Halls Of Learning

In a heartbeat

January 3, 2006:
[9 days before scheduled departure and no funding finalized]

On this morning, along with their parents, we approach the emergency window at the US Embassy in Kingston with VISA applications for 6 boys and 2 girls. When we get inside the embassy, it is brought to our attention that 5 of the applicants have the older version of their birth certificates, which is no longer being accepted. Three applications are accepted, 2 VISAs are granted.

With the strong support from the Halls of Learning Family, two trips are made out to the Registrar General's Division (RGD) to apply for new birth certificates. Thanking the two angels at RGD who stay behind, at 8pm, Coach Arrianne receives 5 new certificates hot off the press. On this second trip, we stay at RGD for over 4 hours.....waiting for tomorrow was not an option.

January 4, 2006:
[8 days before scheduled departure, no funding yet, no final count of students]

Another early morning trip to the to the embassy. By now the staff have become familar with us and understand the mission. Four of five VISAs are granted. The final will be granted once a doctor's certificate is presented to justify why a grandfather is accompanying his granddaughter instead of her mother, who has lupus and recently suffered a stroke.

January 5, 2006:
[1 week before departure, we approach a number of individuals for funding]

Final morning at the embassy, and the last of the flock is let through the gates. The security and staff at the US embassy have been extremely helpful and the consular officer, very understanding. The figure required is finalized, a proposal is sent out, numerous phone calls are made and we begin to meet with potential supporters. Upon advice from an old school mate, we also send our proposal to Scotiabank. The Scotiabank officials are in meetings all day the proposal is not looked after until 3pm.

At 4:30pm, we are contacted by Scotiabank to say that they would cover the entire costs of the trip.

Great people supporting great things, make it happen in a heartbeat...

5 boys and 2 girls will represent Jamaican at the robotics competition in California.

On this night we give thanks, and our minds find some relief in rest.


    miracles happen for those who believe in their power.