Megan was one of Great Shape! Inc’s MIT volunteers that just finished a session in Jamaica. For years, teachers in Jamaica have been requesting their own training, instead of just teaching the children. Thanks to M.I.T and four brilliant young women, and Great Shape! project leaders, Lucinda Kay and Brad Adams (of Let It Shine Media), we finally achieved this dream. More than 50 Jamaican teachers got themselves to computer class every day. This experience for the JA teachers was life and career changing….
In first person… Megan.
As I look at the Jamaican sunset from the comfort of my room, I am put into a sort of reflective state of mind. It seems that I have come so far from my humble beginnings in Greensboro, NC. I guess it all started last semester when a friend in passing asked me one simple question. “Would you like to go to Jamaica?” she said. My answer was the obvious one, “YES;” little did I know all what I had signed up for. After much hard work and dedication I arrived, with three other lovely ladies, in Jamaica roughly two weeks ago. I was immediately enveloped by a new, somewhat sketchy, culture and a sunny tropical environment. A few days later the teachers came.
I never expected to love teaching so much. The teachers were so enthusiastic about learning that the feeling was almost contagious. More and more each day I felt it was not only my duty, but a pleasure, to pass on my knowledge to these teachers. No matter the obstacle, they seemed to soldier on; always learning, always improving. By the end of class on Friday, I was proud to have met the talented individuals in front of me; all I could see was how much they had improved. For instance there was Mr. Dave who came in without knowing how to use a keyboard. By the end of the class I saw him helping a colleague to solve a problem. Or Ms. Reid, who initially, so tentative, figured out how to insert a chart in PowerPoint all by herself.
Of course the learning wasn’t one way, I feel as though I have learned just as much from them as they may have learned from me. These teachers taught how to be genuinely thankful. All of their words were so genuine and a little refreshing. For the first time in my life I heard a group of people sing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” with genuine enthusiasm and thankfulness. I was astounded by their attitude and thirst for knowledge; I could not help but be affected.
As I stare at this marvelous sunset I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. How can I put into words just how lucky I am to have come to this miraculous place? I can’t; however, this experience will forever be with me. But for now I say to Jamaica “Soon come” because I know that I will surely be back some day.
We love to hear our volunteers plan to return! Glad you really felt that One Love spirit we know and love. Best of luck with all you do this year and hope to see you next summer.