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Jamaica 2013, Day 9 – The Climb: “There’s always going to be another mountain ….”

FredrickJuly 2, 2013. Day 9     ???? ????      Well, looks as if it’s day nine already. Boy how time flies, it gives a whole new meaning to the term “island time.” Anyway, back to the point of this blog space. Today was amazing from start to finish. We had an amazing breakfast, which consisted of toast that was toasted to a delightful golden brown with butter, marmalade, and guava jam, oat cereal, pineapples and some homemade pineapple-mango juice. If you think the breakfast sounds amazing, you should see the house that we are staying in. We are currently staying in a house that is owned by the Bennett’s located in Lower Great House Close, which is a series of houses that are big and beautiful without being overdone.

After a delicious breakfast we all got into the mini-bus that takes us to Allman Hill Primary school that is driven by Clive. Let me tell you, Clive’s driving is nothing to laugh at, he can really drive. There was nothing but sharp turns and near collisions courtesy of a big yellow bus on a too narrow mountain road. I saw my life flash before my eyes, it was surprisingly uneventful. I guess I should stop complaining; at least we got to the school on time for the sixth and ninth grade graduation because “KBC is never late.” Upon arrival the kids that we taught Monday were really happy to see us. There was little Shandrika, who by the way is the fastest girl in the fifth grade and my favorite, Jaheem, who is just a little ball of energy who likes to fight. Speaking of fighting, those little kids do not feel pain. For example, Daniella, she fell and got a deep cut on her leg and there was not one tear from her eyes. She simply dusted herself off and limped for the rest of the day. Now I’m pretty sure it’s infected because it’s swollen and purple.

Anyway back to graduation. The graduating classes of 2013 marched in the sanctuary, because the school is church affiliated, to a song that would usually be played in a Rocky movie. And the song that they chose to sing was “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. You know, the song really fits their situation. Because the way that their education system is set up, it’s basically designed for them to pretty much fail, it’s survival of the fittest. It made me realize that most students back home really take education for granted and these Jamaican kids are over here almost fighting for the top spot.  Sweet Buddha, it’s not fair.

Lastly, we are building a playground made completely out of used tires. I know it sounds weird but believe me it is most definitely possible. When working I feel the tension in the air because some people can’t work due to lack of materials and other teammates get into their feelings and start complaining. If I don’t know anything else I know for sure that hot weather plus moody teens equals a project that seems to me that it is kind of behind schedule. I also don’t like the fact that we separated into two different groups when the purpose of this trip was to coexist in perfect harmony while learning about Jamaica…We have about six more days so I’ll see if we can overcome this obstacle. This was Fredrick Barnes, Over and out.

Fredrick B., Capital City Public Charter School

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