Friday, May 18, 2012

Year of Service: Jamaica (4)

Post 4:

The After-Story

During his time in Jamaica, Josh became close with another year of service volunteer from New Zealand. At the end of his service, Josh decided to visit New Zealand himself and visit his partner in service. Josh stayed with a friend whose parents owned a mansion overlooking the bay of Auckland. The contrast with Jamaica’s abject poverty was shocking. Truly it was “the other extreme of existence.” Josh had his own room with a bathroom and towel warmer, fresh bread and jam every morning, and a marble-lined swimming pool. He stayed in Auckland for two weeks then visited Wellington, where he stayed in a college flat with seven other people for two weeks. Back in The United States, Josh noticed a lack of color compared to Jamaica and New Zealand. To him, the American scenery was filled with neutral browns. However, it was nice to have warm showers and food available. In Jamaica, Josh would save up just to have a bowl of rice and chocolate soymilk and would take showers with a cup out of a five-gallon bucket. Cultural differences also became apparent. Unlike in The States, Jamaicans were friendly regardless of the personal danger. “You could sit next to anyone and have a great conversation with them.” His year of service, Josh reflects, provided the opportunity to open his eyes and develop many qualities. “It’s different when you’re focused on doing things for people all day, every day, with no opportunity to worry about your own life or situation.” For those who do not get a chance to embark on a year of service, “it is a huge loss in their life.”

Okay peoples, I want your stories! I know there are youth out there who have lived epic spiritual adventures and aren’t writing it down for future generations. Perhaps you are not a writer, in which case I am offering with all the eagerness I can muster to write it down on your behalf. I would love, love, love to be of service in helping you record the experiences, lessons, and stories of your year of service. Contact:

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