July 1, 2013. We’ve passed the halfway mark in our time in Jamaica and our work at Allman Hill School has just begun. Our bus was a little late which delayed the school’s devotions as a result, but the kids were just as welcoming. When we arrived, we were greeted by all the teachers as well as about 200 students or so and surprisingly, Allman Hill isn’t just for grades 1-6, it continues to grade 9. (This is good considering we were under the impression that the 6th graders were the same size as us). Unfortunately, we never had the chance to work with the older kids and don’t think we ever will because graduation is tomorrow! I’m sure we’re all excited to see how American graduations differ from Jamaican graduations.
Anyway, once the introductions were done, we each were separated into our different class groups; two LearnServe students per grade. My class, third grade, was hilarious and surprisingly good at hangman. They were all very eager to engage in the activities we set forth. This, again, was surprising because it is the end of year. Back at home, if we only had a couple more days of school, we wouldn’t want to be playing multiplication and addition games, we’d be bugging the teacher to let us outside. It was also interesting to see how the kids interacted with us. They were very curious. They asked about my hair. They asked about my bracelets. They asked about my family. Though that may seem annoying, it was actually pretty fun talking to all the kids and answering all their questions.
After we finished with the kids, we got started on the playground. It’s going to be made completely out of tires! That is really a prime example of making do with what you’ve got. However, we ran out of tires. But that didn’t stop us, we continued digging in the hot sun, and then the rain, and then the hot sun again, for another hour and a half before we finally decided it was time to wrap up. At a first glance it might not look like we got a lot done but tomorrow, we’ll have a good foundation to build off of. In conclusion, I’m looking forward to seeing the students graduate tomorrow and also continuing the process of building the playground.
Dysis S., School Without Walls