20 September 2010

Lots of Things Going Down

In a good way.

Brimstone Hill Fort
The Northern Range and cannonade from Brimstone Hill
For those that were concerned about my appearance changing while down here, I am finally starting to see a little color on my face and forearms.  Here's the rub, though: unless I'm at the beach, I'm generally in business attire.  So if I come home with a tan at all, it will be the most awesome farmer's tan you have ever laid eyes on.  And on a related if unconnected note, the more I look in the mirror, the more I see a small, tasteful ring in my left ear.  Is the heat getting to me, or am I on to something?  Let me down gently with your thoughts and comments here.

 Went up to Brimstone Hill on Saturday.  A beautifully preserved and renovated fort from the English colonial period, built in the 1600s.  It offered some Pirates Of The Caribbean-esque thrills on the inside and some one-of-a-kind views of the western quadrant of the island on the outside.  My class of EC82 went there for a cultural history training class, where we enjoyed singing some local folk songs and learning about colonial life on the island.  You could even see St. Eustatius and Saba from there, our neighboring islands to the Northwest.  They are part of the same island chain as St. Christopher and Nevis, but are Dutch territories.  They hold a population of 4000+ combined.

Sandy Point Town and St. Eustatius in the distance
The Federation is excited about 27 years of independence!  Activities have been held nearly every day this weekend.  On Sunday, my fellow Peace Corps and I were invited to the St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association's monthly meeting, where we were graced with beautiful artistic expressions of music, dance and poetry, each laced with a grain of social commentary.  At the end, the Peace Corps as a whole was thanked for its contributions to the state in recent years.  Moreover, the SKNYPArians volunteered their 40 hours of expected community service to each of the state services represented there, and I know a few Peace Corps ears perked up at that point.

Afterward I attended the Federation's State Service for Independence, a sort of special mass at the Roman Catholic church in town.  All of the state dignitaries are there, the Prime Minister and his cabinet, many legislators and judiciary, the military, diplomats, the consular corps, and other public servants.   In addition, my host father sings in the National Massed Choir, which performed three beautiful arrangements of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, the Lord's Prayer, and a spiritual.  They were a hit; the congregation in its entirety was very pleased and impressed.  About halfway through the mass, my Anglican church's assistant rector was asked to deliver the message, and he spoke for a full hour on this year's theme, "Strengthening Families for Positive Nation Building."  Never have I ever sat on a wooden pew and listened to as moving or challenging a message for a full hour before.  But the audience was captivated and, some I believe convicted, by the call to stronger family life in the islands.

Got stuck with a whole load of homework this weekend.  I don't think it was meant to offset the fun we are having during the long weekend, but it effectively tempers our attitudes to some degree (probably for the better).  Training has been somewhat repetitive this past week, but the promise of only three more weeks is keeping most of us afloat.  I face the spectrum of challenges from day to day, but maintain a positive attitude and confidence and optimism for the near future.  Thanks for each of your continued prayers.


  1. I am stopping at the end of paragraph 1 to say "no". Now I'll continue reading.

  2. That cultural history training class sounds awesome! Especially at that location.

  3. Is it the right ear or the left? I agree with Meagan. Dad!

  4. Wait. I read that wrong. I missed the "left ear" part. I thought you were referring to both ears. Ok, now I'm not sure. Ooops. Long day and fast reading to blame for that one.

  5. Man. I'm commenting up a storm. I guess I could just send an email. Anyway, gave Steph your website info so she could follow your PC experience since she's at the end of the application process. Way to keep an awesome log of what's happening for those of us at home.

  6. I love Meagan's comments! I want to know which side you are thinking of. I draw the line at the tatoos. I love Dad's comment as well, and Jon's. You have a great following, that is for sure. I want to know what some of your Sunday School classmates are thinking about now, like Nancy Kelly, and some others. I have to admit, that with a tasteful diamond, small, not obtruse, it might look great on you. But! I draw the line on getting a tatoo on the island. Mom xoxoxo

  7. don't know about an ring in your ear being tasteful, you do not need any thing to take away from your good looks. If it is not broken don't fix it.We love you just the way you are.Happy things are working out so good for you, we miss you and keeping you in our prayers.Keep looking up. Love Elaine & Daniel

  8. I'm with Meagan's first comment. Forget the additional thoughts that come after. :)

  9. The cultural history is pretty cool, and the pictures are amazing!