30 November 2011

Photo Reel

It's so intense...
In a week graced with multiple rare acts of God, this last one was a pleasure to see: a double rainbow that popped up during a brief sun shower.  Just over the gardens to the East of my house, this picture was taken from my front porch yesterday afternoon.  At one point, the rain was coming down hard and fast on the right side of my porch, but the ground was completely dry everywhere on the left side.

The view of the Basseterre Harbor from atop the Ocean Terrace Inn
The weather was hit and miss during MST, when we volunteers spent the workweek in training at the Ocean Terrace Inn in Basseterre.  In this picture, of course, the weather is impeccable, but the other half of the time saw overcast skies and occasional drizzles.  That trend has mostly held up these last few weeks, and now mosquitoes are finding droves of lawns with standing water to repopulate.  The offshoot is that I can't keep my door open during the morning or evening for fear of letting in dozens of mosquitoes.

St. Kitts' 25 Most Remarkable Teens honored at Parliament, 23 November 2011
If I can be so forward as to say, the most important aspect of the 25 Most Remarkable Teens ceremony was the clear and dazzling display of government buy-in.  For a project that claims only one specific goal, to celebrate the positive achievements of today's youth contrasted against the seemingly endless flow of negative press bulletins and falling public sentiment, the program actually has many aspects that promote positivity and cooperation in the Federation, between youth and adults, as well as political parties.  For further details on the event, plus a retelling of each of the teenagers' remarkable stories, make sure to visit my colleague's blog.

What volunteers do in their spare time?
When an EC80 couple, good friends to me and so many around the island, were forced to end their term of service a few months early, we volunteers congregated at their abode to wish them well in their travels (and to clean up some of the household goods that weren't coming with them).  In this case, everyone was guaranteed 2 rolls of toilet paper, but everything else was first-come, first-served.  The said older couple has recently moved nearer their oldest son's family in Alaska; if they read this, I extend once again my sincerest best wishes.

Peace Corps (unofficial) motto
One of the changes in the mood following MST is the now constant awareness of the impermanence of the vast majority of things one does here, whether big projects or small.  I feel like this decidedly melancholy sense is doubled for those of us on islands that the Peace Corps will be pulling out from following our term of service.  However, when discussing it with my APCD, she related to me a peace that she has felt about the situation recently: paraphrased, she felt like our job, now, was to "leave with dignity," with the knowledge of a job well done.  By extension of the Peace Corps' mission, it's as much a victory as a concession when we move out of a country, and maybe St. Kitts and Nevis is ready to move along for a little while without us?

Revisiting my inspiration for joining the Peace Corps in the first place, and with a vote of thanks to Jesse Cline, here are two good illustrations of what I believe the Peace Corps will mean to me in the coming years.
Comic A and Comic B

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