Last week in Jamaica

This last week in Jamaica has brought on a lot of mixed feelings. At times this internship seemed so long, and at other times I really don’t know where the time has went. Work has been winding down and I have found myself reflecting more than usual.
When I was deciding to do this internship I knew there was a lot I would be a lot I was going to be leaving behind that probably wouldn’t be there once I returned. I was right, but I don’t feel as bad about it. I’ve done well here without so many luxuries I was used to at home. This experience has been a humbling one. Really slowed me down and literally made me look at my life at home from a different angle. I’ve learned some very valuable life lessons. I learned to embrace and respect differences. I’ve also put things into perspective, noticed people and things I waste time nurturing and others I neglect. I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and acceptance is key. I was supposed to be here and anything I feel I may have lost in this time, probably wasn’t worth keeping.
While writing this blog I was called into JFLAG. Initially, I had no clue what for, it’s practically our last day and was given the day off to tie up loose ends. I was told Mr. McKnight wanted to see me. When I arrived he greeted me but didn’t say much and asked me to follow him to JASL. When we were leaving the office there was a young man outside who he asked to come along. I introduced myself and secretly asked him what this was about and he just said “ Mr. McKnight will tell you.” I was so confused. When we arrived at JASL I was told I was to interview this young man. “Record everything in writing verbatim.” I wasn’t sure what this interview was for. Was it an intake or for it to be published somewhere? I had no clue and Mr. McKnight had already left us in the office and closed the door. It was pretty awkward at first. I wanted him to be comfortable, but that was a challenge when you don’t know somebody and you incorporate a recorder and ask someone to talk about something of obvious importance.
He began to read his story off a paper he had been writing while waiting for me to arrive at JFLAG. It was a story of violence, discrimination, rejection and pain, but most importantly resilience. The offices were about to close and I was so intrigued by this young man’s story, I invited him back to my apartment to finish the interview. He was trying to leave Jamaica for a better life abroad and I felt as if it was meant for me to help him on his journey. Not until this point did I realize the purpose of this interview and the impact it would have on me. I was to write a support letter listing all of the violent accounts he experienced to support his asylum claim. I wrote the letter as if it was me and didn’t send it until I was completely satisfied. He added me as a friend to facebook, and messaged me, thanking me and to let me know he has been granted his stay abroad. This was the change he needed, and it also changed me forever.

Shar-Dey

My name is Shar-Dey, I'm 23 years old, born and raised in Toronto. I belong to Lac Seul First Nation, and I am of Jamaican descent. I am the Resource Mobilization Assistant with Caribbean Vulnerable Communities in Jamaica.

Latest posts by Shar-Dey (see all)

About Shar-Dey

My name is Shar-Dey, I'm 23 years old, born and raised in Toronto. I belong to Lac Seul First Nation, and I am of Jamaican descent. I am the Resource Mobilization Assistant with Caribbean Vulnerable Communities in Jamaica.
This entry was posted in IAYI 2011-2012, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *