St. Lucia

July 15, 1991

15 July

Sunday (7) morning I went to church. I arrived an hour too early. The travelers’ guide said service starts at 8:30. It actually started after Bible Study.

Monday after sessions Carol (from Grenada), Diane, Cindy, Donald and I headed off for pizza at Key Largo. When we arrived we learned that they are closed on Mondays. We ate Chinese at the Ginger Lily instead.

I went to the St. Lucia Creole lesson on Tuesday. Donald, Jack, Annette, Cuss, and Bertha were at the class taught by Michael and Ara?mel. Annette, Cuss, and I went to eat at D’s which had a large number of male couples and no females.

Wednesday I had a chance to go to Castries at lunchtime. I ate at Kentucky Fried Chicken. There was no electricity and consequently no air-conditioning.

Thursday I saw Carol from S. Dakota. We had drinks with Marshall on his way home from St. Vincent. We went out to eat at Capone’s.

Friday I went to Bertha’s to wash my clothes in her landlady’s washing machine. I also visited the Clauzzels. Then it was Gros Islet with the whole gang from training.

Saturday I want to Schwazel to see the arts and crafts center where Jim works. He drove us back to Castries via Soufriere. I went back to his house after I learned he would climb the Pitons.

Yesterday Denise, Christof, Jim, Mariness, and I left to go to the base of Gros Piton. It was a challenging trip because it was so steep. The mosquitoes were also out in force. I even got some small cuts.

This morning I woke up without the alarm clock. I was surprised at how tired I wasn’t. Leigh and I got dressed and hopped on a bus to Vieux Fort. We then caught a transport for the long ride to Castries. I took a taxi back to the hotel to arrive at 8:15. I ate and went to the sessions. I felt tired then. I made it through our short meeting without falling asleep. I picked up my clothes at Bertha’s and I met the gang to go to the Ginger Lilly. We were lucky to get a free ride home.

Dominica St. Lucia

July 6, 1991

6 July

Saturday I took Leif to the market, but we couldn’t find any fish.

Sunday was pledge day at church. I got a vote of confidence from Rev. Riley that I would do all I could to help the church.

I went to Roseau Monday on the Itassi bus. I stayed at Don’s that night. I woke up again with very little sleep. After I showered I headed to the Peace Corps office. Molly’s picked up Don, Anita, and me and transported us to Melville Hall.

I woke with a little sleep accomplished again. This time I was in the New Vigie Beach hotel for the training of trainers. We met the other trainers and staff.

Wednesday we had another meal on Peace Corps. The checks had not arrived and we did not get money, only a little, until Friday. The nationals sang “Happy Birthday” and the “Star-Spangled Banner” on Thursday July 4.

I was very tired on Friday. I took a nap so I could get to Gros Islet. I met Jack Williamson and Denise Brown there.

We met for half of the day on Saturday. I got to see the schedule of the model school and the list of trainees.

I went with Bertha to Jimmy’s for a goodbye lunch for Em. I left with Jack to go to the beach for a farewell party for Denise and Kate.

St. Lucia

March 16, 1991

Northeast Dominica. March 16, 1991
St. Lucia


I believe the Peace Corps gave me this map of the Caribbean, not sure if it was before, during, or after training. I did learn a lot of geography during those two years. Some good pictures will be coming in future posts.
Dominica St. Lucia

August 4, 1990

Today was a day without any early activities and I slept until 6 when I heard Dave getting ready to leave. I joined him for breakfast without changing from my pajamas. We watched TV because we wanted to see if there were any last minute delays or accelerations of flights. There was a flight whose time was moved up 2 hrs. this week. Madeline was emotional. As Dave left she had a tear in her eye and David kissed and hugged her goodbye.

While they were at the airport, I listened to the Time on their stereo and had room in the living room to exercise. I also called Susan to let her know I should be taken off the list of people who did not need a ride. I learned early this morning that the Clauzels were not planning on taking me to the airport. The day before I told Susan they would, contrary to what Madeline told Susan.

The Time

When they came back they knew. Susan was at the airport leaving for Barbados and told them about the message I left for her. They told me they would take me.

Before I went to the airport with them Catherine and I met Sue at the market and I bought them a gift, an ice pick. She said they needed one last night. When I gave it to her, she had a couple of tears in her eyes and kissed me. I returned a kiss before they left me at the airport.

The flight was direct, late, and ended with an unexpectedly smooth landing. Brad and Mary Ann and another PCV who was in Trinidad during the coup met us and took us to our newest homestay. Her name is Molly Fontaine. 

While Bill and I were getting to know her, he spoke a lot of patois, I only said “wi.” Bill and I took a walk after dinner and got to know each other better. I found out he was married.

I came back and read my magazines.  Controversy was one of them. I had received two issues in the mail, one I already had, and a letter from the Eastern [High School] gang [where I taught before Peace Corps]. I was very happy to receive some mail from friends.

August 4

St. Lucia

August 3, 1990

Today a lot of people were feeling ill. Some may have been affected by the shot. Others may have been affected by the tap water they drank the last two weeks. Even the training staff was feeling ill maybe due to a meal.

For my last dinner with the Clauzels David and I were served tuna, kingfish, green beans with carrots, and peas with rice. We had jello and banana cake for dessert. 

The St. Vincent and Grenada volunteers training in St. Lucia perform in the Creole concert. July 1990

We’ve been fed well here in St. Lucia and I’ve felt well. I’ve eaten almost everything I’ve been served except for the lunches. The only lunch I’ve eaten are the Johnny-Cakes with ham, parts of the J-Cakes with cheese, and a couple of cold fish cakes. I’ve thrown the sandwiches away at lunchtime.

Even though I’ve been drinking the tap water at the school where our training was held, I’ve not had diarrhea or any illness. I felt feverish after the typhoid shot but otherwise have been healthy. I’ve even been perky the last couple of days.

August 3

St. Lucia

August 2, 1990

Yesterday was the last small group discussion of phase 3. We have been having these discussions to review our inventories of community analysis, personal objectives and other topics. The whole purpose is to assess our own commitment to the Peace Corps. So far no one has dropped out and I for one have no plans to drop out.

In a few weeks I should be sending out a postcard to Harvard Law School to get information. I plan on going to law school, and I hope it’s Harvard, when I finish my two years in the Peace Corps. In some ways that is helping me to make it through because I do not want to have an early termination on my record and I want the full readjustment allowance.

Yesterday I spent the most money ever in St. Lucia. I went to Kentucky Fried Chicken with Don and Sue for lunch and joined a large group of volunteers at Key Largo Pizzeria in Rodney Bay. The prices were 8.75 for KFC and $17 for a pizza. Most of us were sore from our typhoid shot. Denise and Lee, two current volunteers, were also there as well.

written on Aug 3 

St. Lucia

August 1, 1990

All our flights have been taken care of by the Peace Corps training staff, but all of our flights to and from Dominica have been plagued with troubles.

First in Antigua after a confusing customs procedure and a long check-in at the LIAT counter, we arrived at Melville while all the Dominica volunteers were at Canefield waiting for us.

The second problem came in our plans to leave for St. Lucia training. We were first scheduled to leave 8am on Sunday but then the flight was switched from Canefield to a later flight at Melville. Because two volunteers were on stand-by we all got bumped and stayed at the Floral Gardens Guest House near Marigot.

The most recent problem has been trying to leave St. Lucia. We were scheduled to leave for Canefield on Saturday in two groups – a morning group and an afternoon, my group. Then we had to have 4 leave Friday and the rest on Sunday. I was going to leave Sunday until I found out today that now, I will be leaving Saturday with a couple others. I doubt that this will be the last change.

August 1

St. Lucia

July 31, 1990

September is the month we start teaching. Today we heard about our pay. We get a living allowance of $1350 EC per month. This includes $24 US for travel and leave. We will get an amount equal to this to settle in on our island of assignment.

We also have been getting walking-around allowances of $10 EC a day. We received $100.00 in Dominica and $130 for St. Lucia. From what I hear the homestays have been getting $50 a day to take care of us. Madeline was talking about how she hasn’t gotten the rest yet.

In our handbook they have suggested percents for us in our budget. One thing I plan to do is save 10% in a savings account. We were told today that our pay would be placed in a checking account. Some volunteers said the checking did not earn interest so I plan on having a savings account for what I am not using.

We also get $200 per month as a readjustment allowance when we return to the states. Half of that I’ve asked to be placed in savings bonds.

July 31

St. Lucia

July 30, 1990

It was hot and sweaty making it very difficult for me to sleep with all the sea water. I did get to brush my teeth before bed and wash a little bit. Because it was so hot, Madeline thought it was a sign of an earthquake or hurricane coming.

There have been two earthquakes since I came to the Caribbean. One was on July 12 while we were in a taxi coming from Melville Airport to Roseau. None of us felt it. The other was here on St. Lucia last week. It was in the middle of the night and although something woke me up, I am not sure it was the earthquake. I thought I felt the bed shake that night but again was not conscious enough to be certain.

The earthquakes may be related to St. Lucia’s volcanic activity which has increased recently and enough to change its status. Both St. Lucia and Dominica have volcanic activity and sulphur lakes but Dominica’s volcano is dormant, I think. This does not mean it is dead.

Either way I think the biggest concern is hurricanes. This concern will last until September.

July 30