Fifteen Tritons Do Service Work in Jamaica


Monica Sosa-Hernandez, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“There’s a little boy named Lyon, and after talking to him I found out that his dad was shot in the head by a gang at a young age, while his mother got fired. So, when we were there he was always complaining how hungry he was and did not eat for two days because his mother did not have any money,” said senior Evan Witczak, looking down at the ground as if the boy were there telling him the story again.

Fifteen students and three chaperones went to Jamaica during the last week of July.

To be able to go on the trip, the students had to write essays explaining why they thought they were fit to go and had to describe any other experiences they might have had with service.

“And then they have a council that reviews and reads over all of the essays, and that’s how they choose and select people,” said Ellen Meeuwsen, another senior who made the trip.

Through the difficult scenery and circumstances, the students and staff enjoyed their time helping others, building houses, painting and cleaning the children’s center, and spending time with the kids.

“Seeing our students interact with the kids and people in Jamaica was indescribable, but definitely one of the highlights of my life seeing the love between us and them,” said Campus Minister Daniel Kreigl, the coordinator for the trip, “It just reminded me how beautiful the world is and how truly present God is if we open our hearts and minds to other people.”

Many students went on the trip, and yet each had his own experience. Meeuwsen remembers the different activities they did, such as, going to the waterfall, getting ice cream at the tenth most popular ice cream place in the world called Devon House I Scream, and shopping with her friends while bargaining with the Jamaicans.

Meeuwsen also remembers the intense work they all did building shelters for families who were in desperate need of help. The building had one room, and in that one room would sustain two to three families. This means 12 people would be taking habitat with no running water or electricity.

“They were so inspiring because they find joy with so little and treated us like we were a part of their community. I also was affected by how affectionate they were toward us from the moment we arrived,” said Kriegl.

The Jamaican trip was fun overall for everyone, but they all can agree that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience hard to describe in words. The joy and pride of being able to help others in need is something we all need to experience. Together as a school, as a nation, as a world, can do more for each other.

“I feel like when we went there we did a lot, but again we didn’t do enough. There is always more to be done,” said Meeuwsen.