November 23, 2004: Headlines: COS - Saint Lucia: Internet: Blogs - Saint Lucia: Personal Web Site: Greg Carlson: Peace Corps Saint Lucia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Saint Lucia: Peace Corps Saint Lucia : The Peace Corps in Saint Lucia: November 23, 2004: Headlines: COS - Saint Lucia: Internet: Blogs - Saint Lucia: Personal Web Site: Greg Carlson: Peace Corps Saint Lucia

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Greg Carlson: Peace Corps Saint Lucia

Greg Carlson: Peace Corps Saint Lucia

Greg Carlson: Peace Corps Saint Lucia

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The kids with my dog Ozzy. Ozzy is great, he dosen't bark, follows me everywhere and tries to keeps the cats out of my house. A couple weeks a go I found that there were cats living in my apartment that I was oblivious to. I came out of the bathroom one morning and there was this cat in my hall way of my second story apartment just staring at me. And I was just staring at it wonder where in the hell this cat came from and how long has it been in my apartment for. My guess is it was there for about a week or so. He made himself a little nest on top of my suit cases under the guest bed and was eating all of Ozzy's food when we were outside. I was just thinking that Ozzy was eating the food when I wasn't watching, but then a another volunteer came over and had an allergic reaction when she was sitting in the chairs. I only realized it after my discovery that it was the stealth cat causing all the ruckus.

Up at the Laborie Girls Primary school.

This guy is weaving fish pots from bamboo strips to sell to the fishermen. Yes, he is wearing jelly shoes, in fact, I have a pair myself.

A lesson about trade.

Beer pong for Super Bowl. Not quite as exciting as being back in Boston, but we make due.

Making Pizza for Ross' birthday. He may be little but he put down a whole pizza himself.

Camping out at the waterfall. One big happy Peace Corps family.

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The new apartment. Two bedroom, fully furnished, open ceiling, balcony, washing machine, and ocean view. $US 200 / month. My landlord lives downstairs, I have the upstairs.

My street. Its not the nicest street in Laborie, but there is always something going on or someone stopping by.

Looking inside from the balcony.

Bedroom. There's no screens so you gotta sleeping with a Peace Corps supplied mosquito net.

View of backyard from bedroom window.


View from side window toward the church

My neighbors

The sweetest part of the house, the balcony.

This is where most of the hanging out is done along with the weekly tuna roasts on the hibachi and naps on the hammock.

Street down below.

There's my ocean view. A big mango tree blocks most of my view. Its a good thing I like mangos.

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After training for 3 weeks in Babonneau, I will be spending the next 2 years in little fishing village on the southern coast of St. Lucia called Laborie. I have been here for almost 3 weeks now and am still defining my position.

This is my new host mom, Ms Jew, and her home where I will be staying till mid October. After that, I have to leave Ms. Jew and find my own place.

Ms. Jew is the bomb, she does my laundry, she cooks unbelievable meals, makes fresh bread every morning, makes juice from the lime, guava, passion fruit, and oranges trees in the yard, introduces me to everyone, and even cleans my room. (She even told me to bring her my laundry when I move out!)

This is Mr. Louise. He is old. He used to be the Prime Mister of Saint Lucia. My host sister is his secretary so he come to pick her up everyday. He has a nice car but he crashed it into everything- there are dents all over it. You know when Mr. Louise as arrived when 1)you hear his car hit the curb across the street and 2) you hear him open his door into the wall next to the curb as he get out. Mr Lousie is too old to give a shit about anything and, I don't blame him.

This is in one of pubs in the village. Rum, Brandy, Heineken, and Piton. Guinness, Heineken, and Piton are all brewed on St. Lucia

Night out with the other volunteers.

This is the soccer / cricket field behind Jew's house. At most times there are between 20 and 30 goats and sheep tied to stakes and rope in the field, they eat the grass all day.

This is Laborie cove, behind the goat and sheep field.

Typical Sunday afternoon

There are about 20 fishing boats in the cove each owned by 3 share holders, one guys buys the boat, one buys the motor, and one guys buys all the equipment.

Colorful fishing boat.

Laborie beach is pretty cool. There is a reef about 50 feet out that is awesome for snorkeling- lots of colorful fish, sometimes eels or octopus, and lots of sea urchins.

Future fishermen

The owner of this boat took me out fishing at 5 am on Saturday morning with his 2 other shareholders. These fisherman are trap or pot fisherman. They make these huge traps from chicken wire and wood or sometimes just out of bamboo (like in the picture below). They can weigh up to 50 lbs with nothing in them. The three fishermen together have to pull the traps up out of the sea. In a typical pot, you will get about 10 fish- I don't recognize any of the fish they catch, but they should all be in a tropical fish tank. In one of the traps there were 15 Caribbean lobsters. I ate lobster for 2 days straight, even for breakfast.

Hand made bamboo fish pots.

My host mom's grand kids on their 1st day of school. All public schools have uniforms.

Bread and Pastry shop in town

Meat selection at the supermarket: Pig Tail, Pork Ears, and Mixed Chicken parts.

This is our group of 7 out of the 41 peace corps assigned to the eastern Caribbean who will stay in St. Lucia. From the back left, Elizabeth, Matt and Kate (married), Tim, Angela, then me then Sara.

Ms. Jew is a women of many talents. Besides her cooking skills, Ms. Jew also sings with a group that is preparing for one of St. Lucia's cultural festivals.

The Rasta fisherman and his 30 lb Barracuda he caught.

Laborie Girls Primary Public School. The girl up front is reading, "The Story of Abraham" to the class. They say a prayer every hour, in the morning, before lunch, after lunch, and at the end of the day. Teachers can also beat their students if necessary. Students share a bench and table, must buy their own books and supplies.

The Poverty Reduction Fund built a computer lab at this school. It is furnished with 12 new Dell computers, it's air conditioned, and has been there for a year with no one using it because no one knows how to use a computer, there is no money for a computer teacher, and there is no money to train teachers.

I will also be working with Sea Moss farmers. Sea moss is a seaweed that is grown in Laborie Bay, harvested, dried, and sold to St. Lucian's at the supermarket to make sea moss punch, or Z-Moss: sea moss with rum.

When this story was posted in November 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.
Vote "Yes" on NPCA's bylaw changes Vote "Yes" on NPCA's bylaw changes
Take our new poll. NPCA members begin voting this week on bylaw changes to streamline NPCA's Board of Directors. NPCA Chair Ken Hill, the President's Forum and other RPCVs endorse the changes. Mail in your ballot or vote online (after Dec 1), then see on how RPCVs are voting.
Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying
Congressman Norm Dicks has asked the U.S. attorney in Seattle to consider pursuing charges against Dennis Priven, the man accused of killing Peace Corps Volunteer Deborah Gardner on the South Pacific island of Tonga 28 years ago. Background on this story here and here.
Your vote makes a difference Your vote makes a difference
Make a difference on November 2 - Vote. Then take our RPCV exit poll. See how RPCV's are voting and take a look at the RPCV voter demographic. Finally leave a message on why you voted for John Kerry or for George Bush. Previous poll results here.
Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers
The Kerry campaign wants the RPCV vote. Read our interview with Dave Magnani, Massachusetts State Senator and Founder of "RPCVs for Kerry," and his answers to our questions about Kerry's plan to triple the size of the Peace Corps, should the next PC Director be an RPCV, and Safety and Security issues. Then read the "RPCVs for Kerry" statement of support and statements by Dr. Robert Pastor, Ambassador Parker Borg, and Paul Oostburg Sanz made at the "RPCVs for Kerry" Press Conference.

RPCV Carl Pope says the key to winning this election is not swaying undecided voters, but persuading those already willing to vote for your candidate to actually go to the polls.

Take our poll and tell us what you are doing to support your candidate.

Finally read our wrap-up of the eight RPCVs in Senate and House races around the country and where the candidates are in their races.
Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
PCOL sits down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.

Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

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