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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Mandeville, Jamaica

Oct 23, 2008 - Trip upcountry back to MoBay

We're heading back to the airport in Montego Bay to fly out. Rannie has taken us on a variety of scenic routes throughout the week, so we've had a range of countryside to see in central, rural Jamaica. We're treated again with a pass through the scenic Bamboo Avenue and the Lacovia Mountains. We pass through a litany of small villages from Mandeville to MoBay - crossing over from Manchester parish into St. Elizabeth and St. James parishes: Wilton, Santa Cruz, Lacovia, Olive Park, Maggotty, Ipswich, Catadupa, Black Roots, Holland, Bamboo...

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Oct 22, 2008 - Cleaning the warehouse . . .

Today, our group will be of service by cleaning and reorganizing the warehouse/workshop that holds all the construction materials for the Food for the Poor homes. So, that's the plan for today's work on the jobsite. We'll be: *lifting and relocating piles of lumber *using the forklift to move pallettes of materials *moving tarps *emptying, clearing and cleaning out the covered workshop *sweeping up all the sawdust and debris *resorting and organizing all the nails by size and type *clearing lumber stacks and removing debris...

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Oct 22, 2008 - Closing with Mrs. Eda McLaren and Rannie: evening mass

Thanks Rannie, Meeckus and Eda for inspiring us and guiding us through an incredible cultural exchange. We'll never forget you, the Jamaican people we met, and your beautiful country. We will always keep you in our thoughts and prayers, praying for a brighter future for Jamaica through education and the eradication of poverty - one step at a time on the LADDER of HOPE. We will pray especially for those who have been impoverished by circumstance, that they will be touched with hope and by the generosity of others who have seen their...

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Oct 22, 2008 - Visit John Bosco Home for Boys

St. John Bosco Children’s Home is located in Hatfield, outside of Mandeville, and is run by Srs. Susan Frazer and Miriam Krusling who are Sisters of Mercy. It was founded more than 40 years ago and currently cares for 150 boys at any one time, from ages 6 to 16. In an effort to become self-supporting and to teach the boys a trade as they get older, they have begun a butcher school, raising their own chickens and pigs, a catering service/school and a building training school. LORD, HELP ALL CHILDREN LEARN THEIR PURPOSE ON THIS EARTH, AND...

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Oct 22, 2008 - The Hope Distribution Centre - the tour

The Hope Distribution Center is on the same property as the Catholic College of Mandeville and the Catholic School of Technology on 66 Calednonia Road. We were given a tour of the Hope Distribution Center - a center that holds and distributes all donated goods to the various sectors in the diocese. It's a large warehouse that holds goods of all kinds: clothing, shoes, bedding, mattresses, etc. There's a Book Room too. If books and school or office supplies are donated, then schools are called to come and pick them up. The diocese is...

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Oct 21, 2008 - Building a house on a hillside in the Don Figuerero Mountains

Jamaica's housing needs are unique in the sheer numbers of the poor who lack adequate homes. At present, there are 15,000 families waiting for a new Food For the Poor House. Food For the Poor builds quality, well-constructed wood houses in Jamaica for families who live in tin and cardboard shacks, under plastic sheeting or in substandard hovels that do little to shelter them from rain and windstorms. The houses all have sturdy concrete foundations, as you will see in the photos, and are constructed with termite-resistant lumber. The cost of...

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Oct 21, 2008 - A hilltop lunch break next to the goat trail . . .

Of course, as you know, Jamaica is a tropical country, hot and humid. The sun is very hight in the sky at noon and its a lot hotter than Edmonton in the summer in direct sun. We were wearing our hats with brims, sunglasses and sunscreen. The sun rises and sets very quickly with little dawn and dusk. So, that's kind of cool to experience that difference from Edmonton. Showere occur almost on a daily basis here in the afternoon or early evening. We did experience a bit of that. The temperature in the Mandeville area, which is inland and at an...

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Oct 21, 2008 - Paint robin blue; add the veranda; put on the sheet metal roof

Each home has a veranda to suit the cultural lifestyle of Jamaican families who enjoy sitting on their front porch to take in a cooling breeze. The houses have steel front doors that lock and corrugated sheet metal roofing. The wood siding is tongue and groove and louvered windows allow for fresh air to flow through the home. These cozy homes can be quickly constructed in as little as one day and assembled on small lots, an important consideration when building a home for a destitute person who lacks a large parcel of land upon which to...

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Oct 21, 2008 - Two more walls go up . . .

Here we are, constructing this single-unit home. This is one of the main reasons we came on this mission, to get a sense of the things we take for granted and to 'make a difference' by sharing our time and service. We have security, education and meaningful work. So many Jamaicans don't. Most of the time we don't think much about our good fortune - or about people who have no home, no security and no way of earning their daily bread. This week we are realizing how to value the blessings we have received. O GOD, THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIFTS THAT...

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Oct 21, 2008 - Gotta have that sugar cane fix . . .

Half the time the group never knew where Danny was. He's an explorer - a very observant explorer. One who would just 'wander off' on a quest for things - things like sugar cane, special bananas, ripe guavas, etc. etc. We never really knew where he was - and then he'd just show up out of nowhere - with something for us to sample. But that's how we all got to taste the sugar cane. Well, it was a new taste experience for some of us, for sure. Not for the guys from the Philippines, but certainly for the rest of us. Our equivalent is having...

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Oct 21, 2008 - "I long for sanctuary" - Passing over the keys

"I long for sanctuary to have some space I can make into my own home. There are too many of us living in inadequate spaces" Almost everyone would prefer to have a little home if one were available. It is not difficult to understand how important it is for every person to have an affordable, appropriate and secure place to call home. Eash of us can look at an ordinary day in our lives and realize how much our ability to live well depends on having such a place. A home makes possible many of the important, immediate and practical economic,...

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Oct 20, 2008 - The Hill View Jerk Centre

The island of Jamaica is famous for its beautiful beaches, reggae music, Blue Mountain coffee, exotic fruits, and its cheerful people with their beautiful patois language. But, you haven't tasted Jamaica until you've tried Jamaican Jerk, ya mon! So, it's late in the day and Rannie has just brought us here to the Hill View Jerk Centre to experience this authentic Jamaican food. As one would suspect, it's called HILL VIEW because of the absolutely incredible view of the mountains across an expansive valley. Wow! As mentioned earlier, we also...

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