Over the next few weeks, we’re highlighting those who have had a large part in the future sustainability of Jah Works. Our next introduction embodies the Jamaican patois notion, “wi likkle but wi tallawah“, meaning she may be tiny in stature, but she’s a powerhouse.
Folks, meet Deceita Turner. We got to know her in 2012, on our second trip to rural Bluefields, Jamaica. As our travel team was finishing up renovations on a single mother’s home, we learned how Deceita and her husband, Mike, had recently started sharing in responsibility of care for Mike’s late sister’s son.
As you can imagine, taking on the care of another person’s child is a huge undertaking, and when you already have a child of your own, it can be downright overwhelming.
At the time, Mike, Deceita and their son were living in a two room home (one bedroom, one kitchen/living area) and desperately needed a second bedroom for their son to have his own space. As seems to be the norm for our projects, we happened to have funds “left over” from the home renovation – enough that we could provide posts, boards and beams for the addition of a second bedroom onto Deceita’s home.
As the community gathered to begin construction on the addition, our cofounder Megan sat in the kitchen with Deceita as she cooked meal for her family and mother. Across the table from Megan sat Deceita’s son, who was around 10 years old and was working on a story for his homework assignment. “I can’t say I remember the topic of the story, but as he read it to me and as I chatted with Deceita while she cooked, I reflected how much love for him and for others was present in their home,” Megan recalls.
Fast forward to today, and we have many lovely memories of Deceita throughout the years, from greeting our travel teams at the airport when we arrive, to ensuring we’ve got the tools we need on the worksite (and aren’t forgetting anything!), to sharing her extensive agricultural and birding knowledge.
She works tirelessly for the people of Bluefields, and is now in a formal leadership role as the Chairwoman of the Bluefields’ Friendly Fisherman’s Society, which holds responsibility for much of the economic development and activity in the town.
We asked Deceita what people should know about her; her words are below, and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Thank you, Deceita, for your continued partnership, and for helping make the Bluefields community, and Jah Works, what it is today!
I get an awesome feeling from serving others and so I take great pride in building my community. I believe, one who does not contribute to his community and the upcoming generation remains to be a burden to his society and an object of ridicule to the outside observers (from the wise mind of Haile Selassie I). We all have a responsibility to build our communities and take care of planet Earth so it can continue to take care of us. I love reading, meeting people and being in nature. Balancing the energy is key, give thanks for all the love!Ms. Deceita turner, chairwoman of Bluefields Friendly fisherman’s society – Westmoreland, Jamaica