Last week I moved to Kingston, both to live and work. I had hoped that I would still be able to carry the cause of Old Harbour Bay from Kingston (which would have been easy to do, since there are many agencies here that have an interest/stake in the betterment of that seaside town) but I was reassigned to a totally different agency as well. You are probably wondering why the change since I only have two more months in Jamaica, and the answer is kind of complicated, but I will try.
Way back in early January, I was informed that there was a man in the community that was allegedly in the US armed forces and then tortured in prison and later deported. So he has been here in Old Harbour Bay for some years now, daily (according to his neighbors) cursing America and Americans. Rumours were going around that he was saying that if he ever saw me, he would inflict harm (in not so many words).
When this information came to me, the person asked me to tell the Peace Corps office, which I did that day. I was already planning a 6-day trip home to the States for later that week. The Safety and Security Officer asked me to pack my things that day and I would be spending the week in Kingston (until my departure).
Upon questioning the man, he told the police that if he had ever wanted to do anything to me, he would’ve done it a long time ago, since it is a small town and he saw me all the while (so he allegedly said). This is all so ironic to me because apparently he feared that I was a CIA agent and he felt that Bush had sent me to spy on him!— I don’t even know what he looks like! I guess some would be afraid in that situation, but I never felt the least bit fearful—I instinctively felt that I was protected.
Anyway, I did as I was told and packed my things that day (January 3rd), filed the required police report, and was whisked away in the large Peace Corps SUV. I came back to the community (as planned) on January 12 because I had a very important meeting that I wanted to attend and the PCO permitted me to go.
A few weeks later however, the Peace Corps Office asked/encouraged me to consider moving. They left it open to me where I would like to live. Kingston was a natural choice for me because that would enable me to attend Wednesday evening church service and make getting to church on Sundays much easier. Currently, it is only a 10 minute drive/20 minute bus ride instead of 1 ½ -2 hour ride of two buses and two taxis. It is great—I love my new place and this is only one of many benefits.
On the whole, my living situation is much easier to deal with—much quieter neighbors, a quieter household, no reggae/dancehall music shaking the walls, and I LOVE being so close to everything in town. The employment situation was not as smooth a transition, but I need to trust God, that He is in control and has a plan.
I am actually supposed to be leaving in August, but I have decided that I want to attend two events in June in Boston and CA, so I am applying to leave Jamaica on June 1st.
I always love questions, so please submit them and I will address them in the most appropriate way—either an entry or a personal email.
Take care and may each of you have a blessed day!