A woman walks along the side of the road, a baby is tied tightly on her back with a cloth, and she clutches another closely to her bosom. She smiles brightly as the bus screeches to a stop. The women flashes another brilliant smile as the bus doors swing open. It's a long haul several miles continuing on upwards towards the skies, climbing the hills to what she calls a home, and she is relieved to give her feet a rest. She chats politely with the rest of us until the bus screeches to a hault once more, this is as far as we can take her. She's grateful for the ride because a little ways was MORE than words can describe for her. We pass by the houses made of whatever get's washed down the red dirt hills, we pass by the people who are getting by with whatever there is near, or whatever they can steal to survive. We get laughed at because we're a bus full of "whities", but the biggest difference isn't the color of our skin, but what we have come to do. We bounce against the bus windows for several more hours till we've finally gone coast to coast across Jamaica, we started at Montego Bay, and the bus finally comes to rest in the driveway of The Harmony House, so I'd like to personally welcome you to Harmons Jamaica.
â–º SEMI FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
We spend that week building up the stock in the Harmony House store, bulding up two houses, and most importantly building relationships. We had a team of twenty one people, eight boys, eight girls, and five adults. Each person was bringing two suitcases full of things not for ourselves but for the residents of Jamaica. We filled suitcases with food, clothes, shoes, building supplies, soaps, toilet paper, radios, flashlights, jewelry, and anything else one could possible need to survive. All of these supplies went to the Harmony House to sell to the residents of Harmons Jamaica. Some of the girls organized, folded, and worked in the store to sell things on the first day. We worked in the green house where there were also fish being bred to sell, tomatoes, bell peppers, and other vegetables being grown to sell as well. The most difficult part most definatly was bulding the houses. We had to haul maul which is basically what they use to make concrete. Maul is delievered on the side of the most conveineint road to get to, and the owner wanting to build the house must find a way to get it up the steep, rocky mountain passes to where the house is actually to be built. The next few days are spent building the foundations of the walls which are made out of wire and styrofoam "wall frames" then the concrete using the maul is poured in. The walls are covered by concrete and water mixed to create a kind of dry wall to cover the walls. Then a door with a lock and windows are installed, and the roof is put on the top. We dedicate the house, say a prayer over it, give a flashlight to ward off darkness, a bible for the Lord to be abundant in the home, and rice so the family may never need to hunger for safety again. The most meaningful part of this trip was my ability to spend time being completely selfless, and not only that, but i got a chance to live in the shoes of those who had nothing, it was a humbling experience. One By One To Jamaica, is blessing the people of Harmons one family at a time. Every minute, every day, every year, and every season, my group was simply a small part of this extrodinary plan to give hope to the people who otherwise wouldn't see a light through the leaves of the jungles of Jamaica.
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