Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Oktoberfest was a blast! I met Ashley there at about 5 pm, after getting home from the airport in Vieux Fort to drop off my Fwe, se se and cousin... (brother, sister and cousin) That was a whole 'nother story in itself.

I am not sure whether it is typical for St. Lucian families to do this, but practically the entire family went to the airport to drop them off for what is going to be a month trek in Canada. I was surprised for a few reasons:

1) People in Seattle go to the airport so often that when it comes to family there really is no reason to go to the airport with them (that and the security is so tedious that you cannot get past the front doors)

2) We stayed through the entire process from beginning to ending. We were there two hours before their flight to check them in and then half an hour after their plane took off just to make sure that their plane had no reason to return.

3) Almost everyone in the family cried at one point. It was adorable! It almost made me cry because everyone else was crying. I could not believe it though, it seemed as if they were leaving for years instead of months.

I loved the whole experience at the airport because it really struck me how valuable family life is in St. Lucia. I am so envious of this! I have always wanted to have that type of family connection in my life. I have a great relationship with my immediate family members, sure, but how we express it is much different in Seattle. I was extremely moved by the thought and emotion that was put into their trip. Here's a picture of Nasha, me and Shernan at the airport.

So after the airport came the Oktoberfest. I know, I know, can you believe it?!? They have Oktoberfest in St. Lucia?!?! When I saw the sign promoting it a couple of weeks ago I was in heaven. I automatically felt like I was back in Seattle. Octoberfest is a great time of the year in Fremont, Seattle and so I just knew I had to make an appearance at this one. I came to find out that it was the first one ever in St. Lucia. They were promoting "beers from around the world", which I came to find out was four beers from the Caribbean. I still had a great time despite :).

On my way to grab a bus to go down to Gros Islet, I ran into Angus who caught me a taxi (which I insisted I couldn't afford) and it ended up being on the house so that was a nice surprise! Then after getting off of the taxi, Cory (a friend I met within the first weeks of getting here) saw me walking towards the event and picked me up to give me a ride closer! Then, within being inside of the event for five min. I ran into Jamal, another teacher from the primary I am working at. Then came the Peace Corps mail dude, another teacher from the secondary and then Trevor (another friend I met early on). It was absolutely crazy that I ran into pretty much the only people I know here in St. Lucia! The event was pretty large-scale and there were tons of people there. After testing a few Red Stripe Lights, me and Ash went out and "wined". Much to our surprise, we got to see Herb Black perform!!! It was awesome! here is a video link I got off of Melaney's website of him doing "suzette" at the Anse La Raye primary..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCXISzDp4OA

Perhaps the best part of the night was running into a girl from the UK that is here doing forestry in Dennery who happened to be carrying around a blow up version of Spongebob Square Pants. This was hilarious simply for the fact that Scotty, another PCV on St. Vincent, takes pictures with a doll of SBSP around the world to send to his friend back home. What are the chances!?!?! So random!

Overall, it was a great night. Unfortunately I woke up too late the next morning to go on the tour with my manman (mother) and her friends!!! I hope there is another one to go on sometime though.

The current run down now is that I have a tummy ache and some bathroom problems, not like any of you want to know... just thought I would let you realize all of the accommodations moving to a new country brings! Ha. Definitely the result of change in diet, drinking the water, and/or being dehydrated from the amount of heat. Just another part of life we ignore in our own hometown until we get sick, but when you are not at home it's definitely much harder to deal with. Fluids are my best friend.

Other than that, tomorrow I am giving a presentation with some of the other PCTs on the muscular system. Oh boy. It's been years since I studied up on that, other than going to the gym to lift weights! It will be fun though, I hope, because I am going to make all of the other PCTs dance the hokey pokey to muscles. Ok, I am officially a weirdo. Today I did a presentation on Water Safety and recreation wearing a snorkel mask... that was exciting...sure. That's all I got for now. It's been a roller coaster in the last week for reasons that I will disclose later, but training will be over on the 22nd!!!! wooohooo.

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