Monday, May 14, 2007
COS Conference and Other Goings On
So it has been a while since our last post and quite a bit has been going on. We were judges for the National 4-H Achievement Day which was very similar to the St. Elizabeth Achievement Day which we judged in March except this time it was the top entry from each parish. We both judged the creative portion of the Environmental Challenge competition, Kaelyn for the younger kids and Shane for the older kids. It was either a song or skit (or sometimes both) about disaster management and some of them were very creative and included costumes and dances. The kids were very cute and this was a pretty fun entry to judge. We also got to walk around and check out the displays they were setting up in the parish booths - our favorite display was the 4-H shamrock made out of peppers. And while we were at the Denbigh 4-H grounds in Clarendon we got to check out our fellow PCV's biodisel project that he is working on there. He has been turning rotisserie chicken drippings into tractor fuel - a very interesting project for Jamaica considering all the fried chicken consumed on a daily basis.
Then Shane had to take an unexpected trip to the US for 9 days to attend the funeral of his grandmother in St. Paul, Minnesota which was very unfortunate. While he was gone I was in Negril at the Close of Service (COS) Conference for our group of volunteers. You can see most of the "surviving" members Group 76 in the picture above. Out of the 62 volunteers that flew to Jamaica with us in July 2005, only 38 have made it this far. We are definitely proud of ourselves for being among those who have stuck it out! It was really great to see all the other volunteers at the Conference, some people I hadn't seen since our last group conference in November 2005. And it started to put some closure on this whole experience; things are really starting to wind down now!
Shane returned last Tuesday with some very lovely surprises from the US - mini bottles of diet Coke, dark chocolate M&Ms and natural peanut butter! Since then we have been working on a Microsoft Access Workshop that we are going to be doing for our coworkers. We checked out the new (and only) Mexican restaurant in Kingston for dinner Friday night and we were pleasantly surprised with how fabulous it was. They had chips & salsa, guacamole, and Corona's with lime! I predict we shall be visiting often. Other than that our weekend was pretty typical - our apartment was unbearably hot and we had little to no water. All the more reason to spend as many weekends as possible traveling before we leave!