The worldwide Augustana College experience

Alpha Primary, Kingston, Jamaica

My last week in Jamaica was a bit different than the past week had been. There were no more excursions planned and fancy dinners on the town (Okay, maybe a few dinners) but we were heading to Kingston to work in the Alpha Schools for the next five days. Before arriving in Kingston, I was [...]

The Alpha Boys

I have an airplane pack of cookies and a small cup of watered down apple juice accompanying my iPad on my fold down airplane tray. As I look out the window trying to figure out how to sum up this past week, the small snowy fields below remind me that I’m not in Jamaica anymore.I [...]

A Difficult Goodbye

Alpha Primary School, grades 1-6 Kingston, Jamaica “Different” is the word of the week! I knew coming into the Jamaican school system that I would experience a little culture shock, but I was not prepared for what I was thrown into. Let me begin by saying that the students are absolutely phenomenal. When we first [...]

Could this be for me?

What was not to like about the Alpha Girl’s school? ABSOLUTELY nothing at all. It was by far the best part of the trip. The girls were just simply amazing in every single fashion. They were funny, bright, intelligent, and most of all determined in what they needed to do. Education is very different to [...]

“Mom look! White People!”

The roads here are more chaotic than the streets of downtown Chicago. Today we departed from Jewel Runaway Bay on our way for the Great Huts of Port Antonio. Twisting and turning through the mountainside, cars rushed past us and served around corners as we did the same. Had I have had my PT Cruiser, [...]

Jamaica Smile

Day two in paradise. We ventured to the Green Grotto Caves today. The caves once stored rum, provided solitude for runaway slaves, was once a night club, and is now a popular tourist attraction. The most interesting part of this tourism was the effort our tour guide put into accommodating to our culture. Pointing out [...]

The Dirty Banana

The Dirty Banana:  The name of the van we will be spending some quality time in throughout the next two weeks & my newly favorite Jamaican drink.  While preparing to leave for paradise, the one phrase every Augie student cried was, “I can’t feel my fingers!” Landing in Montego Bay several hours later, that phrase quickly [...]

This is Why I Came to Jamaica

As I sit here on the plane heading back to the United States, I can’t help but think about how privileged I really am. After spending a week at the Alpha Institute (formerly known as the Alpha Boys School) in Kingston, JA, and after spending 13 days in JA, I can say that I am [...]

The Great Huts

We had to say goodbye to the all-inclusive resort on Wednesday of the first week, and although it was a wonderful 2 days, I was ready to see what else Jamaica had to offer. Our first stop after the resort was to visit the Seville Great House. We went on a tour that taught us [...]

Diamonds In The Rough

Going into our first day of teaching at the Alpha Girls School I was a little bit nervous. I have never actually taught any class. The most that I have done is help out and observe during a clinical. I knew that I was in for much more. At the beginning of the day, before [...]