What is the weather like?
Temperatures can get up in the 90’s with very high humidity. The warmest months of the year are in April through August, with August being the hottest. November through March is the coolest part of the year, but it still remains fairly hot during the day even in those months. My Father’s House is not air conditioned.
Do they speak English?
Most Jamaicans speak English and Patois, an English dialect. You should be able to understand most of what they are saying… if they want you to.
Do I need a passport?
Yes, you will need a passport to travel to and from Jamaica.
Do I need to get any shots?
Shots are not required, however it is recommended to check with your physician. The U.S. Center for Disease Control shows Jamaica as being a risk for hepatitis A & B and low threat for malaria. Visit the CDC Website for current information. If you use common sense you should be fine. No one from teams in the past have picked up any diseases. If you are going to be in Jamaica for more than 1 – 2 weeks, you should think about getting the hepatitis vaccination. The vaccination is a series of three shots and you have to start it a couple months before the trip.
Where will we stay while in Jamaica?
You will be staying at My Father’s House. You will stay in “dorm rooms” with bunk beds set up specifically for the mission teams. The orphanage has all the normal conveniences of indoor plumbing, showers, complete kitchen as well as a swimming pool for cooling off in the evenings. The water is clean and good for drinking but not heated.
What should I bring with me?
● Beach towel & wash rag
● Snacks to share
● Praise & Worship cds, Christian Rock cds… the kids really enjoy new music!
● Your camcorder, camera, and digital camera. The electric there is the standard US plug and will work to charge your batteries. Computers are available to put your pictures on CD if your memory card gets full. Please give a copy of your pictures to Jim and Penie, they don’t always have time to take pictures while hosting a team.
● Sunscreen – and be sure to use it.
● Insect Repellent – the bugs are not terrible but they make their presence known in the evening. Repellent should contain 50% DEET or more to be effective. If you would prefer to avoid DEET, Avon’s Skin so Soft oil may be good for you OR look for natural bug repellent with eucalyptus.
● Your swimsuit – there is a pool on property and there is a beach within walking distance. You will definitely want it at YS Falls on your recreation day.