A VIEW FROM KINGSTON
I'm writing this one from the Peace Corps office in downtown Kingston, looking out over a spanish veranda with a mango sunset burning the dusk sky. I got very sick last week with a GI tract infection, and it flared up again this week so I had to come in and get checked again. As my good friend Kellen Arno told me when I was flustered this last week, "Something about you changes when you get so sick that at some point, death becomes a viable option."
Things have been going at a breakneck pace during training, many field trips to places like Botany Bay, Morant Bay, Yallahs, and the Riverton Dump to look at water sanitation practices and how Jamaica deals with health issues. The bottom line is, it seems as though they don't. It's national policy to perform vector control (mosquitos) by putting diesel fuel on standing pools of water. I had a principal of a local high school, a very distinguished member of the community, tell me I won't get anything accomplished here because there's no money and people don't want to change. Needless to say I feel a little deflated. BUT, the people in the Peace Corps are an incredible group of dedicated and brilliant people who have taken such varied and difficult routes to get to where they are today it's amazing.
Regardless of whether this is the right fit for me or not, I will have been irrevocably changed by this experience, and for the better. I know what it's like, in a very small measure, to go to bed hungry, cold, and tired, and to be with people who deal with it all with guts and gumption.
More to come soon as I decide whether Jamaica will work out. Love you all so, so much and miss you terribly.