Thursday, February 26, 2009
Welcome to St. Lucia
To begin my trip I flew from Detroit to Miami where registration took place. After spending Monday night there we left early Tuesday morning for Miami Int'l airport. My training class is EC 79 including 22 of us from all over the United States. Here we are arriving to the island of St. Lucia. We were greeted by P.C. staff and taken to the retreat center where the first week of orientation takes place. Our bus ride from the airport was a long and windy one. We passed through many communities seeing banana plantations and amazing views of the Caribbean Sea. Locals were "liming" aka hanging out alongside the road, on porches and restaurants. Children were walking home from school neatly wearing their green and white uniforms. They also drive on the left side of the road here so that alone makes for an interesting ride!
We have now successfully made it through 2 full days of training here on the island. We will continue to go over our safety and security, policies and procedures of the peace corps and medical issues, etc. over the next 7 weeks. However our time on St. Lucia is limited. Myself and seven other volunteers with fly to Dominica on Monday morning to meet our host families and move into our new homes for the duration of training.
This view is directly from my balcony of the retreat center. Facing north towards the tip of St. Lucia.
Here is a picture of the capital from my balcony (zoomed in of course). This is a very common area for cruise ships to port so we have seen a few so far. At night the view is beautiful when the city is all lit up. When I sit out on my balcony I can hear crickets at night and the crows of roosters in the daytime!
The place we are staying is very nice and hospitable. We are given three meals a day between training sessions. The fruit here is amazing, there's just a taste of complete freshness to them. Thus far we have had bananas, cantaloupe & honeydew and grapefruit. Pumpkin is one of the main vegetables in season right now so we have had it in a hot cooked veggie medley with red & green pepper and eggplant. Last night they also served us a pureed pumpkin soup. We are definitely taken care of here.
Tomorrow we are going into town to see the regional P.C. office in Castries. We will have some more training sessions and then have the afternoon to walk around the city. We all are a little anxious to get down there-some cabin fever being up on the hillside for the last 3 days-and interact with the people and get the chance to see more what our living conditions may be like :)