One Love: Our Trip to Jamaica
"ONE LOOOOVVVE, ONE HEARRRTTT. Let's get together and feel all right!" Over spring break, we ventured to Jamaica with 21 high school students for a humanitarian trip... crazy right? It was one of the most challenging, but most rewarding trips we've ever been on as we got to see our high school students serve, love, and grow over the course of the week.
Once we made landed in Jamaica, made it through customs, and arrived at our hotel, we spent the morning at a local church. Our students loved on the children, met new people, sang new songs and three of them had the opportunity to share their stories in front of the congregation. It was encouraging to see our students get out of their comfort zone. We spent the afternoon hanging out at a beach called Doctor's Cove, and got to swim in the ocean, jump on the water trampoline, play in the sand, and snorkel the surrounding coral reefs.
After we had time to relax on the beach for the day, the real work began. For the rest of our time in Jamaica, our team would be working at three main locations. The first location was called Blossom Garden Children's Home. Our students played with orphaned infants and toddlers and gave them as much love as they possibly could before our week was over. Unfortunately we were unable to take any photos at Blossom Garden due to government regulations surrounding the children living at the home.
The next location our team served at was called the Jamaican School for the Deaf. Deaf students in Jamaica receive little to no government support and are often considered outcasts especially in the rural areas. This school was built to give these students an opportunity to receive education and proper care in a loving, supportive environment where they are valued as individuals. We hand mixed and poured concrete forums and built a wheelchair accessibility ramp. Our students worked their BUTTS off in the hot Jamaican sun, and left their mark on the Jamaican School for the Deaf community.
The final location our students served at was Eden Basic School in rural Jamaica with preschool and elementary children. We played games, put on puppet shows, made crafts, read stories, and just spent time loving on these kids. Their smiles are completely contagious and we had a blast being big kids again!
And that's a wrap! We all left a little bit of our heart in Jamaica as the people were as beautiful as the sights around us. It was such an incredible experience seeing our team grow stronger together and help make a difference in the lives they each interacted with!
Lauren & Jordan