Ever since I was selected to volunteer in Kingston, people have been asking me, “what do you know about Jamaica?” I can’t tell if they are wondering whether I have some kind of previous experience that makes me especially qualified to volunteer, or if they are just curious whether I know what I am getting myself into. I usually respond with a story about the week I spent with my friend Julie at an all inclusive resort, where the only time we left the compound was to go on a day trip to the Appleton Rum Factory. In case it isn’t clear: I barely know anything about Jamaica!

The truth is that I don’t really know what to expect about ANY part of the year ahead. That is part of why I am so excited to go – I love trying new things and challenging myself in new ways.  While I am looking forward to spending the year in Kingston, I would probably have felt the same about any placement. I’m honoured to be able to share my time and my experience with people who are looking for a helping hand, and I am grateful that they are willing to welcome me into their world and their lives so that I can learn and grow.

Julie and I hanging with a member of the Jamaican Bobsled Team (2009).