YESSS!! To the Experiences!!

Posted by Laury Veudna at 7:15 pm on Thursday, June 26, 2014
Filed under Uncategorized

Hey Hawks!


How are you guys doing? Hope everything is well on your end.


I am doing great!! so no need to worry. I  just ended my second week and I am starting my third week  in Jamaica. I have been exploring this great big island of Jamaica with open arms and eyes. The sights are breathtaking and so is the culture. The experiences that I experienced are by far the best that I have ever had because each place and event that I have been to has something new to offer. Fox example, my group and I visited the Bob Marley Museum earlier this week. Although I am a Bob Marley fan, I thought I knew everything  to know about the greatest Jamaican artist but I guess I was wrong. While visiting and touring the museum, I learned even more information about who Bod Marley was. Towards the end of the tour we even ran into one of his sons Kymani Marley, who also is a musical mastermind as well.

IMG_20140609_120750 Kymani and I (Bod Marley’s son)

As the week continued, so did my adventures. We visited Tuff Gong Music studio, here we had a chance to meet where other legendary artist go to create music, Jamaica’s Fine Arts Galleria, Devon House whom was the first Jamaican millionaire, Ocho Rios beach and many more . I have come to learn that within the Jamaican culture music is used for and with everything. It has the ability to heal people, to create a community, to express yourself, to show passion and so much more.  I have experienced this while working at the Alpha Boys School each day. Our culture and experiences are indeed different but are similar also. Connecting with the Alpha Boys has been mainly through matching our cultures, music styles and experiences. It just warms my heart to see them so engaged with us.

The food in Jamaica is TO DIE FOR!! It is so deliciously fresh and tasty, literally I just can’t get enough. Since i love spicy food, Jerk chicken is my number one choice everywhere. They grill the chicken on a iron grill and it has the best spices and smells like heaven (or close to what I think heaven might smell lol). I will definitely have to learn how to cook this type of chicken so that I may share it with my family back home.

IMG_1751 Oxtail, rice and peas with festival

lg_29618_0 Jerk Chicken on the grill!!!


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At Alpha Boys!

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Tuff Gong Studio

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Personal selfies!!



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JSLP ’14 has arrived in Jamaica!! (Week 1)

Posted by Laury Veudna at 1:26 am on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Filed under Uncategorized

Greeting again to all my lovely readers!!

Its me again.. Laury!!! (For those that do not know me.. feel free to read my 1st post that  has a  little bit of info about me)

Sorry for not blogging on Friday, I got sidetracked with all the work and activities that I have embarked on. Promise not to let that happen again. But any whoo how has everyone been??  Hope all is well in the states!!

Okay now that the greetings are all out of the way… Lets cut to the chase. First thing I must say is I LOVE JAMAICA!!! Despite the desert like weather, man-eating mosquitoes and never-ending thirst for water, Jamaica is by far a wonderful and breathtaking place to be. Ever since I landed in Jamaica the sights, the smells and the people are just a sight to behold. Upon our arrival we have been living at Rex Nettle-Ford at the University of the West Indies- Mona campus. Our hall is very cozy and big. The residential living that is here, is very much different from our own New Paltz campus. The residential suites are literally full apartments that have individual rooms to them. The quad in which we live in has a beautiful view of the Blue mountains that surrounds  all of Jamaica and the Mona campus. The morning and evening breezes are to die for.I just wish you were here to experience what I am talking about.

DSCN0207 Fresh off the plane!DSCN0226We are here!!

So far we have taken a tour of our lovely campus in which we will reside in for a month. I have visited Devon House (which has the best Ice Scream that I have tasted thus far). Then we visited about 4 different local super markets that has been a experience on their own. Riding through the streets of Kingston has been a roller coaster that is both exciting and terrifying all the the same time!!JSLP 2014 Day 1 and 2 190 Campus tours 2014-06-03 17.43.47 Ice Scream for Devon House Cream!!

The locals students that attend UWI have been very helpful in helping my classmates and me get acclimated to the new environment that we are in. Our Professor (Dr. LaTasha Brown) is going an excellent job in keeping our minds and bodies busy. Meeting and visiting new people and places has helped a lot in bridging the two cultures that I encounter. At Alpha Boys (which is the school where most of our daily hours are spent) we tutor and engage the young alpha boys in communal games and team building activities that are really fun!! These young men are a delight to be around and I just can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next 3 weeks. I am soo ready for the adventures that are in store for us!!

DSCN0236 Professor Brown!! DSCN0230 Campus tour bus!!DSCN0237    Stefany and I pinpointing where we come from on the island of Hispaniola.  Haiti (left) and Dominican Republic (Right).

DSCN0250 Visiting Port Royal!! Wonderful Historical place to be.




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Stoked for Jamaica

Posted by Laury Veudna at 2:35 am on Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Filed under Jamaica

It seems as though every time I begin preparing for my trip, I ask myself…

Am I really dreaming? Is this for real? Studying Aboard? It can’t be. It must be because I STILL can’t believe that I Laury Veudna, am going to study aboard for a whole month in Jamaica. Never in my wildest dreams, I thought that I would actually be brave enough to apply to  any of the study aboard programs that I saw at New Paltz.  Growing up with two immigrant parents with nothing much to offer but their love and support, was all that I have ever cherished. But as of  Spring 2014, all that has changed because I finally realize that I can cherish much more.

This month and week alone has been my most busiest and successful times in life because I have been preparing for finals, graduation, and preparing to leave for Jamaica. Literally, I feel like I am a chicken that has  its head cut off because I’m running around doing last minute unpacking and packing, shopping, meets and greets and saying my last  farewells to my friends and family all at once. I know what you may be thinking “Laury you are only going to be away for a month”, yet I still cant help but feel that I’m going to be away for more than the time given (credit goes to the enormous amount of clothes that I want to bring).

Overall, I am just so blessed, stoked and nervous  about this  once in a life time opportunity.  Throughout these last two week, I have had my share of tears and smiles with my friends that I have graduated with or left behind at New Paltz. Each of them are excited that I am partaking in such a wonderful experience. The best thing which I wish I could pack  is my family. They have been supporting me throughout this whole process thus far and is continuing to support me. Regardless if they are hundreds to thousands of miles away, I am just so thrilled to know that they are the ones that inspired me to be who I am today, and that upon my arrival back to the states they are the ones that will be waiting for me with open arms.

Hahaha even my cat (Tigger) doesn’t want to let me go!!




The expectations I have before leaving this Sunday (June 1) isn’t the same expectations I had two weeks ago (ex. everyone will get along, sightseeing, learning new things etc.) I say this because personally I don’t want to get overly excited about something and the expectation levels aren’t what I wanted it to be. I know that as the days approach my mind and heart will probably cave in and dream of all the possibilities. One major expectation that I WILL follow is to immerse myself into the Jamaica culture and allow the Jamaican culture to teach me new things that I have yet to learn. I guess all I have left to say is… JAMAICA HERE I COME!!!

Books: Knowledge is POWER!!




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