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Old 10-03-2004, 05:26 PM   #1
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None but ourselves can free our minds

A while ago, when my friends and I were planning our next vacation, we chose Jamaica and found out about one of the poorest schools in the interior of the island. It's called Torrington and it's a primary school (ages 3-7), which is basically comprised of one building loosely separated into 2-3 small rooms, and all the students are crowded in, without real partitions between classes.

Several years ago, a group of tourists formed Friends of Torrington, and they started visiting the school, bringing with them school supplies and cash donations. I had the honour of visiting the school this past week and spending time with the students, teachers and the wonderful principal. The school is pretty much an open building, without doors. Hurricane Ivan ripped off portions of the roof and other parts are leaking rainwater. A number of us visited this past week, bringing all sorts of supplies and goodies for the kids, as the teachers proudly took us on a tour of their very basic surroundings. There was an incredibly pride in their eyes as they showed us around the resource centre, and told us how they run parent-child workshops and teacher conferences. The children were just amazing, all happy to get a moment's attention and absolutely in love with any and all digital equipment. They quickly took control of our cameras, clicking away at smiling faces of their classmates and painstakingly filming a bucket with blackboard sponges with a mini-DV. They were clearly pros at it and soaked up every moment. A big hit was a huge magnifying glass provided by one of the people who came along, although I am certain the Skittles and M&Ms were quite popular as well.

It was one of the best experiences of my life, and it helps so much in providing that healthy amount of perspective that is so easy to lose when your life doesn't consist of walking several miles up a mountain to school as a 4 year old child in the oppressive heat, only to arrive there and find that your best resources are the people around you and not computers and high tech toys. What really impressed me are the teachers, who essentially teach under the proverbial tree with incredible pride, who know every student and every story and put buckets around the classes to collect water from the roof and do it with such pride.

Some pics I took are below, hopefully it's a nice break from the campaign and all the nastiness in the world that we take in on a daily basis.

Yah mon.


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Old 10-03-2004, 05:32 PM   #2
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Thanks anitram. That's really cool. It helps my often-dim view of the human race, makes it a little more positive, something I can always use.

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Old 10-03-2004, 05:34 PM   #3
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thanks. that's an amazing story. and your pics are incredible.
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Old 10-03-2004, 05:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing anitram.
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Old 10-03-2004, 05:41 PM   #5
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Blessings, anitram

Didn´t know you were in Jamaica.. I was there just a few weeks ago. Have to read up on Torrington though..

It´s people like you who change the world. Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.

One Love, dear... much, much Love.
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Old 10-03-2004, 06:24 PM   #6
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I am one of the friends who went with anitram to Torrington this past week, and I just wanted to say that the trip there was one of the things that I will always remember about Jamaica -- maybe more than the powdery white sand and the glistening ocean water. The people of Jamaica are so incredibly welcoming and warm, and this is where it begins. These children have nothing, and yet they have so much. They are very poor, but in many ways they are much richer than us.

Small children, big hearts. One Love.
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Old 10-03-2004, 06:27 PM   #7
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Anitram -

Jamaica is a TRULY BEAUTIFUL and MYSTICAL PLACE with some of the MOST GRACIOUS PEOPLE in the world that I have ever met.

As a longtime believer in Rasta (Bob's music converted me in the late '70s), I have travelled to the island several times in the intevening years and have many friends of my Faith on the island.

The most moving thing for me whenever I have travelled to Jamaica is the resilience and courage of the people. Most of them have next to nothing yet they are more than willing to share whatever they have with you - without asking for much in return!

My friends live in Kingston, Clarendon and in the mountains of St. Elizabeth parish. They have taught me much about living graciously under pressure and giving thanks/praises to Jah in all things.

So, thanks for your story, Anitram - and much continued success in your efforts to help these wonderful children. What you will receive from them spiritually will be much greater than anything that you can give to them materially!

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Old 10-03-2004, 06:46 PM   #8
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Beautiful children....beautiful hearts...

One love!
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Old 10-03-2004, 07:26 PM   #9
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they say if you change one childs life you can change the world. those kids are beautiful.

the children are our future.
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Old 10-03-2004, 10:01 PM   #10
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Thanks for another lovely and meaningful thread to elevate the FYM mood.
and you hunger for the time
time to heal, desire, time

Join Amnesty.
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Old 10-03-2004, 11:30 PM   #11
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FYM without the soul crushing hate fests is like non-alcoholic beer.

Very nice post btw, again another day made good.
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Old 10-04-2004, 05:13 AM   #12
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Thanks for the wonderful story and pictures.

Lifted my mood immensely.
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Old 10-04-2004, 05:26 AM   #13
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This is not meant to be offensive in any way at all. But it just occured to me, are there any first world non-white countries?
No offence, I am just curious.
BTW, what a great story. I'm all for charity like that!
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Old 10-04-2004, 05:42 AM   #14
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Depending on how you define "non-white" and "first world", you can easily look up the information yourself by using google. Use terms like "demographics", "country", "race" and "ethnic".

No offense, but I really don´t know why I should do this work for you, since you don´t define exactly what you mean . If I interprete your question right, I think South Africa may be an example. But I´m not sure about this, since I don´t like to categorize in terms of "first" and "third" world; I prefer to use the terms "economic centres" and "economic periphery".
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Old 10-04-2004, 06:48 AM   #15
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What beautiful children!

Thank you for sharing!

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