Saturday, July 4, 2009

We've Arrived!

It was an eventful and blessed day. Once we made it to the airport, we collectively held our breath for the luggage weigh-in! Praise the Lord only one was overweight, and they let it slide. The next adventure happened after we boarded the plane. We were sitting on the tarmac - waiting, waiting, waiting when the pilot came on and announced they were waiting for a part. Always a great feeling when you are about to fly! After an hour delay, we finally took off!

Praise God we have arrived safely in Montego Bay. We had a nerve-wracking adventure in Jamaican customs. We were going through the "nothing to declare" line. The customs agent asked why we were there and why we had so many bags. We explained we were volunteering and we brought school supplies. She waved us over to the "declaring" line. It was a bit scary because they could charge us or even take some of the things. Prayer ensued, and the lady asked to see four of the bags. Quickly, we found the bags with only supplies in it. She was satisfied that we were the honest, hard-working women we seemed to be!

Once out of the airport, we were warmly greeted by Ms. Russell, the principal at the Montego Bay campus. It was a bit of a task getting 12 bags, 6 ladies, and 12 carry-ons in a little van! We knew God didn't get us through customs to leave some of it on the side of the road. We are staying in a three-bedroom house on campus that normally houses an American, single male! It is comfortable and clean and has an Internet connection.

Tonight we were treated to local fare at the Pork Pit. It was a fabulous meal of jerk chicken, jerk pork, and spare ribs. Chipotle's got nothin' on the spice down here! Sammie survived the heat of the jerk!! Yippee!! Afterwards we treated our host to ice cream; Devon Stout was her frozen confection of choice. You'll have to look that one up - we never did figure out quite what flavor it was, but the Jamaicans said it was rum.

Our next stop... the Mega Mart! One of the deaf ladies with us, Andecea, told Janice that we had to be careful in the Mart because there were wild animals waiting to bite us. All through the store she kept "caring for" the lion so it wouldn't bite us. Janice asked her why the lion wouldn't eat her. The response was, "I'm Jamaican, they won't eat me." Quickly, Janice retorted, "Do they only like white meat?" We thought Andecea was going to die of laughter.

Tonight was a wonderful experience "hanging out" with several of the teachers, cooks, and Ms. Russell. We are all exhausted and ready for bed, but feeling so blessed to finally be here. Ms. Russell told us that church would probably be louder than we are used to, and the pastor might switch to "Jamaican language."

Saddle up our horses, tomorrow is another adventure.

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