Peace Corps Group 80.
I'm a few days behind with these posts, typing everything on my laptop and throwing them up here when I get a chance.
I can't wait to get the wifi at our hotel to work. It's really not a hotel, more of an escape from the brunt of Kingston.. really nice open courtyard that connects the houses with an expensive but good bar/restaurant that catered some very good food.
The Miami airport has grown on me a lot. I had about 3 hours in between flights to wander around, met some cool Welsh girl, had a Mojito. Watched “the Office” on the airplane because I couldn’t find anything decent to read at the airport. Seeing the Keys from the air was confusing because I didn’t know what piece of land I was looking at, until I saw Jamaica, which I was lucky enough to recognize. It was a bunch of weird clusters of vegetation and hills, but from that altitude the hills must have been pretty huge.. dropped into cliffs and then into the coast again.
The pilot made the best landing I have ever experienced. Seriously, everyone was clapping. I guess landing in the Manley airport is generally rough because of the air current coming off the ocean, we had a little turbulence and took a really long circle around the coast but I had this moment of pause where we’re almost parallel to the water and..
“Um… where’s the runway?”
I didn’t even feel the wheels hit the ground until 6 seconds after they should have because the pilot was so freaking awesome that we were traveling perfectly with the ground/ocean along the runway, we didn’t need to touch ground until ¾ through the runway. It was beautiful.
The ride from the airport really reminded me of China.. things being abandoned, people in shacks by the side of the road trying to sell fruit, the series of shack houses/corridors really reminded me of Hutongs.. I guess every developing country you can visit follows something similar.. I kind of really appreciate it though.
So then we went to the Peace Corps office.. I want to own the building, it was absolutely beautiful. The colors, the design, the upper balcony… I want that house some day. I guess Bob Marley recorded a few things there/his manager used to own the place.
We finally ate, got a bunch of forms filled out and met some volunteers that had been there for a year ½. Took a tour, got our bank account set up, chilled out and then headed to our “hotel”.
I wish I had my camera with me at dusk because the way the clouds looked (hanging over the mountains with two small lights from a house up top/all the ones in the background) was amazing. I’m committing the two lights to memory and going to paint them later.
We’re not allowed to leave the compound over the next few days (which will make a lot of people happy who are concerned about me right now) because of the high crime/safety reasons.
As far as safety is concerned we have “wardens” who we check into if we’re going anywhere other than our post. I hate the word because they’re not the description… more someone to check in on you/you let know if you're going anywhere due to safety reasons.