April 21, 2013

Dear Family and Friends
This has been a very busy week!  We had our Area Welfare Manager Bro. Benny Lilly and his wife Denise and Bro. Acosta, who is Benny’s Assistant visiting with us.  It was Bro. Lilly’s last trip to Jamaica as he will be completing his service here and returning home to Utah.  It was however Sister Lilly’s and Bro. Acosta’s first trip.  We had met Bro Acosta in January when we went to the D.R. for our training.  We also met Sister Lilly who works in the Santo Domingo Temple when we were able to attend while in the D.R.  We took them around to see some of the projects that have been ongoing since before we arrived here.  Thanks to the efforts of the preceding missionaries E/S Schafermeyer and E/S Whitehead, whose tireless efforts took this project from conception to reality for the people of Jamaica.  We are currently working on setting up projects in four of the Non District Branches now; Yallahs, Savanna-la-Mar,  Ocho Rios and Port Antonio, with plans to take them to the other three Non District Branches later in the year. 
We did get to visit the schools we talked about last week. One was called Kiddies Kindergarten & Preparatory School.  It is for the younger children ages 3-11.  It was a home with an added on section that didn’t quite match up to the original house.  But they are making the best they can with it.  The school sits on cement pylons that are sinking into the ground so the whole structure has problems.  The children are on benches and long narrow tables to do their work.  The walls don’t meet the ceiling so the noise level is quite high.
The other school we visited was Sir Clifford Campbell Primary School.  It has children 12-17 years old.  At each class room the children would stand and say “Good morning Miss Hamilton” to the principal and to us “Good Morning Friends”. They are in a two story structure without lights or fans.  A lot of the window slats have been stolen and their computer/ library room is now a storage room.  Some of the computers are still working but there is not enough staff to have a teacher in that room and not enough room for the whole class to go.  On a cloudy day the rooms are very dark.  With summer coming the heat and the humidity the rooms will get unbearably hot. President Blake would like to help the school out if possible.  We will try to obtain Humanitarian Aid for Lights and Fans for the school.  In order to obtain Humanitarian fund we need to wright a project request into the computer.  The request is sent to the area Welfare Manager for approval then on to Salt Lake for approval there.  The School is struggling but they are also making the best of their current situation.  The Sir Clifford School is next to a cemetery and that has a negative connotation too.  It is called a “Duppy” School.  “One that has ghosts haunting it.”  The school struggles with its location by the cemetery and the fact that is has a high enrollment of the poorer class of students.  The alumni of the schools here hold fundraisers to help the school get their books, supplies, and repairs taken care of.  It is a different situation here than where you are. The ingenuity of the people to make what they have work is amazing, but there is so much need.  You can see the white boards on the left and the right of the children…those are also the partitions separating the classrooms.  With each class reciting the times tables, or spelling, or Parish names or whatever…I think you can imagine it. The next picture is of their school kitchen.  They have two cooks and that is all that fit in the room.
This is their kitchen.  They were preparing chicken for the students.  I am standing up against the other side which has a Camp Chef type stove with a large 10 gallon pot on the burner.

We got to go to Ocho Rios this past week with the Lilly’s.  Bro. Acosta had to leave early so he was not with us on this little excursion.  We took them through Fern Gully, and stopped at a vendor station.  This gentleman was showing us some spices.  He had spearmint, pimento, lemon grass, and cocoa.  Dad said it looks like I’m ‘sniffing’ something I’m not supposed to, but it is the pimento.  When it is ground up it is All Spice, and it did smell good!
He was a really nice man and spent about 15 minutes explaining the different plants and the birds we were hearing.  We see a lot of Turkey Vultures here but they are called John Crow’s here.  If anyone talks about a John Crow it mean someone’s going to die.
We had our first American Breakfast last Saturday…at least we thought it was.  We got eggs, sausage and toast.  When it came we had eggs, toast, and a hot dog sliced length wise into 3 strips.  It was interesting…
This next Picture is of dad at the Port Antonio Chapel.  Right in front of the church is the Mediterranean Sea…What a view these people have!!
I said that I would send home some recipes and then forgot to so here is one for Jamaican Jerk Chicken:
One 3 1/2 pounds chicken
6 sliced scotch bonnet peppers, seeds taken out. (jalapeno’s may be used if unavailable) These are HOT
2 Tbsp. Thyme                                                                   3medium onions, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. ground allspice                                                  2 Tbsp. sugar, and salt
8 Cloves garlic, finely chopped                                   2 Tsp. ground black pepper
Then add ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to taste.
 ½ cup olive oil                                                                   ½ cup soy sauce
Juice of one lime                                                              1 cup of Orange Juice and white vinegar
Chop the onions garlic and peppers. Set aside. Blend all other ingredients (except chicken) in blender. Now add the onions garlic and peppers to mixture. Cut chicken into 4 pieces. Reserve about 1 cup of mixture, refrigerate this.  Pour the rest into a gallon size zip lock baggie with the chicken pieces and refrigerate overnight.   You can bake it in the oven, grill it (that’s what they do here with pimento wood), or fry it.  Use the reserved 1 cup of mixture when baking, grilling or frying.   I usually buy the meat already cut up.  You can use your favorite part of the chicken if not wanting to use a whole chicken.  Here they take a meat cleaver and whack the chicken into 4 parts and you get bones, fat, and all.
We did lots more this week but we can only send a few pictures so we will try to catch up  with the rest on a slow week, if we have one.  We had a wonderful time with our visitors…now it is time to get back to work.