Bein’ One Wit Dem People!

By , August 27, 2017 10:17 am

Hi everyone!!! Well, we made it through staging in Miami, pre-service training 1 and model school in Saint Lucia, pre-service training 2 and our lovely swearing in ceremony in Dominica.

We’re officially Peace Corps Volunteers!!

At times, it felt like years, and other times it felt like the time simply whizzed by. The entire experience was positive and exciting. I am convinced that is because of the amazing people who are in our group (including the trainers, Assistant Peace Core Directors, the Country Director, and the other volunteers). One thing we talked about early on in our training was to “bein’ one with dem people” and with that, it will be the theme of today’s post. We’ll share other weeks in other posts.

Week one:
After leaving Seattle, we spent a couple of nights in Miami (more on that another time) and then headed off to St. Lucia to the pastoral center that would be our home base for four days of pre-service training. It was there that we met our group of 34 volunteers and started to create lifelong bonds.

It was in pre-service training when we shared strategies of how we’ll integrate into our host homes, our schools, and our communities. We affectionately called this strategy: “bein’ one wit dem people”

 

 

We learned about how to stay safe from the lovely Angie – our safety and security officer, we learned about the food and that it would be ‘same same, but different’. We found out that sea urchins really are not nice creatures. We learned that we will be dressing up for training every single day because that’s how we will dress for our schools (well, we knew that already but it was reiterated during this time). We met some locals that found a baby octopus and were playing with it.

 

 

We saw a country (Saint Lucia) that is absolutely gorgeous. One day we went on a tour somewhere and were late because our bus driver decided he wanted to give us a tour to include picking up some cashews at the side of the road, stopping for drinks at a roadside bar overlooking the beautiful village of Dennery, then stopping for the most amazing bakes and pizza.

 

Looking North to the Village of Dennery, St Lucia

 

Homemade Pizza!!!

Week two:
We moved into our host home. Little did we know, we would become family. Shirley, our host mom, actually moved out of her bedroom so we could have it. It was great too….en suite, with a back door to a breezy backyard, and a tv with cable.

 

Our Wonderful Homestay in Desruisseaux, St Lucia

 

Our home for 7 weeks in St Lucia

 

It was in our 7 weeks with Shirley that we learned how to cook (well, sort of), clean, save water (in case of hurricane or other disaster) and how to live in a village. She introduced us to so many things like how to make blood pudding, yummy Sunday dinners, beekeeping, beaches, cake making and decorating, and she gave me sympathy when my feet were swollen for about 5 of those weeks.

 

 

 

Shirley making fondant baby shoes for one of her many amazing cakes

 

Her daughter, Shania made us laugh and I’m sure she was very glad we were there because I gave her a break from dishes duty. Her son, Lashley, is a hoot!!! We watched him make a very big (and loud) speaker like a pro, he went crabbing one night with a friend and included us when putting them in the chicken coop – which was a great idea until the night they got out. He even wrote our names in cement along with the other family members after completing a home improvement project, which really made us feel one with dem people. I don’t think the Peace Corps could have chosen a better host home for us. Also that week, the Peace Corps had a wonderful welcome ceremony to include school group performances and speeches from very important people. We also learned more about the culture and our projects for when we actually get to our schools.

 

 

 

 

One Response to “Bein’ One Wit Dem People!”

  1. Jackie says:

    Hello you two! Hoping you are no where near Hurricane Irma!!!
    Be safe I know friends at your old stomping grounds at Sellen are missing you.

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