It all started at 8am St. Lucia time (5am AZ time) at Ben’s Hideaway restaurant for breakfast. We munched on a classic breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, and a St. Lucian fruit called the star fruit, that was literally the shape of a star. After breakfast we packed into the vans that brought us to the village of Anse La Raye. When we arrived we were droppe…d off at the town’s Catholic Church and attended mass, because it is an important part of local culture and a great place to meet the town leaders we will be partnering with. During mass we were encouraged to mix with the locals in the pews instead of sitting all together. I sat next to a little girl who was in second grade, and was celebrating her birthday today. She told me after mass her and her friends were going to eat cake and play pin the tail on the donkey for her birthday. The little girl, along with many other children all sat in the first two pews during mass with their one instructor watching over them. Mass was over two hours long! It was very similar to Catholic Church in the US. After mass we were introduced to all the community leaders of St. Lucia and welcomed with big smiles and a lot of enthusiasm. Our team waited for the vans to come pick us up after church and as we waited, we hung out on the Anse La Raye beach, which was named after all the stingrays in the bay.
Hey guys! I’m gonna pick up where Katie left off and tell you about the second half of our day. When we got back to JJ’s Paradise, we had plantains, un-ripened bananas, lentils and rice, and chicken. The bananas tasted like potatoes since they weren’t ripe yet, which took me off guard at first, but it was good once I knew that it was coming. The lentils and rice were perfect together, having a little bit of spiciness from the lentils, but were countered by the rice. The chicken was also a big hit since it was cooked with a barbecue-like sauce, which had a little bit of a cinnamon-like kick to it. What really stole the show were the plantains. They were sweet and had a great, almost creamy texture. Wow! An entire paragraph about food!
After lunch, we had about an hour of free time, which we used to hit the pool and play catch with a football. Don’t worry; we all put on plenty of sunscreen. Once we all had our fun and the clock hit 3 o’ clock, it was time for Global Volunteers Orientation. Our team leader, Warren, told us all about the history of Global Volunteers, which we already learned from our awesome teacher, Claire. We discussed our goals, which boiled down to 4 main categories: serve the community, enhance or understanding of and appreciation for culture, self-improvement, and generally maximizing our experience in every possible way. We are all psyched and ready to go out into the community and do our respective jobs. We finished up by discussing our strategy for our project teams, mine being construction, and then had another hour and a half of free time. When dinner came around, we had great steamed vegetables, amazing fall-off-the-bone pork, and lastly some fried fish that was nothing short of excellent. No one knew what to expect from the food, but I am here to tell you we are eating very, very well!