Our final full day in Jamaica was a fun one, another change to laugh… a lot! We ate breakfast around the normal time and then headed out to Negril on the west cost of Jamaica. Our first stop was at a gift shop for souvenir type gifts for people back home. The craft marker was up next and while fun, a little crazy with everyone wanting you to come in to their shops. Some our team struggled a bit as well with the concept of bartering, but we all came away with a fun experience and some things to take back home.
Our lunch options included Burger King or Juci Patties before heading to Rick’s Cafe. The big attraction at Rick’s a chance to experience cliff jumping/diving. With options from 10 ft all the way up to 30 (higher ones weren’t open the day we were there) as well as places to sit/stand and watch, everyone had a great time. Unfortunately it started raining on our way to Rick’s which, within about 45 minutes turned into a full blown thunderstorm cutting our time short in the water. Thankfully though, we packed those 45 minutes with lots of jumping and floating in the ocean. Paul won the record with 5 jumps off the 30 foot cliff; one was enough for me!
The PPM staff ran for the vans in the midst of the rain and we headed down the coast a few miles to Sea Winds Resort for the afternoon. God answered our prayers and let the sun come out a bit for our time at the beach filled with swimming, sea creature finding, soccer, frisbee, and more. They also rented out a few rooms for us to shower in before our delicious jerk chicken dinner on the beach. (REAL showers with WARM water! REAL flushing toilets!) Our final debrief was supposed to happen at Sea Winds as well, but with everything wet from the afternoon showers, we decided to head back to Town Head instead. We had come to love our time and space for this each night, I don’t think we would have had it any other way!
The bus ride back was anything but boring as some sleep-deprived young adult (and their leaders) sang and laughed and other things that fall under the “what happens in Jamaica, stays in Jamaica” category. As Mr. Stone told me to put in the quote book that night: “Some things just shouldn’t be put in the quote book!” or as someone else said, “#donthashtagthat!” A God-sighting for me came as I jokingly “apologized” to our driver and teammate, Andy, for our craziness on the way out of the bus. He simply smiled, said he loved it and that it made him feel great that we all obviously felt safe and comfortable. And that we did… his driving was a huge blessing to us this week as he prayed each time before he got behind the wheel and truly depended on God to keep us safe!
Debriefing tonight was super fun as we each shared ONE word that described the week for us followed by another chance for us to affirm each other. My favorite part of the night though was a chance for our team to pray over our 3 Jamaican teammates, Andy, Al and Dillon as they wrapped up a summer of ministry. They had been such a blessing to us all week, and we hope this was a small way to bless them back. Oh, and we had to celebrate our senior, Sarah!
Part of the way through our debriefing, the Pastor of all 4 churches the teams worked/lived at that week stopped by to see us. We were surprised and honored as he presented each of us with a personalized plaque. What a fun reminder of our time there! Of course, the rest of the night was filled with laughter and other shenanigans before finally heading to bed.