We may plant the tree but we won’t be able to sit in the shade. 

The start of training has given us very long and repetitive days. I think we’re all getting used to everything, that being the packed bus rides and crazy mountain roads. If you walk to training, from where I live it’s a thirty five minute walk going up and down hills, but it’s nice Since we sit all day. I’ll have to admit the sex ed class was something different to wake you up. And no that was not a joke. 

In training they have tried to prepare for what’s to come the next two years: strange men on the street thinking they can come home with us, diseases we will most likely get like dengue fever and chikungunya and people staring at us because most of them don’t see Americans everyday (we are usually thought of as tourists), which all of that and the cultural awareness is important, but I think the most important advice I have received would be from a current volunteer in St. Lucia, that is to build as many relationships as possible. That especially means in the school. We should not automatically tell our co-teachers who have being teaching in their school for years how they should teach and run their classrooms. We should wait three months while, building a relationship with them and helping out the best way we can without bossy them around in THEIR classroom. After those three months I may feel like nothing is happening and my projects are going no where, but that’s when someone said something like “you may plant the tree but you won’t be able to sit in the shade.”

After a very long week of training, we had some time off.  


Needless to say, I will not be going back to Myrtle Beach for a while. 

 and I’m sure everyone who lives around there would be happy to come here. I promise I am doing work, I just only take pictures of the exciting stuff. 

I guess I am attention “Beach Corps” but I can learn to accept that. Though it’s been a week and it seems longer and that we’ve learned so much about the culture, but so much more for us to assimilate to. Most people are very nice when we meet them and will answer any question they have, but bus drivers try to over charge and a lot of the time get away with it. We stand out so much so men will try to talk to us or will go out of there way to sit with us. Nothing too uncomfortable, yet. This is why relationships are so important here. Everyone knows everyone. Our host families are a big help with that. Everything seems easy for the most part in this Caribbean culture, but that’s because I am never alone. I am always with a host family member or a fellow volunteer. I have ten weeks total to prepare to live on my own in a new neighborhood. Ssooooo prayers are encouraged.

And for those of you who where thinking, “that poor Anna, not being able to see Jurassic World”, we found a theater.  I have crazy eyes I was so excited. 

   

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The first weekend. 

I just had my very first weekend in St. Lucia, starting my journey as a Peace Corps volunteer. It’s really hard to believe that venting to a friend and boyfriend lead me to blurt out “I’M JUST GOING TO JOIN THE PEACE CORPS!”, because I didn’t want to start teaching in South Carolina right out of college. I didn’t want a Monday through Friday 6am to 6pm job where I felt under appreciated and where I would try everything I could and still be wrong. And now I’m here. An original thought that I seriously thought would be absolutely nothing, turned into something very serious. Of course, similar feelings will occur while teaching here, I know, I know…

But there is just something about moving far away surrounded by unfamiliar faces (even your own because it’s drenched in sweat, more from nervousness than from heat) that can only be described by actually doing it.

Oh of course it’s hard and the hardest part hasn’t even started. I may or may not have cried all the way through my first flight. But we got that over with. I also may or may not have freaked out at the swarming strong personalities from my fellow volunteers. I forgot to mention amazing, interesting, and extremely supportive fellow volunteers. AND I’VE ONLY KNOWN THEM FOR THREE DAYS! Also I’m missing Jurassic World. So as you can read, a lot is happening in my mind and outside of it. And those volunteers are really the only ones who understand, as I go back and forth from freaking out and being excited. You can throw some exhaustion into that mix as well.

 The breathtaking view temporarily puts your mind at ease. 

Not to mention the amazing fruit found everywhere!

Like this coconut found on our walk Saturday morning that was banged against a rock for fifteen minutes until the coconut water busted out like a pinata.
After the weekend of getting our minds ready for training and scared of diseases we have a %99.9 percent chance of all getting (don’t worry I can’t die from any of them), we get ready to meet the families who will protect us, give us guidance, and answer all of our questions.

All ready my host family has been incredibly sweet. When First walked into the house, I told Patricia, my new mom, that her home is beautiful. She immediately corrected me and said “our home”.

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And thats my amazing view from my beautiful home.