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I know I’m playing catch-up, but we had a lot of fun over the Christmas holidays (pre-Christmas, Christmas, Boxing Day & Christmas week).  Although our first Christmas away from the U.S. and far from a lot of friends and family, we made the best of it and you did too!  Not only did we celebrate Jesus’ birthday with living decorations and PCV loved ones, but also we celebrated with cards, letters and care packages from you thoughtful fellows on the home front.  We lined our fake mantle with your holiday cards, and we excitedly opened our mail, almost just like we would’ve on Christmas morning.  Some highlights thus far, as we still have parcels waiting for us at the PC office in Kingston:
•    LOST s.4 dvds
•    Always Sunny in Philadelphia dvds
•    Billy’s 11 dvd cornucopia surprise
•    Christmas footie songs (w/ bells!)
•    Holiday decorations (cinnamon candles, ornaments, etc.)
•    Charlie Brown tree
•    Toiletry essentials
•    Fun magazines we can’t get here
•    A cute purse from Treasure Beach
•    Dominoes
•    Nail polishes
•    Books!
•    Bookstore gift cards
•    Good ole-fashioned moolah
•    Lots of taco seasonings
Those are just the things I can recall—I’ll list more after we open the mail from Kingston (next weekend).  Thanks again for your love & thoughtfulness!  Josh & I were blessed to speak with reps from family all over the country too—(shout-outs to Cambodia, Cape Coral, MJ-Nashville, and CO) Sounds like Christmas 2008 was a little different for most of us due to either the economic slump, to different travel arrangements or to shifting priorities.  All I know is I’m so appreciative for the love & support we have in you, ready at all times—Near or far, we feel close in spirit with you all.  Thanks for continuing to be people we’re proud to know.

And! Our guests/vacation buds (Andrea&Will, Molly&Dave, Un, Rob) were THE most gracious company, better than I could’ve asked for.  If any current PCVJs are reading, have no fear if either of these couples knocks pon fi yu duor.  Not only were they low-maintenance, but they fell in line seamlessly, washing dishes, cooking…even sweeping the floor & hanging up clothes to dry.  They brought us coveted ingredients from across the island—cheeses, veggies, fruit, vanilla, liquours, bagels, ant killer & our mail!

They blessed me incredibly and I was supposed to be the one hosting!

Over the holiday, we enjoyed a few fancy treats…I’m feeling lists, so here we go:
•    Tree-shaped sugar cookies w/ frosting & sprinkles
•    Breakfast quiche
•    Christmas dinner: stuffed chicken, mashed potatoes, greens & pie
•    Hike to Dry River Falls
•    Walk to Comfort Castle square & back (sorry the party got cancelled)
•    Lots of festive DLed music and movies
•    Chill Out! Restaurant @ Long Bay ~ good food & vibe
•    Ivanhoe’s guest house in Port Antonio ~ good PCV deal, very clean & pleasant, hospitable staff, serve bfast
•    Marina restaurant (can’t remember the name)~ spendy, but really good food & beautiful sunset
•    Chenel’s Pizza in Port Antonio~nice view, large menu, good food, affordable

At the end of the week, we were ready to get back to real-life, back to life in the conchri and back to werk.
I know I haven’t mentioned this before now…life didn’t really go back to normal once our holiday traveling was finished.  We arrived back home to discover our community in mourning.  This was the case ever since the night of December 18th, when a market truck headed to Kingston went off a precipice and 20 ppl were hurt or killed.  14 people died as a result:  7 from Millbank, 4 from C.Castle, 2 from Ginger House & 1 from Moore Town.

Here is a an article from December 21st, 2 days after the wreck.

It’s not that Josh and I are heartless or insensitive.  I think it’s more that we weren’t in-tune with what was happening in the communities.  In all the commotion of Christmas and New Years’, we kept hearing information after-the-fact and feeling pretty left-out.  Thus, we figured that mourning was surely going on, but we hadn’t experienced it for ourselves.  Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve learned of a huge cultural difference between the U.S. and Jamaica (at least where we are)-the way we respond to death…and work. TBC…


2 Responses

  1. What a sweet post! I loved all the pictures- I hadn’t seen some of them :) I hope you’re having a GREAT time in Ochi with Josh’s family… We enjoyed our time in Kingston with you and that FABULOUS Pizza Hut! Love and Miss you already!

  2. What’s the significance of you two missing the mourning period? Is it a cultural faux pas? Terri and Jim said the driving was pretty crazy there; I’m not surprised to hear about an accident. That’s so unfortunate, though — I’m sorry to hear about the injuries and deaths involved.

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