lundi 9 janvier 2012

Back to Jamaica

It's very frustrating to be back here and to have to deal with the freaking unwanted male attention again. Every time I leave home, I am sure to receive a stupid comment, a whistle, s greeting, a cat call, but SOMETHING, from the men in the street. In my head, I tell them to shut up. I sing a little melody to better ignore them because I know that the slightest attention I would give them, they would be all after me. Even the kids begging in the street, I learned to ignore them, to not give anything to anyone, not even a smile, way to precious to be given away like that. It's the jungle here, so in order to survive, better know the rules.

Yesterday just as I left home to go tothe gym a car stopped besides me. 5 men were inside and wanted me to go with them. Obviously I didn't. I don't want to imagine whAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF i HAD.

I can't wait to live in a country where men leave women alone. That is really getting on my nerves now.

mercredi 12 janvier 2011

2011 in Jamaica

I realized I completely forgot about this blog for a LOOOONG time. So here I am back, trying to catch up with the 2011 vibe. I enjoyed very nice Christmas holidays in Jamaica with my family, and am now back to work. A CUSO-VSO representative from Guyana came to our office today to know what kind of work we do and to feel the opportunities of national volunteering.

Heat is back, lovely, and I recently discovered a new club, the Hash House Harriers, that I joined. I will definitely go back to their next activity. Had a really good time last Sunday with this bunch of crazy people.

Except that, life is good, with work and grant opportunities, contacting people that know people that know foundations that give money, and working on a Board Manual.

No week-ends out of Kingston scheduled so far, we'll see what's coming for the next month.

mercredi 29 septembre 2010

Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica

I should have started this blog long ago, but whatever, here I am now. As we say, better late than never!!

This blog aims to tell about my trip as a CUSO-VSO volunteer in Jamaica. I came here to work as an organisational Development Adviser with Jamaicans for Justice, My role is to 1) Assess organisational capacity, activities, systems and structures 2) Develop, write and implement strategic plans and improved management systems 3) Research opportunities for local and international grant funding 4) Develop International and local funding proposals 5) Mobilize local and international resources.

Sounds like a challenge, huh? So far it's going well, with the first grant proposal submitted to the European Delegation last Monday, and another grant proposal with France on which I'm working at the moment.I also created a survey that I sent to JFJ's employees to have their opinion and feedback about what JFJ does good, what could be improved, etc.

I also have to submit my CUSO-VSO workplan with the objectives and timeframe to my manager, and then to CUSO-VSO manager.

That is for the professional side. On the personal side, I really enjoy living in Jamaica, even with the big rain storms we have these days! Routine has begun to be quite agreeable, I know my neighborhood and how to get to the nearest grocery stores, I take the coaster with friends and by myself. For the ones who want to know, coaster is the name given to a mini-van that should normally board a maximum of 25-30 people but way more during peak hours. The driver usually drive like crazy and 2 coasters love to race to see who's gonna arrive first at the bus stop. Also, I know where to eat good jerk (although not always how to get there). Jerk is a seasoning used on pork, chicken, fish and even lobster. The meat is cooked on a BBQ grill and the jerk sauce is generously spilled on the roasting meat. Delicate stomachs watch out, since jerk is from bearable to very hot, in terms of spice. I can eat it but hardly can I finish a plate by myself. That is why they have different portion sizes.

During the week-ends, I like to do field trips and sightseeing with the other volunteers. We can rent a car, or use public transportation. Going out of Kingston is always fun guaranteed. Since I arrived, I've been to Negril, Treasure Beach, Port Antonio, Winnifred Beach, Hellshire, Holywell Park, Trench Town, Port-Royal, Lime Cay, and probably other places I forget to mention. Jamaica is really nice to discover and I feel very priviledged to be here.

I believe I will do a difference and contribute to improve the living conditions of the poorest by ensuring more and regular fundings to JFJ. I will also do my best to know more about Jamaican culture, learn patois and become good at capoeira (started doing capoeira here).