Bioluminescence!

Our first trip across the north coast to Falmouth, Trelawny was successful (and to think it only took 5 hours and 5/6 transportation changes!).  The weekend was in honor of 2 birthdays—Jess and Tami and coincided with an annual volleyball tourney that’s 5 years running (started by PCVs).  It was fun—A two-day party with approximately 30 of us, staying in one large house.  Not sure how we got so lucky, but we acquired the “couples room” and sheets & pillows were supplied.  Nick did a great job planning the bash.  He made us maps from Water Square to the house, set up our accommodations and even planned for our Sunday breakfast!  We also got to hang out with a few 78ers who were all great sports.  And I got to play volleyball.  Okay, so I paid $200J to lose twice…but it was fun.

Falmouth seems like a great interesting town—quite historic and laid-back, as well as tourist-friendly.  It’s a fishing town by trade, but has lots of amenities like Tastee, grocery stores and other restaurants and bars (that are open all night).

After the volleyball tourney, most of us headed to Glistening Waters, a hotel/restaurant and tourist attraction…for good reason.  Josh and I were really excited to go, since we’d heard from everyone how amazing it is.  Glistening Waters is a bay in Falmouth that’s known for a rare quality—bioluminescence.  Some organisms in the water glow when agitated and this is one of very few places in the world scientists have found this occurrence.  So it was cool.  We swam around trying to make the most glowing as possible!  The glowing wasn’t as bright because the water was too cool from all the recent rain.  But it was worth going.  Actually, I’d go again if the opportunity arises and it’s more of an ideal time for it.

Although we are making efforts to get our projects going, it’s hard not to feel like we mostly just sat around last week and now into this week.  Everything little task we want to accomplish requires some cooperation & coordination on the part of someone else.  I mean, we expected things to move slower in general.  But there seems to be some disconnect—People in our communities and in our agency are so willing to work hard and get dirty for each other and for their livelihoods.  However, the breakdown comes in with community groups and their so-called “leadership.”  I guess I expected for people to volunteer their time and expertise to try and help Josh and I help everyone.  This is just not happening.  I feel sometimes like I’m pulling teeth trying to nail down a meeting with myself and one other person or getting a key to open an office door.  It’s so freaking hard to get anyone’s help.  If there were things I could do on my own, without scheduling or meeting with others, I totally would.  For instance, the Peace Corps encourages us to go out into our communities and complete resource and needs surveys.  This helps us to integrate and get to know people and also provides us with baseline data.  Well, I’ve discussed doing this community profile with SDC and it’s in the works.  However, before we can go out and do it, we have to undergo a 2-day training…run by the SDC.  Date of this training is TBA.  I feel like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire—“Help ME help YOU!”

Most of you know that I’ve never babysat or spent much time with little kids, other than visits with the little brothers (love you, BJ and Noah!).  Not that I dislike kids at all…just never felt much affinity for volunteering to spend time with em.  Well, we live with a 4.5 year old now and it’s pretty interesting.  Josh and I have been doing some faux-parenting with him, since we’re already at home with little to do, and it’s caused me to understand the importance of making decisions and following through on them.  We don’t feel comfortable hitting or spanking Junior—We’re not his parents OR his relatives; plus, Jamaica has a huge penchant for “licking” (hitting) kids.  So, we are finding alternative punishments that work…I think he’s so used to being cute and getting his way that he doesn’t even understand being punished.  This 4 year old boy will curse at us and tell us how he wants us to die  (etc.) without batting an eye.  I mean, he’s cute and all, but this behavior is the opposite of sustainable and capacity-building. Haha.  If we are to do right by him (and whatever community he’s in), we’ll just have to be bad guys for a while.  He’s not going to hurt my feelings.  It’s funny how no one minds babysitting a child who listens and obeys.  He’s had a tough little life thus far and hopefully we’ll provide a bit of stability, at least while we’re here.  My fear is that we’ll be remembered as another pair of family members who left him.  Poor little booger.

Toughest job you’ll ever love?  Right now, I know part of that is true

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4 Responses

  1. Crazy photo of the bioluminescence! did you use a flash to illuminate the boat, cause other wise how’d you brace that camera from shaking? I question just how rare it is though, cause I found this stuff off the coast in GA one time while swimming around the ocean. It didn’t look like that, but still it was there and it would stick to you.

  2. Actually, kudos to Keith for hooking up the breakfast. So glad SOMEONE finally got photos of GW… you’ll have to go back during a brighter time, for sure.

    Also, sorry I’m dipping on you guys on Saturday. There is a beach clean up in my community. Hope your day is productive!

  3. Keith too, sure! It was a team effort–Nick bought and Keith cooked! ;)

    We’ll miss you, but have lots of fun in St. Thomas!

  4. no flash on that one. just held the camera steady for 6sec. took a couple tries.

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