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Dominica

July 1, 1992

17 July [apparently I did not finish writing about my final days in Peace Corps until I was back in the USA] [links to amazon may result in a commission to the blogger]

When Glenn and I went to the beach I took my Bible or Ingrid’s (I had given my Bible to Glenn) and the book on the national Sunday law that Perry Thomas loaned to me. He had been trying to convince me of the Seventh Day Adventist views on pork and the sabbath as well as baptism. I never finished reading the book, but the few chapters that I read gave me some insight to Revelation.

The water was really rough at Pointe Baptiste. I wanted to take a different path to the beach; There supposedly another to get there without going by the new guest houses. Glenn didn’t know about it, so we went by the guest house. I was surprised by the concrete that they had poured onto the path. Along ythe path Glenn discovered some fruit similar to pwa dou. Pwa dou means sweet pea. Big black seeds surrounded by fuzzy white edible coating inside a big green pod is what it is. I called it pa dou because I didn’t think they had much taste. I don’t remember what Glenn called these new things. These things weren’t in a pod; they were inside a thin green or purple skin. They tasted as good as pwa dou.

When we got down to the beach Glenn stripped to his underwear to swim. I wore my bathing suit. It took me awhile to get the courage to swim out to the rock. The water was rough and currents were coming from the left and right. Once Glenn got in the water I had enough courage to swim to the rock with him. I walked along the long and large rock. The water was occasionally washing over the far end. It surprised Glenn one time. I laid on the rock for awhile to soak up some Caribbean sun before leaving. Then I sat on the beach and read for some time. I went in the water one last time to wash the sand off my bathing suit and body. Glenn and I left to go back. 

I saw Roselyn one last time and the lady who runs the Atlantic Restaurant. 

Rawlins cooked lobster, crab, octopus, and fish in a stew for dinner. Some of his friends were helping him. I went over to the beach bar to buy some beers for him and his friends. Nixon was playing his car stereo loudly.

I ate the lobster and tried to eat the crab. The crab was difficult to open and I found it hard to find meat in it. It took me so long to eat the lobster and crab but there wasn’t any octopus for me to try when I finished. A lot of people – about 6 or 7  – also enjoyed the stew including the guy that caught most of the food. 

After eating I went over to the beach bar to have my goodbye drink with Kay Kay. We went inside the Warrington house with her brother Winston and her mother. I had ginger wine. We talked about America and Dominica. Winston told me that he lived in New York, so I got his address before I left and told him that I hope to see him on Labor Day.

Wednesday morning on July 1 I woke up around 5:00 am. Paul Lawrence came by before 6:00 to pick me up. Rawlins helped me carry out my luggage. I thanked him again for what he did for me. There was another man in the front, so I had to sit in the back of the van. When we got to Marigot it began to rain a little bit. Paul told me to sit up front. There wasn’t much room, but it was better than getting wet. I was worried whether my bags would be safe. 

Paul stopped at the airport for me first. I said goodbye to Sue Fitch. She was in line to get a boarding pass for her trip to St. Lucia. She was going to be a Peace Corps trainer for EC-58. I gave her the videotape that I made.

Paul then dropped me off at the Peace Corps office. I paid him $9, the ordinary price for a ride from Callibishie to Roseau. I applied for $11 in reimbursement, because that’s how much it cost me on Saturday. I put in for my reimbursement for $9 before I left and found out it would cost $2 more. Today’s reimbursement reason was my doctor wanted to see if the injection that he gave me worked on my piles.

Ryan gave Catherine and me a ride to the hospital. She was just starting her COS examinations. When my examination ended I waited for her, reading Chutzpah as I waited.

When she was finished we walked to town. She stopped at Jolly’s pharmacy to check for hair dye. We were planning on going to get frozen yogurt. We went to Whitchurch next. I bought some more food items to take home in addition to the ones I bought at J.C.’s. We stopped there before we went to Jolly’s. On the way I even met her boyfriend. We finally made it to La Tropical. They didn’t have yogurt, but they did have soft serve ice cream. It was close to lunch time, so I ate a roti, had juice, and then had passionfruit ice cream. Catherine had a drink. We split up after that. She was going to graduation at the Clifton Dupigny Technical College that night.

I saw Brad and Pat for the last time on this Wednesday. Brad stopped by before catching his airplane home. Pat was discussing with me what life after Peace Corps but still on Dominica was going to be like. She said she was explicitly told about keeping a proper distance from the Peace Corps now that she was no longer a volunteer. 

I was planning on staying with Sue that night, but she was in St. Lucia. Elaine didn’t come into the office this day, so I didn’t ask her. I ended up staying with Penny. I stayed at the Peace Corps office later than she did. I worked on the computer. I went to the bus stop at the time Gabriella was closing up. I had to wait with other people for some time before a Soufriere bus came. We also waited in the bus before leaving. A lady was shouting to someone while we were waiting. She continued being loud as we rode to Soufriere. 

At Penny’s we ate spaghetti for dinner. I made some lime squash, but it wasn’t sweet enough for Penny. The first time I went over to Chris’s she wasn’t home. She had put $70 in my box for the tape recorder/radio that I was selling her. All I saw were her cats. Sa ki had a litter of kittens just before she went home to Chicago. After dinner I heard her and walked across the street to her house. 

She was trying to find out if her friends and she were still going to the ShipWreck to hear the Baron sing. Penny came by not much later. Cornelius was also there. Penny and I left so she could get ready and go. I went to bed early because I was tired and had gotten up very early for 2 of the last 3 days. I exercised before I went to bed. it was a very windy night.

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Dominica

June 30, 1992

14 July [I guess this is the day that I wrote these words in my journal]

Glenn and I went to the beach at Point Baptiste after I finished eating [June 30]. While I was eating I saw Simeon. During my first visit I met him. He is the son of the Josephs and is preparing to become a priest in Trinidad and Tobago he said that he was bored already after being home for a few days.

The flat in Calibishie
The Joseph’s house
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Dominica

July 4, 1992

4 July 1992

Friday (26 June) was report card today and the farewell party for Maryann. It was raining when I left for school. I was drinking my morning beverage, looking at the main road, when Junior came by a few minutes after 7:00 am. I missed that transport; it prompted me to brush my teeth and leave.

I was waiting on the front porch. The rain was coming down hard and blowing. I put down the tarp to prevent the rain from getting me wet; I still got wet. It was difficult to see transports coming by with the tarp down and without getting wet.

The rain slowed down and stopped. Ma Tazzi came by to get the bakery clean and ready. I started walking up to the bus stop at Savanne Paille. I waited for a while; I had to urinate. It was in a relatively open place so I wasn’t so sure that I should urinate there. I went behind the bus stop and seemed hidden enough to be comfortable enough to urinate. It wasn’t too much longer after I finished that a car came by. I got in the passenger seat. We were just a few minutes outside of Calibishie when we turned a corner. The driver went over to the right side and all of a sudden we saw a blue bus in front of us. The driver tried to turn left but we crashed. I was thrown forward and my forehead hit the rear view mirror. I fell back into the seat and promptly got out of the car. The area above my right eye brow was sore.

I observed the interaction between the bus driver and my driver. One of the scouts who lived just beyond the scene of the accident came down to check it out. I wondered if I would have to stay at the scene of the accident and give a report to the police. My driver was not denying responsibility, but I don’t think he had insurance.

Vévé came by first. Then another car followed hers. The second car went to get the police. Vévé picked me up and took me to Portsmouth. I thanked God for my safety.

When I arrived at school parents were picking up reports from the form teachers. No one seemed interested in talking to non-form teachers. I called Maryann to tell her what happened, talked with other teachers, and printed out some instructions for Penny’s word processing program. Ruby also gave me a sample of what the graduation invitation should look like; She asked me to make them on the computer. I agreed to send my design.

I said goodbye to the teachers. I tried to say goodbye to Mr. James. However, every minute we were interrupted by parents. He did tell me that I would be difficult to replace. He said that he might have to teach next year; He didn’t like that idea. Eventually I left after standing outside the staff room waiting for him for several minutes.

I walked to Borrow Square to get a bus to Roseau. On the way there Manyando Joseph’s mother said goodbye to me. Her daughter told her that Mrs. Rourke and I were leaving. She expressed her gratitude for our teaching at Portsmouth. When I got to the bus stop I saw people setting up for Fete Marine Grand Anse. A stage and a fense [sic] was going up for the Baron/Sugar Aloes show. Minchington said that he was going to do the drum programming for the Baron. Music played from large speakers as I sat on the bus for an hour or so reading “Chutzpah.” 

Patrick was waiting to get more passengers before leaving; We left shortly after 1:00 o’clock with no more than two or three short distance passengers.

After arriving in Roseau I completed a few errands, such as, getting money from my account at Trois Pitons Travel, going to the bank, and getting ice cream for the party. I also had lunch – consisting of stewed dolphin and provisions. I made it to the party and discovered we needed spoons. I went through as much of my COS check list as I could with Maryann and went to Astaphan’s for the spoons.

When I was in Maryann’s office I noticed the large Dominica photo book from the President of Dominica. I asked her what she did with the other one. As I said it I realized that she probably hadn’t received the one that we volunteers chipped into buy her. I tried to cover it up by saying something like I thought she already had one. She didn’t say anything.

The party started. Maryann was given the large Dominica photo book & a memory book of PC photos and wishes. I was surprised to see my writing in there as it was. I thought it was going to be compiled and typed with the others. Maryann spoke as well as Virginia Woolf and Catherine. Maryann and Isabella cried, but not for too long. Most people including myself feet sad. Then we finished eating.

I was the last to leave because I did some things on the computer. I ate at the Callalou. I guess I wasn’t too hungry because the Roti was difficult to eat. It also tasted different from most of the ones I’ve had.

I slept at Michelle’s. She went to Vielle Case with her neighbor who lives above her. I listened to her tapes, read her women’s magazines, exercised and showered. I saw lot of cockroaches. When I saw her a week later she said she couldn’t even tell anyone was there. I slept in her bed and used some of her acne stuff. I tried to keep it like it was. 

Saturday morning I went to market. I bought a watermelon, lettuce, and mangoes. I also accra and bakes. Then I went to the Peace Corps office. I saw Maryann for the last time. I used the computer to do some last-minute work on my files. Most of the volunteers were at the meeting for non-COSing volunteers. Most people left to go to the party at Sue’s and Elaine’s. There was going away party there. I had to head home to Calibishie. I ran into Ruth during my last run through to town before leaving. Doris was at Ruth’s house waiting for a bus to pick her up. It didn’t seem to be coming so she headed to the bus stop. I bought some chicken and chips at Creole Kitchen. After eating it at the Peace Corps office I went to the bus stop. There were no Calibishie buses. It was before 1:00 o’clock. They all left early. This was probably due to the fact that there was a funeral for a Calibishie man in Wesley. I saw a lot of Calibishie transports heading to Wesley on my way home.

I waited standing next to a Marigot bus. I was hoping that a Calibishie bus may come by after driving around town. When it became obvious that there were no Calibishie buses I got on the Marigot bus with Doris. I had a few more minutes to talk with Doris as we got close to her home and the bus started to empty. I got off just past the airport. A man going to the funeral in Wesley got on at the bottom of the hill in Marigot. We both got a banana transport and got off in Wesley. I bought a drink and fudge. Then I got a bus which I could have got on in Roseau. It took me to Calibishie via Woodford Hill. We ran into Mike Joseph. Apparently my driver had some unfinished dealings with him.

Sunday I did not go to any church. There was a quarterly meeting at Wesley. I was willing to go there, but I didn’t know how to get there or when. Quarterly meeting services are short, so it probably wouldn’t have been worthwhile to try to get there.

I didn’t go to Fete Marine Grand Anse. Rawlins was going to go Sunday night. I saw him waiting for a ride when I was going to A&A for sugar. He was still there when I was coming back. The next day he told me that he never made it there.

I had lobster for dinner. One of the boys in the village came to sell me some after I eat lunch.  The larger lobster was very soft after I boiled it. Neither of the lobsters yielded much meat. I made some garlic butter.

That afternoon I also took a walk to visit Mrs. Nixon. I wanted to thank her for the grapefruit and pay her if I owed her money. She called Neil while I was visiting her. Neil wasn’t home. She made me talk to Richard, whom I never met. Richard tried to refuse. I told him to let Neil know that Ingrid was planning on calling while she was home.

Monday morning I went to the Adult Education Center to finish my videotape project. I was going to do it Sunday, but when I went in the morning Clem didn’t have the keys. When I went back in the afternoon someone was using the VCRs.

Before I started working on the videotape on Monday morning I went for a walk. I hoped to make it to a trail in Woodford Hill and spot some parrots. I gave myself a half hour or so to find a ride but I didn’t get any. I ended up walking back home. I took a picture of the bay.

I put together the visual part of my training tape once I figured out how to record from the VCR on my camcorder. I had to go home to get the manual after I set up everything. It wasn’t too upsetting because I also had to go to the bathroom really bad. A lot of students we’re watching me while I was in the adult center. Before school started I kept the door open. Then students started gathering in the doorway; some came inside. I felt uncomfortable working on the tape while they were around. They also disturbed me with their talking. So I sent them out and closed the door.

When I finished collecting the scenes that I wanted, I was ready to add my narration. I went home to get the tape recorder. As I reached home Rawlins called. He was ready to give me a haircut. I didn’t have a towel over my shoulder so I got hair all over myself. He did a pretty good job. He got rid of all my long curling hair, mostly on the sides. My head felt much lighter. I went home to take a shower and eat. Then I recorded the narration on my tape recorder. The tape recorder was not good at recording. I alternated my narration with actual sound and finished the tape.

Rawlins, Ingrid’s boyfriend in the kitchen in Calibishie June 1992

I went to the post office to check on mail for the last time. I got mail from Micki; Ingrid got more books. I took home some books. I asked Cleve, Glenn, and Randy to get the other books. I gave Glenn watermelon. The other two left. When they learned that Glenn got watermelon they came back, but I only gave them 25 cents like I originally promised.

I ate Ginger Spiced (ground) Turkey and rice for dinner that night. The ground turkey was a good substitute for the chicken.

Tuesday morning was good. I did my wash by hand for the last time. The bakery was back in operation. I woke up late. Clarise had left to go to Portsmouth, the bread wasn’t baked yet. I cleaned the kitchen, my room, and the dining room. There were lots of ants in the cupboards. I also saw roaches and spiders running away from the smell of the cleaner.

Mrs. Joseph told me to come over to the restaurant for a meal. After I cleaned, showered, and tried to nap I went over. There were some Dominicans eating there. Some French tourists also arrived. I waited for the meal of tuna and provisions. Gaylon told me that she was leaving Domenico soon. Merlin found out that I was leaving for good. I drank pineapple juice with my meal. She gave me quite a bit. I finished almost everything. I know I didn’t finish the avocado.

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Dominica

June 30, 1992

Kern with his cashew on a stick Calibishie June 1992 This is one of my favorite pictures from Dominica except for the embarrassing pictures of Ingrid.
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Dominica

June 25, 1992

25 June

I woke up to the sound of Ingrid getting ready to leave on Tuesday morning [June 23]. She was going to the States to be in the wedding of her friend. She always says she hates goodbyes whenever anyone is leaving. I stood next to her with my arms to my side but ready to hug. She picked up her basket, gave me a push with the elbow, and went outside to Paul Lawrence’s van (pick-up truck). She went into the front seat and Rawlins sat in the back.

I went to school to finish correcting form 3 – 2’s Mathematics exams. I also signed some reports. Comments are handwritten by teachers on the report cards. I only needed to sign Fabian’s reports. I did that the next morning.

Perry Thomas came by Tuesday night to convince me about his view of Christianity, the fundamentalist Seventh Day Adventist beliefs. We listened to Taylor Dayne and the Innocence Mission as he talked

Wednesday I got a ride to the Bense/Anse-de-Mai bus stop. Then I got a ride to Portsmouth. I gave my first driver one dollar. I didn’t give anything to the second driver because the first guy to get off didn’t pay anything and she didn’t ask for any money.

I wrote my comments on Fabian’s reports and was finished with all my administrative work. I helped Dunstan Ducrey by filling in some of his reports and helped find averages for Frances. The promotion meeting was scheduled for that day; Because most teachers were not finished, the meeting was postponed to the next day after the last assembly.

I got on the same transport that I was on the day before. I owed the female driver a dollar, so I paid her the $4 fair [sic] plus the dollar. We stopped at the Hampstead Estate; She had her young helper get some coconut shells that she or someone she knew it was going to burn. 

After I ate I took a nap because I had a headache. Then I went to teach my Adult Education class.

When I arrived at the Calibishie government school, Hazel was there. I want to get the keys at Clem’s parent’s house. It almost seemed that they were missing but, Mrs. George found them.

Hazel and I were the only ones there. I helped her with profit and foreign exchange. She had a difficult time rounding numbers.

I gave Clem my report, the money, the registration forms, and some Math papers. He gave me some ripe bananas.

Today I had to wait almost one hour for transport. I didn’t wait or want to wait at my house; As soon as I was ready I started walking. I met Rabat just past ET’s house. I started talking to him and waited with him until a red Mazda van picked us up.

I thought I was late for the final assembly but I arrived just in time. Mr. James spoke. Then the students went home. The promotion meeting ended after 1 pm.

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Dominica

June 18, 1992

18 June 1992, Thursday

I got up at my usual time yesterday morning, 5:45 or so. This week has been the week for exams for all students. I arrived at school to learn that I was invigilating at both exam times: 8:10 and 11:10. The second exam was short so I was able to leave early.

Special Edition Powerful Blender – 3 Pieces, Matte White/Gold

I wanted to send some mail, but when I came out of the bakery I though I saw Silo’s bus go by. Then the small maroon bus came to the bus stop. I thought I better head straight to it or else I might not get a ride for awhile. When I got there we had to wait. It wasn’t too long, maybe ten minutes.

Ingrid with her free lobster

I arrived home to meet Rawlins and Ingrid who were cleaning up after their lunch of corned beef. I went over to Almond Beach for pelau. I met Mike Joseph, the son of the restaurant’s owners. We talked about urinary problems. We both have post-urination dribbling. He also has a sever problem with frequent urination. It wasn’t typical dinner conversation, but it didn’t bother us. I had to refuse a drink because I’m still taking ampicillin.

I posted a letter and card after lunch and my dessert of papaya with lime juice. I felt compelled to stay for the roll call of mail. It began just after I posted my mail. Miona’s way of telling me about it is what made me stay. She expected me to stay. I knew that I wouldn’t get any mail; Ingrid received one letter. Rawlins saw me and commented on the one letter. I told him it was for Ingrid and that I would be seeing my friends. I didn’t need their letters anymore.

I came back to change from shorts to jeans for my adult education math class. The students are young adults. Women. Only three of the usual six Domincians came this day. Ingrid also attended. Two didn’t feel like working. Ingrid and Hazel worked together. Lynn came later and tried some foreign exchange problems, too. 

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Dominica

June 8, 1992

Jemmy Francis in front of Morne Español Whit Monday 1992
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Dominica

June 1991

Anastasia Lawrence in the bakery with her bread June 1992
Roselyn Francis taking her bread out of the oven in Calibishie, Dominica (behind my housing).
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Dominica

June 11, 1991

11 June 1992 – Thursday

Today is Rawlins’s birthday. I gave him a card containing the picture of Ingrid holding up her dress with her chin. He took it home quickly so that Ingrid would not destroy it. I also gave him my “Thriller”/“Control” tape. He said he was interested in it when I sold Molly some of the tapes that I decided not to take home. 

We went to eat at the Atlantic Restaurant. There was no choice. We ate chicken and chips with some mixed vegetables. I had a box drink and cookies (Noel Super 2 Lemon). They didn’t have any soft drinks or local juices. I couldn’t drink alcohol because I’m taking ampicillin; That’s to follow up my shot that I got inside my butt on Wednesday. 

Like the colonoscopy the first appointment for the shot fell through. Unlike the colonoscopy the second appointment happened. There was a little bleeding from the shot at the time he gave it. Luckily I haven’t had the fever or other side effects (the feeling to move my bowels or inflammation) that the doctor mentioned.

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Dominica

June 1992

Cleve and Glenn descending the Woodford Hill cliffs June 1992
Glenn and Cleve at Woodford Hill