The sun rises early in Jamaica, but it's so beautiful, we didn't mind! We had a nice breakfast together as a team this morning of scrambled eggs, fresh pineapple and toast with much-anticipated guava jam. Then it was off to Sunday services with Ms. Russell at Rose Mount Missionary Church. It was a huge blessing to be so warmly greeted by the family of Christ, to worship with them in song, to share the Lord's Supper together and to hear biblical principles applied in a different culture.
Then came the fun part of the day - Doctor's Cave! After tuna sandwiches in our cute little kitchen, Ms. Russell drove us down to the beach and we (finally!) got to experience the part of Jamaica everyone else usually gets to see. We floated in the clear blue water and snorkeled just swimming distance from our big umbrella in the white sand. It was cool and refreshing in the ocean, but the quality girl time was refreshing, too. (Maureen wasn't up for swimming and stayed at CCCD. She got some quality work done on her presentation and had great fellowship with the Mo Bay teachers helping them get set up for the workshops.) After all the stress of organizing our teaching materials, packing ourselves and our families for a week away from home and actually getting here, it was really nice to take a few hours off.
But before you start fussing, turning green with jealousy or calling our missions pastor in indignation, please understand our real work began at 6 when we sat down for dinner with our teacher-friends from Mo Bay and the newly-arrived teachers from Kingston and Knockpatrick. It was an informal get-to-know-each-other kind of evening, but it was very important to start building (and re-building) relationships with the teachers. Just like doctors make the worst patients, often teachers make the worst students. It's our goal to give them practical, useful tools they can take back to their classroom and not just talk at them. That has often been their experience and they are tired from just finishing the school year.
After dinner we headed into tomorrow's meeting room to set up math manipulatives, reading cards and the door prizes we'll hand out to the teachers. It's now 11:30 - we're going to have to "sleep fast" because devotions begin at 6:15 in the morning!
Please pray for Quita has she presents on Math (or Maths as they say here on the island) tomorrow and for the rest of us as we adjust our schedules and our presentations to be sensitive and relevant.