the blues and the bright spots
Jamaica seems to have been rather moody recently. Her skies tend to be a little more overcast and the nights colder. So I actually have to use a blanket rather than just a thin sheet now. It still beats Britain, but I’ll be happy when the hot sun comes back in full force to burn me up, haha.
The lull in the weather seems to follow the lull in the semester so far, it has been much harder for many reasons. The classes are challenging for which I know I’ll be thankful… some day. But because the semester is shorter it feels like there is added pressure with close knit deadlines and masses of reading.
At the end of January, my Great Aunt Nerissa passed away, so that saddened the start to the semester and the year. I take a little joy and comfort in knowing that Aunt Nerissa loved God and will be partying with Him right now! I’m so thankful I got to meet both of my grandfathers remaining siblings, meeting family has been one of the best things about coming to Jamaica.
But the semester has not been completely bad!
My cousin celebrated her 50th birthday so we had a little party for her, which included lots of cake and food.
I have started volunteering with a church kids group in Trench Town on Thursday afternoons. It’s a great charity that creates a safe space for kids to learn a biblically based identity and have fun for the afternoon together. I didn’t think it was appropriate to take pictures, but the group is called Fusion and you can find out more here.
I also visited a place called Life Yard which is a community space in Downtown Kingston. Similarly to Fusion it aims create a safe space for children in the area. Its interesting to see these two organisations; one run by Rastafari and the other Christians, attempt to tackle some of the same social issues. One through art and the other through the gospel. You can check out the Life Yard Facebook page here.
Life Yard is found on Fleet Street. It was, and still is to some extent, a fairly rough area prone to violence and crime. However the Rastafari at Life Yard, the wider community, along with emerging artists in Jamaica have worked to create this street into something beautiful. Now its common for tourists (aka white people, haha) to visit. This point was brought up many times by some of the Rastafari I was talking to. For them it seemed as though having the presence of tourists in their area, was a good sign of how far they have come over the years.
A few favourite pieces:
Please pray for continued energy for the semester, and fresh ideas as I try to plan my proposal for the dreaded dissertation in final year….
Please pray for Life Yard and Fusion for the work they are doing to support children & communities in Kingston.
Please pray that I would continue daily in my pursuit of God, his people and his heart for Jamaica – and myself!
How are you doing? How can I pray for you? What have the lulls in your life been, and what are the bright things that keep you going?
Much love, always!
Jess (or Jessie as I’m known here by family!) x