Who can describe the feeling of excitement preparing to land in a country you’ve never been to before? You get that first glimpse out of the airplane window of the numerous green mountains seemingly dropped from above competing to be more grand than the crystal blue Carribean. St. Lucia—Where are we? What are we doing here? Whatever it is, it was intriguing enough to pilgrimage volunteers from all corners of the world to focus on this place.
About 10 volunteers assembled over a three-hour period at the Hewanorra International Airport, all grateful to have landed amid reports of over 3000 flights cancelled yesterday in the U.S. Northeast. We learned some didn’t make the cut before the snowstorm closed the area and they will arrive over the next two days.
Three vehicles of people and one vehicle of bags headed out, and I’m trying to be objective here, on a harrowing ride of significant ascent on very winding roads up and around to Marigot Bay. Our first clue of events to come should have been when driver Ean asked if anyone gets carsick. But the fascination with the country was evident. Lush green palms and ferns and lilys and tree tulips surrounding small brightly painted houses clinging to the sides of cliffs, some very near the road where we could first site the St. Lucian men, women, and children we will work beside and share life with. Of course it is often the children who catch our eye and we wonder when and how we can interact.