it's been quite a while since i've written. i'd love to say it's because i have been overwhelmed with projects and plans and parties and friends but the truth is it's more-so because i am in a lull. it's summer time here which means my primary work at the CDP is down for two months...technically now one left...and so the daily duties of interaction and work with those kids is on hold. in the meantime...there really isn't much going on. i tried to put a camp together for them so they would at least have a connection point midway thru the summer but that never came to fruition. most of my time now is spent either in an office googling worksheets and playing on facebook or helping out in the vegan restaurant in gros islet. needless to say, this portion of my peace corps experience is quite different from the way i started but much more in line with the stories i have heard of too much downtime.
i have one more month and two weeks to get thru before the kids come back and we start our work again. that seems like a lifetime. it's made me realize how much i appreciate and love the work that i am doing on the 3rd floor of the Liat building though. how grateful i am to walk up those stairs every morning and hear "good morning miss." i have plans for this next year...we'll see how far we get. donations are slowly rolling in for the library we are building so that will be one of my major undertakings in the beginning. building up the library of books in my office, having the kids help catalogue and organize, and then assigning weekly responsibility to someone to handle the checking out and checking in of books. i hope that this library will ignite some flame of interest in reading and learning. from what i have seen all of these kids are hungry for information so hopefully giving them the ability to access it on their own will develop an even deeper hunger for knowledge. we'll see how it all unfolds...i'll keep you updated as it unravels.
in the meantime...i have been spending a lot of time at a vegan restaurant owned by my boyfriend...wait...wha...yes...my boyfriend. that's a whole nother story that i am not posting on this blog. he is a pretty incredible chef so he has been teaching me about food combining and helping me develop flavor into my foods...something i have been seriously lacking...forever. it's interesting because his restaurant is in gros islet which is north of my hood and where i spend a lot of my time. it has become like a second home and i feel more a part of that community than my own. it's been nice to be up there and connect with people and have recognition and comfort in an area of st lucia. i have had some really amazing conversations with all kinds of people and feel like i have been able to get a different view into st lucia from my time up there. it'd be nice if we could choose our communities because i would definitely move closer to that area. it's a sleepy little community right on the water full of rastas and children and life and street dogs. it has such character. every friday night they have a street party and i am always up there helping in the restaurant and meeting new people. there are two little boys who are connected to the shop next door, ajahni and tyreke. i love them. they have dance offs and karate competitions on the daily. it's nice to feel a part of something like i do up there. i wish my own community was more like that.
there is really nothing profound happening these days. like i said...it's down time. we just recently had a tropical wave pass over and while the peace corps was on excessive guard with their predictions that it would 100% turn into a hurricane and that it was heading directly for us, today the entire country has been shut down due to flooding. so while we didn't get that 100% they were suggesting, we did get an extra day off of work and an inability to travel throughout the entire country. imagine closing down the entire country. i've never heard of such a thing. i am grateful that we got by without any serious damage but i have to say...as a girl who lives for storms...it would have been nice to have a little bit to back up the hype. a little thunder, lighting, wind...something. it was essentially just a lot of rain. not even sideways rain or rain in heavy bands. just rain. that shut down the country. crazy.
so, while i say there is nothing life changing or earth shattering going on here these days i will say that i am changing. this experience and my interactions and relationships are definitely shifting my being. when you see me again i will be calmer, wiser, more grounded, and quietly humble. living on an island away from most of what you know will have that effect on you.