Today’s Weather: 95 degrees
Today’s Wedding Count: 0
We are getting closer to wrapping this adventure up folks. Today was one of the few days on the trip when we actually had something planned to do. The day before we saw that they were doing a day trip to a local school. If you wanted you could go and hang out for an hour or so, maybe read the kids a story and get off the resort.
When you go to an all-inclusive resort it’s actually not easy to get out. Once you’re in, they want you to stay. For one, it’s a safety and security issue, but they also want to keep your souvenir and shopping money at the resort, I’m sure. The trips that they do take off the resort were usually kind of spendy. Because Heather use to teach pre-school she thought it would be fun to go see an elementary school in Jamaica. So at $5 a person, it was cheap way to get off the resort and least see a little bit of the “real” Jamaica.
An interesting fact about Jamaica, because most parents can’t afford daycare, the public schools start accepting students basically as soon as they are potty trained. So you have classes in school of 2 to 3 year olds. After a bumpy bus ride we pulled up outside the school. I’ll post some pictures later, but it was a little eye-opening. I was familiar with the fact that Jamaica was a poor country, but the school was a cinderblock square building, completely open to the elements. There were basically tarps/sheets they could cover the holes where windows should have been. It look like the building was half finished. When we pulled up they asked us what room we wanted to be in. Heather thought it would be cute to see the littlest kids and read them a story. Completely forgetting that kids that age have absolutely no attention span and not necessarily able to really understand stories of any length.
So, what followed was a really stuffy (tropical climate, closed in space, lots of kids) and awkward 10-15 minutes of us trying to read them stories and the kids just completely tuning us out. We were saved by their teacher, who got them to sing some songs. Heather tried to get them to sing some songs she knew but the cultures were just a bit too different and they didn’t really know her songs.
This is where I swooped in with the digital camera and started taking pictures. If there’s one thing that’s universal is kids love toys and gadgets and they were entranced by getting their pictures taken and the all were crowding around trying to get in on the action. After a few minutes of that we moved up to the older kids classroom and that was a little bit easier. You could at least talk to them and keep their attention for longer than 7 seconds.
It actually reminded me of when we had the flood of ‘97. We had to go to school in the 4H building with tarps hung between “classrooms”. Except they do it all the time every year. Just goes to show that a lot of what you think you “need” you can get by without just fine. Heather was impressed that most of these kids were beyond the kids she used to teach as far as reading/writing were concerned. And they definitely had good manners.
One funny thing that came out of it was that they all have a school uniform. Boys wear khaki pants and a red and white gingham shirt and girls have a gingham dress. (Do I lose street cred for knowing what gingham was?) But what was funny was I was wearing some brown almost khaki type shorts and a red t-shirt that matched them almost exactly. In fact, I bet you’d be hard pressed to pick me out of the lineup below:
After some photo ops we loaded back up into the bus and went back to the resort. We really didn’t have anything else planned for the day.
That burned up most of our afternoon. When we got back we cleaned up a bit and ate outside at one of the restaurants. We were pretty worn out for the day so we went back and just crashed tonight.
The rest of these are going to come hot and heavy over the next day or two so stay dialed in my friends. Once this thing hits 88 mph, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.