What do you do when you can’t see your friends at the Infirmary?

What do you do when you can’t see your friends at the Infirmary?

This is the question so many people have asked us during this COVID season of masks and isolation. We were asking the same thing at the beginning. At first, we decided to keep the driveway maintained to the Port Maria infirmary which was something we always did quarterly, which at least let us say hello through the fence to our friends like Richard and Christopher who would walk down to wave.

Then we thought maybe we’d bring a nice meal once in a while for everyone. But with COVID, we couldn’t just send food into the compound, so we decided to bring the staff to us at our newly opened Buccaneers Jerk & Juice location.

If you aren’t familiar with Buccaneers, here’s the story: when ACE took over the Llanrunmey farm last year, there was a closed-down jerk centre on the property. ACE decided to transfer the expert kitchen talent and other staff from Galina Breeze over to Buccaneers while still maintaining GB’s Jerk at the hotel.  Guess what? It’s working. People love to stop in for barbeque ribs, hotdogs, hamburgers with fries, and, of course, that good ole Jerk chicken, pork, and fish. Plus, with our Boat House yard and plenty of grass and space, it’s a perfect place to have lunch outside.

So, while the residents can’t leave the property at the Infirmary, the staff can. ACE arranged a shuttle service with a big thank-you lunch to all the essential workers at the Infirmary for two days. Jamaicans are no different from Americans – offer free good food and we stumble over each other to get to the event! Our turnout was delightful. Many of the employees of the Infirmary expressed such gratitude that it prompted us to start planning a Christmas lunch for them. We love the way God continually “retools” ACE to meet the demands of the day regardless of the outcome. Thank you, Staff at the Port Maria Infirmary, for all you do and especially to Matron Burke who allowed them all get away for a bit to enjoy some fresh air and delicious food!

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Volleyball team visits the Infirmary

Volleyball team visits the Infirmary

Did you know that even when teams are not down in Jamaica, our staff and those associated with ACE still make visits to the infirmary at least three times a week?  We know the importance of consistent visits, building relationships, bringing food and just spending time with our wonderful friends… and they LOVE it!

Recently, ACE Manager Winston Moncrieffe took the young men of the ACE-sponsored Oracabessa volleyball team with him to meet and greet the infirmary residents. Here, in his words, is what took place that day:

Team players were cautiously apprehensive about the visit, although they were given a brief overview of ACE and the depth of what the company does. On arrival, team members were met at the bus by the infirmary custodian and senior welcome committee president, Lorraine. They were scared, somewhat, by that lazy, alluring smile of hers, and they quickly retreated to the inner sanctuary of the bus with serious doubts about going outside. Their fears dissolved slowly, however, as soon as they recognized and realized that dear Lorraine was a harmless, affectionate lady who loves to dance with handsome young men.

The young men quickly adapted to the new environment and were soon busy distributing love, sharing soup and water, and conversing with the appreciative residents. The transformation continued until the team players’ departure. On their way from the infirmary, the interior of the bus was saturated with excited voices sharing stories of the visit. All in all, it was a great experience, the type of visit that the driver, Nicalos, team players and Coach Ramdeen will not forget for quite a while. Exiting the bus at the school, both players and coach expressed their appreciation for the trip with the hope that such an experience will be repeated soon.  

What a wonderful opportunity for two worlds to come together in unity and fellowship. Thank you, Mr. Moncrieffe and Nicalos, for sharing this experience with these young men! No doubt the infirmary residents – especially Lorraine – will look forward to the next visit!

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