Sunday, 18 September 2011

Meetings Jamaica Style

I have had quite a few meetings and a busy second week. All meetings here - or at least the ones that I attend - start with a prayer. And many of them go the full measure. At one last week we had a devotion and reading of Psalm 13, a prayer, and then a rousing gospel version of "I Am Blessed" - everyone standing, singing, clapping and praising.  I did a lot of humming and smiling, but admit that I rather enjoyed the experience and was very impressed at how everyone knew the words (except me). 

Another thing about meetings: don't pay to much attention to start times.  The small committee meetings of about six people tend to start reasonably on time, usually within 15 minutes or so (just like Canada).  The larger groups are another matter.  We had a workshop last week, where the agenda had been earlier distributed, that had a 8:30-9:00 registration and 9 am start.  The first person arrived at 9:50; by 10:30 the remaining 40 where there and everything commenced (see above re praying and singing).  I, of course, was there at 7:40 am as I have found the morning buses to be a little unpredictable and did want to embarrass myself by being late :-)

The good thing about meetings is that everyone is genuinely happy to be there and I enjoyed speaking with everyone.  I am learning!

Mrs. Mary Clark, first Children's Advocate in Jamaica -passionate on the rights of the child!
Very interesting and engaging presentation.

Children, wards of the state, from various care homes get together to listen to Mrs. Clark to be informed of their rights and responsibilities and to, hopefully, form an children's council.  These are amazing kids! The come from backgrounds that you cannot even imagine and yet they are so eager to learn and respond so well when you listen and give them respect. I learned more than they did. 

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