31 December 2010

Funnyquote Friday

Thanks for the short hiatus; I'm ready to get back to business.  And starting us off is your quote for this Old Year's Friday:

"I think it's just despicable that you're in 
a short-sleeve shirt and shorts..."

Give my grandmother some credit: she has been stuck in North Georgia in seven inches of snow and sub-freezing weather for a week.  And the cabin fever and uncomfortable chills can make for some serious envy for those of us struggling with 75° weather, 12-hour sunshine and ocean breezes. 

And now for the news from Peace Corps Land.  The country directorship of the Eastern Caribbean region changed hands, on schedule, as we were told it would.  Remarkable, however, was that the new director visited us here at St. Kitts and brought with him some disruptive news: the new batch of EC83 PC volunteers scheduled to start in February of 2011 have been reassigned to different posts, leaving the Federation with no incoming PCVs for at least one year.  This means that upwards of 10 NGOs on island, including the Ministry of International Trade which I have started teaming up with on an island-wide entrepreneurship program, will not be receiving their promised 2-year volunteers.  (Which means, in their case, that I'll probably be picking up a lot of the duties that were intended for the newbie.)  Presumably, requests for 6-month response volunteers can still be made, though nothing is certain.  Since a dearth of funding is the primary culprit for choosing to send the volunteers to other EC islands, we volunteers remaining on St. Kitts have a few concerns yet.

Christmas Eve dinner at a fellow PCV's house in Middle Island was a great holiday joy.  Never have I ever spent Christmas away from home before, but I cannot imagine an easier first step.  Everybody was pleasant and cheerful, the food was unparalleled, and Santa didn't do too badly either!  With a gift exchange at the end of the evening, I walked home with a sheet of rum cake – a very merry carb-filled Christmas indeed.  Also, a note to self: Christmas enchiladas a must in future years.  Who knew that not only were the colors naturally festive, but also that they paired well with everything?

I did have a traditional Christmas meal with my host family, but it was on the afternoon of the 26th, which worked out fine for me.  I was pleased to see them, bake a homemade, homegrown pumpkin pie for them, and fill up on a solid holiday meal before staying up all night in preparation for J'ouvert.  For which, after some deliberation, I decided to join the Digicel-sponsored J'ouvert troupe, which many of my friends, and about 500 people in all, also marched.  We started from Bird Rock at about 2 A.M. and marched the Bay Road over several hours, joining up with 4-5 other large troupes and all congregating at the Circus by dawn of the 27th.  Paint, noisemakers, and cups littered the streets where thousands of people had spent the daybreak (J'ouvert means daybreak in French) dancing and marching to really, really, REALLY loud soca music.  By the time I got home that morning, I had to decide if whether my refrigerator was running double time, or if my ears had not stopped ringing yet.

Well, I guess that's about it.  I'm staying busy with projects that I lined up for myself before the winter holidays, and the weather is still so perfectly acceptable that I can conceivably go to the beach or hiking in the interior any day I want, and don't have to wait for a warm weather day.  And now, for those of you that were good this year and read all the way to the end, here is the December highlights video.

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