After lunch we departed in two groups: half of us went to Robin's Nest Children's Home and the other half went to Westhaven, another children's home. It was an eye-opening experience for many, a humbling experience for all and potentially a life-changing experience for each person involved--those ministering Christ's love and those receiving...though sometimes they were one in the same. I think, as contrary to who I seem to be as this might be, I quite enjoyed the work better than the relationships...especially this afternoon...but when I finally found a baby who would just sit and rock I was set and the time went by faster.
From the children's homes we met back near the base to head up to Patricia's house, our project this week, for the dedication ceremony at 5 PM. It was an emotional and moving experience to be a part of. The keys to her new home were passed to each person in attendance to say a quick word of prayer and blessing on she and her family and their new house. We were all very touched I think.
We had dinner and then...our annual talent show took the place of our formal team meeting. We had a variety of acts, some serious and some not-so-much, all competing to be the next Jamaican Idol, our very own spin-off of American Idol complete with guest appearances by Simon, Paula, Randy, Cara and of course Ryan Seacrest.
We all stayed up pretty late and began the next morning, our "fun" day...as if the other days haven't been fun...everyone fully excited at all the day would hold. We boarded two buses and drove to Ocho Rios for the day. Once in "Ochie" we met up with our fellow team-members who have been in Mandeville this week. It was such an exciting, encouraging and refreshing time to be together today! Everyone shared stories and experiences...it was just a really good time. I got to see my freshmen girls, Kimberly, Emily, Whitney and Kristi...and I got to see Caren. I was very excited.
We had time to spend in the craft market before lunch and most everyone had a good time haggling the vendors to get prices down so we could bring home some quality Jamaican items. Several guys decided they needed to buy handcrafted machetes. Pray that THOSE make it through customs tomorrow!
And after lunch in town we headed to the much anticipated Dunn's River Falls for an afternoon of climbing the falls and laying on the beach. The falls are more like a little uphill trek through a rocky river and are fun to say you have done. When we finished climbing, though some people did it multiple times, we all ended up at the beach sunbathing and a majority of us PLAYED in the ocean all together. It was VERY fun! I LOVED playing with Malachi in the ocean and taking him to climb a little bit of the falls. We had a good time and I hope we got some good pictures!
Tomorrow we depart for home. Please be praying for everything to go smoothly and be a safe, relaxing trip home. I am eager to see all of you! Though I have had an amazing week, I've missed you all and couldn't have made this trip without you and all of your prayers! I am pretty bummed to be going home, but in some ways it will be a relief...so...I think that's all this will be my last post from Jamaica.