Tuesday, May 28, 2013

With regards to Mr. Flynn

Sorry for the delay on this post, I was going to put it up earlier, but a recent nap turned into a 14 or 15 hour sleep and kind of threw my plans a bit....

Things have been going pretty well over the past week, although we had a few issues come to a head over the weekend, which led to two clients being discharged and another suspended. In addition another client's mental health has been deteriorating pretty severely over the past few weeks and nothing we do seems to help her, to the point where we had to lock her in the shelter on Sunday. We've been desperately trying to get her admitted to the hospital, but they keep refusing. We're convinced its because she's so well-known around Port Antonio and they don't want to have to deal with her which is just despicable. It's getting to the point where we can't control her, so I'm not sure what's going to happen.

It's not all bad news though, one of the clients we discharged came back and apologised to everyone and asked if he could be let back, he's also managed to get a job so fingers crossed we'll be able to work with him to get him back on his feed and rehabilitated. We've also got a cake sale on tomorrow that we've managed to sell quite a few tickets for so hopefully with the money we've raised from that we're going to take the clients on a trip to Reach Falls which should be really nice.

One of the resort's resident turtles

As far as myself, I've been doing pretty well, really enjoying myself at the moment. There's been a few crazy hijinks over the past week or so and I'll do my best to fill you all in on what's been going down.

The biggest event of the past seven days was definitely a party we went to on Thursday called offshore.    The premise was this: there's an island just out in the harbour (once owned by Errol Flynn as it turns out) called Navy Island, and for $1000 Jamaican you got a boat trip out to the island and all you could drink once there. Needless to say we all went. The first indication that things were going to get hectic (a phrase/word that I'm gradually introducing here) was when I went to the bar and asked for a beer. The response was thus: 'oh no if you want a beer you'll have to pay, only the over-proof rum is included in your ticket price.......'

Nevertheless, like the true soldiers we are we stuck with and proceeded to drink exclusively over-proof rum for the 7 or 8 hours that we were there. The party itself was really cool, obviously the extreme amounts of rum that were being drunk definitely helped and I will say this about Jamaican girls, they will wear as little as possible when the occasion calls for it. In this case swimsuits were very much de rigeur. The island itself offered some amazing sights as well. Basically there was a really big resort on the island that fell into receivership and disrepair, and then got taken over again by the jungle. So while we were partying, in the background you could see these overgrown, ruined buildings. It was really awesome, kind of like an apocalyptic/The Lost World: Jurassic Park 2 kind of vibe. Unfortunately I have no pictures (I don't trust myself with my camera and copious amounts of alcohol), but fingers crossed I might be getting a chance to head back over there and take some photos.

Rum and fresh coconut water: fast becoming my favourite new drink
So the party went awesomely well (too well at times perhaps, apparently the other volunteers have an excellent selection of both photos and videos of me), right up until the end. At this point, approximately 2am or so, the parrty ended and everyone wanted to get back to the mainland. Here I will point out that there were hundreds of people on the island for this party, who all wanted to get back. Finally the transport for everyone arrived, a single boat, capable of carrying maybe 15-20 people safely.

Then it started to rain.

This wasn't your average downpour either, this was a tropical storm. I was immediately reminded of a scene from a disaster/war movie, when hundreds of refugees are fleeing a destroyed city on a ramshackle fleet of boats. So one boat came, then another, then the other volunteers got onto a boat that I couldn't make it to in time and so I got to watch them from the edge of the pier, disappearing into the darkness. At this point I was so drenched that I might as well have just jumped in the water and swam back to Port Antonio. Finally when another boat came I jumped on board and grabbed a hold of the side like my life depended on it. No one was getting me off this boat. Unfortunately a lot of people also had the same idea and the boat itself nearly capsized, while we all frantically bailed water out of its bottom before the captain cut his losses and pushed the boat off the pier. We then very slowly (and very low in the water) made our way back to the mainland. The icing on the cake was getting my toe squished between the pier and the boat as we disembarked.

Nevertheless, the night was an extremely good one and I think if it hadn't have rained the whole leaving at the end thing would have been a bit more enjoyable. Thankfully I haven't caught a cold (yet) and my toe seems ok. The hangover was also pretty mild the next day, possibly because I had been mixing my rum exclusively with juice the whole evening.
Some of the reading material at Great Huts (I'm currently on a book about the Queen of Sheba as an historical figure)
Friday night was very very low-key, with Adventure Time and early bed the order of the day. Saturday however, things picked up a notch. There was a fund-raiser for a local community centre on down the road, so we went and hung out there for a bit while Gayleon DJed, and watched some of the sports that were being played. Later on in the night I left the others to go check out a pool party down the road where a big DJ from IrieFM was apparently playing. The pool party was pretty rad, as I mentioned previously, Jamaican girls don't need much of an excuse to wear less clothing and the place was pretty packed. At one point the DJ started throwing money into the pool to get girls to jump in and party, which led to some crazy, splashy cat fights and such.

Street art at Winifred Beach
Sunday night we had what I thought was going to be a small going away karaoke session in Port Antonio for Steffi, who leaves on Thursday. However by 2am at a club called roof bar, I decided that, with only 2 or 3 hours sleep under my belt from the night before, it was time for me to go home. I'm still not sure what time everyone else got back.

Anyway I need to wrap this up as we are in the middle of cake sale preparations and I promised the girls that I'd go into work early to give them a hand. I hope you enjoyed reading and I'll leave you with this, a tune that I discovered (thanks to Ben Taaffe) and that I think is fucking amazing.

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