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Dominica

September 15, 1990

A guide to Dominica
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Dominica

July 1990

Last of the three-page phase II analysis.
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Dominica

September 13, 1990

13 September

I went to a Bible study yesterday. Because I went I missed hearing Prince’s “Thieves in the Temple” on Now Music U.S.A., the radio show that is on three times a week for a half hour playing American music. I expect to hear it tonight when they count down the top ten and hope to receive the album from my sister when she sends it to me.

I didn’t mind not hearing it because the Bible study looks promising. It started with only three or four people but the number doubled before the end of the night. They are just starting a study on the book of Romans. I felt somewhat embarrassed because they know so much about the Bible than I do. I also can’t sing and don’t know the words to all the hymns they know by heart. 

I had to go to the bank today to get money to pay my rent which is already late (it was due two days ago but our landlady is never around). Pat Klinger was at our school to talk to our principal about a fluoride program.

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Dominica

July 1990

another page of reflections on my first days in Dominica.
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Dominica

September 11, 1990

11 September

Today was the first day I taught classes. Most of my lesson plans were useless because with other teachers teaching the same form I had to change so our topics would be the same.

This was really no problem except for form 3F, my worst class, and I had a double period of them. The topic was simplification and very difficult for them. They had trouble with the minus signs in front of the terms and moving the terms so they could combine them. Having them last left me with a low at the end of the day.

At least there was a schedule for the next day. The schedule was very different from today and the rest of the week’s schedules were not yet put together. Ronald is the lucky teacher with this responsibility.

I got a codfish sandwich of which I ate part for lunch. The mayonnaise kind of ruined it.

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Dominica

September 10, 1990

10 September

 Today I went to school and met my students that I will be teaching. Actually I only met four out of five classes. At the end of the day I discovered that one of my classes was switched. So I went through my whole list of expectations with a class that I would not be teaching and did not meet a class I would be teaching.

In general everything went well with the forms (as the classes are called). The most troublesome form looks to be 3F, the third form whose form teacher is Fabian. The fourth form students received a trivia question about the last digit in (77)7. All the other forms were off the hook since I wasn’t sure if they all had books yet but need to have them by tomorrow evening.

I talked with Mr. James about taking days off in June for David’s graduation. He was initially reluctant but then after thinking about what will [be] going on in June agreed that it would be okay.

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Dominica

September 9, 1990

9 September

After a pleasant night’s sleep I began to get ready for church. By the time I was ready it turned out to be time for church. This was the third time I went to the Methodist church in Portsmouth and it was the third different minister running the service. Brad did not go with me or go to the Baptist church as he was planning because he was sick with a cold. I have not been sick yet and hope to stay healthy for 23 more months.

The service was primarily the same as the others but the minister was fervent in his belief that the church needed a revival because it had gone from a point of standing room only when he was a child to a less than half-full church today. He read from and preached about Luke 16:19 – Lazarus and the rich man. After the gospel he asked only those people who were blessed or touched by God to stand. I was afraid to be the first to stand but did by the second verse after the refrain.

I walked home while the back of my shoe dug into my wound from the snorkel fins. I dropped off my Bible and picked up my list of items to discuss with Dad on the phone.  He was happy I called. I told him how I wanted to sell the car and couldn’t believe he thought he could get $6000 for an 87 Aires when most were selling at $4000. I forgot to ask him to get me an absentee ballot application but will have to write for one soon.

I started washing by hand the sheet that fell on the ground and a shirt and pair of socks that were too dirty to wait for Rosemary on Tuesday. Lunch this Sunday again was chicken and a potato. I had a Pez candy for dessert.

I continued to read the book of Numbers. I have been keeping up on my goal of reading six pages a day in the Bible. I also noticed I had Bible study notes in my Bible for Romans 12 which I lead a study in 3 weeks from now.

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Dominica

September 8, 1990

8 September

Yesterday I finally went to work and learned what I will be teaching. I’ve been assigned Maths classes for forms two through four. I don’t know how the schedule will be on Monday but I heard I could end up teaching seven out of seven periods on some days. 

Part of Friday activities were the reading of the rules to the form one students. Mr. James made it clear he would give licks to students who wanted them. I hope none of my students ever get a caning and hope that the threat will remind them of the price that will [be] paid for misbehavior. 

After going to school I ran some errands. I withdrew money at the air-conditioned bank office. I got mail at the Portsmouth post office including a post card from Brian and forwarded mail from Dad. That has given me a lot to do and a reason to call my father. I was filled with joy to know he misses me.

I caught a transport into Roseau after eating hot dogs and getting our laundry back from Rosemary. Mrs. Garaway was on the transport with me but in a different seat and we did not talk. I got the chance to listen to the Burning Flames of Antigua.

I picked up my package that Catherine got for me. It was the silica gel from Ann Marie. I shared some with Catherine. We went to the library and had some ice cream and stopped at the Peace Corps where letters from Ann Marie, Joe Kultys, and Doris waited for me.

After staying at Jay’s and Micki’s house, I successfully made my announcement for the Bible Study support group. Judy, Sue Fitch, Sue Kelly, and Peter expressed interest. We meet in three weeks. It looks like I’m in charge and will probably discuss Romans 12 which was a very encouraging passage in terms of helping me keep my motivation to actually join the Peace Corps.

One week before that Brad and I are holding the September birthday party. Maryann’s is the only party or birthday in September but I made it known we would have the party even if she didn’t show up. 

One astonishing piece of information at the meeting was a report on the President’s perception of the swearing-in ceremony. The low turn-out made the Prime Minister happy that she was not there and is making the President consider not speaking at the next swearing-in. Only two current volunteers attended plus a small amount of home-stays and Peace Corps associated dignitaries. 

I skipped the Ziggy Marley concert but was able to talk to Maryann about my plans for a trip home for my nephew’s high school graduation. I hope to apply some of the money I saved from not going to the concert towards my ticket home which should be in my budget. If I keep my spending level at the point it is now.

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Dominica

July 1990

Going back a couple of months because I do not have an entry in my journal for September 7, 1990.

I must have written this during our first visit to Dominica before we headed to St. Lucia.
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Dominica

September 6, 1990

6 September

I had some great meals the last few days while we stayed at the Springfield guest house for an IST on environmental issues facing Dominica. We ate turkey, ham, shrimp, and beef. I had cereal for breakfast and rum raisin ice cream for dessert.

Most of the workshop was spent in discussions to identify Dominica’s environmental problems and find some possible solutions. I didn’t really ever expect to be involved with an environmental project especially with my skills.

However, the IST helped see that it is necessary and that I can do something. As a group we may form a brigade to help clean up parts of Dominica and set an example or pilot [a] program to eventually be taken over by Dominicans. Individually I may try to get students involved in environmental issues through a student run bulletin board.

When we arrived at Springfield we met Andrew Barnett, Justin Shaw, and Todd Miller, all of whom planned the IST. Andrew is an RPCV who served in Paraguay and now works in DC for OTAPS. Justin is a senior at Harvard and Todd attends UVM.

One of the activities they planned for us was snorkeling along the southwest coast of Dominica. We went to Scott’s Head and explored the reefs. We saw three other spots including a place with sulphur springs. I saw more fish than I ever saw before including urchins and eels. I had my disposable underwater camera and hope there was enough light for the pictures to turn out. Even though I am not a good swimmer and was scared of the fish in Douglas Bay, I felt safe and enjoyed the trip. The large group was a factor. I even tried diving but did not have the lung capacity others did. I look forward to doing this again.