In November 2017, Louise Kelly decided to take a trip to the Caribbean, but not for the crystal-blue bays or soft sand beaches. Louise was craving something different, something more. She wanted to meet, learn from, work with, and develop friendships with the local people. Louise chose volunteer travel in the Caribbean.
Read on for Louise’s journal entry from her last day of service in Anse la Raye, St. Lucia as well as what she does and how she feels after returning home…
In St. Lucia: Dated 14 November, 2017
Message: “What I believe, but cannot prove; has meaning for me. Letting go of the parts of life that no longer serve me; is my journey/pilgrimage.”
My reason for coming to St Lucia was simply to serve. I came without great expectations, except to learn what I could and to teach what I know.
I had never been to this part of the world. I’ve been involved with helping people all my life. When I retired, I indicated to my leaders that I wanted to serve in yet another capacity. This invitation from Global Volunteers, found on my FB page, was an answer to prayer and seemed a perfect fit.
I’ve always thought people around the world are more the same than different. Traveling has proven this fact over the years but, never more so than now, in St. Lucia on my final day of volunteering.
To describe this experience in a few lines and within the deadline provided feels artificial. Yet I must.
I’ve just spent two weeks in the development center which neither had a flushing toilet nor the associated necessities like toilet paper. The school is without air conditioning, in the intense heat and associated high humidity. The school is without fans of any sort. One day the children’s toilet flooded and I watched the teacher mop the floors without a complaint. When I asked what happened, she explained wearing her usual smile. The consequence of a flooding toilet was no water for the next day.
But while these issues are serious conditions, they seem of little importance to the children of St. Lucia who continued to sing, learn their letters, and play their games.
I leave St. Lucia with a heart filled with memories of the village, it’s school, and the children served. The people are loving and giving and they speak to the goodness in our world. When I return to the comforts of my home I carry the love I experienced here.
Back home: Dated 23 November, 2017, Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving. Had not wanted to attend festivities. Still feel tearful when thinking/talking of my experience. Yet friends are curious about my experience. Their first question. “How can we help?” What immediately comes to mind. “Soil for earthbox project.” Their response. “We are in.”
People agree to donate so that I can help out “mommies and daddies” in St. Lucia.
People are bringing me checks. I am humbled.
How you can help…
Or, donate to help the children and families in St. Lucia. Your donation is greatly appreciated.