all students were singing in the bus. And they didn’t sing badly – no they really sung beautifully. The songs I liked most were all the gospels. It amazes me again and again how much hope the whole school puts in Jesus – I really like it.

    Yeah man, this was my first blog entry !!

    On the Weekend I will go to Negril, so I am sure there will be the next entry soon! :)

    Take care, lov ya guys and I really miss you

    Ramona

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  • 04Oct 2013

    2 First weekend off - trip to Negril 04.10.2013 Jamaika —

    Negril, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Life is like a rollercoaster – Being in paradise – Being one blood


    Yeah man,

    Here I am again with the latest News of Jamaica. This time I will tell you something about my first weekend in this amazing country. At the moment I only betray that: There was a trip to Negril – one of the nicest beaches in Jamaica! So just enjoy reading what’s going on, on the other side of the world! Have fun, guys! Love you!

    But let me start from the beginning: I’ve already told you, taxi rides are like driving a ROLLERCOASTER in Jamaica, right? But today I found out not only taxi rides are, life it is as well! So today there definitely was a “Down” of my Jamaica trip, as everyone and everything was getting on my nerves. To only mention a bit, I really hate toilets which don’t work, wearing long pants and blouses in the heat, not understanding Patois, taking a shower with cold and sometimes almost none water, taxi rides where you have to pray to survive, host sisters who drop my instruments, teachers who scream at students or sometimes even hit them and above all myself being so much overextended with everything - for example I shall write a test in my class next week, although I only taught them one lesson till now (so I actually don’t really know, what they have already learnt) and am not used to the mark system here (0 is the worst for example). So finally the fact, that I went to school for about 3 Euros only to teach 5 minutes (I only have to teach one lesson on Fridays and this is in the morning after devotion (the big assembly), which this time lasted so long, that it took away more than 30 minutes of my lesson) and that I was very tired today, gave me the rest – I really was bored and annoyed of the project. In the end my only hope was the weekend – I was really looking forward to spending time with the other volunteers on one of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica. So after work, I went to the food corner to meet all the other volunteers for our trip to start. Luckily some Jamaican boys were calling the right bus for us to get to Negril. So finally the 4 hours ride could start. This again was very dangerous, not only because of the driver, but also because of the often wet and bumpy roads. It finally was no wonder that we had a flat tire!! To sum it up, if you ignore the length and danger of the ride, I really enjoyed it because of the wonderful scenery around and above all, all the other nice volunteers I was able to get to know better now. Arrived in Negril I was really amazed of the wonderful beach there. Although I unfortunately still had a bad mood and I really missed my friends at home, I really enjoyed having “candlelight-dinner” and a pina colada directly on the beach below a sky full of stars. After dinner we went to a beach bar for a drink. There I got to know Krissie better and I have to say, I really like her. Furthermore Rickard a Jamaican beach boy smoking all the time we got to know before was following us all the time. At first it was quite funny I have to say, but soon he was really getting on my nerves. After having some Jamaican beer (I really do love it, tastes so good!!), we finally went back to our cabins. There I had some really good talks with Krissie and Melanie as well – this finally was the point, when I recognized that my definite “Down” had turned into a definite “Up” - a day like a ROLLERCOASTER!! (:

    When I woke up early in the next morning and finally made my way to the beach, there was only one thought left - I definitely ARRIVED IN PARADISE. It’s hard to explain, how beautiful it was, but I think this day pictures will tell more than words – it was simply awesome and unbelievable how great nature can be. So in the end we spent almost the whole day just chilling, getting a tan, eating sandwiches and listening to music. Late in the afternoon we finally left for the famous Ricks Café. There we enjoyed Jamaican beer, watched awesome cliff jumpers and in the end saw one of the nicest sunsets I have ever seen. This was the moment I asked myself with what I have deserved Jamaica and got even more thankful in the end (Here I want to add: Mum and Dad, I am really glad you made this trip possible. THANK YOU!!). Afterwards we went back to our cabins where we had dinner. I only have to say never eat pasta in Jamaica or at least not expect too much from it. Finally when everyone else decided to go to bed, Krissie and I were going for a long walk on the beach which we really enjoyed.

    Today was time to say goodbye to Negril, so we tried to enjoy every single minute on the wonderful beach just relaxing, swimming and sunbathing. Furthermore Mariskar, Krissie and me went for a walk on the beach to watch all the small shops. As I plan to buy anything little on every place I go on the weekend, I of course bought something here as well – a bracelet. This means something special for me, as it has a message on it I really like. So there are letters on it telling “ONE BLOOD”, just to say that there is no difference between black and white people. This thought is so simple, but as you know a lot of people again and again forget it – why is it so hard to understand we are ONE MENKIND. Just think about it! There may be people who you are in struggle with at the moment, who seem strange to you, who are disabled, who don’t share your faith, who are black, who are white – but please just remember, they are like you, we are one MENKIND formed to build communities, help each other and design the world in a beautiful way! That’s the same way all the volunteers work together here, it doesn’t matter where you are from you are always welcome. So I am really glad not only to make friends with Krissie (from Germany) at the weekend, but also with Mariskar from the Netherlands. I really enjoy spending time with her. It’s always so much fun! (: Unfortunately we soon really had to say goodbye. The 4 hours drive back was really exhausting, so I was glad finally to arrive home. There I was welcomed friendly by my host family. I actually was glad to have some distance from it on the weekend and now was anyway looking forward to see her again - at least till my host sisters were getting on my nerves. They simply didn’t let me change my clothes alone – hate that!!! After the typical Jamaican National Dish – salted fish and egg – I finally went to my neighbors Selma and Nicole. I was really glad to have some distance from it and really enjoyed spending time with them. Soon I went to bed, lucky to have spent such a nice weekend and already found some friends

    Yeah man, I have finished! I am so proud; I really hope I will continue writing regularly! Love you guys, hope everything is IRIE?

    Ramona

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  • 07Oct 2013

    3 Second week in Mandeville 07.10.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Jamaican fitness classes –Kumbaya - Crocodiles in the Black River – Great House


    Hey guys,

    It’s a pity another week in Jamaica is over now, but of course I as well want to share it with you! So just enjoy!!
    On Monday everyday life started again. So in the morning I had to go to work, even if my stomach was a bit complaining because of all the rice all the time. This time I had to accompany the singing of two boys with the piano spontaneous. It was quite difficult, but this challenge amused me as well. I really enjoyed teaching them the melody of the songs, so I have to say working individually with the students I do prefer to have lessons in classes. But of course also on this day I had to teach two classes. The first one really surprised me, as everything went in such a good way. The students respected me, were contributing and learning a lot, as I think. The second indeed really disappointed me. I simply can’t control them, it’s so hard to teach them and I was really desperate. I now know how teachers sometimes feel. Changed perspectives changed my view on that I have to say!! Finally I had a headache because of all the noisy students and was in the end glad to be allowed to go at 1 pm. Now I made my way to the office of project abroad to settle some things and finally met the other volunteers at the food corner. It again and again feels good to share the Ups and Downs of the day with the other volunteers. I really enjoyed the time together with Krissie and all the others. And believe me or not, this day I furthermore took part in a JAMAICAN FITNESS CLASS together with Nicole. It felt so good to do some sports. I enjoyed working on my body and again it was getting clear to me - as already so many times on this trip - life is about you, it’s your task to care for you and your body! After the class I finally did feel wonderful. In the end, after having the Jamaican national dish – salted fish and egg – I went out with Krissie, Nadine, Sarah, Theresa and a lot of Jamaican boys. I liked spending time with the others, even if we had to be at home at 10:30 because project abroad tells us so. So like you probably already guess, there wasn’t that much party. So we were just chilling, drinking, playing one of my favorite games – billiard - and listening to good (!!) music written by one of the Jamaican boys going out with us. Besides I got to know to another nice Jamaican boy I loved talking to. In the end, after singing romantically for the taxi driver on my way home, I fall asleep and was just happy to geting used to the Jamaican culture more and more.

    Tuesday finally was a long working day for me as I had to stay at school about 7 hours, although I actually only have to work 4 a day. In the morning day began really strange since when I was coming the music teacher was just about to drive away to get new choir sheets. Luckily he saw me in the last minute. Otherwise I would have had to wait at least 2 hours to get in the music room as I later found out. So actually he was telling me to come back soon, but you already know you can’t rely on information like that here. In the end he was back 2 hours later and also forgot he had a class in this time. So it hit me to take his lesson. This was quite difficult for me, as I really didn’t know how to act. I again felt a bit helpless. Finally, when all the students came in I had simply no idea what they have already learnt and decided to play a rhythm game from Germany with them – bad idea as I was completely desperate when only a few students were listening and I in the end lost control about the whole class. Yeah, but you could at least say this is one experience more and I try to keep on staying positive. But this wasn’t enough shit for the day. So although when my actual lesson was very good, there came another disappointment, when some students went to the music teacher to kind of complain why they don’t have the official music teacher. Puuuh, that really hurt me, as I took special trouble on the lessons. Yeah, but shit happens! Finally the teacher asked me to help out at the choir lesson in the afternoon as he couldn’t be there. As I like the choir very much, I decided to agree. At first I regret my decision, as there was so much time between my tasks and I really didn’t want to stay the whole time on the internet which I have at school for my breaks. But in the end the day turned into a better one, as I could play the piano in this time and the music teach gave me access to a music composing program I really like. You can just play the piano and improvise, and it will write the notes. I am so glad!!! That’s so awesome I always wanted to have such a program. Now I will always have a good occupation during my longer breaks. So the afternoon came sooner as expected and finally the choir was there – another challenge. They told me to assist there; nobody told me I have to lead the choir!!!! Uuups, I have never done that before. So the other two teachers wanted me to do some warming up with the choir and teach them the different melody lines. All this was very spontaneous, but went really good! I am even a bit proud of me. But now to the choir people again: They are so nice. I really love them and above all their singing. And believe me or not, they are at least a bit disciplined. Haha, but again nobody told I should be able to play the whole song they were learning today, so when they wanted me to play it (without notes, only from a bit listening, without practicing) I thought this is a joke. I was glad finally the director took the last of the lesson and I could simply enjoy the wonderful singing. I love the feeling those people have for the music. Their gospel songs really touch me especially the new one from today - KUMBAYA. In the end I went home at about 4 pm, very weary, but happy. It was finally so late that I missed the volunteer meeting at the office, but never mind; the others told me I have missed almost nothing. After dinner I finally visited my neighbors Nicole and Selma – really love these girls! I am so glad I got to know to them!

    Wednesday finally was the day I was completely satisfied with the work in school for the first time! Even if I had almost lost hope, believe me or not, everything is getting better and better. Yeah man, I am so glad about that!! So today in the morning I had to help the music teacher marking the homework which really amazed me as the pupils did very well, although they seem so less concentrated in the lessons. Afterwards I taught myself playing the new choir song “Kumbaya” on the piano and had to teach 2 lessons. The first was so good that I could hardly believe it. I really felt respected by the students and felt like they were having fun in the lessons and learning a lot as well. This time I tried to sing “Bruder Jakob” with them which was so much fun and worked out great. I have to say it again and again – I simply love the singing of the Jamaican kids! The second lesson I eventually tried the same. Even if it wasn’t that good, it didn’t desperate me any more – you get used to everything, that’s what I learnt today!  Finally I was glad to leave on time for the planned afternoon trip with the other volunteers. We were about to take part in a boat drive on the BLACKRIVER seeing the beauty of the Jamaican scenery. This I really enjoyed, as from different birds to different sorts of plants and even some close wild CROCODILES – there was a lot to see on the trip! Here again, pictures will tell more than words, so just enjoy them and I will keep silent now.
    In the evening I finally again visited Selma where I had a lot of good talks at. To sum it up, we both came to the conclusion, something is wrong here in Jamaica. So just some aspects: Why do the police care more about the right uniform of the taxi driver than the safety on the roads? Why do some of the Jamaicans only fancy you because of the money? Why do so many Jamaicans pretend to be poor, but are kind of rich in reality? Why are the students forced to behave even so disciplined (for example they have to line up before entering the class room), that in the end they often behave with none respect? And why in the world do a lot of the married Jamaican boys again and again fancying and kissing the “Whities” or even having sex with them?

    Thursday again was a day I was a bit disappointed about work. So since we finished my timetable today as the organization was complaining about me having too less lessons, I got a new class today. That was quite interesting as I had to teach it “Mary had a little lamb” and divide it into groups to let them practice themselves and finally mark them the next lesson. It was pretty juicy to see how the students worked in the groups to learn the song: some didn’t play at all, but there were also groups who had quite a good group dynamic. Afterwards I ate the school lunch for the first time: chicken with rice, was already clear, wasn’t it? But I have to say, it was really yummy. Finally, in the afternoon, I again had to teach two lessons alone – quite difficult as the students were very noisy and couldn’t concentrate any more. In the end as not even the teacher stayed in the room all the time, I had to scream a lot which I absolutely hate. Yeah, but that’s school in here. After singing “Bruder Jakob”, marking some students and teaching them new songs on the recorder, I was finally glad to leave. I was looking forward to nobody getting on my nerves any more, at least I thought that would be the case, but I was wrong. So when I got on the taxi the second sentence I had to hear was: Do you want to have a Jamaican boyfriend? This may sound funny but after almost 1000 boys having asked you questions like that and after a day like this, it was really a pain. Afterwards we had a meeting at the office with the other volunteers. There we talked about the importance of trust when you teach and played some games as well. In the end we went to the food court hanging around with the other volunteers and the Jamaican boys where we again had a lot of fun. After some hours I eventually left with Nicole to go to the gym and train boxing a bit. It was quite good to let out all the quite bad experiences of today. So I felt very good after it. In the end I felt even better after going out to the GREAT HOUSE this evening with all the others. I really liked it there, not only because of the very (!) yummy cocktails, all the nice people and the good music, but also above all because of the great view we had on the whole, flashy town on the balcony we were sitting on there.

    Yeah man, I am finally finished with the next entry and just noticed it is really long. Sorry for that, but just skip what you think is not interesting in cases like that, ok?

    I really miss you guys and hope you are doing fine.

    Love you,

    Ramona

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  • 11Oct 2013

    4 Party Weekend in Ocho Rios 11.10.2013 Jamaika —

    Ocho Rios, Ocho Rios, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Danielle – Drinking games – Facing the fear


    Hey guys from Germany,

    Exactly two weeks are over now and I already feel “jamaicanized”. Driving on the left, waiting “hours” for taxis, noisy students at school, all the “comfortable” bus drives, eating rice and chicken again and again – this already is kind of normal. If you asked me whether I enjoyed my weekend, I would say, yeah man. It was so awesome in Ocho Rios, I can hardly believe it. But to find out more, just read the following lines and enjoy! Have fun!!

    Friday was a day I will never forget, as it was one of the first days I had a really wonderful conversation with one of my students at. I was simply sitting in the class room looking after it till the music teacher comes back, when finally DANIELLE sat down next to me and started a talk. It was such a nice gesture since she was really interested in Germany and told me a lot about Jamaica. It was sad to hear how she describes the everyday life of a Jamaican child. She just said me she actually only goes to school, eats and watches TV. As you see, it’s hard for Jamaican children just to go out alone when they are young as it is really dangerous. Furthermore today was the first day I got a compliment from a girl. I want to point that out, as this is really something special as it seems like Jamaican girls don’t like the “Withies” since they are again and again fancied by the Jamaican boys. Finally after school I met some other volunteers at the food court for our trip to Ocho Rio to start. When we noticed, there is only one bus for 18 people, I already suspected the worst. And it came as I thought, we had to use a bus for 14 people for a 3 hours drive - was so narrow, I could hardly move. But, yeah man, things like that you survive. It’s Jamaica, nothing is a problem. Yes, but in the end I indeed was really glad to have arrived in Ocho Rios! There the first I did was jumping into the sea with Lara, Jenny and Selma – was so good after the long uncomfortable drive!! Then, after taking a shower and enjoying the balcony of our room, we finally went out to Jack Sparrow for something to eat. There was a great atmosphere and the food was pretty good as well. Who had guessed it right? I ate fried chicken!! (: Afterwards we went to the supermarket buying some alcohol so that the party on one of the big balconies could finally start. I have to say I really like Jamaican rum, even if it has 65 percent, or maybe because it has 65 percent?!!! I’m just kidding, but as you can imagine, it was a very funny evening. After some hours we eventually left for Jack Sparrow again to have some more drinks and dance. I really enjoyed it, above all the good talks I had on the landing stage there. Having party in Jamaica is simply the best because of the great summer atmosphere there. I really like it. In the end it was only Krissie and I sitting on our balcony watching the flashes outside before we finally went to bed luckily. I have to say, I could stay here forever!!

    Saturday morning was one of the best for a long time. I had slept so good in the comfortable bed of the hotel that I was really well rested. So the day started wonderfully. After a little walk to the sea, I finally had breakfast with the others, pancakes, no sausages, no eggs, no toast, simply pancakes – the day couldn’t start better! So after a long brunch and visiting the Arts and Crafts market in the city (I bought a lot there!!), we went out to go rafting on the white river. At least, we planned to go rafting as in the end we found out rafting in Jamaica means something completely different if you compare it with rafting in Germany. So to be honest it was more a romantic drive on a raft (Floss!!!) than anything else, but we enjoyed it as well. Above all, I liked the swimming in the cold (!!) river during the boat trip as it felt so liberating and of course also the swimming in the sea afterwards. It was kind of strange to swim there where the cold river flows into the warm sea - so this again was something new to discover. After the rafting we finally went back to our Hotel and in the end bought some pizza to eat it at the pool. I have never enjoyed a pizza so much than now after all the chicken again and again (Here I want to add, please enjoy the German food, above all bread - I miss it so so much!!!). In the evening we eventually again bought some alcohol for the balcony. This time we played a lot of drinking games, so as you probably can imagine this evening was even funnier than the one the day before. We really enjoyed the evening, above all the “never-ever-game”!! (You know it? You have to drink, when you have done something another person hasn’t!!). But these games of course weren’t enough for the evening, so we decided to go out to “Margarita Ville” – a club in Ocho Rio. If you ignore the music, this was a really good one. So I really enjoyed the location and the dancing. But I haven’t mentioned the best of the evening till now, right? This definitely was the end of it, as Melanie, Lara, Selma, Krissie and I decided to go swimming in the pool after the party night – this was so, so much fun! I really enjoyed it!!

    Sunday finally was the day I FACED MY FEAR, but yeah, let me start from the beginning! After a refreshing morning swim with Krissie and a yummy breakfast with all the others – pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon - Yonne, Brian and I decided to visit the Dun’s River Falls today. Even if nobody else wanted to come, we hold on to our plan which we definitely not regretted after it. When we arrived, we unfortunately at first had to discuss a lot with the person sitting on the entrance as she wanted us to pay the tourist price, which was more than the double of the local price, even if we are living in Jamaica and we actually almost always get the local price. In the end we got a price between the two, a little success, but it was still too expensive. So finally we even noticed not to have money to buy the shoes for climbing the waterfall!! We talked a lot about how unfair it is that we work for Jamaica, get nothing for it and in spite of this have to pay almost the local price. Suddenly something happened I had never expected. I already told you a lot of times that the Jamaicans often only want the money from the “Withies”, right? Yeah, that’s it, but not always. Today a Jamaican man surprised us, as he gave us 20 Dollar for the shoes without wanting anything for it after he had heard our conversation. Even the change – which was 5 Dollars – he simply didn’t want, that was so amazing, we couldn’t believe it!! So in the end our trip to the river falls wasn’t that expensive and furthermore we met some really nice musicians we sang together and took some photos with. But the day got even better as the climbing of the waterfall was really wonderful – the best I have experienced in Jamaica till now! To explain this, have I ever told you of my fear of streams? I really hate streaming water as I once thought to drown during German rafting!! This was one of the worst feelings I ever had, so when I noticed it is is not a climb next to the waterfall today, but ON the waterfall, I was really afraid and was just about to give up in the middle. Yeah, but I finally decided to FACE THE FEAR and the feeling afterwards was simply awesome! I was really proud of me! You can do what you want if you overcome I thought. After taking a lot of pictures and swimming in the sea, we unfortunately had to go home. I am really glad to have visited the Dun’s River Falls, also because I got to know to Brian and Yvonne better there. Back at the hotel soon our drive home started. This finally was the most uncomfortable I have ever experienced as I only had a half seat for me for a 3 hours drive and it was very cold inside the bus. So you can probably imagine how happy I was finally to reach home. As it was very cold in Mandeville, I then decided against taking a cold shower and put my scarf on instead! :P I miss warm water so so much, just appreciate that you have it!! Here I have to add it’s really that way that you sometimes only appreciate what you have if you don’t have it any more! So enjoy your warm water!! After having dinner – I really admire the children pray before every time without being said to do so – I finally enjoyed a comfortable evening in my bed watching luckily all the pictures from the weekend. (:

    Yeah, another entry finished! Sorry for it being so late, but there’s so much going on in here and internet sometimes is so hard to get, that it simply didn’t work in another way!

    Would like you to be here, guys :*

    Ramona

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  • 14Oct 2013

    5 Third week in Mandeville 14.10.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Washing my laundry – 2 words of my sister – Heritage Day – Being on TV (2)


    Hey dear friends in Germany,

    I already feel like staying here for a very long time, even if not even 25 percent are over now. Christmas seems so far away! But yeah, I know, sometimes time simply runs too fast, so I better enjoy every single minute. This time I will tell you something about my third week in Mandeville, I only reveal so much: washing is something completely different in here and the problem with my host family isn’t solved yet! So have fun reading what’s going on on this wonderful island. Enjoy!

    Monday was the day I had to wait a lot. So when I came to school in the morning I found out all the older students and one younger class aren’t at school today, so that in the end I only had to teach one lesson. I simply hate that things like that nobody tells me before and I therefore I often am at school and have actually nothing to do. But yeah, it’s up to you how you handle with situations like that and how bad they are in the end. So also today I found a good occupation during my time to wait as in the morning Miss Chizem showed me some albums with music from her and in the lunch break a student let me know a lot of different, lovely gospel songs. Furthermore I was glad that the one lesson I had to teach today - in a class which behaved very badly last time - was very good and the choir lesson – even if I actually could help nothing this time – again was something to enjoy!! Finally after school I already knew this afternoon I won’t relax with the other volunteers since I definitely had to WASH MY LAUNDRY! This was quite an adventure as I had never used a Jamaican washing machine before and I washed a lot with my hands. It’s not like you put the clothes in the washing machine, wait 2 hours and then hang it up like in Germany, no, it’s like putting it into the washing machine, filling water into it, waiting about half an hour, changing the water and then finally hanging it up to realize later that of course not everything is clean now especially the clothes you had to wash with your hands. Yeah, but actually it wasn’t that bad as I learned to appreciate clean clothes even more now! All this took me about 2 hours so that I finally was glad to have dinner and leave for the Great House to party and say goodbye to Andrea an Italian volunteer who will leave tomorrow. We again had a great evening with a lot of good talks, some drinks, good music and the lovely view on the town from the balcony there! (:

    I am not sure whether to call Tuesday a good or a bad day, but what I can say: it was a pretty full and also strange one. It began with being late at school after having skyped with my best friend and my family which I really enjoyed. It’s always the same if you are in a hurry you can be sure there will be a problem with the taxis. So it was today as my taxi driver at first waited more than 5 minutes for his friend and then of course at first dropped him before taking me to school. Yeah, but as we are in Jamaica it wasn’t that big problem as the music teacher simply took my class till I arrived and finally had to mark them spontaneous. I was really stunning when he broke up teaching when it was time for the grades and told me that’s my class I should do it. Even if I don’t have much experience and am not here very long now, he trusts me so much, which I really appreciate a lot. Here I have to add I really hate it to give the students bad grades, but that’s unfortunately part of being a teacher as well and I slowly get used to it. The only problem actually is that I am quite unsure at the moment whether I mark fair and which bad recorder playing is because of badly teaching and which of not practicing. Mh, but maybe I will soon find out. But this wasn’t the only thing I had to do this day in school. So I also helped to tinker the African costumes for the next choir performance and the teacher showed me how to cut a song. I am always pretty pleased to learn new things and when he furthermore gave me the program for the cutting to use it at home I was simply happy. In the end I was quite glad with the work today, even if it was quite stressful. Afterwards I had to go to the Patois & Culture Class of project abroad. It was ok, but as I already mentioned the meetings aren’t that well configured. I’d really like to learn Patois and a lot about the culture, but the way they teach is simply a bit boring and we often all feel like being treated like children. However, I at least learnt a bit, so if someone is getting on your nerves, just tell him/her: “No badda me!” (Notice, that’s the way you pronounce it not you write it). In the end I was really glad when the meeting was over and we again met at the food court. This time I played domino – a game Jamaicans play again and again - with some volunteers in the sun. Even if I didn’t win, I indeed liked it. This all sounds like a wonderful day, but when I finally remembered I need money (for example to drive home) everything went wrong. It was not enough that I had forgotten my pin for my credit card, no; the bank which I went to furthermore couldn’t change my travel queues and there as well were no credits left on my phone! In the end I hated me for not having cared for it before. Luckily Nicole borrowed me some money and went to the gym with me. In this situation that was simply the best. Arrived home, Mr. Morgan told me to go to my mother’s grandma as there’s a saying goodbye to an elderly volunteer lady with a cake. It was nice to experience how the whole family said goodbye to her. She was the first volunteer of my mother’s mum, is in the age of a grandma and was here already often. So it was very emotional. However, in the end I was happy finally to be at home. When my mum finally asked about my day, I simply answered, it was everything a bit too much! But she only meant, to be honest, actually you had a good day as you experienced a lot. In the end I thought she is right, but when I then noticed I have forgotten to buy toilet paper, had a headache and above all when my host sister called me ugly and embarrassing only because I didn’t gave her my mobile phone, I was simply disappointed of the end of the day and even more of my host family. I have to say after all the shit of today these 2 WORDS OF MY SISTER really hurt. So in the end I simply decided to go to bed early.

    Wednesday finally was a day full of surprises. So when I came to school after having solved my money problem, I was just stunning. There was loud music; all the students were sitting on chairs outside and there even was a little stage! Later I found out that today was a school celebration – the HERITAGE DAY! Why in the world does again and again nobody tell me what’s going on? Yeah, but it was quite awesome, exciting and interesting today! It’s hard to describe, but to sum it up the school was celebrating their nation and their heroes. So beside a lot of musical performances from the students and the teachers for example the national pledge, the national prayer and a lot of speeches were said. I have to say: sometimes I simply didn’t know what to think about it. Above all when they told the students never to let other races influence them, I was speechless. Anyway, if you were looking at the students, a lot of them really seemed to be bored of the whole celebration and for me personally the whole appeared a bit like a special (maybe wrong) way to influence the children. They really encourage them for a lot of good thing (for example that it is always important what you leave). That is what I really appreciate. But for me the whole was simply a bit too much proud of the school and the nation. And sometimes I also even wondered whether the faith of some students is real or forced. However, I was really glad once to be a part of such a celebration and collect new experiences. During lunch break I again helped with the choir costumes. Luckily we today finally got the voting results of the last performance- yeah man: the choir is in the next round!! I am so proud of them and glad the whole work with the costumes wasn’t for nothing! In the end I was not sure whether to stay for the students’ concert in the afternoon or not, but as the music teacher told me I will miss something when I go home I decided to stay and wait for the afternoon – bad decision, as I found out later! It wasn’t only enough that because of the rain and the choir lesson the whole electricity was taken away from the stage, no, also the students were very noisy during the performances and a lot of them even stood up during it, tidied up their chairs and went away from the stage – that’s definitely not a sign of respect and I was simply only stunning how rude the students can be and couldn’t hear a word of the concert!! When I finally saw a lot of them at the exit of the school – I have never mentioned that there is a fence all around it, right? – waiting to be allowed to go (what of course wasn’t the case) I simply decided to go to the food court and leave the school behind. On my way to the food court – how always when you actually only want some minutes for yourself – again a Jamaican boy simply didn’t leave me alone till I reached the other volunteers. I want to use my tongue, he always said! That is actually pretty funny, but in the end it was really glad to get rid of him as I was even a bit afraid of him!! You can’t imagine how I miss true love here, it’s pretty horrible!! Arrived at the food court we again had a good time, I bought postcards and toilet paper (luckily I didn’t forget it!) and we simply had good talks. Only the way home to the host family wasn’t that nice as it was raining, raining and raining! Yeah, but that’s Jamaica and at least you always now the rain will stop soon!! My evening I again spent with my neighbors till I in the end went to bed luckily!!

    Thursday finally was the day someone wanted me to marry him and I again was on the National TV of Jamaica, as the May Day High School Choir was again allowed to take part in the next round of the singing competition “All together sing”. So I got up early in the morning and already left at 6:15. As it is always even more difficult to get a Taxi so early, soon a Jamaican man brought me to another place to get a taxi faster. Walking across Mandeville’s little hills during the sunrise I really enjoyed, so that in the end I didn’t regret to have to be so early at school. Arrived in the town center, I eventually waited together with some choir members for the bus to come and who had already thought it, again a boy wanted to get to know me. This time one who actually at first only gave me a letter for the principal of May Day High School. In the end I was lucky when the bus arrived and after picking up some other students and the African costumes from school and praying our way to Kingston finally started. I have to say all the students and pupils were again very nice as they again and again asked whether everything is all right. Only having longer talks with them is often still quite difficult at the moment - above all because of the language. But I haven’t mentioned the best of the bus trip till now, right? This definitely was the moment when we listened to the music of the driver and soon the whole bus was singing “Jesus take the wheel” and “Here I am to worship”- two songs which remind me of our church community at home. However, I of course was glad when the drive finally ended and we had reached our goal. This time I already knew how the day will run, so I used the waiting time till the performance for writing post cards. After having listened to a bad performance of another choir – no lie and definitely a hope for May Day – finally it was time for our choir to perform. This time there wasn’t any time to prepare, so I was a bit afraid of the performance to be bad, but in the end it wasn’t. It again was a wonderful one with a lot of feelings, awesome musical elements and good movements!! I do hope so much they will reach the final round and I will again be allowed to sit in the audience at 2 performances during the next and last “All together sing”. This finally was the second time BEING ON JAMAICAN TV whereas in Germany I was there only one time till now when I was very young.  Our way back was again connected with a stop at the KFC – I simply don’t get how the Jamaicans can eat a whole box of chicken and rice which they always get from school and afterwards a whole menu of KFC. Furthermore I again had to feel how much the Jamaicans look at your appearance. So after driving 120 on the motorway a student asked me why I cry (was because of the wind), gave me a mirror to save my makeup and told me I have to comb my hair. People in here are so direct, you can’t imagine, can be interesting how I come back – only for a warning. Finally arrived In Mandeville waiting in a Taxi for the diver, eventually a quite old man told me how he hates the behavior of “black” women and how much he would like me to spend life with him and even to be his wife. In the evening finally again was time for Great House – this time we had to say goodbye to Saskia. We had a wonderful last evening together, but it’s always sad to say goodbye as you probably know. I suppose this is what you really learn here – to get along with again and again knew people and to say again and again goodbye to your friends – another valuable experience.
    Yeah, third week entry finally finished. It’s astonishing how the time runs but if someone would ask me whether it’s too fast or too slow, I’d simply say it’s the best how it is, as I enjoy everything, regret nothing and try not to live in the past or the future, but in the moment.

    Have a good time at home, friends and family from Germany; I miss every one of you!!

    Love,

    Ramona

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  • 18Oct 2013

    6 Jungle Weekend in Port Antonio 18.10.2013 Jamaika —

    Port Antonio, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Dirty day – Blue Lagoon - Swing Hammock - Wild Beach


    Hey guys,

    Unfortunate I am finally here again from my wonderful long weekend off in Port Antonio. As on Friday was an action day of projects abroad and on Monday was the national holiday – the Heroes Day – of Jamaica there was a long time not to work and it in the end felt like a very long holiday. I have to say Port Antonio is till now definitely the best place I have been to here, so be excited about what I experienced there and just enjoy the next blog entry and the wonderful pictures. Have fun! Love you!

    So let’s start with Friday- the DIRTY DAY! You probably don’t know what this is, right? Ok, let’s say it that way; it is a day all the volunteers of project abroad get dirty together during painting schools or streets. So this time we had to paint cross-walks. If you think of the machines doing this in Germany it was quite strange but also funny to paint it, but anyway again a new experience. Even if in the end we all were a bit annoyed as the whole action wasn’t planned that good – we had to less tape and almost too less colour - and some Jamaicans complained about us obstructing the traffic instead of simply saying thank you, I at least felt like having done something very useful as it will help all the pedestrians. After work we finally all met at the food court for our trip to Port Antonio to start. This time we were about 25 volunteers and the trip was more than 4 hours long, so I really hoped the bus will be a bigger one today. And yeah man, in the end it really was, but it also was quite expensive which I was not so much amused about. Luckily I sat next to Krissie, so the drive wasn’t that boring; however I was very happy eventually to leave the bus. At first, I was a bit disappointed. I don’t know whether it was because of the long, expensive drive and the arrival in the darkness, me being so tired or the fact that the hotel was so far from the town and there seemed to be no beach at the place we stayed. But, how it always is in Jamaica, you start to worry about something and suddenly everything is all right again. So in the end, when I saw the wonderful hotel – which was more like cabins in the jungle -, found out there is a wonderful beach at the hotel and even a huge wonderful cliff, a beach bar and a lot of other wonderful things too, I was very surprised and happy. And as I already told you, this weekend finally was the best I ever had here in Jamaica which my host mother already expected before. That was of course not only because of our cabins, but actually they simply were the best. I felt like a princess in a jungle palace sharing a room with Lara, Nicole, Selma and some other guys. You can’t imagine how nice this place was. We had a warm, huge shower inside, a shower and a toilet under the trees outside, very big beds, a fridge and a little chilling lounge. I have never seen such a nice hotel before, so in the end I really enjoyed may stay; you simply have to look at the pictures to get a better imagination. After arriving and discovering our paradise, we finally had food at the jungle restaurant of the hotel – even if it was pretty expensive, it was really worth it. I ate very good chicken pasta – it’s so funny how all of us again and again try to get pasta on the weekends as we really miss it (You know it is my favorite food, Marius, right?). Afterwards we finally decided to go swimming by night – this was simply wonderful, as the water was wonderfully warm and the surrounding scenery very beautiful. In the end we furthermore had some drinks we brought at the little beach bar there. It was so much fun: we listened to music and the sea, had very good talks and of course also a lot to laugh. Have I ever told you of my little third family here? I think not, right? So you should know there are some guys I really like very much – Simon, Timo, Lara and Selma – and we simply decided to be a little family and experience a lot together. I am so glad to be part of this group as we get along very well with each other and trust each other very much even if we don’t know each other so long till now. But enough from my little family till now, you will anyway get to know it better soon. So after our little beach party, the boys finally showed us a wonderful place at the “Great Huts” (our hotel). So they brought us to the cliffs and it really felt like “Wow” – we had a wonderful view on the ocean and there even was a swing hammock. So we again had a great time here till we finally went to bed luckily. I have to say it again and again I am so thankful to make all this new experiences here – the decision to go to Jamaica is really the best I have ever taken.

    After a yummy breakfast on Saturday morning, we finally relaxed at the beach. It is such a great feeling just to enjoy the ocean, the nature, the time with the other volunteers, the hammocks, the palms, the sun, the little cliffs (not the ones from yesterday) and a lot more. There’s not that much to write about, it may be better simply to show you a lot of pictures so you can imagine what I did the whole morning and midday. In the afternoon we eventually decided to visit the Blue Lagoon. It’s not only the name which makes it blue, no, you should have seen the water there, it was so wonderfully blue and green colored – again like in paradise. In the end we took a little boat trip in the blue lagoon and even visited the monkey island where once a famous movie was filmed. You should have seen this wonderful island and the wonderful beach there – it was so beautiful that it was hard to realize that this isn’t only a dream, this is reality. Back from our little trip, I again relaxed on the beach in a hammock, but when I decided to go swimming, my good mood finally turned into a bad one. They told us again and again to be careful with the sea eggs and sea urchins – and I who even wore my flip flops in the sea – stepped into one and Brian as well. Damn it, I only thought and when all the others told me a lot of horror stories of how dangerous these animals are, I was really confused. In the end one thing was clear – all the prickles had to be removed out of our feet. So we searched for a needle and stuff like this and work could start. I was really glad; Theresa, Jenny and Sarah helped us. In the end it took us more than one hour I think and it wasn’t that little pain to remove them, actually more than the step into the animal as this didn’t hurt in any way. Mh, in the end there was only one wish left to have removed everything and don’t feel sick in two days. Mh, I was really worried and again and again simply hoped for the best. However, I tried to have a good time in spite of this. So we finally drove to Port Antonio in the evening having some Italian dinner and eventually having party with some of us (for example the family). We at first went into a Jamaican bar where we danced a lot at and I drank a frozen pina colada – tasted strange as it was hard to drink but actually it was quite good. I the end we decided to go into a club – the roof club and this finally was a very good one as they even played reggae music there, so it was a very traditional one. Furthermore there were also a lot of Jamaicans (I only asked why they have such strict clothing rules for everyday life and visit a club in a bra only) and we again had a lot of fun during dancing. It’s so nice, that nobody knows you here, so nothing has to be embarrassing, I really like this freedom. It was a wonderful evening, only the music was too loud so that in the end I simply wanted out of the club as my ears hurt. This finally was also the reason why I decided to go home and in the end unfortunately missed one of the best parties. I didn’t know this before and no I really regret not to have stayed in the city as there was a foam party they went to afterwards. Yes, but shit happens and in the end I also had a great end of the evening as I went to the cliffs with Brian having a good time there. Actually the plan was to stay awake till the sunrise – it’s now I think the fourth time I tried to see it – but again I didn’t managed it as everyone wanted to sleep at 5 and Lara and I didn’t hear the alarm clock at 5:30. What a pity, but I have to say, in spite of this shit, this evening was a very good one.

    Sunday definitely was relaxing day, as we were all a bit tired because of the long night before. So after again a wonderful breakfast, we went to the beach for a very long time. Luckily, my foot didn’t hurt (I only felt the wound a bit, but really not that much and I myself didn’t feel sick), but however I decided not to go into the sea here anymore. So I simply sunbathed the whole day and was laying in a little extra part of the sea (compare to the pictures, it’s hard to explain). It was just wonderful, how you imagine the Caribbean. Furthermore I today took an hour for myself and just sat down on the small cliffs listening to my music and thinking about everything. Of course, I like almost all the volunteers, but it was simply nice to have now some time for myself, so I really enjoyed it!! In the afternoon we went out to Port Antonio to go shopping, only stupid, that we later noticed that it is Sunday and almost none store was opened. But, I have already told you, nothing is a big problem here, so in the end we indeed had a wonderful afternoon as we simply had some lunch and went to the peer afterwards. You should have seen how wonderful it was here again, it was simply a typical Caribbean bay with some ships, blue clear water and a lot of palms around. Here I finally spent the whole afternoon with the family just lying on a landing stage, relaxing, talking, listening to music, taking pictures, walking around and enjoying the wonderful nature. We also talked a lot about maybe to spend our holiday together – that would be so great! But, yeah, we’ll see whether it works, maybe we will even travel to another Caribbean island! On our way home we finally bought some alcohol to again have our own beach party in the evening. This was in the end so much fun as we played obligation or truth! You probably all know this game, so you can maybe guess how much fun it was!! And have I ever mentioned my favorite alcohol in here? It’s definitely cream rum, but unfortunately you can’t buy it in Germany! Mh, so Lara and I have to enjoy it here even more, as we both like it very much. After a very funny evening, Lara and I made a plan. We simply didn’t want to miss the sunrise again, so we decided to sleep on the SWING HAMMOCK (Hollywoodschaukel)!! Even if this was quite uncomfortable (narrow, hot, scary, loud), it was again another experience and yeah man, we didn’t miss the sunrise!! So I finally saw the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen – was just wonderful!!!!!

    Monday, as you probably can imagine, I was quite tired, as this weekend the nights were quite short and I decided to get up early on Monday as I wanted to go to a beach before we left. Yeah, but in the end you have to say, it really worth it, as the beach I visited with Nicole, Selma and some other guys was definitely the best I have ever seen here. The reason for this is simple – it was simply a WILD BEACH and there was almost nobody except us. So in the end we had some wonderful hours on the beach and I also took a lot of pictures with Nicole. I am so glad she’s like me and also wants to take pictures all the time!! No, but not only because of this, I really do like her. Finally we had to leave and I was lucky to be able to sleep in the bus. It was a pity that we in the end were home so early as we actually expected a traffic jam because of the holiday which wasn’t there then. Arrived home, I watched all the pictures and was just happy about everything I experienced. Furthermore I was even happier that my foot didn’t hurt anymore at all and I didn’t feel sick. Yean man! Later in the evening I finally visited Nicole and Selma for exchanging the pictures of the weekend and having a good time together. To sum it up, this definitely was the best weekend till now!! 

    Yeah, another entry finished. I so much like to write for you as in this way nothing gets lost and I again and again get aware of all the wonderful experiences here to enjoy them in the end even more. I really miss you, guys!

    Love,

    Ramona

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  • 22Oct 2013

    7 Fourth week in Mandeville 22.10.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Reggae Dance Class – Treasures- Girls’ day


    Hey dear friends at home,

    Do you recognize the treasures of your life? Do you appreciate having friends, having a family, having friends, having food, having water and having even difficulties to grow? If you’d ask me what I have learnt already in here I’d say I learnt just to be thankful! These thoughts also lead me through this week and as it was a bit boring (at least work) I even managed to write a song text about treasures which you’ll find in this entry. So just enjoy again what’s going on in this wonderful island here! Miss you!

    On Tuesday it was hard to get up as I definitely didn’t sleep enough at the weekend! But, yeah, actually this could be seen as a sign that I finally arrived here as in Germany it’s the same after weekends. School was like every week, I had to teach 2 lessons and assist the music teacher, again I had to mark students and furthermore I had to substitute for the music teacher today. You could say work finally got part of my everyday life. But indeed there was something which amazed and made me sad today at work. This was the moment when finally a child began crying because of a bad mark and nobody was there for her or at least paid attention to her. It’s so unfair that here in Jamaica students who don’t reach a special result in their exams have to pay for school and the others not. Of course, there are some who may not have worked hard enough for the money, but there are also the ones who study hard and simply don’t get those good results – that’s so unfair, poor parents who have to pay then!! I think it’s a big pressure for the students to be good at school, but actually I have to say they indeed behave horrible. Maybe this is a try to escape from the pressure just to ignore it? I don’t know, but at least I now appreciate the German school system even more. After school we finally had a meeting at the office. To be honest, I really didn’t feel like going there as till now it always was quite boring, yeah, but in the end today was the opposite, it was such a nice afternoon. We had REGGAE DANCE CLASS with a Jamaican, good-looking dance teacher. Dancing reggae was in the end so much fun, that Lara and I even asked whether we can come to his regular dance classes and he agreed. I am so much looking forward to the dancing lessons; it’s quite strange what’s going on with me here, right? I think most of you know I don’t love dancing that much or at least don’t think I am good at it. But here nothing is embarrassing, I just try a lot and I have to say dancing is simply wonderful. Yeah, but enough for this, there also was a disappointment today, as Lara, Timo and I actually want to go on our holiday together, but this probably won’t work because of certain rules from project Abroad. Oh, that’s so sad, but there is still little hope, so I will tell you when I know more. After the office meeting we went to the food court and finally after some time home to go to the Great House in the evening again. This again was very much fun. Above all I enjoyed talking to Lara a lot as we found out we have so much in common!! Only to mention a bit, she also loves music, plays an instrument and even our boys and school stories are very similar! I am so glad she won’t leave soon as for example Selma and Nicole and am already looking forward to having a great time with her the next months. We even plan to visit each other back home – that would be just wonderful!!

    Wednesday finally was a day I felt the relationship to my host family is getting better and better. But let me start from the beginning. This morning I decided to go to school later as my first lesson started late. So I had a little morning walk in the sun enjoying the hills of Mandeville. Afterwards I finally went to Mandeville by taxi where something strange and also embarrassing happened. Just tell me, how long am I here now? More than 3 weeks? Ok, then, why in the world did I today get on the taxi on the driver’s side? Haha, he just asked, do you want to drive? That was so funny and strange!  By the way, I really miss driving the car, but that’s another topic. Arrived in school, I again had to assist the teacher, marked students and repeated the topics for the exams with them. The point I have to prepare the students for the exams really scares me a bit, that’s such a big responsibility. I at the moment really feel a bit overextended, but ok let’s say it that way, together with some help I think I will make it. Furthermore today I again had a lot of breaks which I actually hate, but it’s always up to you how you figure the breaks. So this time I decided to write a song text about the TREASURES in life. I already told you about them, right? So now how I promised some lines out of the song:

    Every difficulty is a treasure for the future,

    Never forget,

    Challenges are to grow.

    So keep on moving,

    Keep on moving,

    Never forget where you aim to go.

    Well, enough for this. After school I finally went shopping with Lara and Luize. There would be so many great things to buy; actually I should have bought my dress for the graduation fest here! There were so pretty dresses! And what I really like the most here, you can buy so colorful clothes! Yeah, but as I actually want to save my money for the weekends, I only bought some shoes in the end I do like very much. Afterwards I went to the gym again – one last time together with Nicole. I am so sad she will leave soon; we get along so well with each other, I really like her and to be honest we just got to know each other better! Mh, but at least we want to meet at Chiemsee Reggae next year so it’s not such a long time to see each other again. In the evening I eventually met some “family members” and other volunteers at a bar. There we had some drinks (Cream Rum) and even played pool. Actually I am not that good at this, but this time I really had a lot of luck and in the end Brian and I won. We had so much fun and finally I went to bed lucky about the day, tired because of the weekend and happy because today I really felt home at my host family as good talks with my host mother and host sisters get more and more.

    Thursday finally was GIRLS’ DAY at May Day High School. You probably don’t know how to imagine this, right? Ok, actually it’s quite easy. It only means all the girls don’t have to visit classes whereas all the boys have to go there. But dear boys at home, don’t be disappointed, there also is a boys’ day. Yeah man, so in the end I only had to teach boys today and to be honest these weren’t real lessons. It was more like getting them occupied in any way. So one class had to write an easy, another one had to copy some information in their books. So to sum it up, till midday the day was quite boring, as there was almost nothing to do. I really hate this, as I always think to waste my time in Jamaica then. But what should I have done? There was simply nothing to do, so in the end I only wrote my blog (as far as it was possible) and contacted my friends at home. Finally I was really glad to be allowed to leave for the girls’ day. This eventually was just wonderful. I do love the music teacher tries to let me experience the Jamaican school culture as much as possible. Again everyone was very polite to me at the trip we did with all the girls. So on our way to the cinema I of course was allowed to sit in the front of the bus. Yeah, and then it was finally my first time in a Jamaican cinema. The fact, that it was very modern, was at first quite strange and it felt like home for me. But there were also some differences to the German cinema, so for example before the movie everyone had to stand up to sing the national anthem of Jamaica. In addition there was a break during the movie to buy pop corn. In the end I really enjoyed my time in the cinema, as on the one hand I really liked the atmosphere there and had a very good talk to a student who told me about her problems at home and on the other hand I really liked the movie – Chrissie – as it really touched my heart. It was a Christian movie (@Youth group: We have to watch it when I am back!!!!) about a poor Jamaican school girl who finds hope in Christ. The story felt so real as all the living and school conditions shown in the movie were very similar to the everyday life I experience here. In the end I even had to cry as the movie was so emotional and the student I had this good talk with told me it is her first time in the cinema. It was quite embarrassing to cry because of a movie next to the students. There actually were already so many real situations where I could have cried, but in the end today was only my second time to cry here (the first was when we had to say goodbye to a volunteer). I am so glad I watched the movie and in the end it also inspired me for my life! Afterwards I finally had to go to the project meeting where we talked a lot about professionalism and about the change we cause in our project. Finally I really asked myself what impact I already had for the students. In the end I came to the conclusion that I probable haven’t given the students so much till now, it was more that they gave me new experiences. So, as now half of my first project is over, I will try to use the second half of it even more to give the students as much as possible. Or say it at least that way; I will try it, even if it is very, very difficult, almost impossible. I’d really like to be a good role model for them and teach them a lot for life!!! I will keep on trying! After the meeting I finally went home early with Lara, as I planned to go out for dinner with some other volunteers and had to tell my host mother she doesn’t have to cook for me. Mh, actually I thought 2 hours before would be enough, but no, she starts cooking at 4!! Luckily she indeed let me out for dinner and wasn’t even angry. This was finally very yummy. We ate at a Chinese restaurant – fried noodles!! It was so, so good! Afterwards we left to visit a bar. Even if only one hour time was left for our stay there, I really enjoyed and have to say this is my favorite bar till now. There was so good Reggae music – for example my Jamaica song “three little birds” – and such a good atmosphere, so that above all Nicole and I really liked it there even if we lost in pool. Yeah man, I feel like practicing pool almost every day, I will be a star, when I come back! Haha, I am just kidding, but I warn you, you will have to go out playing pool with me!!! Please!!

    Yeah, next blog entry finished. At the moment I am sitting in the class room waiting for being allowed to go and finally leaving to Montego Bay! I am really looking forward to the weekend as there also is Selma’s birthday! But I am also quite sag, when I think of it, as this is the last weekend with Nicole, Jenny and Katha! :/

    Miss you guys, looking forward to Christmas,

    Ramona

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  • 25Oct 2013

    8 Party weekend in Montego Bay 25.10.2013 Jamaika —

    Montego Bay, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Brawl in the class room – Pattie – I love you


    Hey Germany,

    Wow, now I am here for 4 weeks, that’s such a long time, isn’t it? I can hardly believe it. I am still very thankful for everything happening here and just want you to know I am fine even if I am missing you and even if I had to feel this weekend that life in Germany also goes on! To give you a little preview: This weekend we stayed in Montego Bay celebrating Selma’s birthday, saying goodbye to Nicole, Jenny and Katha and enjoying the beach and the city. So just have fun reading what I experience in this wonderful country Jamaica. Love you! <3

    Friday was a day I unfortunately had to experience a BRAWL IN THE CLASS ROOM, but let me start from the beginning! In the morning there of course was devotion at school like every time. This time the principal said something very true – whatever you want to do and wherever you want to go, everything starts with respecting yourself. I think that’s really one of the most important challenges in life, as once you love yourself, it will be easier to be loved by others. But enough for this, I surely also worked today. So I had to put the students of my first class today again in groups to mark their recorder playing next lesson as they forgot their group members from last lesson. Actually this was the only lesson for today, but in the end everything came different as I thought. Even if the principal talked so much about respect this morning, some students simply seem not to understand what respect is. Sp suddenly during a lesson from the music teacher two students started to hit each other – yes, a brawl in the class room, it was not that nice to see I have to say and I also was very glad that this didn’t happen in one of my classes. In the end I had to substitute for Mrs. Bulgin, as he had to bring the two students from the brawl to the principal. This probably sounds more terrible like it was, as also in Germany there are sometimes brawls, but it really shocked me that it was happening during a lesson and between a girl and a boy!!!! But enough for this, in the end I had to mark this crazy class, which was really a challenge. So finally I was glad when it was over and found some time to have nice talks, write my Blog and even learn some Patois. I was really happy when for a goodbye the music teacher eventually said: Wha good, mi friend! (Take care, my friend!). This was such a nice sign which showed me I am now after 4 weeks definitely arrived here!! I really feel comfortable here now and even if there are good but also bad surprises every day I do love my work and regret nothing. I have already learned so much, that I am simply thankful for everything. After a short meeting at the food court our weekend trip to Montego Bay could finally start. This time we weren’t that much people, so we planned to go by taxi - bad decision, as we found out later since we were more people as we thought before! In the end we were 10 volunteers having to fit in one car. I promise I will never again complain sitting in the middle of the back row in a German car as this time we drove a 3 hours ride with 5 people in the back row. I don’t have to explain how uncomfortable it was, right? You probably can imagine!! I was never so glad to arrive as this time – yeah, half of the drive I was almost standing or sitting on a lap, wonderful!  In the end I was glad finally to have dinner, some drinks and a very good talk with Nicole. It really feels like knowing her for a very long time, that’s so nice and we really get along with each other very well. Later in the evening we finally again played truth or dear with the family – seems like this game would never end, but it is so much fun, that I still like it!!!  Afterwards I finally stayed awake some time with Lara sitting on the balcony just talking which again was very good!!! I do like it so much having such wonderful people around me here in Jamaica! Tata for today! 

    Saturday finally started with a late morning and a sad goodbye to Katha. Afterwards we went out for breakfast, yeah, but actually you should better say we went out for a walk as it took very much time to finally found a nice place to have breakfast! But in the end the walk was worth it! I ate waffles with chocolate chips inside!! It was so good (@John, Bones: We have to try it!!!!)! But actually I have to say, this morning was pretty chaotic. It wasn’t enough that we had such a late breakfast, no there also was a lot of chaos, we didn’t find the beach we wanted to go to, it was hard to make group decisions and in the end it even started to rain. To sum it up, it was a pretty strange morning and midday!! When I then furthermore got some annoying messages from home, I had to understand, life in Germany also goes on and paradise is not forever! This made me really sad, I was even crying! In the end I was glad the rain finally stopped and we went out to Montego Bay for shopping with Luzie, Brian, Jenny and Nicole. This finally was very interesting as to see Montego Bay was really a little shock. It’s not enough that there’s a lot of rubbish on the streets, no, just look at the pictures – it’s really not like you imagine it! But I really liked it I have to say, as it again was a new experience! Furthermore I ate a Pattie – a typical Jamaican food – for the first time and it tasted very good. In addition we visited again a Arts and Crafts market I bought a necklace for Selma at. So as you can see, a boring morning turned into a great afternoon. Yeah, and you should also know it even got better when we visited a little private beach. This was so nice and also for free. The people were very nice to us; they even lent us kind of a surf board we could use for free. That was so much fun and we also take a lot of great pictures! In the end it was hard to leave as I really liked it there. It was such a wonderful small beach only for us – great! In the evening we finally went out for dinner. Only one sentence to this: I have never waited so long on such a bad food, so it was quite annoying that we went there. Yeah, but things like this happen. After wards we eventually went home to the hotel having a “preparty” for Selma’s birthday with drinking games, cocktails, a cake and some presents. Afterwards we of course also went out to a club – Margarita Ville. Here we again enjoyed our time above all dancing a lot. After a little “cool down” with Luzie I finally went to bed, on the one hand lucky about the day, on the other day sad about the news from home.

    Sunday I finally slept too long as I was very tired from the evening before and indeed wanted to go to a beach this day! So in the end it was pretty embarrassing the others had to wait on me, but at least luckily they weren’t angry!! So in the end I spent a wonderful time with Nicole, Luzie, Jenny and Brian at the beach. As I forgot my towel I was in and close at the sea the whole day getting a tan and having nice talks again. I am so sad Nicole will leave soon, but at least we enjoyed our time at the beach today very much and also took some nice pictures together. Unfortunately, we soon had to drive home! This was again simply horrible, 10 for one taxi is too much! Point! In addition there was also a lot of rain, it was very cold and narrow (on the roads and in the car) and after having seen an accident on the road I finally just hoped to reach home safely!! And this in the end was the case, I arrived healthy! (: Suddenly I the most wonderful thing since I am here happened. Just imagine, my smallest host sister I had already so much trouble with, just came to me with one question: Do you know what I do? I just said: No?! Then she watched me lovely and just said: I LOVE YOU, you are the best volunteer!! That so much touched my heart and I was so glad I finally really have improved my relationship to her. Even if she is still often talking about money, she’s not rude any more if I don’t give her what she wants. That’s so nice, that really made me happy! In the end we even played the guitar again together and the best, even recorded a song together with my mobile phone. “He’s got the whole world in his hand” I played on the guitar and she sang it wonderfully together with her sisters! In the end after watching all the pictures of the weekend I went to bed luckily! Life it like a rollercoaster, it goes up and down, but it never stops! (:
    Yeah, finished! (:

    Wha good, mi friends!

    Tata 

    Ramona

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  • 28Oct 2013

    9 Fith week in Mandeville 28.10.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Justin Bieber – Jamaican Style Blouse-Reggae Dance Lesson-Free Drinks



    Hey mi friends,

    I am here now for more than 4 weeks and slowly but surely Jamaica feels like a second home! There are still again and again surprising things happening, so it never gets boring. Hope you are also doing well in good old Germany? I do hope it so much!! But now just take some minutes and enjoy reading what’s going on a lot of kilometers far away from you! Mi lub u!! (:

    Monday finally was the day I was asked whether I know JUSTIN BIEBER personally. Yeah, man, my favorite star seems to follow me – just kidding! But it was quite funny to see that 14 years old Jamaican girls seem to behave like the ones in Germany. Yeah, but let me again start from the beginning. This morning it was really hard to get up, as I was tired because of the weekend and as it was very cold, even too cold to take a shower! To be honest, in Germany you would call this weather warm, but I am simply not used to it anymore! Haha, hope you enjoy the snow, the rain and the fog in Germany? I am just joking. I will never lose my irony, as you see!! Ok, but now to the day. This morning I again had the luck to drive to Mandeville with Lara. I am always glad when she takes the same taxi as me as it isn’t that boring then since you can probably imagine. Arrived in school I already knew this would be a long day like every Monday, but indeed I was looking forward to it. One of my first tasks finally was to teach Matthew a piano lesson. Yeas, really man, finally I was doing what I expected to so here a lot, teaching the piano. And in the end, it was a lot of fun. He was learning very fast which I was very glad abut, but it really shocked me how wonderful he plays without being able to read the notes fast. Wow, he seems to have very good ears and a very good feeling for music. I really admire this! I would like to be able to play only from listening like him, mhh, but at least I train this here a lot! But the piano lesson wasn’t the only thing to do today I also had to give one boy a singing lesson and accompanying him. I have to say it again, I really like working individually with the students. That’s so much fun and so effective. Afterwards I finally tried to play the pieces Matthew has already played and finally found one song I do want to learn. Take 5, you know it? I like it. In addition I also had two normal classes, it was the same procedure like every time> repetition for the exams, playing the recorder (Sum, Sum, Sum) and marking. Afterwards I finally had a break and watched a class of the music teacher. Wow, they were doing nothing, because the grades are finished. Haha, they were crazy, you couldn’t call it a lesson. In the end during class a girl came to me asking me whether I know Justin Bieber and some other “stars” personally! That was so much fun!!In the afternoon there was eventually my favorite lesson to assist in – the choir practice. I do hope so much they will reach the next (the last) round! Then I will be in Kingston again and maybe on TV. This time we went outside with the choir as they have to practice singing acappella for the competition. That was again very good; they simply have the music in the blood. To sum it up, this school day was a very good, but also a very long one. In the end I reached home between 4 and 5 having a headache, hating the rain, having no credits on my phone and having problems to get along with the shit happening at home, but it was a very good day indeed. Arrived home, I finally spent a long time with my host sisters and decided this time not to go out for dinner, even if it was the family who asked me to come with, as I really like food at home. And in the end it was the best decision, as there was very yummy pasta for dinner!! Afterwards I of course also went out meeting the others, above all the family! To get alone to town by taxi was difficult, but the evening was in the end a very good one! I like it.

    Tuesday finally was the day I bought a JAMAICAN STYLE BLOUSE. But to start from the beginning school was like almost every time: marking and playing the recorder! Actually I wanted to leave on time today but like always, just today I had to substitute for the music teacher. Mh, ok, was a pity but in the end I indeed was in time for meeting Chrissie. After eating one of the yummy Patties, we finally went to different stores. In the end I bought trousers, shoes and a Jamaican style blouse, I really like and will show you soon. I would have never thought Jamaica is so expensive I told you, right? But if you go to the right stores, you will also find special offers as I found out today! This made me really lucky. So in the end it was a very nice, but unfortunately short afternoon, as I soon had to go home washing my laundry with Luzie and cleaning up! Everything seems so normal now, even washing with a Jamaican washing machine and wearing washed, but dirty white clothes got part of my living here in Jamaica! Finally I was really glad having finished the washing and above all the cleaning up (as my room was very, very dirty) and being ready to leave for the Great House again. Here we of course again had a great time! But the fact it was the last evening for Selma also made me sad. Tomorrow not only Nicole will be away, no, also Selma will be. That’s not the easiest goodbye I have to say as these two girls were the ones who made me first feeling comfortable here! I am so thankful having met them both in here and am already looking forwards to seeing them in Germany again!!!

    Wednesday was a day a lot was going on. It already began in the morning when I was skyping with my family - even my grandma and my grandpa! Just listening to the voices of my family and knowing everything is alright at home felt so well. So actually the day couldn’t start better! But soon there was time for the worse part of the morning – I had to say goodbye to Selma!! That was so sad, now it will take some time till the family will be complete again. I already told you that Selma was one of the first to welcome me in here. So in the end the goodbye was really not that easy, but we are at least sure we will meet again! But enough for this now, I of course also had to go to school today. Arriving there I had to see there was no music teacher there, so I already assumed the day will be a bit chaotic. And that in the end was the way it was, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad day, no actually it was a really good one. So it started with a very good lesson taught by the director which really inspired me. The students were having fun and indeed learnt a lot. So my motto for the day was also to try something new to day. So besides marking, teaching how to play the piano and singing “Bruder Jakob” one of my lessons today had a special content. And I have to say this was the best lesson ever. I just asked the students what music means for them personally and tried to make them clear that it is a present to listen to music, to make and even learn it. I have to say it was almost never so quiet and some students really seemed touched. And I was it either; some had some really nice answers: Music is to show emotions, Music is to feel good. That’s so true and I also added music is a language spoken by very country. It’s strange, but the students really seemed a bit surprised about the lesson and also seemed to have got a bit more respect now. Yeah man, experiment was successful. Afterwards there was a lesson hold by Ms. Chizem the students had to perform spontaneously in. At first they of course didn’t want to sing or play the piano in front of the class, but when finally a student had the courage to do so, everything was quiet. Wow, it was never so quiet in here. She sang so wonderfully! Just amazing. Of course now more people weren’t too afraid to perform in front of the class so there were finally more performances, even I performed the Reggae song they taught me. Yes, right, there is one thing I wanted to stress. There really was one boy singing “best decision of my life was falling in love with you Jesus”. In Germany almost everyone would have laughed, right? But in here was silence and afterwards clapping. That really amazed me. Finally there was the last class to teach today and this one made me really angry! I have never been so strict before, but this time it simply was necessary, even if it was very difficult and also exhausting. Finally I really feel like a teacher. It was so annoying only less than the half were coming to class, the others didn’t feel like coming (probably because of the rain). It was so annoying and as the music teacher wasn’t there I was much overextended. In the end I was just glad Mrs. Chizem helped me to find out who is missing to write it down. In the end, 10 minutes before class was over, all the students came. Then it was finally time for a punishment! They won’t be allowed to improve their marks like actually every time, no, definitely not, I made them clear. They seemed a bit surprised, but yes, it was time for them to see I also can be strict. In the end I was glad school was over and was already looking forward to eating a Yoghurt at the food court ( I am so glad they have it here, or better, I finally found it here.).Afterwards Lara, Luzie and I finally went to the REGGAE DANCE LESSON of the hot reggae dance teacher from last week. That was so much fun; we learned a lot of different Jamaican moves!! Ok, but luckily you didn’t see me, as I am not that big talent in reggae dancing, haha, but fun is what counts, right?! And furthermore I did some sports which felt good anyway!! (: Afterwards we eventually went home where I had a very good talk with my host mother at. We talked a lot about food which was very, very interesting! She thinks German food is quite boring and can’t understand why we often like eating the breast meat of chickens! (Schnitzel!!!!!! Miauuu . Yeah, ok, I think I even understand her. Except the fact that it is definitely too much chicken here, I really love the Jamaican food!!! In the evening I finally met Melanie in the Great House having a very good time together. I am already sure; Great House will be one of the places I will miss a lot when I am in Germany again. But I don’t want to think about it, I would like to stay here forever or at least very long. But enough for today, tata…!!

    Thursday finally was the day we got a lot of FREE DRINKS, but let me start from the beginning. Luckily today was a late morning, as my first lesson started late!! Mh, but that unfortunately seemed to be enough luck for the morning, as when I arrived I had to feel a lot of people here had a strange mood. Maybe because they lost the competition with the choir? I don’t know, man, but in the end it was really getting to my nerves!! It wasn’t enough that the teacher was kind of mean to the students today not understanding any joke, no, he even kept on interrupting my lessons and improving me. I am here now for 4 weeks, he has never done it before, what’s going on? I really don’t understand it! Mh, in the end I at least tried my best the whole day long with teaching for example how to play the c major scale. I also had to substitute for the teacher as he hadn’t had his lunch till now. I really have no problem with doing so, but today it was really a bit strange. Everything. When then finally I had a small argument about punctuality with the teacher, I was really angry. Ok, it may be a misunderstanding, but he really thought I am always too late, only because I at first come when my lesson start. I have so many breaks here, I am at school almost every time till 2/3 or even longer, I have to work 4 hours a day…why to come at 8 in the morning? This would mean working about 7 hours a day. No, definitely not. Yeah, in the end he of course understood and said, no problem, you know, you are in Jamaica. But I am a bit afraid he already told it projects abroad, as they have asked him about my punctuality..I do hop so much it won’t be mentioned in my certificate, anyway, if this will be the case I will complain, as I was always (except 1 time) on time and really do what I can here. I so often substitute for the teacher; I so oft stay here longer as I have to. Mh, ok, but enough for this, you will read how it goes on. Afterwards I went to the food court and again I was almost the only one who came there so late. That even made me angrier! Yeah ok, but again, this is life. After having finally decided what to do on the weekend (this time it was a very hard decision for me, by the way), Luzie, Yonne, Lara and I finally went to the Mandeville Market seeing a lot of new fruits and vegetables. That was quite interesting. Arrived home, I have just slept and took a long, cold shower to finally leave again for the Great House again. Here we got FREE DRINKS, yes, that definitely was the best of the day and in the end even let me forget the shit of the day. Yeah man!!! (:

    That’s it, again an entry finished!! Yiha! There are 22 minutes left, and then I can finally leave for the weekend. We will visit Turtle Beach and I am already looking a lot forward to it as we will maybe see young turtles coming out of their eggs. But enough for now, have a good time, mi friends! Wha good, me come back soon (unfortunately). Mi lub you!

    Tata

    Ramona

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  • 01Nov 2013

    10 German weekend at the turtle beach 01.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Ocho Rios, Masded, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    cooking-relaxing-stair talks


    Hello mi friends,

    Why does time run so fast? I can’t believe I am here now for more than 5 weeks. No, definitely not! I actually really don’t want to think of leaving at any time. But, ok, let’s don’t waste time through regretting so much time is already over, let’s better enjoy the time which is left! So have fun reading what was going on last weekend. So much for now: it was a very relaxed weekend; I do feel so much recovered now. That’s simply wonderful!! (:

    But let’s start with Friday which was a day I had really bad luck with the taxis. I told you I had a little argument about punctuality yesterday, right? Yeah and exactly today I was soon very sure to be late, as simply no taxi came, some taxis passed without stopping and one stopped which drove in the wrong direction. In the end I waited more than half an hour for a taxi and there was still none arriving. You can probably imagine how I felt, right? You know, I hate being late without being responsible for it!! Mh, but you also know I am in Jamaica right? And in Jamaica most problems solve themselves, right? So finally my rescue came when a neighbor of ours saw me waiting and in the end decided to drive me directly to school for free. Wow, he was a really nice guy! I talked a lot to him and he was very, very friendly. I am so glad he eventually drove me to school, so I wasn’t even a little late. Puuh, problem solved, I finally thought with a lucky face!! But arriving at school, there was the next problem. Oh shit, why in the world is the teacher in such a bad mood these days? You know there is always devotion in the morning, right? And you also know that that’s the reason why my first lesson on Fridays is always very short, right? But tell my how in the world can I get marks for about 40 students, if I only teach them 10 minutes per week? Right, it’s almost impossible! But today I was lucky, the devotion didn’t last that long and I also had a plan. I wanted to let the students come in the classroom even if it wasn’t tidied up the way it should be just to save time and finally get the marks from the students! Yeah, good plan, in the end the teacher complained, students had to go outside again and I had to help him tidying up. Puuh, I was very angry, as he shouted at the students only because they came in as I told them and in the end I again lost a lot of time. But say it that way, luckily I was eventually allowed to finish the marks and end my class later. Yiha, finally I had the marks and the performances of the students groups weren’t even that bad!! No, they were quite good! (: Besides assisting the music teacher, I also spoke again some Patois and contacted my friends at home today till I was finally allowed to leave from work, luckily this time without having had school lunch before (I can’t see it anymore! Chicken! Chicken! Chicken! :P ). Arrived at the food court, we finally had to wait a very long time for the bus driver. Why are Jamaicans always late? Slowly I get back hope I will improve my punctuality here, as I just hate more and more waiting on others if they aren’t on time. Yeah, but at least in the end the 3 hours drive was very comfortable if you compare it to the ones I already had as this time we weren’t that many people doing the trip. Arrived at the house at the turtle beach, my first thought was: This is a really nice cabin, but it also reminded me of horror movies, haha, just kidding!! It was really lovely there: a swing hammock, a balcony, nice owners, and a wonderful view on the ocean – just perfect. Finally we drove to the “town” for something to eat. Ok, town is too much, just say some houses. In the end there was only one small restaurant and guess what you could eat there? CHICKEN!!! No, I only thought, no, no, no and Yonne and Brian thought the same. Finally we had an idea: Why don’t cook ourselves as there is a kitchen in the cabin we stay? Yeah, and in the end this was the plan – a very good one as we found out later. We just bought some pasta, onions and fresh vegetables from the market and finally our COOKING could start. We were so lucky we were even allowed to use the big kitchen at the cabin and finally made wonderful vegetable pasta!! I haven’t been cooking for 1 month now! I missed it so much as I really love cooking as you probably know!! The evening we finally spent again with (drinking) games. We played tweed, “Fluesterpost” and also another Dutch game and just had a lot (!) of fun! Later on we wanted to go to the beach, but unfortunately it was so dark, that we couldn’t find it in the end. But, yeah, no problem; tomorrow is another day. Tata for now!! Hear you tomorrow.

    Saturday finally was a great RELAXING day which already started wonderfully. Can you imagine? We really got “Brezen” (don’t ask me, what this is, as my Mum did, haha) for breakfast and even German bread!! Wow, it tasted so, so good. I have never enjoyed bread with butter on the top that much! Yeah man, sometimes it really is the way that you only appreciate what you have if you don’t have it anymore! But enough for this, the day today was just great. Lying in the swing hammock, listening to music, enjoying our private, quiet beach and getting to know the other volunteers better I really enjoyed very much. I am so glad that I get along so well with all the others and that we all already grew to a big group having a lot fun together and being always there for each other. As it’s is probably not that interesting for you how many hours I laid on the beach or how many times I enjoyed the wonderful sea, I want to tell you something different today you are probably more interested in. So if you asked me, what the greatest things are the whole Jamaica experience gave me already personally, I would say, it gave me a lot of trust in myself and god, learnt me to appreciate life and other cultures, showed me how to deal with new challenges and to speak English kind of fluently and taught me what it means to feel music!! I am so thankful to be part of this experience and so glad it gives me a lot of hope, motivation and encouragement for my future life. But enough for this, I could probably write books about this topic, but that’s not to do now. Back to the day, in the evening we drove to Ocho Rios for dinner. You know, I have already been there right? It was great to remember what I already experienced there and again great to see how town life goes on! We even visited an art’s and craft’s market again! I really like the stuff sold there and I also like the summer feeling spread there. Afterwards we finally relaxed a lot on our balcony and again played games. How would Krissie say? I REALLY LOVE THE GROUP!!!

    Sunday finally was the day I had good STAIRS TALKS with Lara. But yeah, let me start from the beginning. In the morning I had an early, very yummy bread(!)fast before finally going to the beach. It’s just amazing, how the sun can change places, right? So today the beach even looked better!! (: In the end we took some nice pictures and just relaxed. I am already sure: The beach and the sea will be one of the places I will miss most back home in Germany. But I don’t want to think of it now, so back to the day. What else is there to mention? Mh, ah, yeah, we also talked a lot about our plans for our future days in Jamaica. There is still so much I want to see! Jamaica is such a wonderful country covering so many wonderful places!! In the end we even found a good plan when to do what, but, sorry, I won’t tell you now, as my story of Jamaica should stay exciting, shouldn’t it? Finally we were so much about to plan, that we were a bit surprised when suddenly our bus arrived to pick us up. No, I was definitely not ready to leave now! I wanted to keep on relaxing!! I did enjoy it so much!!! Sitting in the bus, I in the end talked a lot to Krissie, for example about our future and life in general. Arrived at home, there was again a very delicious dinner! Eventually it was the first time I came home after a weekend and was very recovered and relaxed. This just felt good- like having been on a long, long holiday. Later in the evening, I finally met Lara to go for a little walk (considering the fact that there are at the moment a lot of patients in the hospital having been hurt by strangers in the own garden or the surrounding area I was really a bit afraid) and have some nice STAIRS TALKS. Ok, the last wasn’t the plan actually, but when it started raining it was just the best decision. Later on I finally went to bed luckily. To sum it up, this was another amazing weekend.

    Yeah man, another entry finished!! I miss you, guys :*

    Ramona

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  • 04Nov 2013

    11 6th week in Mandeville 04.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Jogging trousers-Flashlight- Reggae Dancing moves –no light-garden party


    Hello dear friends at home,

    Yesterday I had a really strange thought: How should I survive December without baking cookies (@Mum: If you don’t leave cookies for me, when I come back, I will at once go back here! I am just kidding!), without eating “Lebkuchen”, without “Advent”, without all the Christmas celebrations (above all the one from the EJ)? Oh no, hopefully Jamaica surprises me a lot that time, so that I don’t have to think of you all the time! But now back to November: Have fun reading what was going on during my 6th week in wonderful Jamaica.

    Monday as you already know is always a day I have to work long, but if you ignore the general bad mood at school these days, today was just awesome. It’s not enough that I wore JOGGING TROUSERS at work (as I found out it looks similar to my work trouser and the other one was still wet from washing), no, even the lessons were pretty good. Everything started with two singing lessons and a piano lesson. I have to say, this is always the best part of the week since I really like the boys I teach, always have fun and do think the lessons are effective! Furthermore I kept on practicing “Take 5” today. Wow, this song is not easy, but what amazes me a lot: My piano student, who can’t really read music and at the moment really plays easy pieces, can play it wonderfully! Say it this way, there are 3 weeks left at school, then I also want to be able to play it like him. But back to the day, of course I also had to teach two lessons today which I have to say were very spontaneously. So when I wanted to start the lesson for form two I found out I have already finished all the marks and have definitely no idea what to teach them now. Luckily the music teacher helped – he gave me a presentation I have never seen before to teach the students the musical notation. Yeah man and it worked, even if it was how I already said very spontaneously, and it even amused me. Afterwards I had to wait for the choir like every Monday, but it was worth it – the choir repeated all the songs from “All together sing”: Stomp, Kumbaya and My Soul. This was just wonderful to hear and simply reminded me of my time in Jamaica which is already over: My first time in Kingston, my first time on TV, the feeling after the performances, the little boy who was so proud to be on TV, the singing “Jesus take the wheel” in the bus, the stop at the Kfc after 5 minutes before school lunch…Wow, there are so many experiences I already made and nobody can take them away from me! Finally school was over and I went home tired. Arrived, I downloaded my pictures from the weekend, wrote my blog and took a shower – by the way, I still hate taking cold showers, I give up, I will probably never get used to it. But what I really have to say – I finally feel like home at my host family, I love it so, so much, every single member of the family – just amazing. Watching the pictures/videos of the last week, I was already sure – I will miss everything here so much when being back home – the students, the family, the landscape, the Patois (I keep on understanding more and more), Mandeville and the politeness of the Jamaicans. In the evening we again went out to the Great House and had in my opinion the best evening there since I am here. I was so happy the whole evening long, enjoyed my pineaplemalibu and my rum cream and had so much fun with all the others. I am just happy, tata for now, byeeeee!!

    Tuesday finally was a very short and also good school day. Besides assisting the music teacher, I had to teach one lesson myself. I was so glad that finally the marking was over and I could now keep on teaching the students. In the end did a very good repetition lesson and taught them even some new music theory. The class was quiet and worked very well. This just made me happy. It really seems that I finally gained more and more respect from the students. Wow, I am really a bit proud! Anyway, general mood at school has finally improved again – I am so glad about that. When I then eventually showed German Reggae to the music teacher he was soon kind of laughing and I even again practiced playing the piano today! Furthermore I was also allowed to leave early to meet my friends. The morning couldn’t have been better!! After school, I left for the food court where Lara and I soon decided to go shopping. Yeah, it’s a fact: I really need new shoes as today I almost lost the sole of my ballerinas today! That’s so sag, everything breaks in here: my bag, my shoes and a lot more. It’s because of the sudden, hard rain showers you don’t expect and get a lot wet from. By the way, the weather here more and more often now reminds me of November at home? What’s going on? Actually rain time should be over now!! The natives guess: Maybe it is the climate change!! Oh shit! When we finally arrived at the payless to buy shoes, we found out they don’t have electricity the moment, so we couldn’t go in now. That was finally the reason why we decided to go to the supermarket and the pharmacy first, but even when we came back there was still no electricity. So, no shoes for now! Only stupid I have already thrown mine away. Now we had to the office for the quiz and talent evening. I don’t know what is going on, but a lot of people cal 3 pm evening!! Mh, ok, so there we were at the next projects attraction! You already know my opinion about them, right? And this time it wasn’t really better. Of course, it was nice to get to know new information about Jamaica and learn new Patois sentences (even if my group lost the game, haha!), but when then the talent part started it was kind of strange. Of course I enjoyed listening to a lot of the volunteers and projects abroad staff singing and dancing, but the fact this again was connected with paying money really confused me. Look at this, we had to pay a little amount for someone to perform (luckily for a good reason) and if he/she didn’t want to perform he/she had to pay the double of the amount. It’s not that I don’t like giving, it’s not that losing one 1 Euro is a drama for me, but I just hate nobody asks us whether we want to give the money and we were kind f forced to do what they want. Don’t laugh about this, if you are asked almost every day for money, you any time have enough, even if it are small amounts!! Mh, I don’t know, sorry, but the whole mood at the attractions is always kind of strange and I just don’t like it. Afterwards Lara, Luzie and I again tried our luck at payless and again, no light! In the end it was funny, we were allowed to go in and shop with a FLASHLIGHT! Haha, that was funny! Maybe it was the reason, why my shoes I bought don’t look that good? No, just kidding, it’s only because I only bought them for work and wanted to have the cheapest ones (almost 20 Euro!!). Ah yes, I forgot to write something, there was also the most embarrassing situation I have ever experienced here with a boy today! But sorry, I won’t write it here, if you want to know it, just ask me personally. It’s nothing really bad, just something I was really a bit shocked about! In the evening I finally just relaxed, read a book, wrote my blog, listened to music till I finally went to bed very early (at 8 o’clock), but luckily! Yeah, you really get tired here, because you actually never sleep longer than 7 (poor students at home, I know, this is actually late!) during the week and most of the time wake up at least once a night because the animals outside! Tata for today, me lobe you! 

    Wednesday finally was the day I learnt a lot of new REGGAE DANCING MOVES, but yeah, let me start from the beginning. In the morning I wrote my blog till I finally left for school. Arrived there, I had to improve the class register and teach a lot. I know I repeat myself, but I feel more and more comfortable at school and when I finally saw the students singing “Bruder Jakob” by heart I was just happy!! Even project abroad was here to take pictures today, I promise, I will soon show them to you! But back to the day, even during my free time I had a very good occupation this time: I wrote a lot of postcards which I hope to arrive soon. To sum it up, it was again a great school day. After it I eventually again left for the food court to then go to the Reggae Dancing with Lara, Luzie and the French girl. This was again a lot of fun and the dancing teacher also is a very nice boy. Hopefully I will remember some moves at home to show them to you as they are really kind of funny!! Back at home, there was finally dinner time: Whaaaaa, I am just sick of the rice, I really can’t see it any more. Mh, but what to do – nothing, just eat it! In the evening we finally met at “Kurven” – a bar-but to be honest, I really don’t like it there. It was too loud to talk to each other; it smelt inside, there were not enough seats for every one of us and even the music wasn’t really good. So in the end, the only thing which saved the evening a bit were the other volunteers I spent my time with as I really like them and we even played domino!! Haha, reminds me of time in kindergarten but I do enjoy it. Tata for today, guys.

    Thursday finally was the day we suddenly had NO LIGHT, but let me start from the beginning. Today I woke up early, as I thought to hear a mouse eating in my room. Ihh, the imagination that a mouse is about to eat something from me was very disgusting! I was really a bit afraid of getting up and meeting the mouse, haha, in the end I didn’t meet it, but I am indeed afraid it is still in my room. But back to the morning, actually I wasn’t tired at all today and also was in a very good mood. That was soon the reason to leave very early to take a morning walk in the hills. Only stupid that the moment I left the house a taxi arrived and I of course then decided to better take it. Haha, nice morning walk, from the house to the taxi!! Arrived at school, I was greeted very friendly with a handclap by the music teacher for the first time. That really made me happy and the whole atmosphere at school today was incredibly awesome. We had a lot of fun with pronouncing “Bach” and got along very well with each other. But to be honest, the classes themselves just were horrible. I really don’t feel like marking and hearing “Mary had a little lamb” for the thousands time anymore!!!! And teaching again the c-major scale was also soon boring. That’s probably the reason why I never could become a teacher for life: I really need again and again different tasks!! Mh, yeah, but let’s see it positive: that’s at least something I found out here! In the end I was glad school was over and finally to leave for the project meeting in which we then talked about the pros of music and sport at school. Afterwards Lara and I waited for Luzie at the food court to then go shopping together. Only stupid, that soon a hard thunderstorm began. I can’t explain it, but not only streets were turning into rivers! Better just watch the pictures; they will give you an impression of it. In the end we also decided not to go shopping as it was simply too much raining!! Arrived at home, there was no electricity, no light, for some of us even no water! My first thought of course was, it will soon come back – as it was always till now – but this time it was different: the situation stayed – NO LIGHT! Yeah, actually quite horrible as I not even could take shower, but in the end it was the best evening ever!! Dinner with candle lights, playing cards with the whole family, talking a lot – it was just awesome and again shows how much communication electricity can destroy! This was the first evening the TV wasn’t on and also the first I had a good time with the whole family (except the father, but he wasn’t at home, that doesn’t count!). Tata for now guys! (:

    Friday was a very bad, but also good day. Bad, as school was boring, good, as the afternoon/evening was just awesome. But let me start from the beginning. Today I had no regular lesson to teach as devotion took away my whole time – I hate this!! And I hate even more watching lessons you see the students have no, really no respect! They simply don’t understand they learn for life and not that the teacher doesn’t hit them or their parents don’t have to pay the fee for school. That’s just sad! Of course, also in Germany there are not only perfect students, yes, I know, nobody of us was a perfect student, but I think there are limits we have in Germany missing here in Jamaica. For me it just stops when the students shout during others get marked or when they don’t get quiet at all (happens also in Germany, but you can’t compare!) or don’t come to classes because of the rain or because they are bored (Happens also in Germany, but then don’t 3 or 4 students go to class and say the others don’t come because they don’t want)! Yeah, but when I think more about it, it’s not wrong to say it’s not that different from Germany, maybe it just feels that different for me, as I never taught before? Again changing perspectives changed my view on that!! But that was not the whole for the school day, I also took a lot of pictures with Ms. Chizem and the students, talked with them and just had fun. Furthermore I played the piano a lot: I just love it when I start playing a song and suddenly a lot of people sing together with me!! That’s just awesome; I so much appreciate their feeling for music! But unfortunately this school day was simply too long, you know, on Fridays I can actually leave at 12, but this time they asked me to stay longer and of course, as I want to be polite and help as much as possible, I just stayed. Even if I was in the end very overextended with the class I had to teach then, as I never had them before, I at least gave my first “guitar lesson” and just made some music together with the students which actually was quite good. But when they then asked me to stay even longer (for a surprise for Mrs. Chizem), I was sorry, but I really just wanted to leave to meet my friends in town. So I in the end left for an ice cream together with my friends – the first I ate here. That’s so strange, actually I connect hot countries with ice cream, but here it is not that usual to eat it and in the end my ice cream of course also wasn’t comparable to the one in Italy or even Germany, but I indeed enjoyed it. Yeah and no to the most wonderful aspect of the day: Today it didn’t rain at all! And then suddenly Mandeville just looked wonderful! In the end we just went shopping and enjoyed our time. Arrived home – first time home at the weekend – my host mum told she doesn’t really cook on weekends, but in the end I ate a just wonderful pizza from her!! (: It was so yummy! Afterwards we finally left for Timo’s birthday party which was in a garden in the middle of nowhere – GARDEN PARTY: Oh, I missed it so much! There we just had a good time – oh guys I would so much like you to be here, to be just part of this wonderful adventure!!! Tata for now (:

    Yeah man, next entry finished! I am glad I still keep on writing! Hope there are still some following my blog, even if my texts get longer and longer?

    Mi a farward to Christmas, mi lobe you, mi miss you!!

    Ramona

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  • 09Nov 2013

    12 Bob Marley Day in Kingston 09.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Trench Town, Kingston, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Saturday finally was the day one of my childhood dreams came true. You want to know which one? Ok, you’ll see later, now at first to the beginning of the day. As my host mum was in Kingston this morning, my host dad made my breakfast today. This finally was the moment I at first talked more than only one sentence with him and yeah, I have to say, he is really nice. Afterwards Lara, Luzie and I finally took a little walk through the hills of Mandeville – again wonderful. Arrived in town, we went to the bakery and in the end were so glad just to find whole-wheat bread. It was just yummy. Unfortunately then it was quite a chaos with the buses, so that in the end I was simply glad to arrive in Kingston at Bob Marley Museum which we watched then. It was really interesting; the imagination Bob Marley once lived in here was just weird, but above all great. After this we went to subway (YES!!!) till we finally left for the Devon’s House I ate the best Jamaican ice cream at. We also relaxed a lot and I got to know Yonne better. The park of the house just reminded me of London (@Marius). Maybe it is because the Devon’s House is a British house? When suddenly a LANDROVER arrived to pick us up for the Blue Mountains, one of my childhood dreams came true. I always wanted to drive outside on a LANDROVER!! We enjoyed our beer and watched a beautiful sunset – it was so nice and funny, one of the best things I experienced here till now, even if it was very bumpy. Arrived, we were eating and then going to bed soon, as the plan for tonight was to climb a mountain, but more about that tomorrow. Good night, sleep well!!

    Tata for now,

    Ramona

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  • 10Nov 2013

    13 Extreme Day in the Blue Mountains 10.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Sunday finally was the day I thought I would die. Just imagine we got up at 1 in the night just to climb one of the Blue Mountains and see the sunrise then. After a very yummy Blue Mountains Coffee our walk could finally start. Wow, it was so exhausting and really felt like a never ending story. You know I am not that sporty, so now imagine me climbing a hill more than 3 hours at night!! It was really a challenge for me and I was just afraid to miss the sunrise. Walking up, I again and again asked myself: Why are you doing it? Isn’t it crazy what you are doing? Everything hurts! Yeah, but in the end I found Chrissie and Melanie who had the same tempo as I and we weren’t even the last. During climbing we saw one of the most beautiful views on a city I have ever had. Kingston by night –a sea of lights you could say. Soon every meter was horrible, there was fog, rain and my feet were tired and heavy!! But something in me told me not to give up and in the end the feeling to have reached the top of the mountain was just wonderful – our whole group did so, so it was even better!! Even if it was too foggy to see any sunrise, I didn’t regret the climbing as some others did, no definitely not; it was one of the greatest, but also hardest adventures of my life! And to be honest, the walk down was simply beautiful as we saw a lot of wonderful nature: wild bananas, coffee plants and a lot more. Furthermore we had a very great view and just good talks. In the end my feet really hurt and I couldn’t see the green any more, but arrived back at the hotel - even if I couldn’t move any more – I was just proud and happy. Who else can say he/she walked a mountain during night about 7 hours if you count everything together? Yes, this adventure really was something special for me!!! Of course now, every one of us was a bit tired, so we just relaxed till we finally again drove back with the Landrover to Devon’s house for another wonderful ICE CREAM and a hot dog (was very good, man). After this we drove the way back to Mandeville - if you think about it, it’s quite horrible, we stay almost every weekend at least 6/7 hours in a bus! You would never do this in Germany right? But it’s also something I really like here; you are so free to travel!! Back in Mandeville I had a good dinner, cleaned up and met Lara to share the experiences of our weekends!! She’s such a good neighbor, I am so glad she lives here and I have to say, I really like our talks!!

    Yeah man, another entry!!

    Miss you guys,

    Ramona

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  • 11Nov 2013

    14 7th week in Mandeville 11.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Piece of your hair – Hillsong-Judith-library


    Dear friends in Germany,

    I am finally not alone in my room anymore!! Yeah man, Judith from Bavaria arrived on Monday and I have to say, I am very glad about that as she seems to be very nice. But back to the week: You want to know what was going on on my 7th week in Mandeville? Yes? Then just have fun reading what was happening! (:

    Monday was the day someone asked my about the craziest souvenir I have ever heard about. But let me start in the morning. Of course, after such an exhausting weekend it was already clear: Ramona will sleep too long today. But I actually didn’t expect not to hear the alarm clock at all and finally get up when I actually leave. Oh shit, this was so stressful then. 15 minutes for everything, from packing my bag to having breakfast. But in the end I did it, I really arrived on time in school. There I already knew it is Monday, it is going to be a long day! In the morning I had to teach Bizar and Marlon singing and Matthew playing the piano – it’s so great to see how they improve more and more. It really feels my lessons are useful – that’s just great! Furthermore re just like this 3 boys, they are almost my age and it’s always a lot of fun with them. And even if we are almost the same age, they really respect me – sometimes it’s just good to be white!! After this I had to teach 2 normal lessons, but unfortunately I forgot to write down what I taught them last lesson for the first time, so in the end it was quite difficult, but worked. Especially teaching form 2 the musical notation is something I do like, but to be honest, all the stuff with the exams soon is sometimes too complicated for so that I seldom just feel overextended. But to say it that way, you again learn from situations like that. In addition we today listened a lot to Reggae music – above all one love – and I also played the piano again. Finally in the afternoon, as you probably already know, I had choir lesson. And even if couldn’t really help, listening to them singing a new song was just awesome!! After this the strangest thing happened. I have never worn my hair open at school! But when I today felt like open it, suddenly a lot of students wanted to touch it (haha, you know I hate this, but for the students I allowed it. In the end the best was a boy who I think fancies me. He touched my hair for about 2 minutes and talked about how soft it is – crazy shit. When he then asked me “CAN I HAVE A PIECE OF YOUR HAIR AS A SOUVENIR” I just had to love. Oh man, these students here are just incredibly amazing and funny!! In the end we also took a lot of pictures after school till I finally left for meeting Yonne. Actually we wanted to go to the cinema then, but as there were only movies we weren’t interested in we finally decided to go and eat a pizza. This one was very good. After dinner we finally left for the great house. It’s so strange I hadn’t been home the whole day!! In great house we then had a good time like always and I even found a Jamaican friend who is very nice. Arriving home also Judith arrived at the same time from the airport. This was not planned but somehow perfect!! Just to say it that way I am so glad she is here now and my first impression says: We will for sure have a great time! :) Tata for now! :D

    Tuesday finally was the day I had to think of my youth group at home. Why? You will see later! Now better to the day: It was just great not to wake up alone today in the morning!! I am so happy Judith is here now. When I then even took the same taxi as her, the day started wonderfully. Arrived at work, I had to teach one class and then finally got an important task: I had to create the exam for form 1. Sounds crazy, but I really felt a bit important then. It’s not that it’s clear that someone trusts you to do this, right? But I also hope so much it is not too easy or too difficult as I am somehow responsible for this. Furthermore today again a lot of singing took place in the class room and I again had to fill out class registers. The singing of the Jamaicans now really is part of my life, I love it so much and I am already sure I will miss it so much back home. Finally after school driving home in the taxi something wonderful happened. The taxi driver really listened to HILLSONG! I don’t have to explain, the people who have to understand it, will understand why it was such a great moment for me!! Unbelievable, listening to it seems to be normal here. Arrived at the food court we then finally left for the culture and patois class – I have to say; this time I really liked the meeting. We learnt a lot and even wrote a little Patois song about our placement! Afterward we all went home where I then wrote my blog and tried to relax. Yeah, I tried my best, but it was impossible, as almost all the time our host sisters were around us in the room. To be honest, for me it was too much. Look, I have the whole time at school noisy students around me; somehow I also need bit calm!! Yeah, but to let Judith be welcomed by the children I just said nothing, even if it was too much for me!! Definitely! Later we finally left for the last evening of the Australian sisters in the great house! Yeah and we again had a great time above all with all the new volunteers who just arrived. I just like getting again and again to know new people!!!! Tata for today! (:

    Wednesday was the day I got to know my new nice roommate JUDITH better. Not to get up alone in the morning and not to have breakfast alone was just great. It is the small things in life you are often the happiest about, right? That’s just the way it is! After Judith had left, I decided to finish my blog entries of the weekend. Well, it gets more and more difficult to keep on writing, but I will try my best, I promise. Arriving at school I was welcomed with: You are late!! Why in the world he said it again. I almost explained him I don’t have to work 8 hours and if my first lesson starts at 10 I for sure won’t be at school at 8. Actually I though he has understood this, but maybe not? Maybe he is just kidding? Ok well, maybe I should mention it here: I really don’t get the humor of the Jamaicans, it’s so weird they so often laugh about things which really aren’t funny (for example when they get hit or get a bad grade) and you never when to take them seriously. That’s something which is very hard to deal with for me – just to be honest. Furthermore the breaks today were just boring: if I can’t use the piano, if I can’t use the computer, if I have already written my already bought postcards, read a lot in my travel guide, wrote a lot about Jamaica, what in the world should I do than 2 hours waiting in the classroom (when even the students are busy as they have class and the lesson is really boring). On the other hand when I had to work today, it was very, very exhausting!! I had to put the students in groups for the exams which was almost impossible as they very horribly noisy!! To be honest, slowly I have less and less power to keep them silent – it really feels like a never ending story. When I then finally had one of the 2 forms I really don’t like, I was just confused. I really couldn’t control them and the teacher –sorry-was not a big help too, he even laughed out loudly with the other two teachers during my class (because of a picture, not because of me, but it was indeed very annoying)!! I was so confused and really couldn’t understand why it took so long until he say it and finally helped me to keep the class silent!! In addition it is more and more nothing special for the students any more that I am here. Of course, most of them personal are still very nice, but I feel how I slowly get less exciting. In the end I was so much happy that school was over and I could eventually leave for the food court. Arrived there we had to go almost directly to dancing class and in the end were a bit late because of me (), ahhhh, this day was just too exhausting!!! I really hate to work so long that in the end the afternoon is very stressful. But in the end dancing was the best after this school day. It was just fun and afterwards I felt so much better. It was great that this time even also Lisa, Johanna and Judith came with us, so we weren’t only 3 anymore. Ah, I haven’t said Lisa will work together with me at the new placement I will be in some weeks, right? I am so glad I am not alone at the placement –it’s an orphanage-then and when she told me her first day was just awesome I was even happier! Ah yes and have I told you I am more and more called “Brownie” instead of “Whithie” –yeah man, I am a bit proud. But to the topic itself: Don’t you think being called “Whithie” is very racist? That’s at least how it feels!! You would never call Jamaicans “Blackies”, why in the world then they call us “Whities”? Ok, they don’t mean it mean, but it always stresses you are different! That’s just horrible!!! Hm, but it is just the way it is. Arrived home, we had a good dinner (e.g. Sweet Potato, Cooked Banana and Dumpling) and I finally got to know Judith better! It’s just great to spend an evening home and don’t be alone then. That’s also the reason why I stop now; I don’t want to write the whole evening. Hear you soon, guys! Tata!!

    Thursday finally was the day I went to the Jamaican LIBRARY, but let me start in the morning. Today I got up very early as now Judith and I always have breakfast together and she needs to go to work earlier. Arrived at school I got a very strange task: I had to type in the computer what the teacher was saying that the students could in the end copy it from the wall. It’s strange they really use beamer and computer more often in school as we at home even if Jamaica is a developing country!! Afterwards I of course also had to teach some lessons myself. That was very stressful as a lot is to do till next week as there are the practical exams!! But above all the lessons of my form 1 classes I really enjoyed a lot today!! They had to practice in groups to play a song on the recorder for the exams and helping them was just great. You already know working individually I prefer to working with 40 students at the same time, right? When then even some said thank you for your help and a children hugged me without any reason, I was just happy. Seriously, I don’t want to leave this school in some days. No! I’m almost crying. That’s so sad. All these students really became part of me; I will miss them so much!!! Even my breaks were useful today - I made a list with all the different ideas what to study and wrote down pros and cons. In addition there was parents’ day today at school in the afternoon where the students for example sing for the parents, but in the end I decided not to stay and meet Judith. We had a great afternoon, but I am really not sure whether I missed something great at school. Mh, but what to do, decision is over and we did have a good time buying some stuff and visiting the market and the library also. About the market I have already written I know, but now to the library: It’s so strange, it’s so complicated to borrow a book. You have to let confirm where you live by a police officer besides giving some money you will get back!! Seriously!! In the end we decided not to borrow a book, but the experience worth it. Arrived home, we ate wonderful pasta with tomato sauce: I almost forgot how great this tastes! I didn’t have it for 6 weeks now! That’s just crazy; you know how much I like this dinner (@Marius)!! It was so great! Furthermore we spend a lot of time with our lovely host sisters, but soon is time to leave for Oli’s goodbye party. Hear you soon! Tata! (: Have a good time in good old Germany!

    Finished! (:

    See you,

    Ramona

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  • 15Nov 2013

    15 Party weekend in Treasure Beach 15.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Treasure Beach, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    OLD PEOPLES’ HOME – PELICAN BAR – MANGO JUICE


    Hey friends in Germany,

    May I be honest? I am very sad at the moment as time goes so fast! I don’t want Lara to leave soon, I don’t want Simon to leave soon, I don’t want Yonne and Brian to leave soon and I don’t want me to leave in 5 weeks!! Ok, right, this is still a long time, sure, but there’s still so much I want to see here and I am just a bit afraid not to make everything! But enough for this better focus on definitely the best weekend after Port Antonio: Treasure Beach!!! 

    Friday finally was the day I got up later as usual since it was again Dirty Day! This time we should help out at an OLD PEOPLES’ HOME. To be honest, I really was a bit afraid of it as it was told that we have to wash old people’s hair and even cut their nails. It is not that I have a problem with that –actually- but here in Jamaica I am just a bit afraid of germs. Arrives at the infirmary, I was lucky. I didn’t have to do the work I described above, no; I was supposed to help in the kitchen. I was really looking forward to this, as you know, I really love cooking. But arrived at the kitchen everything went different. The cookers really didn’t seem to be happy to have our help and it wasn’t enough that we didn’t have enough knives, no after washing some carrots, there was finally nothing left to do. So we had to change the area to work in and now had to do garden work. This was pretty exhausting, we had to remove weed (not the one to smoke, haha) for a long time in the sun, but at least in the end you saw a little change in the garden: Now it definitely looks more beautiful. But enough to this, far more important or interesting is what I found out about myself today. It really seems that I have a kind of touching fear to old Jamaican people as when someone wanted to hug you- there was a lot split coming out of her mouth- I just run away and said I don’t like it. It’s quite strange; I haven’t thought about my reaction at all, it was more a reflex and I am a bit scared, surprised and even ea bit disappointed in me. Yeah, but you could say: Another valuable experience. Another point which may be very interesting for you: the old people’s home itself. Can you imagine? There are about 50 men and women sleeping in one room. It really looks more like a lazaretto than a social institution. What about illnesses? Don’t they spread even faster in a hot room with so many people? I don’t know, but that is really a point we should appreciate a lot in Germany: the health system. We complain about high amounts to pay for the health insurance, but when have we been the last time thankful about our incredibly good health care? About our useful, rare medicines, the well-taught doctors, the clean hospitals…? Maybe it’s a point we should think about more often. Just to make it complete, some friends of mine work in a hospital here and they say it’s just different: the medical tools aren’t cleaned that much, medicine or medical tools are often not available and even life itself is sometimes not appreciated that much. Can you imagine, someone told me a doctor was laughing because they couldn’t reanimate someone: that’s simply sad!! To sum it up, even if there was hard work to do today, the morning was quite interesting and somehow again a valuable experience. And to keep you calm, in the end I even overcame my touching fear a bit and offered to wash hair but this then wasn’t necessary anymore!! Finally we are all glad to have finished and leave for the food court. There I ate a pizza and we also went shopping for the weekend as we were able to cook ourselves this time. SO we bought fruits, vegetables, pasta and pancakes (@EJ: This so much reminded me of the summer camp this year: buying food for a big group and then finally cook for them. I have to say: I MISS IT!!). Afterwards we finally left for our time short, comfortable drive to Treasure Beach. Arrived, I was just lucky: This atmosphere here just amazed me and soon made me feel wonderful. So much nature, so much green, so many nice little houses, so clean streets, so less streets, a wild beach, wild waves, black sand and above all one of the best sunset I have ever seen. We soon went swimming in the wonderful sea and enjoyed our first beer on the beach!! Wow, that’s just the way I like my holiday! After a great time, we finally went back to the hotel to cook. So in the end Lara, Luzie and I made a in my eyes wonderful pasta with self made tomato sauce. It’s so great to eat one time without meat and with exactly the things in your food you want. I have to say, it was just delicious and also the cooking was quite great. Finished eating, who has already thought this, we played again drinking games. Guys, we have to do it also more often at home, otherwise I will miss it so much!! Furthermore we went to the beach by night where finally another childhood dream came true as we soon had a big, amazing bonfire at the beach. These are the moments you just get calm and can’t believe how great life can be!! All the evening we had so much fun with “truth and dare” and a lot more. For more information, just ask me when I am home. It’s again nothing for the internet! But say it that way, it was a very awesome, funny evening and in then end the evening even had a funny end when suddenly two Jamaican girls entered Lara’s, Lucie’s and my room just to use the toilette. It was so strange, only because Lara and I were sleeping in the same big bed and used one sheet as it wasn’t possible in another way; they really thought we were lesbians! Stupid Jamaicans!! But I have to say the two really looked and act like lesbians! They were wearing really not much and what they said was just enough to knot it. They even wanted to touch our hair. Stupid Germans, why did we let them in our room? In the end I was just glad when they finally left and I could sleep luckily. Tata for now!

    Saturday finally began with an early morning as almost every day here in Jamaica. At first I didn’t feel that good because of the last evening, but when we finally went to the beach till and made pancakes ourselves, everything was again alright. That’s how I imagine real holiday, having nice people around you, not caring about the time at all, enjoying wonderful food, having an awesome natural beach in front of the door…! Oh guys, it’s just amazing. After breakfast we finally left again for the beach and the sun. Any time later we left for the PELICAN BAR on a little boat. That’s a bar n the middle of the ocean-just wonderful! Here again, just enjoy the pictures: They say more than thousand words. Here we finally relaxed long time. Watching the wonderful sea, sun and pelicans around there was again the moment I thought this can’t be true. I am so thankful for everything here; I just have to repeat it again and again!! I really like the calm here: Nature is still what it should be (Not always, if you consider the rubbish the Jamaicans throw to everywhere, but most of the time)! But our drive back to Treasure beach was in the end the opposite of silent and that was just great. As there was a little thunder storm, we had big waves and the drive really reminded me of rafting or driving a roller coaster!! It was so much fun and I also got so much wet! Haha! Arrived home, we again had pasta. This time with eggs!! Mum who know I hate “Schinkennudeln”, but when I come back, you can be sure, I will love it. Our food today with the eggs really reminded me of it and it was so delicious. Anyways Mum, when I am back I want to be the cook! I miss cooking!! Haha. Later on we of course again had a lot of fun drinking (Rum Cream!!!) and this time eating a self made alcohol-water-melon. Furthermore we again had a lot of good talks. Later on we again left for the beach where we finally had an even bigger bonfire with even different colored flames. Some even went into the sea, but because of the current here and my fear of currents I really didn’t want to do it! Furthermore I thought drinking and swimming is maybe not the best combination. But even without swimming for me, this evening again was just wonderful, especially with Luzie and Simon later on at the beach.

    Sunday again started with pancakes and soon with an early time at the beach with Lara. Enjoying the water and the beach, we just again had a wonderful time!! Later on we went to “French Mans’” for a freshly made MANGO JUICE – one of the best I have ever drunken - and a Panini!! Yeah, you hear right, I really ate a Panini!!! In addition Lara and I kept on planning our holiday!! As I decided today not to use the internet the last month of my stay here in Jamaica (I just want to take the chance to live one month without, to have even more time for me and live completely and above all independently in Jamaica, as I feel very comfortable in here now!!), I will tell you a bit more about my plans with Lara. We want to do kind of a bagpacker-tour from Negril to the Rastafarian Village near Montego Bay, to the historical city Falmouth, to the grave of Bob Marley in Nine Miles, to the turtle beach and finally the in my opinion best place in Jamaica: Port Antonio, where we want to visit the Reach Falls. Sounds interesting and above all exciting, right? I am so much looking forward to it!!! Later on we again enjoyed the water and the sun till we finally went back home. Arrived there, Judith and I just kept on relaxing. The only thing which is strange: The children (luckily and unfortunately) not seem to be allowed to come in our room anymore and there was really a strange mood in the family today. Maybe it is because of our argument last week? Oh right, I didn’t tell you. It was quite horrible as even if I left my shoes in my room I found them some days later broken hidden in my suitcase. And that’s not the only thing: sometimes the children just don’t leave us enough privacy, seem to come in our room when we are not there and have as we think even stolen something small, but meaningful from Judith. That really annoyed us, but in the end we talked about the situation and luckily it seems to improve now.

    To sum it up, this weekend was really the best after Port Antonio and it even was a cheap one.

    Tata guys, mi lube you!!

    Ramona

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  • 18Nov 2013

    16 8th week in Mandeville 18.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Mosquito Bites – Sparkling Water – Rumona - Kalangola


    Hey friends at home,

    This will be the last blog entry for you to read for the next month, as I won’t use the internet any more from this Saturday on! I am sorry, but don’t be too sad, I promise I will keep on writing and when I am home In Germany I will put it online. So now enjoy reading, what was going on during my 8th week in Mandeville. Have fun!

    Monday morning there was only one thought left: Can you die because of too many MOSQUITO BITES? It was just horrible; I got about 80 mosquito bites at Treasure Beach and now everything hurt. I already knew in the morning: This is going to be a long day, it’s Monday! In addition today I actually really wanted to be early, because this is my last week in this project and I really wanted to see the whole devotion once. And guess what happened? Taxi problem again, so no devotion for me. But let us go on with the day itself. I really enjoyed teaching my Form 5 boys – Bizar, Matthew, Marlon – today, I am so sad this was the last time to teach them individually how to play the piano and give them singing lessons. But today also was a very exhausting day, I had so much to do!! I had to mark a lot of groups in playing the recorder. Again, giving bad grades hurt me probably more than the students (above all when I was about to give all the members of one group even if they played differently well, the same grade), but to be honest, as a teacher you have to be fair, that’s probably the most important!! In addition I had to work a lot with the class register today. It’s not enough that I had to put all the marks in the register, now I even had to average different marks which took a lot of time, as there are so many students. Later in the afternoon, there finally came the most difficult part - last time choir practice – and when the students finally began singing “Kumbaya” I was almost about to cry. I simply love the choir and will probably miss it the most. Later on I went to the food court to find out all the addresses for the postcards, as with no internet this could be very difficult then. Arrived home Judith and I washed and helped our host mother to print something for her portfolio for school. Furthermore we of course had dinner, but to this point I have to tell you something this time I had to feel how a Nintendo changes the atmosphere. Yeah man, really, Kayla bought herself a Nintendo and so now she even played during dinner. Reminded me of home, but to be honest, it was not a good atmosphere as all the other days on the table. It’s just scary how much technology can change. Later on I wrote a lot for my blog and had a good time with Judith. Tata for now guys, I would so much like you to be here.

    Tuesday finally was the day I noticed how much I miss SPARKLING WATER. Oh guys, two month without? It’s so strange, you miss the smallest things, and you learn to appreciate the smallest things!! But back to the day: Today I went to school very early, as I actually wanted to experience the whole devotion before school today, but guess what happened: Taxi problem again! So in the end I again missed the beginning, oh yeah and not even only the beginning, no, I missed the whole!! Yeah, but shit happens. Today I also had again to do the practical exams with some students which was very exhausting. It’s so hard to get the students quiet and make them respecting each other!! In addition I also had again to fill out class registers and making averages of different mark. Wow, that’s really a lot work, but I am glad, at least I have something to do, not as many others who have almost nothing to do in their project. In the end I even left later from work, because there was just so much to do! Later on we finally met for a Volleyball Match organized by project abroad. This was so much fun; it really felt like holiday and summer! And doing sport just felt great. After this I finally left for the cinema with Johanna, Yonne, Lisa and Lisa where we watched “best man’s holiday” at. This was a good movie and it was about Christmas!!! It’s so strange having summer weather every day, it just doesn’t feel like soon is Christmas!! After some time, I finally left for home, only stupid I forgot my host mum I will come later and she was a bit worried. I am feeling so much sorry!! But luckily she wasn’t angry at all! Later on I met Lara to keep on planning the holiday! I already know: This week is going to be awesome!! I am so much looking forward to it. Arrived home, I in the end had a long, great evening with Judith - I am so glad she is here!

    Wednesday finally was the day I found out I really like RUMONA, but let me start from the beginning. Today I got up very early for skyping with my Mum. At first I was really annoyed, because I was still so tired, but when I then finally saw one of the best sunrise ever out of the window, I was just happy and thought getting up early was really worth it! In addition today was a special day at school, we all met at church and a lot of students got honored and received awards. It was just great and emotional to see, how successful a lot of these students are!! Ito be honest, sometimes I really hadn’t thought this. It’s just amazing! Furthermore I really enjoyed all the performances in between the speeches (for example the choir) and soon realized that I really miss my church at home (Just for information, it is really strange to almost sweat in a church!!)!! Furthermore I did enjoy some off the speeches with good thoughts! To be honest, in the end it got really boring (I actually only stayed because in the end the choir should perform again, but unfortunately finally their performance didn’t take place which really made me sad!), always clapping and listening, but to sum it up, having been here today was again a valuable experience! And I even asked myself, whether I thought too bad of the students or didn’t motivate them enough in my lessons!! Arrived in Mandeville, we finally left for the Rum Tour! That’s nothing for the internet, but just say it like that; I really like RUMONA!!! And yes, one thought I forgot, today it again and again happened that I was much stressed to reach on time! And in the end it was for nothing! Why in the world do I keep on hurrying for nothing?? I hate that in Jamaica everyone always is late! It’s so hard to calculate! Yah, but now, tata guys, I love you!

    Thursday finally was the day I learnt to play “KALANGOLA” on the Piano, but again, let me start from the beginning!! Today was almost the last day at May Day High School and I have to say I am already very sad. I really don’t want to leave all these amazing students!! Above all I don’t to leave some special students as Jerado, today he again taught me a reggae song and I am so glad now to be able to play “Kalangola” - I just love Reggae!! In addition I had to work a lot today, I had 4 lessons and in three of them I was completely alone. I again had to mark, mark and mark. Sometimes I just felt horrible, how should I get these crazy students quiet? In the end I even needed help from a teacher I don’t know: I was just overextended and having had too much alcohol yesterday really didn’t help me now. Leaving school, I almost felt dead, ok no, that’s too much, but I just want to make clear, it was actually really too much for me!! But of course there was also something very wonderful today, as I taught my favorite class for the last time today. I so much love 1H and in the end even did a special with them today. We sang “Bruder Jakob” and used almost all instruments being in the classroom to it. Even if it was very exhausting, it just felt amazing. I love these students crazily!! When then in the end even someone said thank you to me for the whole class and a lot of students came to hug me I was about to cry!! I was so sad! These students really found a special place in my heart!! Later on in the afternoon I had to go to the office, wrote some postcards and exchanged pictures with Brian and Yonne. Arrived home I wrote my speech for tomorrow (I want to say something in the devotion), ate yummy spaghetti, planned the vacation and in the end had a wonderful time at pants with the other volunteers!

    Tata, friends, sorry that this entry is a bit short, but now I really want to enjoy my last minutes in the classroom. Hear you in one month, love you, hug you, and miss you!

    BYE, WHA GOOD!

    Ramona

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  • 22Nov 2013

    17 Negril again 22.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Negril, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Goodbye-Jet ski- Goodbye


    Hey Germany,

    It’s so sad. Can you imagine? My first placement is over now, yes, 2 months are over now!! That’s just unbelievable. Time runs so fast. Too fast!! But don’t waste time regretting what’s already over, better keep on enjoying the time which is left –that’s what I say to me again and again! So now enjoy reading what was going on during my 8th week in Mandeville! Have fun! I miss you guys!!

    Friday was a sad day I have to say; as it was the day I had to say GOODBYE to May Day High School. In the morning I got up very early, as I wanted to make sure to reach school for devotion for speaking some goodbye words to the school. But to be honest, this plan didn’t went well, as – typical for Jamaica – exactly today my taxi driver wasn’t in Mandeville and all the other’s just weren’t coming to my house for a long time. In the end I simply decided to start walking to school and hoping for the best. It was just luck. Finally a taxi came and even a taxi from town to school was easily to find, so that in the end I reached school on time. I was so happy. It would have been so horrible to come to school late on the last day and not even to be able to say goodbye at devotion! But luckily everything went fine and to be honest devotion was just amazing! It wasn’t enough that the principal mentioned me, no, even a student came to say “thank you” to me in the name of all students and give me some presents ( a shirt and a cup)! In the end I was almost about to cry. Furthermore I said some words to the students, the principal and the teachers. I tried to express how thankful I am for my stay, pointed out some students I had a special relationship to and motivated the students for their future through above all saying them what’s the most important I have learnt here which is that difficulties always have to be seen as a treasure for the future!! It was so impressive, most of the students really were quiet or tried to keep everyone quiet and listen. In the end they all clapped and it was really hard not to cry crazily. After devotion I finally went to my working place – for the last time. There something wonderful happened. Renae came to me and just hugged me!! I said at devotion I really love her voice and yes, she really seemed to be touched by that which made me feel happy a lot!! She really was one of my favorite students, later she even came and cried because I had to go, even if she’s already about 14!! It really touched my heart. But of course there was also some last work to do today. So I had to finish filling out the class register and even marked one class again. In addition I did some last things on the internet and wrote my blog about this week. The best in the end was that I also played the piano again, sang with the students (for example “Back to December”), taught a bit how to play the guitar and above all had great talks with the students. When then finally the music teacher (even if he came late) brought a cake and coffee of the Blue Mountains for me and even hugged me – I actually thought he is one of the most unemotional people I know – I was just happy, sad and touched at one time. I will definitely never forget what a great, valuable time I had at May Day!! In the end I got a certificate, a thank you and a big hug by the second principal. Again a lot of students came to hug me; it was horrible to leave, I even cried, but the feeling to have definitely done a difference at school, just made me happy! Having left, I finally had to wait a very long time for a taxi. Why exactly today no taxi did come? It was not only horrible that now all the other volunteers had to wait on me for leaving for Negril, no, the feeling to watch May Day I will probably never visit again and love so much for ages just hurt. In the end I was just happy when finally a taxi came, but I was not only late for going to the supermarket, no, I even couldn’t change my clothes and go to the office which I actually really had to do. To sum it up everything was just too much for me and driving the whole way to Negril in uncomfortable clothes really didn’t improve the situation!! But at least I knew, I will never have to wear these clothes again – at least one positive point of the day. Arrived at Negril, just to be honest, my first impression really wasn’t that good. We simply were too many people this time, so that in the end we couldn’t go to the wonderful hotel from the last time!! But yeah, actually not the accommodation counts, no, the people and they were still just awesome. Later on we finally went to the supermarket and an Italian restaurant. Last finally was one of the biggest fails ever – can you imagine we waited for far more than one hour on our food which was in the end 3 pizzas for about 20 people?!?! In the end some friends of me and I just decided to go and eat one of the “wonderful” Jamaican breads from the supermarket!! Haha, but shit happens, at least the evening afterwards was great as we just spent a good time on the pool having some alcohol, drinking games (JENKA!!), fun, talks and in the end a bath in the pool by night!! I just love getting to know the other volunteers more and more, this definitely again was a great evening!

    Saturday finally was a day with an early morning and a yummy breakfast at the pool. Furthermore we went to a wonderful beach at Margarita Ville where even a trampoline was in the sea. I was just relaxing in the sun, listening to my music, sleeping and walking along the beach with Luzie, Simon and Lara almost the whole day. It’s so sad that soon Simon and Lara will leave, but better don’t think about that!! So today also was the day I drove JET SKI for the first time in my life. Wow, it was so much fun and I was so lucky having such a good driver (Brian) for most of the time who tried to catch all the waves. But also driving on my own was just fantastic. You feel so free when doing it. That’s just awesome!! Later on we went to Ricks Café again. It was wonderful, but strange. Here I also was on my first weekend which was such a long time ago. Time passes so fast, it’s unbelievable! We of course again enjoyed a wonderful sunset, but to be honest, it couldn’t be as good as the last time!! Furthermore I found out today that there are some problems with my last vacation week with Mariska and Krissie, I don’t want to say more about it here, but yeah, I was really a bit disappointed!! Later on I had Spaghetti Bolognese at the pool which just reminded me of home and I really enjoyed. Furthermore we also again played games like domino and jenka at the pool for a very long, funny time. I am already sure I will really miss these evenings at home! Friends in Germany, please, we have to do a typical Jamaica evening once, ok?!! Tata for now!

    Sunday was the day I have already waited on for a very long time – yeah man, it really was the day my vacation with Lara finally started!! But let me start with the morning we still spent with the other volunteers. Of course we again had a delicious breakfast at the pool, but unfortunately it was also soon time to say GOODBYE to Johanna and Yonne who will leave Jamaica next week. Seriously, it’s just horrible to again and again say goodbye to people you really got good friends with!! I just hate this and when I think about that next week also Nadine, Theresa, Flo, Brian, Lara, Michael and Simon will leave I really don’t know how to imagine my last weeks in Jamaica without them. It’s terrible, but yeah, let us find out how it will be first. To be honest, I am really glad to spend Christmas at home at the moment, as really a lot of friends have already left and even if there are some, unfortunately not many new volunteers, we all know till a really good friendship grows it needs some time and I am not sure whether 3 weeks enough for this.
    It’s strange to end this blog entry at this point, right? But I just think it is better to start a new entry with the beginning of the vacation time, so yeah, tata for now and already look forwards to read what was going on during my vacation time with Lara.

    Bye,

    Ramona

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  • 24Nov 2013

    18 fist day of vacation - RASTA VILLAGE 24.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Montego Bay, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    SUNDAY – RASTA VILLAGE


    Oh guys, it was such a great feeling when my vacation finally started. With a big bag on my back, a small pocket on my shoulder the journey could finally start. The thought of travelling along the whole north coast of Jamaica without having planned how to get from one to another point just felt like a big adventure. I was already sure, this week I will experience a lot and this week I will probably never forget!

    So the first step of our journey was from Negril to Lucea and finally to Montego Bay. I am so glad there were so many nice Jamaicans who helped us to get the right taxis. One Jamaican man I have to say really stayed in my mind in a very positive way, yes, he really said he appreciates what we volunteers do and no, he really didn’t ask whether we want to be his boyfriend. That was just amazing! How pleased you can be for the smallest things! Arrived in Montego Bay, we were asking for the way to the RASTA VILLAGE and were really amazed: A lot of Taxi drivers didn’t even know where this place is! At which place will we get? Will it be great to visit or very boring? Will we get there at all? Yes man, it really started exciting. In the end we even found a driver who brought us to the place we wanted to visit. But do you know where we were then? Yes, we really were in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a forest. Haha, well done, and what to do now? Fortunately we met a nice woman who was about to go to the village which is I think the place she lives. She was very nice. It was not enough that she showed us the way which led through a river very kindly, no, she even showed us different trees and plants on our way, said us their names and what they are used for. That was very interesting and to be there only with her, Lara and later on another Rasta just was awesome. No other tourists, just us. That was finally the point I have already expected the village will be great and that in the end definitely was how it was. The whole time long we really were the only European people and all the Rastafarians were very polite. One of them even showed us around the village for free. We saw where the Rastas live, where they cook, where they sell their arts and crafts (By the way, here I bought a beautiful bracelet) and where they meet during the day. Last one was finally the place where we stayed very long as there was a little festival. Yeah man, there really were Jamaicans playing Bongos in wonderful rhythms and singing to it, but that’s not enough, there even was a book reading by a Jamaican author!! That was really amazing, as she read her own book, which she produced and wrote in Jamaica! From the beginning on I already liked he style she writes in and the whole story really interested me as it showed the Jamaican lifestyle in a very good way in the background of the story. From there on it was already clear: I need this book! Fortunately, finally, in the end you could buy this book. After having talked a bit to the other, she finally signed books for us and sold it to us. I was so happy, that really is one of the best souvenirs to bring home as it is something you can really use well! Furthermore I really already looked forward to reading it. After having enjoyed some more time in the sun and getting to know to a nice little Jamaican girl, it was unfortunately time to leave, as we knew: Today we have to reach Falmouth, the best, before it gets dark. So in the end we left the village soon with a good feeling since we were very happy about what we experienced! Arrived back out of the village of course, typical Jamaican, no taxi came!! As we really didn’t feel like chartering one and paying even more, we just decided to start walking and wait for a route taxi. To be honest, that probably was the worst idea ever, as not only the road was very narrow, no, even a lot of cars stopped and wanted us to come with them. But of course we were not stupid and got in a car with one Jamaican man only!! We really already felt this place doesn’t seem to be that safe, but going in a car with strangers, is probably not even better, we thought. In the end we were just lucky when a Jamaican wedded pair finally stopped. These people really seemed to be nice and so we just decided to let us bring down the hill by them!! Sitting in the car, we felt like sitting in the car with our parents after having done something terrible. Really, the whole way down, they were saying us how stupid it was to walk on that road as it is a very dangerous one. They again and again said us never to walk there again! They even said they wouldn’t take a taxi there by night as it is just very, very dangerous!!! This in the end really shocked me a bit, but the whole thing of course also had a good point: We got a free drive down the hill! Yeah man! Arrived in Falmouth then finally was only one thought left: We really wanted to search for the room we booked now which then went very well, when luckily someone from the hotel picked us up as a gas station for free!! Arrived at our new home, we were welcomed very friendly. It’s not enough that the friendly housekeeper gave us very delicious cool coconut water, no, she even talked a lot with us seeming to be really interested in what we do in Jamaica. Furthermore the room we got was simply something to be satisfied with. It was sweet and tiny, clean and friendly. After having relaxed a bit, the daughter of the housekeeper again drove us for free, this time to a little restaurant on the street for grabbing food, for free. That was so nice. In the end we enjoyed a delicious Jerk Chicken with festival (kind of fried bread) which I ate for the first time here and you could say is one of the most famous Jamaican dishes!

    To sum it up, the first day of our journey was just amazing; we met wonderful people, saw lovely places, learnt about Jamaica and even survived walking on a very dangerous road!! Furthermore I already knew today the decision to spend the vacation with Lara was just the best! I am happy, this journey is so exciting!!! (:

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  • 25Nov 2013

    19 second day of vacation - FALMOUTH 25.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Falmouth, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    MONDAY-FALMOUTH


    Monday finally started with an early, perfect morning. Sitting on the balcony in the sun (before it started to rain), having a wonderful view on the ocean, we had lovely fruits (banana, papaya and water melon), a freshly made orange juice and ackee and salt fish with Dumpling (out of wheat and water), cooked banana and sweet potato for breakfast. The day couldn’t have started better and I have to say, the housekeeper really reminded me of a host mum, as she really cared a lot for us (This also was the reason why we soon called her host-host-mum)!! After breakfast the second step of our journey could finally start. So today we were about to discover FALMOUTH which is a historic city of Jamaica. Walking down the road to get a taxi we had a wonderful view on the nature and the sea, arrived in Falmouth the first impression was just amazing. This city is really not comparable to any other city in Jamaica! To be honest, it is quite small, but very friendly, beautiful and British. Yeah man, it really reminded me of “Fluch der Karibik” or London and furthermore you could really see that Jamaica once was a British colony. This in the end completed impression of this wonderful island you could say. The whole morning long we finally just walked through the city, watched historic buildings (The Courthouse was especially impressive!!), the lovely streets and the water square, enjoyed the town centre where no cars are allowed to drive at, visited different stores and finally also enjoyed a delicious ice cream of the Devon’s House! The things I like most about the city I have to say definitely are that there are almost no Europeans, that the city is very idyllic, nice people are living there and it above all has a lot of wonderful little details. Later on in the afternoon we finally went to a little beach near Falmouth, but of course, now it had to start to rain! That really sucked, but fortunately it soon stopped. Surrounded by only Jamaican people I have to say this beach really was not a touristic one what I really liked! On the other hand in the beginning we were not really sure whether really to go into the water as to German girls with all the Jamaicans, but later on we just did it and of course there was no problem. Indeed we were very glad when finally some “Whithies” arrived. The whole afternoon long we just enjoyed the sun, the beach, the ocean, the waves, not to have to work, relaxed, slept, took pictures and talked a lot. If you ignore all the sand flies biting us all the time, this afternoon was just perfect ending with a beautiful sunset. Back in the city we finally decided to drive to glistening water, even if we were very tired and lazy. This in the end definitely was the best decision we could have taken as glistening waters definitely was the highlight of the week. It was not enough that we had a very delicious dinner directly at the ocean there, no; the whole attraction just was wonderful. A boat took us out to a special place of the ocean. You should have seen that, when you put your finger in the sea and moved the water, it was shining in bright blue!! There is no other place like this n the world, ok there are 3 other places on the world where this phenomena takes places, but they told us at none of these the water shines as bright as here. To be honest, I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing!! I never knew a place like this would exist, I never knew there are microorganisms in the ocean which save the sunlight like this and finally shine during night!! The best finally was when we were allowed to swim at this place of the ocean. I am honest, it felt like being in universe and letting the sea shine through swimming in the warm water together with one of the best star skies I have ever seen (You even saw the Milky Way) and a wonderful view on the lighted up harbor definitely belongs to the best moments of my life!! Lying on this water really was unforgettable and we even got a very good volunteer prize for the adventure so that the whole was also cheap!! Yeah man, it was amazing, but there also was something completely different amazing. Can you imagine? Our host-host-mum really was so much concerned when we were about to come home later without telling her that she even called glistening water to make sure we are there and feeling good and safe! That was awesome! Furthermore she told them not to let us go home alone by taxi because of the dangerousness, yeah man; she really wanted them to call a taxi that brings us home directly. Alone that was amazing, but in the end we were even driven home personally by the supervisor of the restaurant and guess what, even for free. I have to admit; I really sometimes had a very bad impression of the Jamaicans here during my stay, but today really changed my view a bit. There really seem to be a lot of nice people! This just made me happy. Arrived back at the apartment, the whole adventure just felt unbelievable! Furthermore the fact our host-host-mum was so much concerned about us and the wedded couple yesterday really made us think a bit. Do we maybe sometimes underestimate the dangerousness in Jamaica? I mean, maybe it is good that I haven’t told it earlier, but again and again I hear scary stories here. For example, once we were at a bar where after we have left a shooting with two dead people took place, or have you already heard of the stories from the hospital? Some of the medical volunteers some time ago told me there are not few people in the hospital with wounds along the arms they got from strangers coming into their garden by night! Or have I told you of the supervisor of one of the volunteers who has been killed? Or do you think it’s normal our accommodation in Falmouth had two fences and even an alarm? And not to forget, after the News on TV there are so often showed photos of people who died or are missed and you even hear from raped girls and kidnapped ones sometimes, but luckily all this most of the time happens in Kingston, not in Mandeville, even if this doesn’t change the bad situation. Ok, nope, that’s not normal!! And also the story from Lucie’s host mum, that actually the criminality only in Kingston is that bad, but they may plan to bring it to Mandeville on Christmas, really scares me a bit. Luckily I will be back on Christmas, friends, I am really looking forward to this, not only because of the dangerousness, no, above all because of you!

    Tata for today, I have to say, this vacation is just amazing!!

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  • 26Nov 2013

    20 third day of vacation - NINE MILE 26.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    TUESDAY - NINE MILE

    Tuesday finally was the day we sat more in a Taxi as we experienced something, but to be honest, it was worth it. So let me start from the beginning again. Today as well started with a very delicious breakfast as yesterday, this time even with pancakes which made it even more perfect for me!! Furthermore we also again experienced how nice our host-host-mum is. She really gave us her number to be able to call her if necessary during our travelling on and also wanted to let us being driven down the hill for getting a taxi there. Ok, last offer we didn’t take as it was really too much, but yes, she really is one of the nicest people I met here in Jamaica till now I have to say! So finally we again walked down the hill enjoying nature and finally directly getting a taxi to town. Arrived there, everything seemed changed. Almost all the stores where open, a lot of people went through the city, the spring was on a lot of, better too much people talked to us! At first we of course didn’t understand the change, but soon we found the reason. There was a big, big ship at the harbor with a lot of tourists. Puh, even if I was lucky to have seen the spring on and have taken some nice pictures there, I just was glad that we have been in the city yesterday. And that was the same Lara did. So in the end we were just happy to travel on. This time our way should lead us to NINE MILES; but this was more difficult as I thought before. So we at first had to take a bus to Ocho Rios, where we finally took the next bus, this time to Brownstown, at. It was such a long journey through hills, and hills and hills. And the worst, even Brownstown wasn’t our goal. So in the end we had again to take a taxi to finally drive us to NINE MILES. This one was expensive, as we weren’t able to take a route taxi during the day to there, the driver really wasn’t that friendly and the whole ride just was uncomfortable But what have I learnt here’ Yea man, always try to see the positive things and so you cold at least say, I now also now more about the Jamaican hill landscape and even drove not only shortly through a place where you couldn’t find houses, bigger animals or humans at all. And furthermore to see NINE MILES really was interesting and great if you ignore our back bags we of course had to carry all the time! This town finally was a very small one, but as Bob Marley who was born and buried here made it famous, it is a really nice one with a lovely colorful school. Arrived at Bob Marley’s place, we not only saw the house of his grandparents, the house he lived letting been built by his mum and he lived in till he moved to Kingston with 13, the grandparents’ and the mother’s and brother’s grave, no, we also saw his grave, the stone he often lay on during writing songs and the “oven” out of stones he used to cook with. As I already told you, it really was interesting and in my opinion you really have to see NINE MILES when you come to Jamaica, but to be honest, to visit a mausoleum as a tourist attraction felt quite wrong, above all because of our high guide, the high old people and the loudness of the crowd. This is a grave not a fun park, right? Ok, I wasn’t that bad, but I think you know what I mean, don’t you? To sum it up, NINE MILES was great to see, but it definitely was not the best! Back in Ocho Rio, after having visited the supermarket for buying stuff to cook our dinner with (We definitely haven’t eaten enough today and the last days, I even already felt dizzy!!), we finally went to the friendly German Hotel at the turtle beach I already knew. I was so glad I still found the way there and we were finally able to cook our dinner!! Pasta with eggs and vegetables!! This was very delicious and even the cooking itself as I really miss it I enjoyed very much!! When we then finally were sitting in candle light atmosphere with our delicious dinner I was just happy to have arrived, to have experienced the day and about the whole vacation itself. The only people who were missing were Selma and Luzie, but ok, we indeed had a wonderful evening!

    Tata for now, miss you!! (:

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  • 27Nov 2013

    21 fourth day of vacation - TURTLE BEACH 27.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Oracabessa, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    WEDNESDAY – TURTLE BEACH


    Wednesday finally again was a day with an early morning. You ask yourself why I keep on writing this as a first sentence, don’t you? It is just wonderful!! Here in Jamaica we always only sleep till 8 or maybe 9, as sun rises so early (at 6)! I have to say, I really love this, as it really makes the day longer!! But enough for this, as it wasn’t only an early morning, no; it also was a morning with a very delicious German breakfast (good bread, pretzel and butter) with a wonderful ocean view. Later on we went to the private beach of the hotel where we were nearly alone. I have to say, this definitely was the most relaxing time during my whole stay in Jamaica! It was so quiet at the beach, as we were only 2 people. I just finished the book we bought on Sunday (I really like it, as it reflects the Jamaican lifestyle in a very good way), listened to Pirates of the Caribbean, spent a lot of time swimming and laying on the water, got tanned and collected mussels. To sum it up, I really enjoyed every single minute. I have to say, I still have again and again these moments where I can’t believe what I am experiencing at the moment, where I can’t believe how wonderful nature can be at. Early in the afternoon we finally went back to the hotel as we actually wanted to Skype with Selma and our bus was supposed to come at 5, but you already know that we are in Jamaica. Guess what happened! This time the bus not only was too late, no, we kept in waiting and waiting and waiting to later found out the driver just forgot us at the hotel. That was so annoying. Just imagine we could have spent the whole afternoon on the beach instead of waiting!! In the end we left at about 7 or even later! Argh! Ok, but also this had a good aspect. Finally I really finished all my postcards, could relax a long time in the swing hammock and ate a yummy German breakfast. In the end we arrived in Port Antonio at about 10, but now the lucky part comes. I don’t know why, but the hotel did a mistake with our booking and so we in the end good a very beautiful (watch the pictures!!), actually expensive hut for the same price as the cheap one. That was so amazing, I still remember the last weekend in Port Antonio where all the ones who had a 2 bed hut really weren’t satisfied, as they didn’t have a shower, had insects in their beds and not enough space. And now Lara and I had our own shower, our own toilet, our own kitchen, our own living room, our own eating room, a bed with mosquito net and really a lot of space!! We were so lucky!! It was just awesome! Later on in the evening we of course also went to the cliffs, our favorite place. Watching the stars and sitting in the swing hammock, we just talked a long time and simply enjoyed a wonderful evening!! I have to say, I am very much satisfied with my vacation and I am so glad to spend it with Lara!

    Bye, bye! (:

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  • 28Nov 2013

    22 fith day of vacation - REACH FALLS 28.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Port Antonio, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    THURSDAY – REACH FALLS


    Thursday finally started with a late morning in our wonderful cabin. This was because it was raining outside. Of course it was very annoying and I was already afraid we wouldn’t be able to do anything that day, but sound of the rain also made the cabin even more comfortable I have to say. Later on we had a good breakfast (eggs and toast), till it finally luckily stopped raining. Soon we decided to go to the town centre of Port Antonio as we haven’t seen that much of it the last time since because of Sunday all stores were closed. To say it in an easy way, my impressions of the city are like them of almost every other Jamaican one. It is not that clean, there are little and some big stores, the houses are very old or broken and a lot of Jamaicans say “Psssst” to you as you are white. Actually nothing special except that the town woke up a lot of memories of the last time in Port Antonio: the club to which we went having a great evening, the peer we laid on about 3 hours with the family, the place where the foam party took place, to only mention some!! After a delicious sandwich we finally left the town for just relaxing a bit at home. Later on we decided to visit the REACH FALLS. On our way there we saw fantastic scenery. We really drove directly on the coast seeing wonderful beaches which were wild and natural. Arrived near the falls, Leonardo took us to them to then hike them with us. I already suspected: This again is going to be scary for me. You know I can’t do anything against it, I am simply afraid of streaming water and height!! But as I really wanted to experience the falls, I just decided to again face the fear which was in the end the best decision. The falls were simply impressive, located just in the middle of the jungle, surrounded by green nature, no tourists at all, no mosquitoes, nice clear refreshing water, Lara and our friendly guide Leonardo – just perfect!! But to be honest, I really was afraid a lot, jumping down one part of the fall wasn’t possible for me and when we swam behind the falls, I almost couldn’t breathe anymore. I hate it, but for the view we got on almost the top of the falls, all the wonderful swimming in the different pools of the falls and all the pictures Leonardo took of us, everything really was worth it! However indeed in the end I was really happy to have survived the tour and just enjoyed the wonderful feeling you may all now that you have when you have faced a fear successfully. Back at Leo’s car, he showed us some music of his and I have to say, I really liked it. It was the first time I gave a tip in Jamaica! Leo really was a nice Jamaican one and really let us experiences an unforgettable afternoon! Arrived back at the hotel, the actual plan was to again go to town having a last-evening-of-the-holiday-dinner, but even if we already had put our make-ups on, in the end we changed our plan and just stayed at the cliffs of the hotel having typical Jamaican some very delicious festivals and a very good Jerk Chicken. The stars we saw, the ocean and the whole atmosphere were just impressive and the talks we had just awesome. I am so glad to have spent my vacation with Lara; the whole week long we had no arguments at all and instead of this just a wonderful time!!!

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  • 29Nov 2013

    23 last day of vacation - JAMAICAN WAY OF TRAVELLING 29.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Treasure Beach, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    FRIDAY - FREDDIE MC GREGOR (Jamaican Version)


    Friday unfortunately was the last day of our vacation, but I have to say with the amazing sunrise we saw at the cliffs with a quiet, lovely atmosphere this day, it really was the perfect end of the holiday!! After having slept some more hours, we soon had a good breakfast again and furthermore enjoyed some nice last minutes at the ocean of Boston Bay which is definitely my favorite place of Jamaica as you already know. Finally our long journey home could start at about 10:30 and I already knew today we will spend in buses. Starting at our hotel the “Great Huts”, we at first had to drive to the town, then to Kingston to finally leave for Mandeville. It took us more than 6 hours which actually is just horrible if you consider how uncomfortable the buses are and that we sometimes had to sit with 5 people in one row, but again there were also positive aspects. It’s not enough that I could listen to my music the whole day enjoying the lovely view out of the window and thinking about everything (bus time really is thinking time and the time I miss you most by the way!!), no, I even saw Downtown of Kingston today as we had to go through it to get to the next bus. To sum up my impression of the city, actually it is really not a place I feel comfortable at, it’s unbelievably hot, full and loud, from everywhere you hear “Psst”, sometimes you get touched and even all the streettablestores which I actually like just were too many and not easy to overview. The only really positive thing in the end was that there were no cars in the centre, which is something I really miss here quite often!! When we finally arrived in Mandeville, I was just happy and very, very tired, but as I really wanted to go to the FREDDIE MC GREGOR concert in the evening at treasure beach where all the other wanted to go, my journey didn’t end at this point! After having had some late lunch at Burger King, it went on, at first to Junction. This time I travelled alone which I had never done before, but after all the experiences of the last week, I was sure to make it and in the end everything went perfect. A lot of Jamaicans helped me getting the right taxis (Mandeville-Junction-Treasure Beach-Shakespeare Cottage) and in the end I arrived even before most of the others. I was really a bit proud, first travelling public alone in Jamaica and everything worked! (: After having got a room with Lucie and Judith, Matthias, Lucie and I finally went out for dinner at the beach and later buying some alcohol at the supermarket. It was so strange to have spent the whole week only with one person and now again to socialize with a very big group which has changed so much. So many people left this week (e.g. Yonne and Johanna to only mention some), this was just sad, but telling all the stories from the vacation and seeing at least some of my friends again I really enjoyed!! Later on in the evening we had at first kind of a preparty with drinking games, fun and good mood till we finally left for the FREDDIE MAC GREGOR concert which was only 500 JD (about 4, 50 Euro in Germany). But it was not only very cheap, no, even if I was very, very tired because of the vacation, this evening definitely belongs to one of the best of my stay here in Jamaica as it had a really nice atmosphere and I really enjoyed the music and the dancing. Ok, sure, it was sad was that this evening also was the last evening for Flo and Brian, I am sure I will miss them very much, but this evening (except the fact that I was so tired) was almost perfect. We even went to the beach for a nigh swim with huge waves and again –I was so happy- a bonfire when finally suddenly (no one felt like it was already so late!) the concert was over. After delicious self cooked night pasta, I in the end went to bed at 4:30 -very happy, but also very, very tired!

    Tata!





    FRIDAY – JAMAICAN WAY OF TRAVELLING (German Version)


    Things I have started I definitely also want to bring to an end! That’s the reason why I am about to start to report about my last three weeks in Jamaica now. Although I am already back home for almost a month now, I hope that there are indeed some of you interested in finishing reading the story of my adventure in Jamaica. I really do hope so, have fun, guys. I am just glad to have you guys back!

    So what to say about Friday – the last day of Lara’s and my vacation? The best of it definitely was the beginning! Do you still remember me telling you of the great sunrise I saw with Lara on my third weekend in Jamaica? Yes and this time in Port Antonio we again decided to get up for the sunrise. It was such a wonderful view, such a great atmosphere seeing the sun rising above the sea during complete quietness. I am sure I will never forget that moment, as it belongs to the most impressive of my stay in Jamaica. Later on we slept again and finally enjoyed a last wonderful holiday breakfast before finally leaving one last time of our vacation for the sea. Sitting on the cliffs watching the ocean and feeling the wind in our hair, we watched some men trying to surf on the huge waves. The whole time I was just glad that there are still 3 weeks left of my stay in Jamaica. It must be so horrible now to have to say goodbye to the ocean as it was the situation for Lara I thought. Sitting there I got quite emotional just being thankful for every single minute in this beautiful country Jamaica, but unfortunately there was soon time for our long journey back to Mandeville to start. Just have a look at the map, it really is a quite long journey and if you consider us travelling that distance public you probably know what was expecting us now. We started at 10 pm. The first step for us was to get from the “Great Huts” to Port Antonio to then finally find a bus to Kingston. It was a long and hot journey taking us about 5 hours, but as I already told you these times are just the best for listening to music, marvelling at the Jamaican scenery and thinking about life. Arrived in Kingston, it was terribly hot. Have I ever told you about the climate in Kingston? It’s almost always more than 30 degrees and also the air humidity is very high! This time we even had to go through Downtown with our entire luggage to get the next bus, but I was very thankful for that as it gave me an impression of the city centre of Kingston which I have never visited before and probable will never visit again. To sum it up it’s a very loud, hot, confusing and uncomfortable town centre being full of hawkers and men shouting “Pssst” or “Whithy” or trying to touch you. The only aspects I really liked were the facts that this city centre was pretty colourful with all that different Jamaican articles to be sold on the streets and that there were no cars allowed to drive here – something very untypical for Jamaican cities, but the rest was quite horrible. I really don’t have to visit Kingston again. I even had a headache when finally leaving the city centre again. Some time later the last step of our journey finally was to get from Kingston to Mandeville. Lara was right, that definitely was one of the most uncomfortable travelling I have ever experienced in Jamaica. Yes, busses from Kingston to Mandeville really seem to be the worst – five people in one row all sweating, that hast to be enough information! In the end I was just happy to arrive in Mandeville, but I was also sad that that now definitely was the point where Lara’s and my vacation was about to end, but yes, we did have a great time!! Now, we were going different ways, I was about to travel on to Treasure Beach meeting the other volunteers going to a reggae concert, whereas Lara was about to go home for packing her bags for home and tomorrow buying some souvenirs. I really was very tired and hungry. So I decided to go to Burger King at first getting some rest and food. You can say after that week I was really used to travelling public in Jamaica. However I indeed was a bit excited to travel to Treasure Beach public alone. At first I had to go to Junction where I had to find a taxi to my destination. To sum it up, I was so happy finding Jamaicans helping me to find the right way. You can really point out that Jamaicans are very helpful and polite which is something I really like about the country. When I finally arrived at Treasure beach I was just happy and proud. I even arrived before the other volunteers! Later on the others arrived and Lucie, Judith and I could finally arrange to share a room. After having had some food with Lucie and Matthias and buying some alcohol at the supermarket the “preparty” for the concert could finally start. Seeing all the other volunteers again at first was quite strange as during my vacation a lot of them who were very important to me have already left and I was now used to not being in such a big group, but in the end I was also glad to see them again! Having again some drinking games and being in a good mood telling about the vacation and enjoying the last hours with Brian we all had a lot of fun before finally leaving for the concert of Freddie Mc Gregor. That finally was very cheep. Can you imagine visiting a concert in Germany for 4 Euros? You probably can’t! But to be honest, it was not “that good concert”, we were more simply having a great, funny party in a wonderful area listening to any reggae music and just dancing. It really was a good evening, even if I was very tired of the travelling. I got to know to Anne from Germany who isn’t a volunteer, but is travelling around in Jamaica for 3 months. She was very nice. Spending the evening with her was great. The only really sad aspect was that that was the last night withFlo and above all Brian. I am already sure I will miss them so much, but we made the best out of the situation and just completely enjoyed the evening. Later on some of us even went to the beach during night time swimming in the ocean during watching again an impressive bonfire. To be honest, I was a bit afraid of the huge waves you couldn’t see because of the darkness, but the experience to swim in the ocean after midnight was great!! Unfortunately there was suddenly the point I got really tired. After having had some pasta with the other volunteers Baxter cooked for us (@Baxter. Yes you really did a great job! But next time at first cook the water before you put the pasta inside, all right? <3), I finally decided to go to bed not regretting anything. Travelling on to Treasure Bach after the vacation really was no mistake!!

    Tata for now! Wha good!!

    Ramona

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  • 30Nov 2013

    24 SATURDAY – LARA’S AND SIMON’S LAST EVENING 30.11.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    SATURDAY – LARA’S AND SIMON’S LAST EVENING

    All these goodbyes, again and again, it just doesn’t stop. It’s really not that easy to again and again have to say goodbye to people who have found a place in your heart. Today I got up early, as there soon was time for Brian and Flo to go. To be honest, the hardest part really was that Brian was leaving. He really is a person I get along with very well and I had so much fun with here in Jamaica (just remember the jet-ski driving, the swing hammock in Port Antonio). He is just someone you can talk to very well. Fortunately he lives in Germany, so maybe there will be a time we will meet again.
    Later on after the goodbye, I thought of maybe going to bed again, I mean it was 8 o’clock in the morning and I maybe slept 3 hors that night. But as it was very hot in our room and Judith also got up, I decided to just go for a little morning walk on the beach with her. The morning atmosphere, the quietness and the talks I had with Judith just were a wonderful combination. I am already sure I will miss back home to have times you can just get up and go to the beach in the morning. When coming back, we at first had a delicious breakfast before a typical Jamaican relaxing day began. Enjoying the treasure beach really was a treasure. Furthermore I had a great lunch today as I went to Frenchman’s with Zoey from Australia. She already is in Jamaica for a second time and really is a funny, nice person. It’s so great to recognize that talking English doesn’t seem to be any problem any more. We really had no communication problems at all!
    And yeah, I haven’t talked to you about the political situation in Jamaica yet, right? It was today when I had a long discussion about that with a Jamaican friend. It’s unbelievable and frightening; the Jamaican political situation really doesn’t seem to be good at all. It’s not enough that apparently China is about to plan to buy Jamaica, no it even starts with the government who creates working places for then not employing any one or “only” Chinese people. Ok maybe that’s because of the working attitude, but I really think that it’s more destroying than useful. There really are a lot of Jamaicans just not finding any work or having to survive from selling little articles on street. Just for a question if you think of the complete political situation in the world, what do you think of China?
    Later in the afternoon it was finally time to leave for Mandeville again, at least for some of us who really wanted to spend one last evening in Mandeville with Simon and Lara. Back home I unpacked my stuff, took a shower and arranged my pictures before finally leaving for the Great House. You really can’t say whether we then had a good or bad evening. Fact is the whole one was filled with a sad mood as Lara and Simon really were an important part of our family! We had great food (Pineapple Chicken, if I remember right) and took some goodbye pictures. Later on we left for playing pool, but as it was on the weekend we just couldn’t find an empty table. Yes, playing pool really is a great passion of the Jamaicans!! So in the end we just had some drinks and I got to now to a really interesting Jamaican. I don’t know why, but today the political situation of Jamaica really seemed to follow me as I soon was talking to a Jamaican having to earn money by playing pool and selling things on street. I really feel sorry for him, it just seems like his cue is everything he has! Fortunately there’s at least hope for him and the one I talked to on the beach to find work in Montego Bay. I do hope so much they will be employed!!
    Later on we tried to find a club to dance. It was hopeless. We couldn’t find a good, open one, but at least an empty pool table. Playing pool was great and I even got to know Alyssa from Canada better this evening. However unfortunately it was soon time to say goodbye to Simon. It was the saddest moment till now, I mean, he is my “husband”!!! I was almost about to cry! Why is Sweden so far away? In the end I was just glad when I could go to bed, as I was sad and very tired. But that wasn’t that easy, as when reaching home a long time nobody opened the door. Oh dear, as I heard about all that scary stories, I really was a bit afraid standing outside alone with no one opening for me. However in the end everything turned out all right!

    To sum it up, that was a good, not perfect, but above all very sad evening.

    Tata!

    Ramona

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  • 01Dec 2013

    25 SUNDAY –TYPICAL GERMAN SUNDAY 01.12.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    SUNDAY –TYPICAL GERMAN SUNDAY


    You couldn’t describe today better than when you call it a typical German Sunday. In the morning Lucie, Lara and I got up early for going to church. It was so difficult to decide what to wear. It was not enough that I haven’t washed since the vacation with Lara, not it’s more the church dress code in Jamaica which made it even more difficult to find the right clothes. Yes, in here they really wear the most beautiful dresses and huts for church.
    When finally have found a dress to wear, we started our way to church. As there was no taxi coming we just decided to start walking. It was again just beautiful, I know I have already told you a thousand times, but I really love the hills of Mandeville. Only stupid that in the end we almost had to walk the whole way to church as just no taxi was coming for a very long time. It took us more than 40 minutes and in the end we even arrived late for church. Even if we knew we are in Jamaica and the Jamaicans never are on time, it really was quite embarrassing to enter church when everyone was already sitting and a lot of people were just looking at us. We really weren’t sure if it’s ok to do so, but in the end no one complained, no, they all even very especially friendly to us.
    When I was finally sitting in church, I realized how much I missed it. I don’t know whether you know it, but probably you do. In Germany I really often go to church and even play in the church band. In here I haven’t been to church till now at all. In the end I got very emotional and when they finally started singing a song I know from church back home (I think it was “Don’t let my love grow cold), I felt tears in my eyes. It just felt good!! But yes, you may be more interested in how church in Jamaica is in how much I was happy. So for your information, it really is different from Germany. For example when the minister speaks, the audience often answers with “Yes” or interacts with him in other ways. It really seems like the whole service is a living communication between the minister and the church community. Furthermore when singing the audience often claps and stands and really almost everyone was singing. The sermon was quite long, but also pretty good and reported with a lot of attitude (!!). It was strange I would have never thought it could be too warm in a church till I finally entered a Jamaican church. I remember churches from my childhood I was freezing in all the time, but I would have never thought a church also can be too hot. But this time it was! Definitely! But back to the service, there were a lot more differences if you compare it to home. For example church also seems to be a very, very important information source here, as they talked a lot about the sick and dead people. If you asked me what I like most in Jamaican church, I would say it is the feeling the Jamaicans give you when going to their church as a European. They really let you feel they like to have you here and even let us take part in the sacrament after the service (by the way: It’s normal here. They separate service and sacrament). Furthermore I really like that they pray for single people being sick during the service and that they all really seem to mean it very seriously with the service. Also hearing that they have a children church like we have in Germany was an aspect I was pleased about. To sum it up, the 2 hours service really didn’t feel like two hours service, no, time passed really fast and it really gave me a good impression of one part of the Jamaican culture –the Jamaican way of living their faith. After the service a lot of people welcomed us and shook our hands – yes, they were really pleased to have us here.
    Later on we went to a bakery for having cupcakes, typical German, I warned you! Having good talks and finally walking home again in the sun, was just perfect. I just love my girls!! The rest of the day I spent tidying up, watching all the Jamaican things and memories I have already collected, watching pictures and spending time with my host sisters and Lara. When Lara visited me in the evening we exchanged all the pictures. It was now almost the probably last time we will meet in Jamaica. It was really sad. What am I going to do without Lara’s and mine Sunday evening talks? Furthermore now I really also feel like leaving. Almost all of my good friends have already left now: I miss the German pre-Christmas period, German Christmas cookies, German “Glühwein”….! Of course on the one hand I never want to leave, but right now I could really imagine boarding on a plane getting home!! I miss it! 
    Later on Lara’s host brother visited us. In the end we had a very long, funny and also serious discussion. He was really complaining about the exam I created for the students he had to write. In the beginning, I was really wondering whether I made it too difficult, but in the end the situation was clear: it was him complaining, him who likes complaining and really doesn’t seem to be the most-motivated music student. Furthermore in the end he even almost admitted that it wasn’t that difficult and that he hasn’t done everything wrong. One of the best moments of the day finally was, when both of them have already left and I spent the rest of the evening with my sisters. It was Kamille’s birthday. She again and again wanted to give me a piece of her cake (To be honest the whole birthday itself wasn’t celebrated that much! I even don’t know whether she got any presents…)! Furthermore I made the hair of Kayanna (Oh dear, that’ so difficult!! have you ever watched Jamaican hair?!?) and in the end she slept in my arms! That was a wonderful, unforgettable moment! Only Kayla has been mean to me for some days now. I really don’t know why. I really have to find it out! She really doesn’t seem to want to talk to me any more. Why??? But that has to be enough for today, after some good talks to Judith and having written my diary I finally went to bed.

    Good night,

    Ramona

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  • 02Dec 2013

    26 10th week in Mandeville 02.12.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    New Hope – Christmas cookies - Chill Spot - international Volunteer Day


    Hey friends,

    Yeah man, I am finally about to write about my 10th week in Mandeville. I still have 20 days to write about, but as I really like to think about my time in Jamaica, I am sure I will finish it soon. So now enjoy reading, what was going on during my 10th week in Mandeville.

    Monday started wonderfully with those wonderful, delicious pancakes my host mum often makes for me in the morning. I really have to try to make them myself back home in Germany I always thought (It’s more difficult than I thought! I tried on my birthday and the result was a complete fail! Haha! That’s also the reason you didn’t get that much Jamaican food on my birthday by the way!). But today also was a day with a lot of trouble. I am just disappointed in the organisation I am here with in Jamaica. Can you imagine today they wanted me to come to town to probably then introduce me to the new project area I will be working at? Ok, then I exactly did what they told me for then having been said that it’s stupid I came to town! I apparently should have known that the orphanage is on my way to town and get there directly. The thing is, I knew that, but I thought they would maybe introduce me?! No, she just showed me which taxi I should take and then I drove there alone. Actually not that big problem, but I had to pay both taxis - the one to town and the one back again! It maybe seems to be a little thing to you, but if there are again and again problems with the organisation it can also be one little thing you can get angry about! In the end it was just strange to come to the orphanage without being introduced, but luckily there was Lisa showing me how everything works and to again see it positive, I also made it well by myself. I just introduced myself and started working. In the beginning actually really no one told you what to do, you just started. That was on the one hand a big adventure on the other one it was also quite difficult, as you can probably imagine. There was no real welcome, you just started. But the welcome I have maybe missed by the staff or the organisation was in the end given me by the children. They were so great hugging me, wanting to sit on my lap, playing with me. All of that are just wonderful memories.
    The first kid I cared about was a little, very thin boy. I don’t want to say any names or any concrete stories here (You can ask me personally, if you are interested!!! I would like to share it! I even plan to once collect money for all my children in “NEW HOPE”…), but one is clear, I will never forget him. He really seemed to have a terrible story and if you had looked at him, you would have seen that he also has serious health problems – physically and psychically. He really touched my heart. You saw in his eyes that he really longs for caring and really has experienced a time he missed it!! That view of that child crying wanting to have a hug of me I will never ever forget!
    But back to the day, there were a lot of more unforgettable moments with the kids. You can really say, from the first day on me really felt comfortable in that placement. It’s not comparable to my first one where it took a quite long time till I could say that. The whole time at the orphanage today I just played with simple toys with the children and fed them. Sometimes it’s hard to forget that all of them don’t really have parents, but what counts is to care for them, make them a wonderful childhood, make them feeling loved, make them happy and make them smile. It was even harder that most of them even if they were already 5 couldn’t talk a lot as most of them didn’t have a Mum teaching them every single word. And it was also hard (I know every mother knows that problem!!) that crying little children can’t tell you what they really want, they just cry! However I really enjoyed my whole time holding babies in my arms and having wonderful moments with the kids. The best today was when in the end a child even gave me a kiss for saying goodbye!!! It was an exhausting morning, I wouldn’t have thought that. For example standing in the sun pulling kids in swings and playing with them really was exhausting even if you may not believe it. But it also, no, above all was a wonderful, unforgettable one!! (:
    After my time in “New Hope” today, I walked home. That’s so exhausting, walking upstairs a hill in the midday sun, but it was worth it, as it was for saying goodbye to Lara. It was just sad and very emotional. I know I repeat it for the thousands, but I really don’t want her to leave. Unfortunately Lucie and I couldn’t wait for her Taxi to the airport to come, as we really had to handle some things in Mandeville like going to the office, the super market, the market, to payless (unfortunately the bag I wanted to buy was already sold) and the digital market, but it was all right for her and actually it was already emotional enough. When Lucie and I finally were in town, something wonderful happened. One of my May Day students saw me, came to me and said the students miss me. She really seemed to be happy to see me and I really felt like I have made a change at that school. Later on we finally took a taxi back home. It was like it should have been like that. Directly when we came, the taxi bringing Lara to the airport had just arrived. It was so emotional. I was just running to her to wish her a good flight and say goodbye again. When then the Taxi left, I simply had to cry. I would have either liked to also fly home or would have liked her to stay. Fortunately at least Alyssa and my little host sister Kayanna were there to comfort me. Later on in the evening I got a stomach ache. Maybe because of all the rice all the time, I don’t know, but I was really pissed off (also because I hated that I kept on not writing my blog ^^). That evening also was the one I really wished to have the room for me alone, as exactly today I furthermore had a little argument with Judith. Shit evening!!!

    When I woke up on Tuesday, my stomach ache wasn’t gone. It was getting better, but it still hurt. I think it’s just too much rice. I really miss the German food and I think that’s the same my body does. This time I almost walked the whole way to “New Hope”, I supposed some movement will maybe help my body, but I was wrong. The pain just stayed, but at least all the cute children simply helped me to forget it. We again had so much fun playing, feeding and taking pictures. It’s so great to see the New Hope kids laughing! And it’s even greater to see those children laugh who actually never laugh. I do love one of the boys (no names here) so much; you could really say that we have a special relationship to each other. Actually he is really shy, doesn’t laugh, never really plays with the other children, but we have so much fun together playing “crazy boy” on the swing. It’s so cute when he smiles when I tickle him. Furthermore I fed a little baby today. These are the moments you just wish to be a mother. It’s just a wonderful moment when a baby is lying in your arms. Almost everyone here just longs for being hugged. It feels wonderful sharing love with the kids. It’s marvellous seeing them advancing. Today that very thin boy I told you about walked some steps. This just made me happy!! But of course there are also difficult moments. There are some kids I don’t know how to get along with well. They are just shy and it’s hard to gain their trust. But I am just thankful for all that valuable experiences here, not only the good once, also the challenging, maybe bad ones.
    Later on we drove to Mandeville for meeting the other volunteers to go to Mega Mart and buy ingredients for CHRISTMAS COOKIES. Yes, we really planned to bake some for us, as we miss the European pre Christmas time like crazy. But can you believe how difficult that was? We not even could find sugar! We could not even find unsalted butter that wasn’t that expensive! It was hopeless! We couldn’t find all ingredients, so in the end when our caddy was almost full, we gave up! It was impossible to bake Christmas cookies, so chocolate brownies and hot chocolate had to be enough. You could really say we were a bit disappointed, but when we then finally found an “Adventskalender” the day was saved! Later on we met up at Zoey’s having the brownies and the hot chocolate! It was delicious and we girls really had fun!! Arrived home I felt strange. I really missed the past volunteers and I was really sad to leave soon. It is so strange all the last week on almost nobody was talking badly about others and now? Everything has changed! That just made me sad. In the evening Lisa, Romain (my best Jamaican friend) and the girls wanted to go out for playing pool with me. I was the complete opposite of being motivated, I was in a very bad mood and really didn’t feel like going out, but in the end they persuaded me to come and to be honest, that was the best decision. We had a great evening with fun, good mood, poker pool, domino and good music. I really felt better after that and I have to say it was great to meet Romain again - a Jamaican boy I got to know at Treasure Beach. He really is very congenial and seeing him just made me happy again. I really like his funny character and he really doesn’t seem to be that cursory as most of the other Jamaicans. That’s wonderful!

    It’s such a great feeling to wake up and just look forward to the day. I really love my placement; I just feel comfortable there and simply love my kids. After having been driven there by my host mum today (Wednesday), a next wonderful day could start. It’s lovely to be kissed by the children and it sometimes really feels like they are “my own” children. One wonderful moment today was when I asked one if the kids, whether he knows that I love him and he answered yes. It’s always something special when the children answer what you ask them, as their speaking skills are very poor as I told you already. Furthermore today was a special day, not only because I saw one of the kids standing alone for the first time, no, above all because one of the children was picked up by her Mum today for Christmas. It was so emotional, almost the whole staffs were crying. Just imagine the baby was finally lying again in the right arms, in the arms of her mother!! It’s great to know this ,child has her mother back! But also the everyday work was great again today. Feeding the babies milk always reminds me of the time my brother was a baby. In addition I did the laundry for the children today, yes, also that’s something that has to be done. But there are also again and again sad moments, can you imagine, some of the babies just seem to want to drink from my breast again and again. That’s so sad, having no mother is bad, but having no mother as a baby seems to be even worse! When I look at my children’s eyes every day, I am already sure of what I want to do at home. I really regret not having brought soft toys, but I am sure I want to collect money for the children. They really need it! Sometimes getting potato chips for a meal as fruits are too expensive is something that really has to be changed!! Furthermore I can only encourage you to work at new Hope if you ever want to do voluntary work in Jamaica. It’s not that you can do those big things for the children, but all the little things, all the small gestures you do really mean a lot!!! Showing the children they are loved is very important and you really feel like they need you here as a volunteer. It’s important to show the children they are not only a part of the big New Hope family (more than 20 children), but also special as a single person and that’s what you have to show the children when you care for them individually which is only really possible with volunteers helping!!
    Later on we again went to the food court as every day; I ate a delicious baguette (I am just glad they have it here, even with dark bread!) and we just relaxed till we finally left for the CHILL SPOT to play pool and domino and meet Romain again. I just love that place. It’s small and the best for relaxing and having some fun in the Jamaican way!! Later on we went to Dance Class again where we learnt the “Bull dance” at. It was so embarrassing, but also so funny! It’s the best feeling no one knows you here; actually nothing has to be really embarrassing. When then finally having arrived home and the everyday question “Ready for dinner” from my host mum followed something inside of me was complaining. I can’t see the food any more, my poor stomach!! But that wasn’t the only annoying part of the evening; also the relationship to my host sisters has changed in a negative way. There is only something left to ask: Why??? I don’t understand it; they are behaving so strange, not as friendly as usually! Maybe it is because it is now normal I am here? But is that a reason to be mean and unfriendly?
    Finally we again spent the evening at Pants. To be honest, most of us girls really can’t see that place any more. Why do the boys love it so much? You can’t even sit there comfortably most of the time and there’s also no place for dancing! Why????

    Thursday finally was INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY. In the morning I got one of those fabulous pancakes of my host mum, so actually the day couldn’t have started better. Arrived at New Hope, it was so great to hear one of the girls saying my name!! I am so proud of her, it’s not that she can say a lot, but she can say my name and that in such a cute way! I just love her. It’s really great to hear your name through the door even before you have entered the home. It just shows you are loved! Today we had a lot of fun with the swing, even if it was very exhausting and hot. It’s great to realize that from day to day I remember more names; my aim even is to know every one before leaving (We will see!). In addition I tried to teach a boy walking today!! it was so much fun!
    To be honest, it’s quite difficult to report about my time in New Hope. As you see, actually I am doing the same almost every day! But it’s wonderful to do that! It’s wonderful to make the children smile with the smallest things! The way you feel when one of the children hugs you or just plays with you is almost indescribable! It’s one of the best things I have ever experienced! On the other hand it was for example today just sad to realize that the thin boy is doing badly again!! He just keeps on vomiting. I do hope so much he will soon gain pounds and survive! It’s a daily struggle!! It’s so difficult. If you see a little child lying on the ground crying, what would you do? I am sure you would hug him! But that’s not always the best for that boy. Isn’t it it like that? Yes. as in that way you show him, when he is crying, lying on the ground weakly and vomiting, he gains your attention and so he is (in his eyes) successful! Shit, that’s really hard. It hurts to leave him crying, but you have to know: It’s the best for him. He has to get strong and stronger!!! So you see my time is not only wonderful, but it’s filled with valuable experiences, for me you could say it is a gift.
    Later on in the afternoon we again went to the food court to finally leave for the office. This time we didn’t know what was expecting us, we just were told to come. Arrived, a surprise was waiting. Yes, it was International Volunteer Day and the organisation had prepared some food, videos, presents and certificates for us! If you ignore that the food really wasn’t good and that as always in project meetings the mood wasn’t that good, we indeed had a great time!! Receiving a certificate was really good, I mean, you never know, maybe you will need it once!!!
    Later on I went home for having dinner and writing my blog.
    In the evening a lot of us volunteers again met up at Pants to spend Melanie’s last evening together. We had a great and above all funny time, but to be honest, it is also frightening; now already almost the last one of those having been here since I am here is leaving. It’s terribly sad, I don’t want to leave soon, I don’t want to miss all my friends! This though just makes me sad!!!

    Bye, bye

    Ramona

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  • 06Dec 2013

    27 Beach Weekend in Negril 06.12.2013 Jamaika —

    Negril, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    Jerk Chicken Pasta and Dirty Banana - The Jungle - Service


    Yeah man,

    Finally I am about to write about my 10th weekend in Jamaica. It’s strange, but for me it feels like not really having arrived home before I have finished my blog. So now have fun experiencing with me again, what was going on my almost last weekend in Jamaica! Enjoy!

    Friday started like actually almost every Jamaican Friday – with a stressful morning at which I had to pack my bag for the weekend as I was too lazy to that yesterday evening! When I finally reached New Hope I was just glad that now at first a wonderful working day and then the weekend in Negril could finally come.
    What is it this time that I want to share with you from my experiences at the orphanage? This time I want to tell you about the faith in New Hope. You already know in Jamaica they are almost all living their faith very seriously and exactly that’s also what I experience at New Hope every day. Just look at 2 situations taking place every single day. On the one hand it’s normal for them to pray before eating. You know the children can’t speak that much, but they already learnt to pray a little prayer before meals. It’s not that you understand every word, but you can guess what they say: God is great, god is good and we thank you for the food, Amen!” On the other hand they listen to Christian/Christmas songs (Very strange to hear them in the very hot sun!) every day and there’s even a clapping game they almost play everyday with the children: “Clap your tiny hands, clap your tiny hands for god!” For me it’s great to experience every day again, how much strength and power the staffs and the kids get from their faith. It’s wonderful to see people praying and living the faith without having to think or without just thinking what others think about them when doing that. They all really seem to have a special relationship to god. I think it’s wonderful that they still believe in god even if they are confronted with big adversity almost every day!! It’s great to see they never give up and it’s great to see that they even praise the lord in the biggest pain!!!
    What else is to share about my placement today? It’s wonderful to experience that more and more children are now able to say my name, sometimes it almost ends up in a little choir shouting: “Mona, Mona, Mona”. These are the moments I will probably never forget. Furthermore I have to say I feel more and more comfortable at my placement and I more and more know by myself how I can help. I really like feeding the small babies; it’s so cute seeing them drinking their milk out of the bottle. In addition we again had a lot of exhausting fun with the swings and playing with the blocks and of course I also fed the children again at “Snack time” and ”Lunch time” and brought them to bet before leaving at midday. It’s so cute to play “Crazy boy” (tickling them lying in a bed – my idea!) or anything else before they get bathed and finally get a goodnight kiss before after-lunch sleep. It’s not always easy to get barefaced children sleep. I really admire mothers doing that every day. It’s very challenging, not always cute and sometimes even hard when the children start crying as you leave and they get locked in their bed! Unfortunately there was soon time for us volunteers to leave. I can’t believe now already half of my time at New Hope is over. I am very thankful for every single experience here. My time at the orphanage definitely belongs to the most valuable here in Jamaica!!
    Finally arrived at the food court, I ate yoghurt with cereals. You may ask, whether I report about such a little thing, right? But for me it’s luck that they have it here. I am sure if you came here, you would soon think the same. There simply comes a time you can’t see all the fatty Jamaican food any more and then you would also consider yoghurt as something special. But enough for that, soon there was time to leave for the weekend in Negril. To be honest, I really was sad not to spend this weekend with the “family”, sure, I was glad to have found new friends and I was looking forward to the weekend, but it was also a sad thought not to have the family around my that weekend, as they visited glistening waters that weekend as I already did with Lara. Soon the travelling could start. As I and some others were now used to travelling public in Jamaica, as it was cheaper and as we were only 6 people this time, we decided to go that way this time and it worked well.
    Arrived at “Roots Bamboo” in Negril a lot of memories of my first weekend in Jamaica crossed my mind. Wow, that really was the first place I travelled to in Jamaica and now it’s one of the last I am visiting. The thought of that got me very emotional, luckily above all happy. It’s unbelievable what I have already experienced here and no one can ever take it away! Finally we had JERK CHICKEN PASTA for dinner and A DIRTY BANANA as a cocktail. That’s what Roots Bamboo is “famous” for and I have to say it was very delicious (Writing that now, about one month later, I get very hungry even if it’s in the morning! Yes, I now even miss the chicken and above all that delicious pasta!). Later on we had some fun, drinks and games at the beach, before finally going to bed early to be fit for the next night which definitely should be a long, long club night, but enough for today. Good night!!! (:

    Saturday started with an early morning on the beach! I just love the morning sun and finally having breakfast on the beach made the morning perfect! Later on we just relaxed on the beach, got tanned and enjoyed the beautiful sea. I have to say, I am glad to have travelled out with that group on the weekend, as we got along very well with each other and above all as we simply spent a perfect girl’s weekend! Later in the afternoon we eventually walked along the beach (Negril’s beach is one of the longest in Jamaica, it’s 9 miles long!) to finally visit Negril’s Art’s and Craft’s Market. Arrived there, we tried to buy souvenirs and just enjoyed the great atmosphere. You may ask why I call it great atmosphere. Of course, I am not a fan of street vendors almost forcing you to visit their store and buy something, but indeed I just like Jamaican markets. It’s wonderfully colourful (I just love the Reggae colours: red, yellow and green) there and you can see so many beautifully, hand-made jewellery. And to be honest, slowly but surely even bargaining is fun. I just like the atmosphere; it’s so real and somehow natural! Soon we went to town for having lunch. I have to say on the one hand I really like it; on the other hand it’s horribly touristic! The aspects I really like of course are that Negril isn’t that dirty and that it is very long, broad and lovely, so not comparable to any other Jamaican city I know. But if you really want to experience the Jamaican way of living don’t go there, you will definitely find too many whities! Better come to Mandeville! Soon we went to the time square of Negril – something like a shopping centre to finally have lunch and a delicious ice dream (I already told you they don’t eat it that often here, right?! It’s so strange ice cream is really something I connect with summer, but ok….) there. Arrived there a Caribbean atmosphere mixed with a European one welcomed us. Just look at the pictures. It’s hard to describe. Time square is like the southern way of a shopping centre I’d say. Later on we again went back to the beach. It’s a strange thought. Having the opportunity to visit a beach on the weekends slowly gets normal. How should I get used to the cold Germany soon? But better back to the evening, watching a wonderful sunset we took a lot of pictures and finally went out for dinner to an Italian Restaurant. That one was so good. I haven’t had such a delicious pizza and brucchetta for such a long time! It was wonderful! How happy little thinks can make you! Impressive! Later on we went back to Roots Bamboo playing Never Ever, Uno and enjoying the beach atmosphere for then finally leaving for the JUNGLE – a Jamaican club! It really sucked – we were 5 minutes too late and should now pay 1500 JD instead of 600 JD for entrance and free drinks and that in Jamaica! You know Jamaicans are always on time, right? We were very angry and almost about to go! In the end we even did it, but luckily in the last minute they shouted we can go inside for 1000 JD (Jamaican Dollars, I have mentioned it already, right? It’s actually very cheap, 9 Euros or something like that). That now was ok and an awesome evening could start! It’s nothing for the internet again; we simply had a funny party evening with good music (The DJ even played “Colour of love” for me!), good mood and a wonderful group! But only for your information, I’d like to describe the Jamaican club life a bit. You can really say the Jamaican way of dancing is comparable to “Sex on the dance floor”. It is normal that they only play songs for 30 seconds and of course “dancehall music” shouldn’t be missing! If you watch the Jamaican party dressing style, you would maybe dismay first. It’s not too much when I tell you; you could think they directly come from the beach with that few clothes they wear. But enough for that, ask personally when you want to hear more! Bye!

    You already know Saturday was party night, right? We went to bed after having had jerk chicken (the best after a party) at 4.30, but indeed I woke up at 6:30 today. I don’t know why, maybe because it was hot or because it was loud outside (some people were singing Christian songs) or because the sun was shining brightly, I don’t know, but in fact, I was awake very early today! Going to the beach, something unexpected expected me. Some Jamaicans were celebrating a SERVICE at the beach singing accapella Christian songs (like “Amazing Grace”), praying and listening to the priest. It was a great atmosphere, very natural and anyways another valuable cultural experience. I even saw some children and women getting baptized in the ocean. You can’t compare it to the European way of getting baptized. The priest was standing in the ocean with his clothes on being wet up to his haunches waiting for the children to be baptized to come and finally duck them completely! You could say the whole service was really not what I expected going to the beach on a fresh morning after a long, long party night, but indeed it was a great experience. It’s a strange feeling to see a service at a beach at which actually a lot of tourists are spending their days at. To sum it up it was a big contrast between a kind of “holy, festive atmosphere” and a “touristic fun place”.
    After the service I finally decided to go to bed again. It’s always the same after long party nights, you spend the whole next day sleeping and relaxing. But to be honest, it was great to just enjoy the beach, the sun, the ocean, a delicious breakfast and some beach musicians playing some songs on their guitars for us. Later on in the afternoon we finally tried to head for home. Yes, you could really call it a try. It was very difficult to travel public on a Sunday. We had to wait for hours (at least it felt like that) to get the right taxis and the fact that some of us still felt sick because of yesterday really didn’t improve the situation! And don’t forget the way of driving in Jamaica, yes; this really made it even worse for some of us!! In the end I was just glad to reach home. It never happened before but this was the first time I even forgot to pay the taxi driver, oh dear, I was just really tired and finally my host mum had to remind me of paying as the driver was waiting in front of the door for me to pay. Oh, oh, oh ... almost nothing more to say! The rest of the evening I spent with my host sisters playing cards (Kayanna is so sweet, she again and again tells me how much she loves me!), with my roommate telling stories about the weekend and myself watching pictures and writing some sentences of my blog (You know, for me it was more important to experience as much as possible the last weeks than writing my blog every single day! I am glad about that!! And also the time without internet…It was a good decision!!!). Actually there’s only one question left: Why is Kayla still mean to me or you could even say does ignore me?

    It’s strange I think I am still not aware of what I actually experienced! Writing about all my adventures, I can’t really believe what was going on THAT 3 MONTHS. For me it’s almost unbelievable, but I am thankful, just thankful for having been in Jamaica gaining that much experiences.

    Tata,

    Ramona

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  • 09Dec 2013

    28 11th week in Mandeville 09.12.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    First steps - Jamaican way of cooking - YS falls - hospital


    Hey my dear friends in Germany,

    It’s unbelievable! Now I am already about to report about my last week at “New Hope”. Time was passing far too fast at that time! But what would have helped help more against that than cherishing every moment? Nothing! So now enjoy reading about all that wonderful moments I have experienced during my 11th week in Jamaica. Have fun!

    Monday started wonderfully. We again had those wonderful pancakes (@Bones/John: You are doing a bad job! I am here for 1 month now and we only had pancakes once!!! :P)! It really was always like that, when we had that breakfast, the day could only turn into a good day. And that exactly was what was happening today. It was a wonderful Monday. Arrived at New Hope looking at all my kids I was already happy! Even if I had to do the laundry of the kids today, it was a great day. Have I already told you about that little girl having come to New Hope during my time there? I think I didn’t, but I definitely should. When she came here, she was crying and crying and crying. It was so sad to directly experience how the children seem to feel when just coming here. Lisa and I really cared a lot for that girl, we didn’t know her whole story, but one thing was clear, we wanted to make her feeling better. Out of that a special relationship between her and me was growing. I don’t know, but I would call kind of a mother-daughter-relationship. When I left her alone, she was crying, when I was coming, she stopped crying (most of the time). Every time she was sitting on my lap I was just happy, every time I saw her smile I was happy. Yeah, and today something special happened with that girl! It definitely was my best moment at New Hope. Can you imagine Lisa and I taught her to walk! Seeing that girl, seeing “my” little girl making her first steps by herself was unbelievably emotional. I almost had to cry. It’s so beautiful to see the proud eyes of a child who is just conquering the world on her own feet for the first time!! And there was even something which made the moment even more unforgettable. There was this older girl of the orphanage helping us to teach the little one walking. Now imagine. There was sitting me with that little girl on my lap and in front of me there was sitting Lisa with that older girl. Now I let the younger walk and the older one just spread her arms, caught her when arriving and even gave her kiss! It’s so great to experience that all the kids at New Hope seem to be a little family. They really behave like sisters! That’s beautiful! And it’s even more beautiful to experience how they let you be part of that family for the time you are there! Today I was again kissed by that little boy. He is so cute! I will never forget the smile of his eyes!! It’s wonderful to realise how much the children love you and how much they appreciate you are there. I thank god for that valuable time at New Hope!!!
    In the afternoon we again went to the food court and the office. Furthermore Lisa (from Germany) and I watched the others dancing hip hop (We were just too lazy! :P) today! During that we tried to make plans for the weekend with our travel guides. To be honest, it’s getting more and more difficult to find places on the island you haven’t seen already and you are interested in. We found some ideas where to go, but a real plan wasn’t found yet. Later on we went to Mega Mart. It’s hard to remember, but I think I haven’t told you more about that yet, right? It’s a big, big shop you can buy everything from food to clothes. If you ever are in Jamaica and you miss Europe, just go there, it will remind you of home. It’s big, big and big!! And really not that Jamaican! That’s the place we even found an “Adventskalender” to buy! Luckily!
    Later on in the evening I finally met up with the family for having some Chinese food. As I didn’t spend the weekend with them, I was even gladder to finally see them again! I really missed them on the weekend and to be honest I was already sure about how much I will miss them when being back in Germany. After dinner we also went to the cinema watching “Home Front”! It was a typical boy movie, but to be honest, it wasn’t that bad (However I know don’t remember anything of the story now!). Finally having arrived home, I realised, I hadn’t written my blog these days, I hadn’t cleaned up my room these days, I hadn’t washed my laundry these days…! Apparently I was just about to cherish every moment!! And also this night with Judith was a quite good one! Good night!

    Tuesday morning it was raining and raining and raining. It was strange! It’s not that I was not used to the rain here (I mean in October there was rain time and I survived. I told you about the streets turning into rivers, right?)), but it was one of the first times it was raining in the morning!!! And that really sucked. You can really call it luck that soon a taxi driver found me on my way to New Hope and took me there (even for free, as he wanted to be my friend! Sometimes it has advantages to be white! Haha! He wanted to become my personal taxi driver! He even offered more free drives!!). Arrived at New Hope, the day was continuing differently. Also today the children were standing in front of the door wanting to go outside, but this time it was too wet and they were not allowed to. It was difficult, not only for the children, also for us volunteers. Just imagine outside you have so many different toys to play with the children, inside that’s far more difficult. I mean, there are toys, but not that many and furthermore there is just not that much space inside. But in the end also that morning was a good one and we even again practised walking with that lovely, cute, little girl I do love so much. From day to day I was building a better relationship to the kids and even if some are still shy, you can now really say, they were now used to me. Furthermore there were some visitors coming today. These were some quite young nurses (I think) just spending time with the children and sharing love with them. One memorable moment soon definitely was when the started praying for the kids before leaving. Soon everyone got quiet (except some children of course. But that didn’t matter!). And when they then finally prayed for that little, thin boy, I got tears in my eyes....! My time at New Hope definitely was the most emotional one in Jamaica. For sure!! And maybe also the most valuable one! When today the children for example again got a hot dog with that ugly sausage instead of fruits or maybe vegetables, I again learnt to appreciate what we Germans have and was again sure about my money collecting plans for New Hope. A valuable experience!
    Later on you already know what we did, right? Of course, we went to the food court again!! It’s strange how fast you get used to something. Listening to reggae music in the taxis, on the streets, at the beaches....! That’s now kind of normal! But won’t I miss it like crazy at home (It is like that! Maybe not above all the reggae itself, but the fact that no one is afraid of singing here, that you again and again hear music on the streets, all that candidness for music, the way of living music, the agility of the music….)? I really had to do a lot today. I had to fill out some forms about my stay and placement in Jamaica! It was quite a lot to do, but also a good opportunity to finally get rid off my opinion about the organisation which really wasn’t that good! But I don’t want to complain about that again now; I think you already know enough about that shit! Back to the day, today finally was the day I learnt the JAMAICAN WAY OF COOKING at a Jamaican friend of mine. So in the afternoon the Negril-New Hope-Gang (all the volunteers at New Hope!) was about to go to the market to buy ingredients for a traditional Jamaican cooking. As it was still raining, I was in the end just glad to arrive at his house for cooking. Visiting one of the natives gave me a good impression of the Jamaican way of living when you are kind of poor. He has now fluent water in the kitchen – only a big rain ton – and the day I came here there was almost no electricity. We were cooking in kind of a darkness, but it was very much fun!! His flat was just kind of comfortable, small and cute and above all in the middle of nowhere! :D In the end we learnt how to cook callaloo (that’s the disgusting spinach thing), dumplings (these are the delicious dumplings out of flour and water cooked in water), Jamaican macaroni salad, Jamaican matched potatoes, tomato salad and cauliflower and of course chicken! It was so delicious; we had such a great time!! Later on I finally drove home to visit my neighbour Lucie - also we had a great time! Going to Jamaica was definitely the best decision of my life till now! Tata!

    Wednesday finally was a day mixed by a lot different feelings, from anger to greatest joy – everything was in it. It started with an again wonderful time at New Hope. Day by day there are happening little things at that place just making me smile. Whether it was that smaller boy falling asleep during eating (I will never forget that view of that little boy eating with closed eyes. It was so cute!), or the fact that I noticed that one of the taller girls is now able to use the toilet and doesn’t need diapers any more (That was a big success! There really are a lot of children at New Hope being already 5 and still not able to use the toilet. It’s so cute, when I noticed what that tall girl had learnt she even gave me "high five” – yes she was really proud of growing!) or the everyday activities like playing with the shy boy, being a mother for that new girl or just hugging the children, being at New Hope today again was a pleasure! I have to stress again, how much comfortable I feel at that placement and how much I love to work together with the other New Hope volunteers: It’s just unforgettably wonderful!
    But that day shouldn’t stay as perfect or at least should get more complicated as soon a message reached me that I have to come to the office to deliver some sheets. Doesn’t sound like a problem, does it? But exactly today there was the plan to visit Ys-Falls, but exactly that day was almost the last chance for me to do so and then exactly today I should come to the office even if we agreed yesterday on meeting tomorrow for the forms? I really was a bit angry, misunderstandings, misunderstandings, misunderstandings…there were so many misunderstandings with the organisation I paid so much for during my time!! So and now you know that, when one thing goes wrong, other follow, right? So of course, even if I then finally got my sheets from home to bring them to the office before leaving for the falls, it wasn’t all right. No, apparently the pen I filled out the form with was too thick and so they wanted me to fill it out again! Shit! There really was not much time!! But I had to do so, even if you really could read what I had written. Finally I was just glad when that part of the day was over. I didn’t mention the argument with the taxi driver, right? Yes that also happened today on my way to the office. That driver even screamed at me! Oh guys, they are not only always friendly here! But enough for that shit better mention the next shit.
    Surely, when I was ready with everything it had to start raining. So we finally made our way to the falls in the rain. Seriously, why was it raining right now? We wanted to go swimming in the falls!! Ok, you get wet anyways, but it’s just cold when you don’t dry any more! So in the end I was just sitting in the taxi eating as there wasn’t time for that before and being sad about the weather! Arrived at the falls it was still raining. Oh dear and it’s not rain like in Germany, it’s more than a little shower. So we finally got on the train to the falls with still rain around us! It really bothered me, even if we all still tried to make the best out of the situation!
    But then almost exactly when we had to get off the train, it stopped raining! We couldn’t believe it!! It was so much luck! And I have to say from now on the day was perfect again. Arrived at the falls an impressive nature welcomed us. You will see in the pictures, it was very lively and green. Surrounded by a nice atmosphere and my lovely New Hope friends, we swam in the cold river falls, took a lot of pictures and even climbed the falls again. I told you a felt thousand times about my fear of streams and height, but today I have to tell you something different. Yeah man, I finally got used to climbing falls and the best: I EVEN JUMPED down a little part of it. You have to imagine standing on that rock with your friends waiting downstairs encouraging you to jump. I was trembling with two voices in my head the one saying “Don’t do it, you will hurt yourself!” and the other saying “Risk it, do it, jump it!” In the end I jumped regretting nothing but feeling free and strong, I have to admit sometimes you shouldn’t think that much about what to do, sometimes you should just to it. The whole following day long I finally was just happy to have it and that was also what my friends were. I would have really regret it if I hadn’t done it. I am still sure about that!
    Unfortunately there was soon time to leave the beautiful falls. For me that was a special point of my Jamaican journey, as Ys-Falls were the last on my to-visit-list. Slowly but clearly my adventure was about to take an end. Realizing that I was filled with valuable experiences and tears of a soon goodbye. On our way back to Mandeville we had a lot of fun in the taxi. I really love these New Hope girls; they really became part of my everyday life. I am already sure of how much I’m going to miss them.
    Arrived home, I got the best dinner I have ever had of my family: Sweet and Sour Chicken with green vegetables and rice! Wow, that one was really good. Later on something wonderful happened. Our host mum was about to show us pictures of her wedding and her youth and of the children when they were very small. It was really interesting and great to hear all the stories of my mum. I really love talking to her and to be honest it really happened too seldom till now that very long and good talks took place, but when we once started, it always was wonderful. One thing I just want to point out now, I am really proud of my Mum. When she showed us the pictures of the wedding she also showed us in the pictures which dresses were made by her and I couldn’t almost believe how many and how beautiful ones that were. I really admire her, she is one of the rare people really living her passion, even as a job, trying to get further education at a school to improve and be able to live from it. She really earns my greatest respect. Managing that with 3 children and a husband must be very difficult!! Later on in the evening we went to Chillspot again to play some pool and domino with Romain, Freja and Lisa (This time we even managed to go there public. That’s a so much cheaper way!). Listening to good music, singing and dancing we just had a great evening. They even made a tie for me – it was so much fun!
    But unfortunately there of course was that shit curfew again, so we had to go home by 10:30. To be honest, that’s one thing I am really looking forward to in Germany again: being allowed to come home again whenever I want! Having to be home at 10:30 really reminds me of my time as a 16 year old girl! I have to say time by time that really gets annoying.
    Later on I just write my blog, watched some of all those wonderful pictures and just relaxed with Judith! I have to say, that really was a good day! 

    Thursday finally was the day some of us volunteers brought sun to one of Mandeville’s HOSPITALS. But let me start from the beginning again. Unfortunately today was one of my last days at New Hope. It is unbelievable how fast children can touch your hard, it’s unbelievable how fast you get part of the New Hope family, it’s unbelievable how right a decision – the decision to spend 2 weeks of my time in Jamaica here – can feel. When I came to New Hope today, I was welcomed wonderfully by one of the boys. Seeing him shouting happily “Mona, Mona, Mona”, just made me feeling good and in some way important. Of course I also again played “Crazy Boy” with the kids today. That one girl kept on crying when I am not with her and another boy even slept during eating today (You should have seen that! It was so cute!!!). To sum it up it again was a great day, above all as I had a good “talk” with one of the older girls. It’s just great to hear her talking when you know the language skills of all the kids are really bad. I am proud of the successes of “my children”. Ok, but there’s also one thing I really hate about them. That’s when they puke at me. Sure, that’s just the way they show they don’t want something to happen, but isn’t there another way than puking at me? WAH! Haha, but to be honest, that also belongs to work with children and that’s in a way also all right. For me it really feels like having been here for ages now, I feel a strong connection to New Hope and I am definitely sure I want to visit it once again. I am thankful for all that valuable experiences I could have taken here. I can only confirm the children really let me grow in self confidence and above all in the ability to enjoy life to the fullest! When I think of all the smiles I put on the faces of kids who actually never seem to laugh during my time here, I am just complied with joy!!! I am already sure, tomorrow is going to be a hard day, as this will be the last day of mine at that wonderful place.
    Later on in the afternoon it was time for a special hour, the hour we Care Volunteers brought some sun in one of Mandeville’s hospitals. It was the first project meeting I really think of that it was very useful and a gift as well. Piecing puzzles together with the children, caressing stories to them gave me a complete new view of how easy help can be. Just for the playing, just for a little plush toy they were thankful. There was this one boy called Lian Lisa and I (again, we are the best team at that!) practised walking with. He was even crying when we left. There was that boy singing with us, that girl being very friendly and open introducing all the children in the room to us. One hour of joy, one hour of love, but also an hour of sadness, as there also was that other boy. He was ill, very ill. His arms, one of his legs were tied to the bed. Speaking was something which was impossible for him! Just screaming and crying, that had to be enough for expressing himself. It was hard to interact with him; it was even harder for him to interact with us. Even playing with the plush toy was difficult, I mean, he had to do it with his mouth as everything else was tied. I really wanted to do something good for that boy. He was fighting to get free. He was crying a lot. Watching him made me sad, stroking him made me feel helpless – there was really not much I could do for him; I just felt sorry for him. Friends, please, never forget to be thankful for your health. It’s nothing self-evident. It’s a present! I just have to say this hour today belongs to the most valuable during my stay here in Jamaica. I felt so good after having cared for those children, I felt so motivated to also help children in Germany. I have a plan: I want to organize the same in Germany (By the way, I am now back for 2 months, I really tried to make this plan real, but just one word: German Bureaucracy! I asked at a hospital and they just said it is impossible. Typical German, it’s not always easy to help!). Later on we went back to the food court for finally leaving for chill spot again. As always, we had a great time there (even if I was horribly bad at pool today!).
    After dinner we finally went to Rickie’s. As you can see, I didn’t waste any second of my last days in Jamaica! I was nearly no time at home or alone; I was just trying to make the most of the rest of that wonderful time. Rickie’s I have to say is a wonderful place. I have never been here before; we have always been at Pants, but why not at Rickie’s that 1000 times more beautiful place almost next door? I don’t know, but at least that evening today was a special one. We not only had great talks and much fun, no there even was that great huge swing on that huge tree. Wow, it was kind of a childhood dream coming true! I just felt free.
    When I think of leaving I am just sad, I will miss Lisa and all the others like crazy, I am sure. Suddenly I god a bad headache, I slept very badly then, but hey, that day was great, don’t get upset!!

    Yes guys, that was what was happening during my almost last week in Jamaica. Whoever may read that, I am happy you followed my blog till here. Thank you!! 

    Tata for now,

    Ramona

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  • 13Dec 2013

    29 last weekend in Jamaica 13.12.2013 Jamaika —

    Negril, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    GOODBYE NEW HOPE – MOONLIGHT - TREASURE BEACH

    Hey friends,

    I can’t really believe I finally found motivation again to finish my blog. It’s the end of April, I have been back in Germany for more than 3 months now, but something inside of me indeed tells me to finish what I have started. I won’t feel like having completely ended my time in Jamaica till I will have finished my blog. That’s what I think. So I am about to finish my blog now, late, but I will do it. I am sorry it happens that late, I am sure most of you don’t follow my blog any more, but that’s not a problem. I will simply write it for me and for the ones being still interested in my last Jamaican days! So have fun reading what was happening during my last weekend in Jamaica.

    I have to say, Friday was a real sad day. To be honest, when I think about it now, I am still cheerless. It was the day I finally had to say GOODBYE to NEW HOPE and it also was the day everything went wrong starting in the morning with my host mum not telling me she can’t drive me to the orphanage today. Of course, it felt wonderful to be late for work on my last day. NOT. It was kind of horrible. And to be sick as well made the situation even worse. On my way to New Hope I called my brother at home as it was his birthday today. Hearing his and Mum’s voice was wonderful. You know, I actually had no contact to them the last month as I was living without internet that time and now I missed them even more. I still remember, at that time I hardly could await my flight home!!
    Arrived at New Hope, I tried to ignore that it was my last day here and I even tried to ignore I was sick, but it was pretty difficult, kind of impossible. My head was hurting like crazy. I felt dizzy. I am sure I will never forget how it feels having fever in the Jamaican summer sun!! But how did I always say? It at least was one experience more!
    Today I was again welcomed very friendly by the New Hope kids shouting “Mona, Mona, Mona”! Yes, they really seemed to love me. I spent a lot of time with my favourite (you shouldn’t say that, I know, but they just were the ones a bigger friendship or relation was growing during the last two weeks) kids. It was hard to know it was the last time walking with the girl I taught to walk, it was the last time to play “Crazy Boy” with the kids, it was the last time – even if I hated her for that at the moment – a Jamaican kid was puking rudely at me as I didn’t do what she wanted (by the way: later she hugged me and felt sorry ;)). But that’s just life! You have to learn to say goodbye. And that was what I was soon up to. I was sure I will miss the smiles of all that wonderful children like crazy! And I was right as I can say now. I really tried to take time for every single child to say goodbye (about 20). Most of them couldn’t understand when I told them I have to go as their language skills are very bad as you know, but indeed I am sure most of them felt the goodbye. Getting goodbye kisses and hugs from Teddy, Trish and Abby, playing “Crazy Boy” with Dilan and Stephen for a last time– I will never forget that! I was already almost crying, but when it finally was time to say goodbye to the babies I couldn’t stop my tears anymore. Cuddling the thin boy and the girl I taught to walk for the last time felt like leaving my kind of “own” children. They also cried and cried and kept on crying. It was one of the hardest goodbyes here in Jamaica! And thinking of it still hurts. I still exactly know how I felt leaving that room with the crying babies knowing this now definitely was my last working day here. I am sure I will come back in some years yes, but then they will have grown a lot. It will be great too, I know, but it won’t be the same I have experienced the last two weeks. It was something unique!
    Later on I said goodbye to the Aunties. They didn’t know it was my last day! That finally made this “shit day” perfect. I got really angry! I think you know that kind of feeling when one bad thing more - and even if it’s a small one – can destroy your mood completely? I think you do and that exactly was what was happening know. I mean it also was the French’s volunteers last day, all the Aunties knew he left; he even got a goodbye card with wishes from every Aunty! And I got nothing and the only thought kept sticking in my head finally was: “Why didn’t the organisation tell them I will leave now?!” I was very angry! Thinking about it now feels like kind of a little thing, but I still know how I felt that moment and, believe me or not, it was horrible!
    Finally I also had to say goodbye to my supervisor Mrs Williams. She’s such a wonderful woman with a big, big heart. She’s really someone I admire! Coming from the USA she founded the orphanage and cares for it like all of the children were her own ones. She really earns my biggest respect! Saying goodbye to her was hard and my tears kept on running down my face. She really understood why it was hard for me to leave and promised me I can always come back! I am sure I will! And I am also sure I will raise some money for New Hope once!! I just love that place!
    To sum it up, I consider my time at New Hope as my most valuable one in Jamaica. It was a great pleasure for me to put back smiles on the faces of the children. They really got a special place in my heart! They taught me how fast trust can grow, they taught me to appreciate life, they taught me to be thankful. I just can say: They made me grow a lot!! Yes, New Hope really let grow NEW HOPE in my life. Time to say: THANK YOU, thanks A LOT and GOOD BYE!! (:
    Later on I had to catch some clothes for the weekend from home. There really wasn’t that much time left till our taxi to our weekend trip should finally leave. It was stressful. It was hard. It was hot. I had an argument with our taxi driver. I kept on feeling even worse. I even also needed to get some money, too. I couldn’t stand in line for that, needed to ask for an exception! It was so untypical Jamaican…no “tek your time”…! I really hated that like crazy! In the end I was almost running through the rain (Yes, weather changes fast in Jamaica!) to reach the office to submit some sheets and complain about today (hopeless, they really didn’t seem to understand how I felt). Arrived at the food court I was just glad to now sit in car and leave for Orange Bay, but my headache got worse and even worse!!! Driving taxi now reminded me of a nightmare. But it got worse. We all knew a ride to Negril doesn’t take more than 3 hours and Orange Bay is quite near to that place, but this time it took us 5 hours and situation even got worse, as arrived in Orange Bay we couldn’t even find the hotel we had booked before. SHIT! We had booked one on the other side of the island, in Orange Bay near Port Antonio!!! How could this happen?! In the end there was just one way to make the best out of the situation: Spending another weekend in Negril - my fourth time there now -, but as it really is a wonderful place it was indeed a good decision. Arrived at Roots Bamboo we again went to the Italian Café for getting a delicious pizza, but as I still felt sick not even this tasted good. In the end I just decided to go to bed early. I am sure I had temperature. And now I know having temperature in a hot country is more horrible than I ever assumed. Good night

    Waking up the next day, I luckily felt better. Having pancakes breakfast at the beach again the day started kind of perfect. It’s horrible that those perfect paradise mornings soon will come to an end, but it’s also wonderful to think of soon seeing all my friends back home again. There’s just one right way to deal with that kind of weird situation, I really should and was about to enjoy every single moment now and be thankful for the rest of my time in Jamaica with a little joy in my heart for soon seeing home again!
    Today we spent a beach day. Swimming with Lucie (finally some sport again!!), enjoying an unforgettable view on the ocean, getting warmed by the Jamaican sun– this morning was wonderful! Later on we went to an Arts and Crafts Market at the beach. It was beautiful there! You couldn’t compare it to the one in Ocho; there were far few people and a far better atmosphere. I simply have a kind of love for details and that’s also why I just love those markets. You can see so many wonderfully handmade things there – from dresses to necklaces – you can find nearly everything and almost nothing exactly looks the same like another. In the end I bought a lot more souvenirs, I was already excited what you will think about them.
    On our way back to our hotel it wasn’t only very, very hot, no we even saw a car in which the people inside seemed to celebrate a wedding, but it was a wrong assumption as we recognized later: they were celebrating a funeral. It’s so strange. Why do Jamaicans celebrate funerals like weddings or special birthdays having loud music and drinking, drinking, drinking? For me personally it’s a strange thought to have a funeral like that! But however you like it…
    Later on we went to the city getting some food. To be honest, I already had forgotten about how thankful I was to get yoghurt in Jamaica. When I just read those parts of my diary, I was a bit shocked, how fast you forget that not everything was to be sure. It was a kind of present for me to find yoghurt those days as bread for example was far to expensive or not possible to buy. Now I again go to the supermarket and just buy, but I really should hold on again and appreciate German food and above all to have enough food which is something not to be sure for some Jamaicans.
    But back to the day, later on we walked and finally drove to Rick’s Café again. It was my third time there now and to be honest it was kind of magic. It was the place I almost saw first in Jamaica and it’s now almost the last I see. Watching an again unforgettable sunset, a lot of memories passed my brain. It was a sad moment, but also a beautiful one. Seeing a lot of people jump again I again was sure not to do it as I just love my life. Later on Lucie, Lisa and I enjoyed a wonderful chocolate dessert watching a Jamaican flag moving in front of an unforgettable sunset. I still have this picture in my head like it would have happened yesterday. It is and stays unforgettable.
    Finally we went back to hotel by taxi. I again had a delicious, but far too spicy, jerk chicken pasta and a dirty banana drink. Soon we got ready for the evening; soon we got ready to party again! Party in the jungle! It’s not that only one week before I said I will never go to that place again, no…, never…., ok, yes, you are right. But whatever, it was time for partying again and there also were a lot of good memories of the jungle stuck in my head. So the evening could finally start and to be honest in the end it was a quite good one. We danced a lot and even got to know some Canadians. We had a lot of fun and luckily the evening (at least for me) even took a good end this time. Ok, it had a quite annoying end not only as one of us had lost her phone and we were looking for it desperately not finding it. But to sum it up it was a wonderful, above all unforgettable, typical Jamaican party evening and I will never forget that MOONLIGHT we watched in the early morning at about 4 when coming home and I even more will never forget again how it felt swimming in the ocean lightened up by the MOONLIGHT. Good night, guys! I am looking forward to seeing you soon.

    Sunday finally started with a late morning. Luckily I didn’t feel a big hangover and we again had pancakes breakfast at the beach. After having bought some more bracelets at the beach and unfortunately not found Lisa’s phone, it was soon time for Lucie and me to leave for our vacation at TREASURE BEACH again. On our way there we bought “some” food for the week. Watch out: Some food (exclamation mark)! In the end we ended up with 4 bags full of food, our normal luggage and a mobile phone number of a very nice Jamaican boy having helped us shopping. How did we make that? I don’t know.
    But let’s go back to our way to Treasure Beach. What would Jamaica be without that very complicated way of travelling? Sure today was Sunday and sure today not that many taxis were driving. But they told us there were even no taxis from Black River to Treasure Beach today, they told us to drive to White House to get one there. This was such a complicated thing with - I just have to mention it again – 4 bags of food! Later on we finally reached White House! But do you want to know what was expecting us there? Notn. It was in the middle of nowhere and we soon were quite sure not to get a public taxi to Treasure Beach there. So in the end we had to take a not public one. Oh dear, It’s something I was a bit looking forward to in Germany again, the German traffic system, even if I really can’t call myself a fan of the MVV. Finally we ordered a taxi to Treasure Beach for quite a good price, but the driver was just exhausting. He really didn’t seem to understand what it means to be a volunteer and to be honest in the end he was really getting on my nerves. For me personally he just seemed quite strange. I was glad to be finally soon rid of him.
    In the end I was just happy to finally reach Treasure Beach, which is as you already know one of my favourite places here. After having unpacked our bags it was soon time for a late lunch. You can’t imagine how happy I was to finally make my own salad again and eat toasted bread!!
    Later on we went to the beach. Huge waves were expecting us. Refreshing wind was blowing. We enjoyed a great view and had a lot of fun swimming in the ocean. We went to Frenchman’s meeting Matthias with his host family, listening to some live music and relaxing. After that we went back to the hotel taking a little rest. As Lucie was finally sleeping I decided to cook some pasta for us. I really enjoyed cooking myself and not having to eat what anyone else cooked for me. To be honest, Daddy, making pasta just reminded me of you. This really was a time I missed you a lot!!
    Later on we eventually had dinner and got to know to a nice Jamaican boy actually having moves to the US, but now spending some weeks in Jamaica building a house. We really had good talks, but he also really was a typical American just thinking of work, money and the future. It must be a great development to become from a lazy Jamaican one to a successful American business man, don’t you think? But does this only have positive aspects? Don’t you lose the Jamaican way of enjoying life to the fullest then?
    Unfortunately there was not only that Jamaican boy spending his time at Treasure Beach now, no, there also were a lot of other Germans and I have to say they were really getting on my nerves. They so much reminded me of home. And they really were typical German tourists. That was what I wanted for my last Jamaican days. NOT. But what did I learn here? I couldn’t change anything and just had to make the best out of everything!
    Later on I just wrote my diary, read a book and relaxed drinking tea (@John, Bones: This reminded me of our tea sessions!) till I finally went to bed. Good night! Sleep well! 

    Yes guys, this was, what was happening during my last weekend in Jamaica. When I think of it now it seems like it would have happened yesterday!!!

    Tata,

    Ramona

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  • 16Dec 2013

    30 Last week in Jamaica 16.12.2013 Jamaika —

    Treasure Beach, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    GERMAN BRATKARTOFFELN – LISA AND TIMO -

    Hey friends,

    It’s the beginning of July. Summer finally also reached Germany. Taking warm showers in the morning, eating German bread for breakfast (Yes, I still can’t eat toast!) or being on time for important meetings – that’s kind of normal again. But indeed there are still these kind of special moments I feel like my Jamaican adventure happened yesterday. Just to mention one situation, some days ago I met a Swedish friend I got to know in Jamaica and when we were talking about our Jamaican adventure, it felt so close, it felt like it was a story of maybe yesterday! But now back to my blog, as you see, I still want to finish it and that’s what I am about to do now. So have fun reading, what was going on during my last week in Jamaica.

    Monday started with a late morning again. After having a delicious cornflakes breakfast, we just relaxed, wrote our diaries, took some pictures and enjoyed the huge, natural waves of Treasure Beach. You could really call it a typical “Take your time” – day. Later on we just went to Frenchman’s for having again one of these delicious, freshly made Mango juices, got some food from the supermarket and finally had our lunch – cheese toast, you see, finally no peanut butter again! 
    Our plan for the afternoon eventually was to visit Long Bay, the longest beach of Jamaica. When we finally not even could find one taxi taking us there we just started to walk in the right direction. I just have to say it again and again. Treasure Beach’s scenery really is kind of a treasure. I have never seen a place that natural or beautiful. If I think of Jamaica now, often exactly that place of Jamaica sticks in my head as it definitely was the place I felt most comfortable at. But back to the day, in the end we couldn’t reach Long Bay. However we found a taxi driver taking us to another beautiful beach we spent a wonderful day at in the end. Huge waves, a smiling sun, good talks with Lucie (above all about the German food) – this day was pretty perfect. Later on we decided to completely walk back the way to the hotel. It was a long, hot and exhausting walk, but with impressive scenery by our side, it was again something I am missing now.
    Back at the hotel it was time for the highlight of the day – GERMAN BRATKARTOFFELN with salad. Yes, Lucie and I were really happy to finally cook ourselves. Believe me or not, some time no one can see chicken and rice anymore and to be honest, our dinner was fantastic!
    Later on in the evening we just read books and talked to the “American Workaholic” we got to know here! But the thought of leaving soon was stuck in my head. Of course I indeed enjoyed my last days, but I was sad as well all the time. It was kind of a strange feeling to soon have to leave home. And the German men and women also spending their vacation here really didn’t improve the situation. No, to be honest, I was really sick of them. They were behaving like typical German tourists and what they were talking about and how they were talking just reminded me too much of home. I was in kind of a strange mood and the fact that Lucie still felt sick, got me feeling sad as well. I felt sorry for her! And I was sad we couldn’t experience that much as she felt weak! I mean it was my last week; I didn’t want to waste any minute, no, not even any second. It was hard to know my Jamaican adventure will soon be over and I already exactly knew how much I will be missing my Jamaican time back home - and as I know now, I was right!

    Tuesday again started with a late morning. For one of the last times I enjoyed having breakfast outside. It was sad. Lucie still felt sick, so we really weren’t sure whether to continue our vacation or not. In the end I unfortunately even went to the beach alone today. However it was great there indeed. Observing crabs and the rough ocean, enjoying sun and beach, listening to music I had a lot of time to think about life. I was getting kind of emotional and in the end I even had to realise visiting beaches on weekends soon won’t be everyday life any more!
    Back at the hotel, I relaxed with Lucie trying to figure out the best plan for my last days in Jamaica, even if she’s sick. To be honest, now it was hard not to use internet, you see, we really couldn’t experience that much and free time was nothing we had to miss.
    But at least we were expecting LISA AND TIMO to visit us in the afternoon and I was really looking forward to that.
    When they finally arrived we decided to have dinner at “Frenchman’s” - it was again wonderful above all with that great view on the ocean (even if there was no live music today!). Later on we spent the afternoon at the beach again. The waves were even taller than Timo. The sun was shining. Lying at the beach was comfortable as always. In the end it was just another perfect beach day I was glad to share it with my friends!
    At least till the weather changed. That’s now about a kind of sad goodbye. We had the plan to watch one last sunset at the beach, we had the plan to take some last pictures, Lucie and I actually had the plan to stay longer, but apparently that’s not the way the story should end. So in the end it was raining, there was no beautiful sunset, we didn’t take any further pictures and Lucie and I even decided to stop our vacation today. It was hard not to cry, it was hard to say goodbye to the beach, above all it was hard to say goodbye to treasure beach!
    So we soon head for Mandeville again. The taxi taking us there again reminded me of home. It was a car with wheel on the left. You could call it another strange experience - just imagine driving left with wheel on the left! It’s hard to describe, I can only say it felt wrong and I wasn’t sure how fast I will get just to drive on the right side in Germany again. But at least I was really looking forward to driving again!
    Finally arrived in Mandeville, it was a feeling of being home which was embracing me. I was happy to see my roommate Judith again, I was happy to hug my host sisters again, I was happy to see my host mum again! But unfortunately I also had to realise, that a whole week talking German wasn’t that wonderful for my English skills. In the evening I finally just relaxed, saved pictures, wrote my diary, tidied up and above all made a plan for my last days in Jamaica as I really wanted them to be unforgettable.

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  • 18Dec 2013

    31 One of the last days in Mandeville 18.12.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    CHILDREN SWING DREAM


    When I woke up on Wednesday I felt like not having slept that night. Of course I knew the reason. It’s the thought of leaving my Jamaican dream. It’s the fear of all the changes back home. But you couldn’t change that feeling, you just had to accept it and consider it as another valuable experience.
    Luckily at least my host mum got me smiling again! Just guess what she had made for Judith’s and my breakfast!! PANCAKES, oh I still love her for that (And to be honest, I still didn’t manage to make them myself, even if I got the recipe!)! It was strange not to go to work today, I waited for Kamille to finish her breakfast, I waited for Judith to go to work and then it was suddenly time to start packing. I was so happy Kayla helped me and I was even happier that she had finally stopped not talking to me. It was horrible before. Just imagine, once she told me a secret of her friend and when she finally knew I know it she stopped talking to Kayla and then she stopped talking to me! And I didn’t even know the reason first. I was already thinking about maybe having done any mistakes?! But luckily I knew the reason now and luckily everyone is taking to everyone again!
    It was strange to pack all my stuff. It was great to see all the memories I collected during my stay in Jamaica on the one hand, but it was sad on the other hand. I was proud of myself and happy about all the experiences, but also cheerless to leave the Jamaican dream! Furthermore it was kind of complicated to pack. As I didn’t have any weighing machine here, fear for a far too heavy bag was huge. Sure, I gave a lot to Judith and Lucie, but you know, I also bought a lot of things in Jamaica and I really didn’t want to leave anything of that here.
    Later on I visited Lucie for exchanging pictures and making a delicious salad for lunch. After that we walked to Mandeville again for one of the last times. Like always we didn’t only enjoy to move, but also to see the great scenery of the hills of Mandeville. I had a lot to do today. Going to Scotia Bank for one of the last times was just one of my tasks.
    When I reached the food court later, a kind of everyday feeling was embracing me. I went to “payless” to buy that beautiful bag I saw there before but unfortunately they didn’t sell it any more. I went to another shop to finally buy (far too many) souvenirs. To sum it up, it was hard to spend time with the other volunteers at the food court as they were taking about the following weekend all the time, about the great Major Lazer Concert, about the huge party they were about to have. Yes, Lucie and Lisa even bought an extra dress for that special evening, whereas I already knew where I will be when they have fun at the concert, yes; I will sit in a plane on my way home. It was soon time for me to go. That’s why I was in kind of a sad mood.
    Later on I finally reached home where I spend another wonderful time with Judith at. I wrote a goodbye-card for my host mum, I tried to decide what to give the host sisters as a present, prepared my phone with a lot of new music for the journey back home and listened to some music being lost in thought till it soon was time to wash my clothes with that kind of special washing machine for one very last time. To be honest that’s something I don’t miss at all.
    But it soon was already time for dinner; we had fried chicken breast, something typical Jamaican which tasted really delicious. We had a great time at the table and soon it was time for taking some last family pictures. It was hard not to cry. I still really appreciate how everyone took time for it. Even my host dad who was always busy, never ate at the table with us and often was in his room alone took his time for the pictures. These are great memories. It’s still wonderful to know I have a second family on the other side of the world!! And I am still happy to write to them knowing they are my second home. I love them.
    In the evening I finally met the other volunteers at Rickie’s. That’s such an awesome place as you already know. And the fact, that the huge swing was repaired now made the evening kind of perfect. You could really say a CHILDREN SWING DREAM of mine came true today, as I always wanted to sit on a huge swing hanging on a tree. It again felt like paradise and I could feel freedom. To sum it up, we had a really funny time with a lot of Jamaican rum (Oh dear, I really miss Cream Rum!!!!) and a lot of funny pictures at Rickie’s today. It was hard to know to see Romain, my only real and best Jamaican friend, for one of the last times and it was also hard to know I will soon have to leave the other volunteers still keep on taking about that amazing concert and party at the weekend. But of course I was above all glad to spend my last days in Jamaica together with all these wonderful people I met here. I really miss them.

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  • 19Dec 2013

    32 Last day in Jamaica and my journey home 19.12.2013 Jamaika —

    Mandeville, Jamaika

    Beschreibung

    LAST DAY IN JAMAICA AND MY JOURNEY HOME

    Waking up on Thursday I couldn’t believe it is true – today really was my last day in Jamaica! I couldn’t sleep well tonight. The thought of leaving my Jamaican dream soon just drove me crazy and sad. After one last breakfast, another cold shower, hanging up my “clean” laundry and some more tries to pack my bag perfectly it was soon time to finally visit New Hope for a very last time. Walking there I enjoyed the hills of Mandeville again - they just stay beautiful!
    Arrived at New Hope, I was welcomed very friendly again. It was great to realise some children still knew my name and screamed “Mona, Mona, Mona” when I walked in. It just made me happy. It really felt like I left a mark here. When finally Althy (the girl I taught to walk) saw me, she started crying and her only wish was me to pick her up. I just love this child; I always felt a kind of special connection to her. But also Christin a girl I never played with a lot just wanted me to spend time with her today. I again played “Crazy Boy” a lot of more times with Dilan and the others and all of this just reminded me of those good old days in Jamaica. But today also the best moment of my stay in Jamaica was happening. This definitely was when I finally saw Althy walking alone. I now knew all the exercises weren’t for nothing and I really left something at New Hope. Seeing this little cute girl discovering the world standing on her own feet just made me happy. But it wasn’t only Althy putting a smile on my face today. Also to see Daniel smile, to feed the babies and above all to realise that the little, thin always puking boy’s health has improved just made me happy. It’s amazing to see how fast children can change. It’s amazing to see how children can change in one week!! Furthermore I found out today that Stephen finally is back at his parents. Sure, I was sad not to see him, but I felt so happy for him to be home now. But there was also something I was really sad about today. Just imagine they had a new baby at New Hope now. It was just 6 days old and I was just wondering, how in the world parents can do that. Sometimes it really scares me to realise what human beings are able to do!! … But let’s go back to the wonderful aspects of the day. Also Jessy was glad to see me again! And of course not even kisses and hugs of Teddy and Abi were missing and also Sam – one of the older school boys-remembered me crying on my official last day at New Hope (by the way: it was so much louder at New Hope today as the older school kids were having Christmas vacation and didn’t go to school today). In the end I even left new Hope without crying, but with a wonderful feeling in my heart to have changed something at that wonderful, caring blessed place!!!
    Later on we drove to the food court spending a typical time there also eating a Jamaican Pattie for a very last time. It was a kind of emotional time as the others still kept on taking about the weekend, but don’t be scared, of course, I was also looking forward to finally reaching my real home again – at least a little bit! Today also was the day I finally switched on my internet again. I soon felt like receiving a thousand messages and I am still definitely sure that not using internet for one month was one of the best decisions. It really made me living in Jamaica. Later on I tried to confirm my flight, it was so complicated (language problems ^^) that in the end I was just glad that Projects helped me to do so. That was also the moment I had to say goodbye to the organisation, but to be honest it wasn’t the biggest and most difficult task, no, not at all, as I wasn’t that satisfied with Projects Abroad as you already now. Ah and not to forget, I finally got to know when my taxi will be about to pick me up for the airport, oh dear, it will be at 2:30 – that’s far too early. Back at the food court I exchanged mobile phone numbers with the other volunteers (as all the Jamaican numbers of our “very modern” mobile phones here in Jamaica won’t help me that much back home!). Spending some last time with all my volunteer friends was as wonderful as finally eating one last ice cream with Judith and Lucie while the others had to visit the project meeting. This was also the time I made another important decision. Now I was sure, I would give all the Jamaican money I have left to New Hope. This was probably one of the best decisions as I really now how urgently they need the money!!
    Later on Lisa, Freya, Lucie and I went to dancing classes again - also for one very last time. I was really looking forward to that, but why it had to start raining now? Arrived there we were completely wet. Yes, you could really say, in 3 months Jamaica I didn’t learn to always bring my umbrella! But who cares, at least it’s always warm here so being wet never minds and maybe Jamaica just wanted me to have an easier goodbye. So finally today it was time for Break-dance. I just love to have tried so many things in Jamaica I would have never done back home. You know, I am not the best dancer, but it was so much fun and we even took some funny videos of our dancing. If I look at them now I can easily imagine being in Jamaica right now. They are great memories and just remind me of our hot dancing teacher and the wonderful time I had together with my “Jamaica-Girls”.
    After dancing we went to cinema to finally watch “Frozen” there. That’s a children Christmas movie. It’s a really cute one and listening to “Let it go” a song out of the movie now just reminds me of my Jamaican dream. “It’s funny how some distance can make everything seems small!” - This song was just so true. In the end the movie even helped us to get in Christmas mood, at least a bit. This time I actually really couldn’t believe that there’s Christmas soon. But how should I sweating in the sun?
    In the evening it was time for a last visit in my favourite Chinese restaurant where I met some other volunteers at. One last typical Jamaican fried chicken (actually it really already bothered me the last days, but I just wanted to eat it for one very last time!), one last typical Jamaican “Diary Milk” chocolate (I really loved it) and then it was soon time to leave for Great House the place I wanted to spend my last night at. It was Kemar driving us there again. You know, he really bothered me a thousand times, but today he invited me for a drink and to be honest I was sure, I will at least miss him a little bit. Having a great time at Great House it now really annoyed me not to have packed all my bags till now. It was strange to sit in here knowing to have to leave in some hours. It was very emotional to enjoy the beautiful view on the city for one last time and it was wonderful Romain –my best Jamaican friend- even managed to come here today for my last evening. He really wasn’t sure whether he has time, for him great House actually is far too expensive, but he came to see me again and this just made me happy. Unfortunately soon it was time for the real goodbye. It was hard to take the last group pictures. And it was even harder to listen to “Sorry is a sorry word”- my favourite Jamaican song – for a very last time in Kemar’s car. And it was the hardest to say goodbye to my friends I will definitely never see in that constellation in Jamaica again and just found a place in my heart. I was already sure I would miss Lisa and Freja – my Negril girls – a lot; I already knew I would miss Timo (one of my husbands) and Lisa (It’s amazing, we really didn’t know each other for a long time, but the time we experienced together was a very intensive one and it just felt like already knowing her for ages!) like crazy. But soon the saddest moment came. Soon we reached my house. Matthias was right “Now the sad part came!” Soon I had to say goodbye to my neighbour Lucie. It was the hardest goodbye. Now I definitely couldn’t hold my tears any more! When also saying goodbye to Matthias it got worse and when finally had to hug Zoey for one last time it got the worst. She lives in Australia. That’s far too far from Germany, She’s is such a funny girl, I already knew, I would miss her smile. One last hug for Kemar (He really exaggerated with the goodbye just getting on my nerves with that!) and now it was time to go!
    Arrived in my house I had to realise all the host sisters were sleeping already. It was hard to fear not to have the possibility to say goodbye. You know I will leave in the middle of the night and they already told me they won’t get up for my leaving. That was the time I could finally have cried a river. Luckily at least Kamille was suddenly awake and said goodbye. But it was hard to know Kayla wanted to stay awake (She even wrote me a message she would do so!) and didn’t make it. I knew she really wanted to say goodbye, but now?? Nothing could stop me crying. Trying to finish my bags fear of overweight luggage got worse and worse. Luckily I finally made it till 12. I was so glad Judith was with me trying to comfort me and really understood how I felt. I think you can imagine I really couldn’t sleep for a long time that night. I was lost in thoughts and in the end I even woke up before my alarm clock rang. I just really didn’t want to get up as that now definitely meant it’s over. I still remember like it would have happened yesterday packing my last stuff with tears in my eyes. Suddenly the taxi driver came. I had to bring all my carryons outside and soon it was time to say goodbye to my family. This really broke my heart. I was so happy Kayla and Kamille were awake!!!! But I was so sad Kayanna was sleeping and I couldn’t hug her for one very last time. It was hard to hug Judith for one last time and it was even harder to say goodbye to my host mum. My host dad just was typical Jamaican “Don’t cry!” he always said and I also knew I would miss him soon. Getting the recipe for those wonderful pancakes from my host mum really meant a lot for me, even if as you know I never managed to make them. It was a great goodbye present, but now it was time to get on the taxi. Leaving home hurt and driving down the hills of Mandeville for one very last time was very emotional. I was so glad my taxi driver was such a nice man. He really understood how I felt. I will never forget our talk about Jamaica. Yes, he was right; JAMAICA REALLY IS A WARM PLACE WITH WARM PEOPLE! Of course he asked me what I would miss the most and my answer was clear: I would miss my family, the volunteers and all of these wonderful beaches! That’s what I knew. Soon it got quiet in the car. Now there was time to think a lot. But I just remember how I couldn’t nearly find any clear thoughts and how impossible it was to sleep. And of course I remember these lyrics: “Some people wait a live time for a moment like this…!”
    Soon we arrived at the airport. I had to cry again. It was hard to say goodbye to the driver who kept on joking with me. Now there was no way back. It was hard to deliver my Jamaican phone. And it was even harder to see the taxi disappearing and to know to be alone now. Yes, the goodbye was here. If you asked me about my time at the airport in Kingston, I’d just call it a typical Jamaican time. It was not enough that they told me the wrong way to the check-in, no I even was feared the check-in will start to late. In the end I was just glad to receive my tickets and finally check-in…..SHIT; my bag really was too heavy!! I didn’t even know how many kilograms exactly, as they weighted in Jamaican unities. It was horrible! In the end I decided to open my bag in the middle of the airport trying to pack some more stuff in my bag pack. It was far too heavy now to carry it along one and another airport and I was even afraid they wouldn’t allow such a heavy hand luggage, but luckily they now decided to just also check it in. It was so much luck. Now I didn’t have to carry so many things! Soon it was time to head for the gate. Again I was afraid of the flight and again I was afraid of my ears hurting like crazy again. But now I got on the plane and now we started. There were nearly no tears left, I tried to say goodbye inside, listened to some music and let replay my Jamaican movie inside my head again. And luckily - soon after having seen a wonderful Kingston by night – I was able to sleep. GOODBYE JAMAICA!
    Arrived in Miami I finally realised I really left Jamaica. This just made me sad, but at least I didn’t have to wait so long for immigration that time. Later on I had to wait at the airport for a very long time. It’s hard to sum up what I was thinking about that time but I just remember my fear of all the changes back home, the disappointment about the fact that apparently Marie and Marius won’t pick me up at the airport and of course the anticipation for kind of a new start in Germany!
    After some hours who felt like ages it was finally time to get on the plane to Berlin. To be honest fear of flying was quite small now, but fear of missing my flight in Berlin got bigger and bigger, above all when I recognized my flight from Miami will already be delayed and there were only about 40 minutes to change in Berlin anyways. But I couldn’t change situation and just tried to see it the Jamaican “no problem”-way. And soon I was sitting on plane for my flight to Berlin. It was a long one you know. The food (some pasta with cheese and spinach and salad) was just disgusting! But luckily I could sleep soon. I didn’t sleep well, but I even missed the breakfast! In the end I woke up quite near to Berlin, I now knew soon I will be back in good cold Germany. Soon I got out of plane. It was cold, I was crying. Fear of missing my next flight was big and the fact we landed on an outside position really didn’t improve situation. Felt ages later I finally reached the immigration gate. I asked friendly to jump the line. I could. I was happy. But there were only about 6 minutes left. I knew my bad orientation, but now it just had to work. I ran and kept on running, it felt like kilometres, the unfriendly Germans I met really didn’t improve situation, but in the end I reached my gate – ON TIME! I was just happy and soon got on plane. I had to sit next to a German older couple who was complaining all the time. I hated the German mentality and humour that time and already knew how hard it will be to get used to it again. I still didn’t want to reach home, but soon it was time for breakfast. I would have never thought before sparkling water and a pretzel could ever make me cry. But they did! That was the time my anticipation for home was growing, definitely. Soon we reached Munich. Hearing a sentence like “ Alle die hier Endstation haben und nicht weiterfliegen, aber jetzt aussteigen, sollten MINUSPUNKTE (Whaaaat?) bekommen!“ just made me feel sad. Why is the German mentality often like that? I was disappointed in the Germans and when I finally stood at the airport and met another unfriendly German I got even unhappier and more disappointed. But this should stop soon as soon I will be able to hug my family again!!!
    I still remember that moment like it would have happened yesterday, the moment I left safety area, the moment I saw my Mum und my brother waiting excited, the moment I recognized my father wasn’t at the airport, the moment to finally hug my family, the moment of this warm welcome - the moment happiness was embracing me like crazy. Finally recognizing Ruby, Petra and Olivia were here to pick me up even if I didn’t tell them when to arrive exactly and didn’t expect them to come just made me even happier. I can’t describe this wonderful feeling. It was just great to know you have friends who love you. The feeling to see them again after such a long time was unique and beautiful! All the time I couldn’t cry! But the happiness I felt was amazing.
    Sure I was sad Sophie, Marie and Marius weren’t there, but at least I got a video message as a welcome. This one was fantastic and I just felt like having the best friends in the world!! I kept on watching the video and seeing Marie and Marius face made me miss them even more. It was such a pity they couldn’t be there today!! Suddenly something happened I would have never expected. Someone gave me a cappuccino and finally ran away. I couldn’t almost trust my eyes. These were Marie and Marius!!! They were here, yes they were really here! I couldn’t believe it. They really kidded me to make my welcome even more perfect! I still remember how I felt that moment like it would have happened yesterday. It was wonderful! Hugging them was one of the best feelings I ever had! When I finally later also saw my dad again and could finally hug him again, my welcome was perfect. It was definitely something I will never forget!! And it’s definitely something I will even tell my children about in the future. Thank you family, thank you friends for making my welcome perfect!

    How long have I waited to reach this point of my blog? How long have you waited to reach this point of my story of Jamaica??
    It’s now the 9th of July and I have finally finished it. I am proud of myself and thankful to now always have a great memory of my Jamaican Dream! Thank you for following my blog! Whoever read till here, I really appreciate it!! Thank you!!
    Maybe you are also interested in my first days in Germany? Well they are easy to sum up. I still remember how I drove on the wrong side, I still remember waking up watching this welcome flag starting to cry again and again, I still remember missing those wonderful pancakes (That’s a lie, I still do so!) and I still feel how it hurts to miss my Jamaican family and miss my second home. But I also still remember that wonderful feeling of spending time with my friends again, I remember sitting on the floor at Marius getting welcomed by Marie and Marius with that beautiful song and that beautiful picture, I remember finally eating a real good pizza with my friends again, I remember this wonderful “Waldweihnacht” I could finally meet Thommy and Renate again and feel the Christmas in the air, I remember that beautiful day in Salzburg, I remember this amazing feeling to see you at church on Christmas, I remember my best Christmas birthday which definitely was to sing with Toni, I remember the wonderful feeling to see all my relatives again and I remember how it felt to finally have my “Sh’Musikers” back and get ready for one of the best new years I ever had! Thank you guys for all those amazing moments – I am thankful to have friends like you!!! And I am thankful for my family!!! You are amazing! (:

    “So the stars in the sky looked like home, took my home,
    And the light in your eyes let me know, I am not alone!”

    (vgl. Alien - B.S.)

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