Tuesday, August 30, 2005

New Job

We have just completed our second day on the job at the Portmore Municipal Council. To celebrate, we are going to the Portmore Palace movie theatre, which has two for one night on Tuesdays. There is only one screen there, but it is showing Wedding Crashers at 6, which both of us wanted to see. We want to get there early so that we can see the national anthem, which plays before each movie. There is also an intermission in the middle of each movie, a practice that American theatres should take up.

We are now official volunteers! We were sworn in on Friday, August 26th at Campion College in Kingston. The governor-general was there. He is the ceremonial head of state for the Jamaican government, a throwback to the days when Jamaica was under the British crown. He was a very powerful speker, even at 90 years of age. There were many other speakers, including Peace Corps and US Embassy staff, so the evening stretched on for a bit. We all got certificates and shook the hands of the PC Country Director (Suchet) and the US Charges D'Affair (not sure on the spelling). Then we went to a local club called Village Cafe and partied for a couple of hours. They were even filming a music video there. We think it was Bounty Killer. Look for him in the states - maybe.

The next morning, we got up at 6:30 AM to pack. Our ride from the Portmore Municipal Council was supposed to come at 9, but came at 10. So we got in to Portmore and our apartment around 11:30. The apartment is a second story flat with a separate entrance. It has a fridge and stove, but we are waiting on the carpenter to put in the kitchen sink and cabinets. There is a bedroom, and then a larger room, half of which is the living room and the other half has the kitchenette and dining area. The neighborhood is nice with lots of teachers, police officers, and goverment workers and families who have lived there for a long time. Our landlord and her daughter live below, and they both work in Kingston for a hotel.

Our first day of work, Monday August 29th, was pretty boring since we did not have much work to do. We left early, since there was nothing else to do, in order to visit the a school close to where we live. The week before, an administrator had asked if either of us had experience with lawn tennis. When we went in to talk to the same woman, she asked if Shane could do a tennis lesson for beginning middle school students. So he will be doing that on Friday afternoons. Tuesday we had more stuff to do at work. Shane was shadowing one of the urban planners and Kaelyn was entering and correcting an excel spreadsheet listing all of the property permit applications for the last two years in Portmore. Then we went through the original paper records and are checking each application to see if it was entered correctly. Not the most glamorous work, but at least it gives us something to do.

So, things are going better at work. We like our apartment and our landlord is responsive in improving it. She is really caring and even called us last night to see how our first day of work went.


Shane and Kaelyn

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