Well, the end of our internship in Jamaica is only a few days away. Hard to believe that it is coming to an end. My experience in Jamaica has felt both too short and, at times, too long. Ha ha. I can’t help it! I’m used to certain comforts that I do not have in Jamaica. Despite those comforts that I am looking forward to having in Canada, it is going to be really hard to leave paradise.
My last week of work has been slow. I can really feel it winding down now. I have spent most of my time chatting with my new friends and co-workers. Laughing together while we still can.
I feel really good about the work I have done with Jamaica AIDS Support for Life. I feel that my work has made a difference. The work I have done here is not what I had expected to be doing though. I turned myself in to a Graphic Designer, despite the fact that I have zero experience in this field. I taught myself how to use Adobe InDesign, a program many graphic designers use. I designed labels for Life’s Work Scented Candles, an income generating project run by JASL. The program was designed to provide work experience, income and therapy to persons living with HIV. In a country that seems to breed discrimination towards persons living with HIV, it is very hard for them to find work. That’s why Life’s Work is so important.
In my last week I have found that 4 months is not long enough in terms of getting this project off the ground, and in a stable place. As Life’s Work tries to expand their business in to new markets, they are finding more and more obstacles along the way. For example, they have found that all of the candles need to be sold by weight and not size. The weight should be on the front of the labels. In addition, in order to sell the candles in big retail outlets like MegaMart (Jamaica’s Walmart) all of the candles need barcodes. Both of these issues require revisions of the labels to make room. With my time in Jamaica running short, I have committed myself to continuing my work with JASL after I leave Jamaica.
I don’t mean to bore you all with details, but you can see my point. During my last week in Jamaica I have discovered that my work will be incomplete. It frustrates me to know this, as I do not want to leave them with labels that they can not use or edit themselves.
Just a victim of circumstance, though. None of this could be helped. There will always be bumps on the road to success.
So…that is my last week at Jamaica AIDS Support for Life. Now I feel sad…
Check out our Facebook page @ http://www.facebook.com/OurLifesWork – – all of the labels I have designed are on our Facebook page.
I have also designed a catalogue (remember, NO prior experience) which you should all share with your friends: http://issuu.com/lifeswork/docs/lifesworkcatalog (label pics are in here too).