Friday, January 31, 2014

Goodbyes || Jamaican Mission {Part 6}

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 |

On Sunday we drove down to Lionel Town for the last time and visited with Sr. Beatrice and Sr. Pauline after celebrating Mass at their local Church. Sr. Beatrice took us to visit four nearby families and we gave them food and Fr. Jim blessed their homes. Then it was time to say goodbye to both Sisters and then head down to the ocean for dinner.

Along our way to the ocean, we stopped to visit two other families.

 Monday morning we woke up bright and early and said our goodbyes to Peggy and Sr. Maureen and then we were off on our three hour, bumpy van trip back to Montego Bay.
 We pulled up at St. Joe's just before 9pm, exhausted but grateful for the wonderful week we had.

Thank you for following us along our journey!
-Mary Kate

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Busy Days || Jamaican Mission {Part 5}

We went back to St. Margaret Mary's School both Friday and Saturday and managed to accomplish a lot! I didn't take nearly as many pictures as previous days, simply because of all the work to be done! Two of the larger tasks we had was one, finishing the wall between two classrooms and then later painting it. And two, painting as much of the wrought iron grills as we had time to do.
To harvest the sugar cane, they first burn the fields (which burns up all the unnecessary leaves) and then the next day they go in with machetes and harvest all the sugar cane stalks. 
On Friday, we stopped at St. John Bosco's Home for Boys for a tour and dinner.

One of the other stops we made Friday was at a place called the Mustard Seed. They didn't want any pictures taken there, as it's a home for abandoned mentally and physically disabled children and adults. There are 14 residents at the one we visited ages 2-35. I know I'm speaking for our whole team when I say it was one of the most difficult and yet beautiful parts of our trip. 

It's very strange that this week is already over, we are leaving tomorrow at 9am to get up to Montego Bay and we fly out at 4pm. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow as we make our way back home!! :)

-Mary Kate

Friday, January 24, 2014

Little Hands || Jamaican Mission {Part 4}

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 |

Yesterday morning we took a group shot with everyone with the sign Robin made for Fr. Louis. (Which says: "We carry you in our hearts Fr. Louis - Jamaican Mission Team 2014").  We then piled into the van and headed out to St. Margaret-Mary’s School in Lionel Town.

When we arrived, Sr. Beatrice greeted us and gave us a tour of the school.The kids swarmed around us, smiling and laughing. They were quite eager to pose for the camera and then incredibly excited to come running up and see their face on the camera screen.

Sr. Beatrice and Sr. Pauline brought us a delicious Jamaican lunch of Juicy Patties (which were kinda like empanadas). After lunch we split in to two groups. One group started painting a classroom and the other group started taking the photos of the children sponsored by St. Joe's Parishioners.

One of the things I love about our long van trips is how much we get to see along the way. Something that is pretty common in this part of Jamaica are half-finished houses. People live on the completed first floor, but the upper floors are in varying stages of construction. This is because the Jamaican people build as they can afford to (there are no mortgages or the like). So the big. fancy house will usually take years to be completed. 

We all had an amazing time at the school and are grateful we got to go back today and see the kids one more time (photos of that coming tomorrow).

-Mary Kate