Kinley takes part in Mission Jamaica 2012 during spring break

Kinley takes part in Mission Jamaica 2012 during spring break

WASHINGTON – During CUA's spring break in early March, junior Laura Kinley took part in Mission Jamaica 2012 as a student leader.  This is the second straight year that Kinley had the privilege of traveling to Jamaica and it's an experience she will never forget.

As a sophomore, Kinley applied for the Mission Jamaica 2011 trip through CUA's Campus Ministry office.  She was chosen to serve over spring break with a group of students from a number of different groups on campus.

This year Kinley was asked to go back, only this time, she served as a student leader.  "It was such an awesome experience to go back and work with the people of Jamaica again," Kinley said. 

"I feel pretty lucky being a three-season athlete (cross country, indoor track, outdoor track) to be able to use my spring break as a time for service.  It was really special this year because one of my teammates, Maddie Hotz, was on the trip with me."

During their time in Kingston, Kinley and Hotz worked with natives of the area, many of which are very poor.  "It was a completely humbling experience working with the people there and learning so much from them about simplicity and determination," explained Kinley.

One of the new aspects Kinley got to experience this year was working with the Missionaries of the Poor.  "We had a chance to spend time with several severely disabled children.  In Jamaica there is not much government funding to take care of these children, who are often abandoned by their parents.  It is great that we were able to help for a short time and I know it is our hope to continue helping in whatever way we can from a distance."

Kinley gives an idea of what her typical daily schedule looked like while in Jamaica below:

7 a.m. – Wake up, eat breakfast, go for a swim or run
8 a.m. – Mass
9 a.m. – Depart for service sites (a different experience everyday); we worked with a high school marching band; visited with severely disabled and abandoned children; spent time with elderly patients who are battling HIV/AIDS; teaching reading and math in remedial schools
4 p.m. – Return to lodging
6 p.m. – Dinner
7 p.m. – Most nights we had some sort of cultural activity that the people we serve invite us to. One night it was a performance by the school's marching band where we practiced skits and performed songs for them.
9 p.m. – Group reflection on how that day went and nighttime prayet
10:30 p.m. - Bedtime

See a photo gallery of Kinley's trip to Jamaica here