Day 4, Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014
Message of the Day:
Thousand of candles can be lit from a single, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
We arrived in St. Lucia on their Independence Day as they were celebrating their freedom to forge their own destiny. This beautiful island that is so visually pleasing with an enviable climate has essentially no natural resources. The main industry is tourism that does not fully address the unemployment rate of 25% to 35%. We as volunteers have been privileged to see some of the real issues these island people face in the town of Anse la Raye where fishing was a way of life in the past, but the daily catch has dwindled the fishermen have a rough time.
There is an effort to encourage the islanders to produce their own vegetables because importing those items is so expensive it is beyond the means of the average family. Bill, Dwyne, Paula and Susan have produced a remarkable number of earth boxes under the stern and capable guidance of Mary Louise, a local woman who has taken on the creation of the earth boxes as a mission. Today 16 enthusiastic three and four year olds arrived to help create four new earth boxes. Mary Louise disappeared into the tool shed because standards were not up to par and she could not stand to watch.
Marie has just about completed the task of sorting through the library books at the primary school. The concern is that the shelves will not support the weight of the books. She has had some assistance from Global Volunteers who had a little free time.
Lois, Pat and Becka have had some successful moments in their one-to-one teaching students at the primary school.
Judy and Doris who are at the secondary school had a visit from Hu Di who participated in the class. Judy felt gratified because her students seem to be coming alive and producing some very good writing. The teacher in Doris’s class noted that with the teacher, Hu Di and Doris they had a representation from each of the racial groups, Black, Chinese, and Caucasian in that classroom. The teacher created a lesson where the children were to list the similarities and the differences between these three people. Hu Di and Doris are still trying to figure out which of them is shaped like a bottle and which one is like a guitar.
Tracy and Kim are in communication with Lucy, the local organizer of the caregivers, in planning for our spa day on Friday.
USA Barbara, in spite of a painful shoulder, Harry and Cindy had a successful day at the Kiddies Homey Preschool. Harry introduced a group lesson by creating a collage where everyone participated.
Canadian Barbara has been lending her expertise as a psychiatrist in evaluating some children in the primary school and giving suggestions on approaching problems. She has been working at Kids Step as well.
The children at Kids Step share the news of the day in the morning which is similar to our “show and tell.” Today the news was that a man had been shot in the legs as he was trying to rob a store. We found out the name of the man who drowned on Monday and that he had had too much to drink. The lesson was that alcohol was dangerous and the children were urged to tell their parents how dangerous alcohol was and not to drink. Yesterday the fatal motorcycle accident that occurred on Independence Day was turned into a lesson on colors. The children were asked what colors they saw on T.V. reporting the accident. This was then related to the colors of their flag. The represents the ocean, the white and black represent the dominate races and the yellow represents the sun.
These children do not really have things to share from their home. The news of the day is a way for these children to stand up before a group and verbalize their impressions of what they hear about their community. The dedication and commitment of the teachers we have encountered is impressive to all of us. They work very hard with a deep sense of caring. I will truly miss Tina, with whom I worked, and her gentle patience when I leave St. Lucia.
Our day was ended with a very informative talk by Mr. Lawrence who was a principal in the community for 35 years. He freely answered questions we had about Anse la Raye and gave us a complete view of the history, education, politics, social problems and provisions for health care in the community.