Fabulous Photos

A growing pictorial montage of my life thus far..
Note: all pictures are taken by me personally.

Since, clearly I take too many pictures, I needed to create an overflow account.  More pictures can now be found at: http://valariespeacecorpspics.blogspot.com/

Sunset at the beach after training in St Lucia.
The sun sets at ~630pm.
Beach north of Castries, St Lucia
So much bottled water :-( (if you know anything about me at all, you know how opposed to bottled water i am).
Airplane we took from the Airport in Castries, St Lucia to Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Welcome Sign in the Peace Corps Office when we arrived to St Vincent!
View from the Peace Corps Office
Part of the veranda at my Host Family's house.
The living area.
Part of the kitchen area.
More of the kitchen.
Living area.
The Marriaqua Valley, St Vincent and the Grenadines.  This is a view from Carriere, within 20 minutes of where I am living.
The view from the veranda of a house, and a church in the distance.
View from the veranda of the Marriaqua Govt School (Primary School).
One of the many lizards that inhabit my host family's house.
View of the Marriaqua Valley from Cane End/Carriere.
View of the step farming in Cane End/Carriere.
You can see the ocean between the two ridges of mountains.  It takes about 1.5 hours to walk there from where I am living in Mesopotamia, in the Marriaqua Valley.
View of the ET Joshua Airport and Arnos Vale Playing Field, in Arnos Vale, SVG.

Kingstown, SVG.
 Torrential downpour of rain.  Its quite common.
 Fierce rain.
 Peace Corps Medical Kit. Everything you need to keep yourself healthy.
 Part of the scenery I see every day on my ride from my host family's house to Town for Training.
Morning traffic. I think we only drive 9 miles, but it takes about an hour.  It takes longer if Im catching the bus.
 Kingstown, SVG.
 A random cow outside the Peace Corps Training Office.
 On the middle/center of the tree, you can see an iguana.
 One of the many many rivers that pass through the Marriaqua Valley.
Layers of mountains.
 Banana crop in the foreground, ocean in the background.
 So sweaty after a "walk" aka a hike through Mespo, Yambou, Peruvian Vale.
 Windward coast, Peruvian Vale.  Balliceaux (an uninhabitated island off the coast of St Vincent) in the background.
 Windward "HWY", 90deg turn, with the ocean straight ahead and a cliff.
 Windward Coast somewhere between Baibou and Black Point.
 Black Point beach.
 Allyson, my host sister.
Pensive at the black sand beach.
 I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, finally.  Black Point Tunnel.  Built using slave labor for the easy transport and export of sugar in the mid 1800s.
 Allyson and I at the other end of the tunnel.
Amazing views of the bay used to harbor ships for the export of the sugar.

 Candid, just taking in the scenery.
"Hey Valarie, look over here."
 The Dry River, north of Georgetown.
Aquaducts, at Orange Hill, used to power mills during the plantation days.
 Sandy Bay.
 Owia Salt Ponds, Owia, SVG.
 Owia Salt Ponds are a natural rock enclave used for swimming.
 It is really pretty.  Pictures dont do SVG any justice at all.
 Mountains in Owia.

  Rainbows are plentiful in SVG, as a direct result of the intense, frequent, sudden rain storms.
Suburb outside of Town.
 Another rainbow.
 Yet another rainbow.
 A funeral procession outside of my host family's house.
Yambou Petroglyphs.
 I was there!
 A donkey/mule somewhere between Pembroke and Campden Park, I think?
 One of the largest Coconut Plantations.
 Barrouallie, St Vincent.
 Somewhere along the Leeward Coast.
 Beautiful landscape along the Leeward Coast.
 The Leeward HWY is much more dangerous, in my opinion, than the Windward HWY.  It it much cliffier on the Leeward side, necessitating more hairpin turns, with steeper inclines, and narrower streets.
 Richmond Peak.
 Bamboo suspension bridge, Dark View Falls.
 This is for you, Laruen M.
I dont think Allyson was a fan of the bridge.  Nor was i really, it was very slippery and wobbly.
 Halfway across the bridge.
 Steps cut into a fallen tree on the other side.
 Bamboo forest.
 The first of the Dark View Falls!

 I was there!
 Representing Drexel ;-)

 Id say it was about 50ft, but I am not really sure.

 The top falls at Dark View Falls.
 Had to climb some slipper rocks to get this picture, but it was worth almost falling in front of about 25 Vincentians.
The other bridge...Allyson didnt want to cross the bamboo suspension bridge.
 Allyson and Claude admiring the "river", which has no name.
 I really like this bridge, and I hope you do too, Lauren!
 Mt. Wynne beach.
 GOATS! I really want a baby goat for a pet.

 Pirates of the Caribbean movie set.

Such a cloudy day in the Marriaqua Valley, you cant even see the other side of the valley.
 Rainy day.
 it was about 3 inches in length.
A portion of my community.

 My first piece of mail, and the first package!
 Ha! to prevent people from stealing.

I found the absolute coolest book EVER while sorting through the books in the library.  
 I found this very old school gameboy!

View of the Marriaqua Valley from Belmont
Too bad it was a cloudy day.  However, I live a the bottom of the valley.
This is typical weather (as of late), and its not even the rainy season yet.
Welcome to Mesopotamia
The tan building on the right is the Emmanuel High School Annex building. The one story building to the right of EHSM Annex is a funeral home.
Driving up the main street through Mespo.
Half houses and half small shops, some churches, and another school at the top.
Little Tokyo (at 7am on a saturday).  Normally this is very busy with vendors.  Its also a bus station, so theres buses in and out and people waiting.
Field Trip to Owia, but what I was trying to capture was the most amazing blue color of the water.  However, this picture doesnt do it justice.
Owia Salt Ponds
Waves crashing over the rocks.  We had the place to ourselves because it wasnt a very nice day.
Again, trying to capture the color of the water and the waves.
There was a hole in a rock....
View of the Owia Salt Pond through the hole.
Botanical Gardens
Lily pond at the Botanical Gardens
Lily pads and a pretty purple flower
A bright pink flower at the Botanical Gardens
Just another van ride.
A tree reminiscent of a pine tree, which happened to be slightly crooked.
My cell phone that is reminiscent of my very first cell phone circa 2001, performing only very basic functions.
Beautiful sunrise on our way to Hike La Soufriere (An Active Volcano)
La Soufriere Trail
Landslide damage from Hurricane Tomas
Very vertical trail pass
Cool fern like trees
Mountains and clouds...vegetation is dwindling as we increase in altitude.
Sparse vegetation
Lava flow
Lava flow

Close to the top.
Path created by lava flow
You can just barely make out the other side of the island.  It was very cloudy this day and soon after this picture was taken you couldnt even see the other side of the crater.
There used to be a lake at the bottom of the crater.
There is a trail that you can hike down to get to the bottom of the crater, but I did not go down this time.  Next time I will!  Its very steep and there is a rope that you must use to get back up!
South end of the crater
Cloud cover.
Kind of eery and a bit cold!
Such an amazing experience
And the clouds come sweeping in.
You can just barely see blue, the Caribbean Sea on the Leeward side of the island.
Very steep, north side of the crater.
Clouds entering the crater.
About a mile wide, i think?
Just over that bit of grass in the fore ground is a cliff. Dont get too close.
Completely cloudy
Part of the trail. Lots of steps!
Covered path
Windward highway, the road seems to just extend into the Ocean.
You cant really see the sign but it says 14% grade.  Pretty steep!
A map of my community.
Finally a beach day after 7 weeks living on an island and never having gone to the beach! View of Bequia from Brighton Salt Pond.
 Brighton beach. Basically our own private beach that day. It was absolutely amazing.
Simply amazing. Not a soul around.
Coconut palm lined black sand beach :-)
 Sun rays coming through the palms...
View of the beach from the clear 80F waters...
Mt Wynne beach. An expensive excursion but very nice.  ($13 for transportation, and 2 hours one way).
Sun peaking out behind the clouds..
Mt Wynne
 View inland of the mountainous terrain of SVG.
Tree lined, vine covered street to the beach.
I was doing laundry last week and stumbled upon this chicken sitting on some eggs in a shopping cart.  I went to check to see if the eggs had hatched a week later, and this chicken was still sitting on the eggs!
 View of Kingstown from the Cruise Ship Terminal
 Full moon.
 Full moon lighting up the sky with the lights of a town below.
Debris on the beach.
If nothing else, I need to do something about this situation.
So much garbage on the beach :-(
Mt. Wynne
Mt. Wynne on the leeward side.
I, personally, like the black sand beaches.
 The road to get to the beach at Mt. Wynne.
My mommy sent me a package that included Dove Chocolate, which I LOVE. This was one of the sayings on the wrapper.  This is my favorite quote (I have a bracelet that says the same thing that I wear everyday as a reminder). 
 Good thing I didnt bring my Tiffany Key necklace, considering the key is a symbol used by one of the political parties.
Part of the path for the short cut from the village I will be living in and the village I will be working in.  So far I have fallen up and slipped down, and I have only taken it about 4 times. It gets very slippery.
 It rained (and I actually mean poured) for 36 hours straight.  This is one of the rivers after. RAGING.
One of other rivers near my house.  Also raging.
Brighton Salt Pond
Brighton Salt Pond
This chicken's eggs still havent hatched after nearly 3 weeks.
 Wide load in Mespo.
Mural on EHSM wall.
 HUGE cricket that attacked me.
 Yet another political protest in Town.
A car completely covered in political bumper stickers.

 Cruise Ship.
 View of Kingstown Harbour.
View of Young Island from Villa, after the Swearing In Ceremony.
 Young Island, crystal clear waters, white sand. My new home.
 Young Island, Bequia in the distance and a sail boat.
Villa beach and Young Island.
 Sunset after officially becoming a PCV.
Borrowed my Host Sister Allyson's hair straightener. Really missing my straight hair. haha
 My soon to be new home.
 The Kitchen...
 The Bathroom.
 Bedroom 1.
 Bedroom 2.
Dining area (after a bit of preliminary cleaning up)
 Living room.

 Views of the backyard.
 Mespo Valley :-)
 Banana tree.
 Amazing view from my bedroom.
 Banana trees and coconut tree.
 Bamboo supports (Thought of you, Lauren M.)
View of the Marriaqua Valley through Richland Park, on the way to Montreal Gardens.
 Its always raining in the mountains.
 Entrance to Montreal Gardens.
Hidden Garden, it remains hidden, next time i guess. 

 The Mountains are Govt Property used for timber.

 Breathtaking views, that I call home.
 aww kittens.
 I particularly like the orange flowered tree.  It was called an African Tulip tree.

 My Host Dad, Sonny, who took me to Montreal Gardens, taking in the views.
The river that separates Montreal Gardens from Govt Property.  If all the property were privately owned, then the owner would own the river as well. Since, in this case it divides the property, no one owns it.

 Cool lizard with a black tail.

 Innovative use of coconut shells.

 Pointsettas or christmas flowers.

 View of the countryside, in the distance you can see the ocean.
 All the way to the coast.

 Scenic route home.
 Stopped by a Rasta farmer to get some tomato and sweet pepper seedlings.
 Saw lots of cows.
 Richland Park, apparently the largest village in SVG, I am told.

 Narrow unpaved street.  This section happens to be paved, but the rest was a mess.
 Hair pin turn.
 Another hair pin turn.
 oh, the streets in SVG.
Officially a Peace Corps Volunteer!
Good Morning!

View from my veranda.
My beautiful veranda
Villa/Indian Bay

Cloudy morning.
Cooking by candle light.
Rise and Shine.
Finally a package from CRD!
It was well worth the wait.
Because not only did I get like 5 lbs of fig newtons and 4 lbs of chocolate, I also got a hand made hammock for my veranda!
Trying it out.
[Hand]Washing my laundry.
Not very much fun.
The dryer.
View of Kingstown from the Ferry to Bequia.
So picturesque

Pitstop to climb a mango tree.  Look at all the mangos we got!
Shara and I in Bequia!
Some of my teacher friends!
To the Beach ;-)
The only thing missing is you....<3

The biggest sea urchin I have ever seen.  It was like 3 inches in diameter.  About the size of my hand.
A deadly tree.
Took a walk to villages near my house, this was the view.

Construction of the new international airport.
This church is what I had pictured in my mind of the church being built by Tom Builder as I was reading the Pillars of the Earth.

 The Valley.
 YAY a package from Stacey :-)
 Everything was individually labeled with post its! So cute!
 When you dont have rubber gloves, but you do have an abundance of ziplock baggies.
 Beautiful start to the day.
 So S.t.e.e.p
 road to no where?
 The Valley.

 Full moon.
 This baby goat was trapped in my yard. It wouldnt shut up until I untangled its rope and it ran off.
 Sunset in Peters Hope while visiting Liz and Kiersten!
 Carnival Season!
 At first I thought this was a mating technique..
 But then I quickly realized that they were fighting.
 Then they were slapping each other while they each were biting the others head. It was nuts!
 Steel pan band.
 Mespo Queen Show. Miss P'Tani 2011.
 Allyson and I!
 Bright and Early.
 Mespo Jump Up.

 On the way to the Tobago Cays (pronounced "Keys").  Passing by Bequia.
Liz and Kiersten having lots of fun (sea sickness) on the tiny boat.
Now, THIS IS paradise.
Welcome to the Tobago Cays.
Kiersten and I in paradise ;-)
Taking in the scenery.
I really thought that pictures like this were always photoshopped.  This is EXACTLY how it looked in real life. Simply breathtaking.
Crystal clear blue waters and white sand beaches.
Get me off this boat, feeling a little like a trapped animal. Waiting to dock to explore!
 Liz and I.

The other side of the island.  The whole island was only about 50 yards wide.
 Rain storm.  The tiny tiny patch of green you can see towards the right is the island they used for some of the scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean.

 Ready for going snorkeling.
 Finally this underwater camera paid off!

 Fun with the underwater camera!

 conch shell.
Mayreau and Union Island in the distance.
The island we docked at.
 Missing you!

 Snorkeling off one of the other Tobago Cays Islands. This is a sting ray!

 And this is a sea turtle.  That is correct, I swam within feet of sea turtles!

 baby sea turtles!!!

 Big scary poisonous fish!

Until next time Tobago Cays...
 Hi/Bye Canouan.
Its getting a little wet back here..


 Community built into the cliffs.

 Bequia and the mainland in the distance.
 Island off the coast of Villa? I particularly like the stair case thats built into the mountain.
Good morning world!
 My latest project: Fostering to sickly puppies!
 Frangipani and Gingerlily after a very awful and messy van ride home.
 Happy to be home.
 This is not me, despite the Drexel COE shirt.  Kiersten after killing the bat/moth hybrid.
 Pure Evil
Seriously, it was huge
 Fran-G and Lil getting comfy..

I thought it was dead but it wasnt.
 they love the hammock too.

 big frog.

 sometimes it rains here in SVG.

 These dogs...
 All innocent after destroying the house.
 She eats laying down.
 Ice cream yum.
 Tasty strawberry cheesecake ice cream.
 A not so crowded market.
 pretty quiet at this hour.

 Despite what this may appear to be, it is in fact NOT tea, or some sort of juice.  This is my tap water after a heavy rain.
 FranG's new favorite spot.
 She likes the hammock too.
 Lily prefers garbage bags; has she been hanging out with Oscar?

frangi and lilly

love me some chicken necks

art camp hoola hoop contest
bequia in the distance

art camp sharing circle
a place to lime or wait for a van or both
these leaves naturally have holes in them.

art camp field trip to the brighton archeological dig site
brighton archeological dig site
brighton dig site
an archeologist from holland
kind of serene and eery all at the same time
marriaqua valley
good morning world!
the butcher shop
main road in mespo
welcome to mespo
red snapper
kingstown fish market
peters hope beach<3
top of the volcano.
owia salt pond
frangi (other wise known as frankie to all the neighbors)
one method of drying laundry
i could live on all the luna/clif bars, crystal light and tea i brought back. In case you are wondering: that tea does in fact say Smooth Move-Stimulant Laxative Tea.  Oh Yeah!
super nice lotion from Carmen called Creme de Corps! and 100% of the proceeds go to helping children in developing countries.
Meet Shenzi (the name of the female hyena from the Lion King) who is technically my next door neighbors dog.  However she is also Frangi's lover.  Recently they have been inseparable.  Shenzi has been sleeping on my porch with Frangi and has now taken it over as her own.  She even barks at people that come near my house.
Shenzi guarding my house at night.
Beautiful Bequia

no water pressure...just a trickle..
too many dogs.
beach day with the girls that i mentor

the start (and end) of my garden...

Shenzi and Frangi

Frangi followed me almost all the way down the hill to school one morning.  shes getting brave
skippin rope in my yard

the neighbor kids posing for the camera

to determine who was it for tag

soufriere..lots of bamboo
this looks like a candle or an arrow pointing us to the direction of the summit
a very big leaf

three amigos at the top of soufriere

look how it spirals
seriously, these leaves are huge
plenty bigger than my foot!

sunset on the leeward side

oh hey mr spider

this was posted on a walkway from the runway to the terminal in San Juan.  why would there even be any dogs out there?
at my brother's wedding

Independence Day rally

Independence Day Parade
Hiking Soufriere with the school's hiking club
it was really cloudy that day
and there were plenty students, as there were other school groups hiking too.
it was real cold at the top!
a leaf boat...
Father Emmanuel carrying students in his truck

Frangi got hit by a car, so i had to carry her to the Vet in Town in this bucket

all stitched up and ready to go back home on the van
carrying that fatty frangi

it was eerily orange..

this is without any sort of filter or alteration of the photo.

the purple stuff is antibiotic spray
and it made a mess
poor baby.
peters hope beach
thanksgiving celebrations Vincy style

look at all the food!
we have some really good cooks in our group of pcvs! corn bread, collard greens, various types of stuffing, broccoli casserole, idk what else but delicious!
everyone enjoying their food

all gone!
some nice tunes

some of my little library helpers
writing thank you notes to Hands Across the Sea
some of my fave boys helping me put books away
thinking of what to write
proof reading her thank you message
happy for books!
look at all these books and all those smiles!

watch how many books i can hold!

wait, this one actually looks interesting

this quickly turned into a goofy photo shoot

oh christmas tree!
and a stocking too!
merry christmas from SVG!
thank you mom, for sending me fake snow.  this highly unenvironmentally friendly little plastic is now everywhere!
christmas lights in my room
a tree skirt to complete the tree.
and presents too.  my mom went over board <3

Carriere Light Up

caroling competition

sea glass earrings i made for our PCV chinese auction.

sunsetting over indian bay

footsteps in the sand...

to be continued...

Since, clearly I take too many pictures, I needed to create an overflow account.  More pictures can now be found at: http://valariespeacecorpspics.blogspot.com/