Thursday, February 19, 2015

Portland Rehabilitative Management Shelter Presentation

     Today we reaped the rewards of all the hard work we have done over the past two months. We woke up and had a great breakfast before heading to Portland Rehabilitative Management shelter to make our presentation. The taxi ride was as crazy as ever, but we arrived at the shelter safe and sound. When we arrived, shelter founder and board member, Dr. Paul Rhodes, was in a meeting with the shelter director, Andrea Parsons, so some of us socialized with the shelter residents. We had a great time playing dominoes with them. Some of the residents shared stories about their families and their reasons for needing the support of the shelter. Their stories of overcoming obstacles were very inspirational to hear.
Portland Rehabilitation Shelter Students enjoying playing dominoes with two of the residents.
      Once Dr. Rhodes and Ms. Parsons were finished with their meeting, Dr. Rhodes sat down with us and talked to us about the inception of Great Huts and the Portland Rehabilitative Management shelter. He told us why he decided to start the shelter and what inspired him to help others. We had a great conversation with him, and it really gave us an idea of how much the shelter has evolved and improved. Then it was time for us to present everything we had worked on for the past few weeks. We sat down with Ms. Parsons and showed her what we had been working on, and how we think the training program we developed will benefit her and the shelter. We were able to answer any questions and overcome any doubts. In the end we were able to satisfy her needs, which felt amazing. Ms. Parsons took the time to tell us how much she appreciated all the work we had done and that our work would not only affect the lives of those coming to the shelter, but that she would be sharing the tools we developed with the wider community.

Top: Haley Lidster, Haleigh Ferguson, Owner Dr. Rhodes, Manager Andrea, Kerri Sawyer, Jenny Bateman
Bottom: Rebecca Paul, Leslie Wardley, and Lauren Westervelt 
      To show her appreciation, Ms. Parsons offered to take us around Port Antonio tomorrow to show us the real Jamaican culture and community.  We were already extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with Ms. Parsons, Dr. Rhodes and the shelter. This upcoming experience will be the icing on the cake. Once we got back to Great Huts, it was still a beautiful and sunny day, so some of us went cliff jumping and swimming in the pool. After dinner some of the staff at Great Huts taught us how to dance to some popular reggae music. It was a busy day, but I had experiences I will never forget. Ultimately, I think that everyone in our group has learned a lot.  We can't wait to find out what the rest of this already amazing expedition has to offer.
Group meeting with the Manager Andrea

Rebecca Paul

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