Today we visited Breadnut Hill Primary School in Saint Ann’s Parish to give the kids school supplies we brought from home. The only playground for the kids was the dirt road that led up to the school and a small yard at the back of the school. The ground was rocky, and there was no play equipment around so the kids made up their own games. The school itself only consisted of a few small buildings. There were no walls within the buildings so different grades were separated by blackboards. The classroom size was smaller than a typical classroom in Canada, but with just as many kids so the desks were very close together with not much room to walk. The classrooms were only equipped with old fashioned blackboards and notebooks for students to take notes in.
During our visit, we taught the kids a little bit about Canada: the temperature, landscape, winter activities and sports, animals, and our favourite Canadian foods. We were expecting the kids to have some misconceptions about what Canada is like, but the majority of kids were fairly well educated about Canada. Some of the kids mentioned they even had relatives that live in Canada. We also asked the kids if they could tell us about Jamaica. They told us the colours in the Jamaican flag are green, black and yellow, the capital city of Jamaica is Kingston, and Jamaica has fourteen parishes which is equivalent to our provinces in Canada. They also sang the Jamaican national anthem to us.
What struck me most was how welcoming, friendly, and polite the kids were without being told. They listened to their teachers, greeted each of us by name when we spoke to their class, and one class even got into a line to shake all of our hands. The kids were very loving and gave a lot of hugs! When we were leaving, many of the kids asked if we could please come back tomorrow, which made it even harder to leave. Visiting with the kids was as fun and moving for me as it was exciting and informative for them. This venture was by far my favourite part of the trip!