We’d like to introduce you to Sam Goemann! Sam has been a Dispatch participant over the last few years on our trips to Jamaica.  We asked him to sum up his experience for you. Read more below!

What did you take away from your Dispatch trip?

Prior to my trip to Jamaica I had never left the United States and I’ve spent the vast majority of my life in the midwest. My time at the Jamaica Deaf Village was an opportunity to expand my view of the world. I was in an unfamiliar place, culture, climate, all without a cell phone. God was the consistent presence throughout my time there. He is present and at work in Jamaica in the lives of those living there just as He is to me in Sioux Falls. In places I can’t comprehend, with my still limited view of the world, God is at work.

Tell me about a specific moment that stands out from your trip.

This happened the first year I went to Jamaica. Our team was visiting a children’s home and another team member and I were watching a young man harvest coconuts from a tree in the back of the children’s home. She was snapping pictures of various things and I was helping by holding the ladder. Everything was going fine and the guy on the ladder kept tossing coconuts down into a pile of brush about 20 feet from the tree. Until one slipped and fell toward the base of the tree. I reacted but quickly determined I wasn’t in it’s path and didn’t watch it continue toward the ground. It wasn’t until seconds later when I heard a loud “KNOCK” that I looked down and saw my teammate lying in the brush a few feet from the base of the tree with a coconut rolling away from her. Fortunately she wasn’t seriously injured. After plenty of rest and taking it easy she was able to laugh about it.

How did this trip impact you as an individual and in the roles you fulfill?

It has impacted me as a son and grandson and gave me a new appreciation for my own family. While in Jamaica we visited a children’s home and the Mandeville infirmary. People end up in one place or the other for various reasons but the biggest I’ve seen is that they don’t have family that are able to care for them. It lead me to realize how fortunate I am that I have two loving parents and hope to one day provide that love and care to children in need.

Have you had the opportunity to share your experiences with others? And if so, how?

I’ve had numerous opportunities to share about the experiences of my trips to Jamaica. Most of the time it’s with people I know and members of my family who knew I went on the trip. I tell them about the people I met and the work we did alongside the deaf.  I usually mention how great the coffee is down there. We spent almost all our time in the areas of Jamaica that tourists rarely go and that gives me an opportunity to talk about the importance of tourism for the country and what you might see outside of a resort. I often get questions about what the rest of Jamaica is like.

If there is one word or one phrase that would sum up your experience, what would it be?

Ya mon!