The thoughts and opinions of this blog do not reflect that of the Peace Corps or the United States Government.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Growing up I always wondered what it would be like to go to ISS or In School Suspension. I never tried to go because I knew that my parents would kill me. I am now getting the opportunity to experience what that would have been like. At the Primary School I have a group of about 5 boys that haven't been able to survive in a regular classroom. They constantly get in trouble and get kicked out of class. I mean, 3 out of 5 of them were suspended on Friday. It is interesting to say the least and quite challenging.
But it is oh so rewarding already! Since I wasn't at the school in the morning, one of the boys came to my home at lunch time to see why I wasn't there and to make sure I was coming for the afternoon. My one boy that is in grade 4 (the rest are in grade 6) is learning and finishing his work faster than the grade 6 students. And he's doing a great job. Plus he gets in less trouble when in my class.
We even got the same amount of work finished this afternoon as we did all day on Monday!
On Monday I had the students write 3 paragraphs about the Jounen Kweyol celebration. The first thing the did was look at me and ask what a paragraph was. Square one! This took most of the day. I then had them complete an addition math sheet.
This afternoon, I had them complete part of their grade 6 homework from this past weekend (which they of course did not do). We wrote a letter to a cousin about why they needed to continue to go to school! They then did a subtraction worksheet. Some of them had to take this home and correct for homework.
I know that at least one of them needs some serious help reading, which is why his wiring is so bad, but I'm trying to figure out a way to help him without the other boys being around to find out and tease him. Any suggestions!?!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


These last couple months have been boring. "You live on a Caribbean island, how can that be boring?" you might ask. It's not where I live, but my work that has been boring. Trust me, I went to an awesome beach bonfire Saturday night! Since my projects at the primary school have been mostly stalled, that left my days open. For someone who likes to work and be productive, it's been a nightmare! So I've finally been able to find a couple of projects I'm excited about.
Project 1: This started today. During the day there are a couple kids that usually just get kicked out of class and walk around the school doing nothing. I get to work with them. Today we worked on Math. I found this really awesome website that makes worksheets for you. We did basic addition and subtraction and double digit of both as well. I got to see where the boys were struggling. We then made flash cards and played a game with them. They also got some time on the computer playing math games (their favorite part of the day).
Project 2: This is going to start next week. There are some kindergartners that are struggling and already a little behind. I'm going to go to the Infant school two mornings a week and help give them some extra 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 attention to help them get caught up.
I'm really excited about these. It should be fun, hopefully help the kids, and keep me busy too!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


So I realize that lately I haven't been good at posting. I wish I could say things have been really busy and that's why I haven't, but I can't. I'm going to work at doing better.
The principal at the school retired the end of September. We didn't know who the next principal would be. I went to the states October 1-13, and had no clue who to tell at the school! When I got back, I found out that one of the teachers is the acting principal. In December we'll find out who the principal will be for the long term.
In the states I got to do some wedding planning! I tried on my dress (love it!), saw the place that the wedding is going to be (again love it!), and picked out some decorations. I didn't get to see everyone I wanted (I wanted to make a trip to Echo and see my friends there and also see my friend Clarence who lives not that far from my parents. In addition, I didn't get to see my relatives in Toledo). But I got to see my sisters and their kids which was fun! I can't believe how fast the kids are growing up.
When I got back I found the computer lab still not in order. I've been helping the acting principal with a new reading program that she is putting in place. Every week the students have to read a book and write a book report on it. This week in grading is was really obvious when students just copied from the back of the book (and there were a lot of them that did!).
This Sunday we're kicking off Boys and Girls Club for the term. Hopefully the kids will come up with fun activities that don't cost a lot of money. They usually come up with going to the mall (up north) and going to Pizza Pizza (the only place here that has a playground). It should be a fun rest of the term!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bursting Bamboo!

It's almost October! Which in St. Lucia means it's time to get ready for one of our favorite holidays. Not Halloween, but Jounen Kweyol, which is the celebration of the Kweyol heritage!
While I was doing dishes one evening. I heard what sounded like gun shots. I looked at Luthur a little worried and asked him about this noise. He said that the police were probably having a shootout with someone and we shouldn't go outside. This didn't sound quite right to me, he started laughing, and told me that it was just the kids bursting bamboo! I should have remembered from last year. This is something they do to celebrate Jounen Kweyol. The take a piece of bamboo, hallow it out, put a hole on the side of the bamboo at the bottom, put kerosene in it, and then use a stick to put fire inside to fire it like a canon. (Sounds like something my dad would have done as a kid!) Almost every evening I'm going to be hearing this until the end of October.
The last weekend of the month several communities will hold celebration around the island. Last year my village got to host, so we won't get to this year.
School is going well. I have learned how much the grade K's learned last year when I got this years grade K's and they were using their finger poking the screen to close windows and select things on the computer. We have a lot to learn!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Direction

Wow! Summer went by really fast. It was not at all what I expected it to be, but what is, especially in Peace Corps. So a week after school closed we were told that some construction was going to be done on the computer lab. They were going to retile the lab, so everything was moved out. I figured that it should only take 2 weeks for the tile to be taken up, it to be retiled, and everything to be put back in. I couldn’t have been more wrong. As I type this, the only thing that has been done is the old tiles were removed (and are still sitting in a pile in the lab). So that shot my main project for the summer, computer club. So instead, we got together and played cards, made journals, finger painted, made play dough, and set up our own bowling alley. It was fun, but not what I expected.

Now we’re getting ready for school to start on Monday. We have some new teachers and energy. It should be a really good year. Right now both of my projects at the primary school are in limbo. The computer lab is torn up and the computers were placed into the library (the only other secure place) and are blocking the books, so I’m trying to figure out what to do for the beginning of this term. I’m still going to be at the infant school one day a week working with them. It is also the last month for our principal who retires at the end of September. This term is going to be interesting!

Monday, July 9, 2012


So recently I’ve been realizing how much Luthur’s world is going to change if we get this visa (and how much mine will if we don’t). I think this was really pointed out to me by a trip I got to go on with some of the students not too long ago. For this trip we went to the mini-zoo, Pigeon Island, and Pizza Pizza. It was soo much fun! The kids loved it, and I did too! It made me remember going to the zoo when I was in 1st grade, only with one difference. You see the zoo here is quite small. Less than 10 different types of animals. The animal that the kids liked the best was the talking Blue and Gold Macaw (the birds are always the highlight for me at the zoo!).

It also makes me that much more excited to show Luthur the zoo in the states! To get to show him and experience with him getting to see exotic animals from all over the world for the first time, blows my mind away. Simple things that I have taken for granted my whole life, like going to a huge zoo, students here don’t get to experience.

Not too long ago, I saw a yahoo! article about different playgrounds that every child should experience. The last place we went, Pizza Pizza is the only playground that I have seen on the island. (I’ve heard about one of the special educational schools that got one donated, but that’s the only other one I’ve even heard about). Schools do not have them, communities do not have them. Think of going to the park and swinging when you were a kid. That memory does not exist here because there are no parks that have swings.

I think that’s why people say multicultural relationships are harder. Backgrounds and memories are so different from each other. It just makes me excited to be able to show Luthur all the museums, zoos, playgrounds, parks, imax movies, trains, bridges, and restaurants that the US has. Maybe for our honeymoon we’ll go to the zoo…

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wedding Bells are Ringing!

These last couple of weeks Luthur and I have been wedding planning long distance with my mom, dad, and sisters. When I add Luthur into that equation, most people would think he's a silent partner for wedding planning. Not my man! He's helped choose all sorts of things, such as decorations, accent color, and what type of cake. Ok, so he's had the main voice in the color and cake :) It's been quite a fun process so far.
All this on top of my normal work, so I took a vacation day tomorrow. On that day we're going to do several things related to visa/getting married. First of all, Luthur's getting some additional shots and picking up his birth certificate that will (hopefully) now have his name on it (the visa things)! Next we're going wedding ring shopping for Luthur! This should be a lot of fun! We've looked at a couple different places already. It's just a lot of fun doing this together. (That's one of the things I love about Luthur, we just have so much fun together.)
While I'm on the topic of our wedding, I just wanted to mention that it will be a small affair. Our plan is to get married about a week after we get into the states. That means that Luthur will be dealing with culture shock, along with finally meeting my family in person. I really don't want to then overwhelm him with a large wedding. I thank you ahead of time for being understanding.

Just a note on work...I'm gearing up for summer programmes! The kids are really excited about Fun Fridays and computer club! So it should be a lot of fun! Right now we're also working on a dance with the Boys and Girls Club for the variety show next week. It was hard at first (because I had to learn the dance, and I'm not a really good dancer), but the kids are picking it up and we'll have it all together by then!