I get asked that question a lot. Most times I just hang out and meet people/read and be bored. But, sometimes cool things happen. Here are a couple of cool things that have happened in the last two weeks.
GRANGE HILL CHURCH DEDICATION
My church in Cincinnati has a twinning relationship with a Catholic church here in Jamaica. That church is helping to build new parishes around the island and especially in my area. They recently helped to build a new church in a community named Grange Hill. I went to the church dedication to meet new people, make some contacts, and see some people that had traveled from Cincinnati. It was a really nice time because I was treated like a guest of honor. That's one perk to being a white guy in rural Jamaica. Everyone assumes you're important (they also assume you have lots of money (not true)). It turned out to be a really good time and I met some cool people that I can work with in the future.
MT. PETO ALL AGE SCHOOL
Another part of my job is health education, so I went to a grade school last Thursday to give a presentation on personal hygiene and sanitation. To the smaller kids I talked about things like hand washing and picking up trash. For the older kids we talked about how diseases travel through the environment. For expample: If you do do by the river (happens here) someone, maybe you, will drink that water and get sick. The kids here are very receptive to what you have to say and it's usually entertaining. (see the Pics)
ASKENISH HEALTH FAIR
We had a health fair in my community. Health fairs involve a lot of people coming from a community to to receive routine services such as blood sugar testing, pap smears, aids tests, etc... This one was especially large because a group of American doctors and nurses came to put on the health fair. This meant that over 150 people got to see a doctor and receive medication from the free pharmacy they had. (health care here is technically free but it doesn't always work right). I really enjoy helping out at health fairs because it gives you a chance to talk to people about problems they have going on in their community, and give them some education, and clear up health misconceptions they have. I could write a whole book on health superstitions people have here.
So those are a couple things that are a fairly routine part of my job. Right now I'm working with a local resort to help them with some problems they are having as it relates to water treatment. Their wastewater treatment plant is not working right and they are having problems with their pool management. I'm trying to figure out exactly whats going on, and for the next couple months I'll probably be doing some kind of training with them.