Saturday, May 28, 2005


I have been told that the respected dress for women in Jamaica is to wear skirts.

Within the past year or two, I have rediscovered my love for wearing skirts. They are very comfortable, look nice, and make me feel more feminine. I guess one of the problems with them are that I get the feeling that they're not the really respected dress for women in our American society. It seems that the respected dress for women in our American society might be pants, because that shows the equality of the sexes, whereas skirts show the old regime of domestication. Also, it seems that skirts are necessarily "dressy" in our society. I think the overall impression of wearing a skirt to go and "hang out" with friends would convey that I am dressed up, which can sometimes be a negative thing because it implies that one's availability for having fun is lessened.

In preparation for my trip to Jamaica, where I will have to dress as a respected woman, I have been augmenting my skirt wardrobe with more skirts, so that I can have some variety while I'm over there. This will help with not having to do laundry as much, and will also take away the sense of limitation/claustrophobia/insert-right-word-here so that I can have a choice in what I wear. It seems this season linen is in. Three of the skirts I've purchased (and one inter-changable top) are all linen. This may be the first time in my life that I've ever owned a piece of linen clothing. One other skirt that I purchased is cotton, turquoise, knee-length, and beautiful. I keep on looking at it and get so excited to wear it in the future. I was nervous about buying it because I didn't think I would have much to wear with it (I mean, I could wear a white or a black shirt, but that's kinda limiting, especially when trying to maximize the amount of mix & match I can have while in Jamaica), but after folding some laundry this morning, it seems that I have more that could potentially match it than I thought. So, this is good news.

Anyway, I am thankful that, of all things I could have to wear while in Jamaica, skirts seem like they'll be a good deal because they're airy and will help keep me cool during the hot weather. I am still debating about whether or not to take pants with me. From the numbers, it just doesn't seem like I'll ever wear them. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Where I'll be going and what I'll be doing

It is not totally clear where I will be going and what I will be doing at this point. I only have some broad, vague generalities, but I will record them, and I guess we'll see whether they end up being "true" or not.

The church I am going to serve at is in St. Ann, Jamaica, which is on the northern coast, approximately four miles east from Ocho Rios. As you can see on the map, Jamaica is located in the Caribbean Sea, to the south of Cuba, and to the west of the Dominican Republic/Haiti. (Do you say "cah-rib-bee-an" or "care-ah-bee-an"? - I think the pronounciation differs depending on where you live in the US.)

I am not totally sure, but I think I can be reached by this address if you would like to mail me something while I am down there:

Jenny Smith
c/o Immanuel/Boscobel Charge
PO Box 153
Ocho Rios
St. Ann, Jamaica

The papers documenting my internship for the school say that my duties for the internship will include:

  • Visitation - hospital, shut-ins, nursing home, general membership and community
  • Preaching
  • Worship Leadership, worship planning
  • Leading Bible Study and prayer meeting
  • Leading devotion in schools, counseling

I am officially supposed to learn competence in the above areas and also learn to appreciate cultural differences and how God works through these differences.

I will not be alone in Jamaica. A friend of mine from school, Krista, will also be doing the same internship as I am. We will both live with in the pastor's manse, but as to how closely we will work together while we are there, I am not sure. The church we are going to is actually two churches, so it would seem to me that it would be better for the church to split us up (more bang for the buck, so to say), but only time will tell.

Preparing to go

Yesterday was the first day when I've realized that I am really going to Jamaica, and going soon. I have started to prepare for my summer-long trip by taking care to pay my anticipated bills in advance (credit card, phone bill, etc.). Taking that sort of preparation is kinda lousy, and makes it really seem real that I will not be in this country for the coming months, much more so than the preparation of buying clothes. Further, it is lousy to pay bills in advance because it takes a larger amount out of the bank than usual and it leaves you with trying to figure out how to make sure they get paid in adequate fashion. I guess I am learning a part of what it really means to live outside the country for an extended period of time.

At this point, I am not necessarily excited to go. The spring semester at Princeton had me really missing home so, consequently, I am really enjoying every minute of being home. I love being near my church, my friends, and my family. I am at least thankful that I have a few weeks after my return from Jamaica before heading back to school. I suppose like any other trip, once I get to Jamaica, I will be much more excited about being there. The place will be real to me, the people will be real to me, and it will be a chance for me to have a first glimpse of what it's actually like to be a minister.

I am not sure how much internet access I will be privileged to in Jamaica, but I will attempt to update this blog as much as I can while I am there. I will also attempt to post pictures on here, but this may be a far-fetched goal. Maybe I can find someone in the US who can help me maintain the site and add pictures that I might email or something. If you would like to be put on a list that emails you every time this blog is updated, please let me know.