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

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.




We made it ! 1st Week in Jamaica!!!

Hi, I am Gerlynn and I am a guest blogger on behalf of Prof. Brown! I am one of the students participating in the Service-Learning Program here in Jamaica! I am a graduating Senior with a B.A. in Black Studies. I will be blogging from now on till a few weeks after the trip!!

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1st week in Jamaica and what can I say it has been great!!! When we first arrived, boy was it hot!!! The heat was something we were not used to but I was very grateful that we arrived safely. 1st stop – Island Grill!!! Food was amazing!!! We arrived to the University of the West Indies(UWI) and took a small tour– this campus is BIG– we learned so much about the history of UWI and many historical places! This campus was once a plantation!

We visited Port Royal(an extension of Kingston that used to be its own country- Good stuff to look up!!), Devon’s House(1st Black Male billionaire’s home – awesome patties!!),

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and finally experienced the Coronation Market ( very crowded and inexpensive mangos, plantains, spices and much more – people from the country selling goods).


This is after the Coronation Market by the harbour in Downtown Kingston! We were enjoying the view, the breeze and each others company!!

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See you again in a week or two!!


Stoked for 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!!