First: Silas has a newfound love for the cows on campus - he's learned to moo back at them and loves watching them!
Then: Quarantine gave us some time to try homemade meatballs! (Silas loved helping)
The last month here in Jamaica has been pretty quiet, to be honest. Unfortunately, after almost a year of warding it off, COVID-19 made its way to the Village in early February. Although the positive-testing party was quarantined in their apartment with their family when they started showing symptoms, we as a family (and many others at JDV) decided to also quarantine due to the high probability that the positive resident had been in contact with others on campus. In fact, a few days after the positive-testing party was showing symptoms, some workers in the nearby CCCD Knockpatrick school began to exhibit symptoms as well (after working with JDV resident earlier that week).
We were able to have the Ministry of Health come in and test all adults at the Village on Sunday, February 21 (one day shy of the 2-week mark of the family's quarantine). This was awesome because it prevented everyone in the village from needing to go into town to get a test. Unfortunately, receiving results to a COVID test here in Jamaica takes upwards of 10 days (sometimes more). So while writing this, we are again in a second quarantine while we await the results. This time, the quarantine is mandated for the whole campus. People are allowed to walk outside with masks on (praise the Lord, says Silas) but no one is allowed to leave campus. Please be in prayer for quick, negative COVID tests for everyone here on campus. Our family continues to feel healthy and we are incredibly blessed for that!
First: Pat interpreting for residents with the Ministry of Health testing registration.
Then: Ministry of Health administering a COVID-19 test in JDV's conference center.
While we have been very careful and limiting exposure over the last year, this quarantine felt different because the threat of COVID was right in our front yard, and was mandated. Quarantining for what may end up being 4 weeks has been an interesting time for us. In a season when we have already felt some isolation and loneliness due to the pandemic and living abroad, as well as gratitude for increased time together, quarantining has exacerbated all of these. We're so grateful we live on a campus with lots of space for Silas (and us) to walk around without coming into contact with others, because being outside is his #1 favorite pastime.
W O R K F R O M H O M E
Both of our roles require a good amount of computer work, which fortunately, we have been especially looking for! The first virtual team is rolling currently, and Pat has been active with connecting with the virtual team members and sending out their twice-weekly resources. (We would love for you to consider joining one, and if you aren't sure exactly what that entails, check out this link with a video better explaining what you can expect) Kara has stayed busy with planning ahead for the Transition Plan for this calendar year to have all course events prepared before we leave for the US in June.
First: Updated family photo (love self timers)
Then: Lots of water play on the deck lately!
K I D D O S
Silas is now 18 months old! He's increasingly independent and loves to help anywhere possible. Lately he's loving making car and cow noises, mimicking what we do, and walking outside as much as possible. He brings so much joy to our lives and day-to-day! Kara is now 16 weeks pregnant - we can't believe how close we are to the halfway mark of pregnancy! We received SO much love following our announcement last month - thank you!! Kara's morning sickness has largely subsided now, though she still has a wicked sense of smell. We've been preparing for baby by ordering large items (think crib) for the sea container, and of course, bouncing names off of each other (a few top contenders - we hope to know the sex in the next few weeks). It's still a little strange to imagine us as a family of four, with Silas as a big brother, but we are very excited!
J A M A I C A N I S M S
Something we were reflecting on recently was how funny we must have looked when we first moved here (probably for a lot of reasons) but specifically because we used to bring baby Silas into stores in his carseat. This is something that's super common in the US - to place a small baby in their carseat into a grocery cart or something. But here in Jamaica, people carry their babies (even newborns) in their arms throughout stores. Easier in some ways, harder in others!
- PRAISE for the health of our immediate family
- PRAISE for baby B2 continuing to grow, and Kara's morning sickness subsiding
- PRAISE that the Ministry of Health could come in and test at the Village
- PRAISE that we are able to work remotely
- ASK for speedy, negative COVID tests for everyone tested here, and for it to be eradicated from all CCCD campuses
- ASK for increased peace and clarity in our presence here in this season
- ASK for continued health of our family and all those within CCCD, students and staff alike