Things Are Happening

“She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older—the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.”     ~Jane Austen, Persuasion

“We are pilgrims.  Some of us travel familiar roads throughout our lives, highways well marked; we might never leave the village or neighborhood in which we grow up.  Others of us move out into new territories, different and distant lands, to follow our calling or our dreams.  And some of us are taken, not of our own will or choice, into the landscapes of illness.  But wherever we are on the journey, we are on holy ground.  Our lives are sacred—and no less so when our brains are in disorder.  God holds our souls and walks with us.”     ~Rennebohm, Souls in the Hands of a Tender God

So last week was nice:  Monday and Tuesday, I attended a disaster assessment workshop with one of my favorite community members—Leila.  As that was wrapping up, the 14 of us got to have a meeting with a few engineers from USAID, which might prove to be helpful for our road project(s) up in the valley (this remains to be seen).  Then, the rest of group 79 (included Josh) arrived at SandCastles Ocho Rios to convene for our ESC—Early Service Conference.  Every Peace Corps group has scheduled trainings.  In the past, it’s been PST (pre-service), ESC (early service), IST (inter-service) and COS (close of service).  I’ve heard that the Jamaica staff has replaced the IST with 4 quarterly, regional sector meetings, starting with our group.  In any case, our ESC was beneficial to say the least.  To tell the truth, I feel like I’m still processing some things I learned there.

It’s been raining in our community since last Wednesday (6 days straight thus far) and that has put a damper on ANYthing getting accomplished.  For instance, the first of our internal Knowing Your Business workshop series (designed/facilitated by moi) was supposed to take place on Monday, but it didn’t happen…postponed indefinitely.

If you are looking for a good time to visit us, cross off October and November as possibilities.  Sure, we have a lot of down time to hang out, but it gets old boiling water, electricity going on and off, being shut in our house.  However, I AM getting a good amount of reading done!

We are looking forward to our friends Nick and Lindsay (visiting from the states!) coming out for Thanksgiving weekend—staying with us TR and then at the Glass House in Long Bay. (I’ll try not to get my phone lost/stolen this time.)  Un will join for TGiving dinner on Friday and maybe a couple of other stragglers.  It should be fun.  I’m never quite sure of all the logistics on PCV gatherings until it’s upon us, but it always seems to work out.

By the way, Corey sent me her visit dates in April…Is anyone else thinking of visiting?  I’m trying to plan ahead for youth summer camps and other events for next year.  Hunters, Scott/Jordan—let’s get this stuff on paper somewhere.  We’re trying to iron out Christmas details with our friends, the Schumakers.  It promises to be a memorable, hopefully relaxing celebration and I know it’ll be almost as great as being home with all our loved ones.  SEND C-MAS DECORATIONS and stocking stuffers ASAP if you wanna. Look to our “To Send” page for details.
Love you all.

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