Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Whitney | Jamaica

Whitney is a senior UW student who travelled to Jamaica in the spring of 2013. Whitney organized her trip with the help of a volunteer service named Amizade. She says that Amizade was very helpful and she would recommend the company to other UW students.

During her time in Jamaica, Whitney lived with a host family, which was great because she “was able to completely immerse in the Jamaican culture and visit the beaches that the locals frequent.”  She said that developing a relationship with her host family was the best experience of her trip because, “they readily welcomed me into their house, shared their knowledge, cooked amazing meals, and much more.”

While in Jamaica, Whitney taught courses at a local high school. As a Wyoming substitute teacher, she enjoyed the opportunity to compare U.S. and Jamaican education systems. According to Whitney, one of the greatest differences was the class sizes; “Jamaica averages 30-40 students per class, while the Wyoming classes I have taught only have 20 students."          

The greatest challenge that Whitney encountered during her trip was dealing with local security. She was able to solve this problem by, “taking one of our local volunteer guides with us when we walked up and down the beaches.”

Whitney says that the memories from her time in Jamaica will “last forever,” and that “given the opportunity [she] would definitely go on the trip again.”

If you’re planning to travel to Jamaica, or work with a program provider, please feel free to contact Whitney at wbalzan@uwyo.edu