Saturday, June 13, 2009


So right now I'm trying to get over a cold. We were in Kingston on Friday, I was out late that night, up late on Saturday night too because another PCV visited me, and then spent way too much time swimming in the river so... I only have myself to blame for being sick. Plus I guess my body is getting used to an "oulip" of new things right now.

I guess the cold water did me in.
Though I cannot explain how relaxing Sunday was... sifting through rocks/sand, floating in the water watching leaves swirl by...
So I went to see the PCMO (Peace Corps Medical Officer) on Thursday. It's moving into a chest cold so I got antibiotics & slept all of yesterday. I'm excessively sleepy right now but I have a warden's meeting at Devon House, then I have to make it back to Castleton for a CDC meeting.
I guess the time in bed gives me a chance to go over materials at least, & good for fine-tuning my Patwa.
I wrote a 6 page document on everything that happened with who I was living with before this but I guess I'll spare you the details. At first I thought it was a cultural difference but the more I was around other Jamaicans the more I realized she's just excessively domineering/controlling so... after a while we clashed. I gave it my best shot. I've actually talked to other volunteers who have been in the same spot/have already left and they had similar problems with her too so at least I know it's not just me.
We both still have to work together but things are airing out right now so we'll see what happens.
I really love the people I'm staying with right now. They're relaxed, everything is communal & her family is awesome. I'm living with Ms. Dorothy, her mom who's about 90 something, her mom's helper and her granddaughter. She's had 7 kids and has 28 grandchildren so she's used to people coming/going, gives me my space and has really welcomed me into the family so I'm very grateful right now.
Plus they're going to teach me how to make some very good Jamaican dishes.
I like the location too, it's north of where I work & I walk about two hours a day to work & back. The walk is beautiful along the river/through the hills. I've dropped about 5lbs since I moved there a week or two ago so that bodes well considering on average, female volunteers gain 20lbs during their peace corps service.
I'm excited about getting things going for the community as time moves along & have a bunch of plans.
I had a long discussion with someone a few days ago about being a volunteer & understanding "cultural integration". It's not really something that anyone could fully grasp unless they have gone through it themselves, at least to this scale. It kind of builds a certain camaraderie between all volunteers, regardless of country served.
Big ups to all Peace Corps volunteers.
I'd update more but I need to run over to Devon House.


  1. ange!!! :) it seems like you're having a good time and i'm glad to hear that. your pictures are beautiful and we MISS YOU here in the OHIO. :) come back soon! loves and hugs... holly

  2. Ange:

    I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Bolivia, '66-'68), and founder and COO of Water Charity, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that does water, sanitation, and public health projects worldwide. We have just started a new initiative, Appropriate Projects, to fund small water and sanitation projects very quickly.

    Please check out our website at and submit an application. Even if you don't work in water/san, you may want to do a small project at a community facility, clinic, or school. It could be something simple, such as piping, fixtures, water storage, or some other needed improvement.

    If you have any questions about the appropriateness of a project, just ask.

    Could you pass this message on to your fellow-PCVs in Jamaica?

    If you like what we do, could you tell others in your social networks about us?

    Thanks. I wish you the best of luck in your work.

    Averill Strasser

    Appropriate Projects

    Water Charity