Kingston, Jamaica – Day 4

By Alaina Armendariz

Day 4 in Kingston was eventful and full of memories that we’ll hold dear in our hearts. We ate breakfast together in the hotel and then headed over to Bethlehem House. Half of our group stayed there for the day to complete functional assessments while the other half drove to Holy Innocents, the facility that only houses women. This was a special treat for those of us who loved maternity because this is where pregnant and new mothers seek shelter when they have nowhere else to go.

Holy Innocents is also the only facility belonging to Missionaries of the Poor that’s run by the sisters. They maintain a very strict schedule and routine at their home. When we arrived, we were immediately put to work cleaning the floor and bathing the residents. The sisters believed that cleanliness was just as important as assessments.

For lunch we ate with the sisters and had the opportunity to meet Mother Superior, with whom we built stronger connections during our meal. She seemed eager for us to return next year, with hopefully more days spent at her facility. We performed our functional assessments in the afternoon and also had the opportunity to provide education to a few of the new mothers in the house. We taught them about feeding, changing and bathing their babies as well as how to breastfeed and use hand expression.

Before we left for the day, we returned to the Bethlehem House to say goodbye to the children we had come to know and love. They were all sad to see us go and we took many photos with them to commemorate our visit.

Dinner was Mediterranean, and we enjoyed trying the falafel and pita bread while discussing our day and experiences. We can’t wait to take our trip up the mountain tomorrow for our last day of service!

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