Jamaica Diaries: Visiting the ‘Girls Home’

This video takes a look at our first visit to the Girls Home in Jamaica. When we were first planning the visit, this was one of the only service (non vacation-y) things that our host group had initially suggested. Apparently other groups pick a slightly more vacation slanted mission trip, but to their great credit they quickly adjusted when we asked for more mission and in the field time and less resort time.

The initial descriptions made it sound like this would be an orphanage. And it, I guess kind of is, but we were thinking more 4-8 year olds that are looking to be adopted. And that was how we bought supplies and packed for the trip. But like the previous posts about being prepared for last minute changes, the situation on the ground was different than we had in mind ahead of time. Here this orphanage was more a Girls Home for 14-18 year olds that had to be removed from their home. The stories varied a lot, whether they had parents that died, or went to prison, or were abusive in some way.  But these girls that were there this particular week, were the ones that probably were not going to be able to leave the facilites for Christmas. A majority of the others had already left to spend a week or two with relatives.

This situation in addition to highlighting the need to flexibility, also illustrated the amazingly perfect team we had for this trip. Having a team of teenagers from the states, and especially here a team of teenage girls, really was the best and most perfect fit possible. They were able to bond and connect with the girls in the home in a way that as a male– is just not possible.

It was amazing to watch our team in action.

I thought they had done an incredible job leading Sunday school, leading music and opening the mind of people we encountered. This took it to a whole different level.

Take a look at the video and see for yourself.


about the video:

I wanted to capture the feeling of unease that we got approaching the barbed wire and security gates, with the gang of boys hanging outside, and how quickly the mood changed once we got inside. It was a surreal experience, and I tried to edit that build up of tension and shift into my editing choices. I did not have a lot of footage from inside, since they didn’t want a lot of pictures or video taken at the facility. So that added to the editing challenge. So I made more use of off site interviews, and detached audio with ken burns style photo pans.

I just upgraded to iMovie’11 and did all the editing and titles in that. There is a slight lip sync issue part way through that only appeared in the final render..not sure why, but it wasn’t there in any of the pre-renders.