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Deb's Travels in Saint Lucia
Deb's Travels in Saint Lucia
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I guess I wouldn't be any sort of writer (or even wanna-be writer) if I didn't rattle on about myself and how I came to find myself where I am today. In case you were wondering.
Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean Info: http://www.peacecorps.gov/countries/caribbean/index.cfm
Travel Information: http://www.caribbean-on-line.com/sl/
Info on St. Lucia:
Nice Pictures of St. Lucia
St. Lucia One Stop, a site about St. Lucia, with even links to listen to St. Lucian radio.
(from lonely planet)A spate of resort developments on St Lucia has made this high green island one of the Caribbean's trendy package-tour destinations, but it's still a long way from being sanitized and overdeveloped. Much of it is markedly rural in nature: a mix of small fishing villages, secluded coves, sprawling banana plantations and mountainous jungle. The most dramatic scenery is in the south, where the twin volcanic peaks of the Pitons rise sharply from the shoreline to form distinctive landmarks. If you're worried about visiting a potential second Montserrat, relax - there hasn't been a volcanic eruption since 1766.
Area: 616 sq km (240 sq mi)
Capital city: Castries (pop 50,000)
People: African (90%), mixed descent (6%), European and East Indian (4%)
Language: English & French-based patois
Religion: Roman Catholic (90%), Protestant (7%), Anglican (3%)
Government: Independent republic within the British Commonwealth
Major industries: Bananas, coconuts, cocoa, assembly of electronic components, clothing, tourism. Major trading partners: USA, Caricom (Caribbean community) countries, UK, Japan, Canada
St Lucia has two airports: international flights land at Hewanorra, at the southern end of the island, while most inter-island flights land at the more conveniently located Vigie Airport near Castries, the capital.
ABOUT ME: The fact of the matter is that if you're looking at this site, you probably know me. But in case you don't or you've somehow forgotten why I don't call anymore, here's my story. The short version.
I'm 28, and I left the US on July 26. I'm a graduate student at the University of Washington, enrolled in a Masters of Public Administration program called the Peace Corps Masters International (PCMI). I've completed the bulk of the academic part of my degree, and am serving 2 years in the Peace Corps in the Eastern Caribbean. My training was in St. Lucia with 50 other volunteers, and after 3 weeks together we were sent off to various EC islands. I stayed here.
More distant background: I was born and raised in southeastern PA, went to school at University of Delware (English/Journalism & International Relations) and then spent a year serving as a VISTA volunteer for the Delaware Coalition for Literacy in Wilmington, DE. After a brief trip to Europe, I worked for nearly a year as a job developer in a welfare-to-work program at the beginning of welfare reform. Luckily the economy was in better shape then. Regardless, I burnt out, and moved to Seattle just to check out what it had to offer. I fell in love with the northwest.
Unfortunately, the nonprofits in Seattle didn't reciprocate my love. I wanted to do fundraising, I found work as a cashier at REI. Then in Customer Service and HR at Amazon.com. That's where I worked until I finally woke up and realized that I used to have a plan, and I really needed to revisit it and figure out what to do with my life. Enter the PCMI program. I got in during the inaugural year, so I'm really just a guinnea pig at this point, in a sense. Which really just adds to the adventure. There are 8 of us from the UW either gone or about to leave at this point, and it's really exciting to know that I know someone on nearly every continent at this point.
On a personal note, I also have alopecia, which is a condition that caused me to lose my hair 3 years ago (1999). There's still a lot of unanswered questions about alopecia, but doctors think it is an autoimmune disorder. Essentially, I've become allergic to my own hair. There's no history of this in my family, or in me, and it could come back, or not come back, at any time. I was one of the unfortunate types who lost ALL of my hair... sigh. There's a link to NAAF on the right if you have more questions. I do wear a wig, so you'll see me both "hairy" and "au natural" in various photos. This all adds a whole new dimension to my experiences in a place where people are very blunt about physical appearances, and in which I am swimming publicly very often--something which I shunned out of self-consciousness before.
I'm keeping a weblog, so check back and see what I've been up to. PLEASE SEND LETTERS! See the contact info page for the details.
When this story was prepared, here was the front page of PCOL magazine:
This Month's Issue: August 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?
Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."
In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.
Read the stories and leave your comments.