Thursday, July 9, 2009

May 27

Wednesday was our second day of site searching. We were headed to the Yallahs basic and primary schools. As we walked out to the main road to catch a taxi we met some new friends. First we saw this HUGE toad. I wish there was some scale involved in these pictures, but you will have to take my word for it. These toads are everywhere when the sun goes down, but it is rare to see them in the middle of the road in the heat of the day. We took some pictures and then poured water on this dude to cool him off. A few steps further and we saw something else that shocked us all, a wild pig. I personally have never seen a wild pig and I was kind of scared because I heard they are nasty, but this one was tiny and was only concerned with a Doritos bag.

After all the animal distractions, we finally made it out to the road. The schools are about a five minute drive from the square and if you like the heat, they are within walking distance. The group accidentally left one of the graduate students at the primary school and she had to walk to town by herself! She was a little timid because it was only our third day in Yallahs, but it soon became something we would frequently joke about.
When we went to the basic school the children were literally flocking around us. The kids there ranging in age from 3-5. They were really excited to have visitors and I think the teachers were kind of hating us for that; I could tell the kids weren't going to settle down after we left. When I went to the basic school, I fell in love. I knew immediately that I wanted to work there. Alex, another girl in my group, was also expressing interest in working with the kids. We decided to spilt our time in Jamaica between two work sites; RADA (Rural Agricultural Development Authority) was my major project and the basic school was my secondary site.
After playing with the little babes we went across the street to the primary school. The primary school is basically elementary age children. The building was shaped like an L and was three stories high. All the classrooms had open slats for windows so all the children saw us coming. Like the basic school kids, they were really excited. I talked to a bunch of girls about what they do during their exercise period and they taught me how to play net ball. I then went down onto the football field and talked to the boys. Girls shy away from the football field because it is seen as the boys turf, but some brave girls do play. I was talking to all the boys when they were done and I asked if I could come next week and play with them. They passed me the ball and when I began to juggle in sandals, they decided I was good enough to play. So I played with Mr. Good the physical education teacher and the primary classes the next Wednesday and I had a great time. When the other little girls saw that a girl was playing football they all joined in. They were following me around to the point where I couldn't actually play because I was too crowded. I was happy though because if I wasn't there, I don't think they would have played. A little girl even scored that day and I could tell it was a really big accomplishment. She and the other girls were so happy. I had so much fun with the kids. We did a cheer before we started and everyone was yelling 'Schu' on the field when I had the ball. The girls that worked at the primary school said that the kids would always ask about me and ask when I was coming back. I wish I didn't have so much work to do while I was there or I would have went every Wednesday.
The kids played on a field that was green, but I wouldn't say grassy. Some kids played barefoot, while others had Nikes on. You could tell which kids were on a football team because they usually wore football shorts and boots aka cleats.


  1. Another great day in paradise:-)... and a wild pig?! I would have never guessed. I love it that you brought everyone together on the field!*

  2. I am laughing so hard at the anonymous grad student who was left behind... :)