So this concludes my first weekend in St Vincent with my homestay family. Saturday didn’t really consist of much. We left our hotel in St Lucia promptly at 7am. Only to have to wait at the airport for 4.5 hours to get our 20 minute flight to St Vincent. We took LIAT, the local Caribbean airline, which stands for Leaves Island Any Time. This is definitely true, since we arrived in St Vincent only 5 minutes after we were scheduled to leave St Lucia. The views from the oh so tiny double propeller airplane were magnificent. We could see the vivid blue waters off the coast of St Lucia all the way to St Vincent. Once we got closer to St Vincent you could see the mountainous terrain, albeit lush and green. The water coming into St Vincent airport in Kingstown was the most amazing cobalt blue I have ever seen, it was practically glowing. When the sun hit it just right, it looked like the color of aluminum. It had a metallic hue and was just absolutely breathtaking with the reflections from the ripples caused by the waves.
Once we landed, we proceeded through customs and all that, only to wait (because we were so early, which never ever happens) some more for our Associate Peace Corps Director (APCD), Mr Cool. We were all pretty anxious and excited to meet him and every man that pulled up in a van, or any man that got out of a car in the parking lot, we speculated that it was Mr Cool. At first, we didn’t think we would be waiting that long, so we continued to hold our bags. Never wanting to give up hope that Mr Cool was going to show up any minute, we hesitated on putting our bags down (this meant we had to pick them back up-and they were quite heavy). Eventually, we believed that if we put it down, it meant that Mr Cool would show up. One by one we put our bags down, but with not much luck. So much for that theory. At any rate, Mr Cool came to the rescue and retrieved us from the airport and we proceeded to pack all our bags on a bus and head to the Peace Corps Office. We were greeted by current Volunteers and some more staff. We had a tour of the office, a light snack, and soon enough or host family’s were there to pick us up and bring us “home” for the next two months.
Once “home”, I was pleasantly surprised. Well I should say before I got to my homestay. My Host Mom drives a Lexis. She drives on the left and drives on the left. Which, to me, is pretty confusing. She doesn’t seem to be affected by it though. So, back to my homestay. My Host Mom owns and operates a grocery store. The store is on the first floor and the house in on the second floor. And its huge and very lavish! They have a housekeeper 5 days a week, wireless internet, every kitchen gadget you could imagine. They also have 6 pigs, 80 chickens and grow some other veggies and things. My room is in the front of the house and I share a bathroom with my Host Sister, who is 27, and works for a financial firm in Kingstown. The bathroom is pretty big too. (Pics of all this and more to come soon). So, for the rest of the day I just hung out with my Host Mom for a while and unpacked my stuff and organized my room.
I went to bed fairly early, after talking to my mom and slept “in” til 930. However, I was awoken by the fiercest rain I have ever heard, not once but twice! I sprung out of bed in a panic until I realized what it was. After I woke, I showered (with hot water), cleaned up my room a bit more and ventured out into the living area. For the rest of the day, I learned how to cook authentic St Vincent cuisine! I learned how to make callaloo (which is pretty much spinach paneer) and it was so delicious; stewed pigeon peas (again very good); and breadfruit salad (potato salad); for dessert I learned how to make breadpudding. Recipes will be up at a later date. This took the majority of the day. Afterwards, I went for a walk around the village with my Host Mom’s good friend who is visiting for a while from England (but is originally from St Vincent). Here comes that fierce rain again, as I write this blog entry.
While on our walk, which was very hilly, (it goes without saying that I was sweating profusely), we ran into a fellow volunteer. What are the chances! After the walk, we got ready for church. I went to my Host Sisters Boyfriends church. I think the denomination was Pentecostal. There was much singing and clapping. It was hard to understand, but from what I could understand, the Pastor talked about being “home” which made me sad a little bit as well as happy. This is home for the next 27 months.
More to come later!
Need my sleep, I have a long day of training ahead of me tomorrow in Kingstown.