Trip Start Sep 01, 2008
2Trip End Sep 01, 2009
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Where I stayed
My new home!
I will be who I will be
I will follow this Path
That has been set out for me
I cannot even begin to explain my first feelings when I arrived on Dominica. Brother Mike pick me up at the airport after a very long day. Just getting here was a change I was not expecting.
I arrived at the airport in St. Marrten like any Crovo would. I was the first one to the airport. Even before the employees. LOL! (As shown on my Blog) I was at the gate just sitting waiting for the Plane to arrive. This small café stand opened up and I was hungry. When I went over to purchase a sandwich, is when my first experience happen. I learned that there is no such thing as first come first serve
I had to change planes in Antigua but first the plane had a stop in St Kitts. Everything went fine until I landed in Antigua. Every person on that plane and two others planes arriving at the same time started pushing each other to get first through the customs. I had to start to do the same or I would have still been there when the next plane arrived. There is no other way of getting through but every woman or man for himself or herself. And let me tell you the women are harder to get by than the men.
I had about a one-hour lay over at Antigua Airport. Not the type of airport I am custom too. For that hour I just sat on a bench and watch all the people. What a show. Then they informed us that flight 323 for Guadeloupe and Dominica was ready for boarding. But there was one small problem. There was going to be a change in planes and the new plane only could take 32 passengers not 50. Well let me tell you all hell broke out. People started to yell and really go crazy. This time I just stood back and did not want to be a part of the whole mess. Who should go and who should have to stay! First they boarded women with children
Did I mention that the weather was hot any muggy. And I mean HOT and MUGGY. Not just out side, on the plane as well. Half an hour past before we finally were on our way.
Next stop Guadeloupe. It was just a short jump over to this island. We landed about half an hour later. As soon as we arrived I was looking out my window and I saw three cars with lights on top drive up to the plane. This did not look good. It was a surprise inspection. We had to just sit on that plane for more than a hour and half with no air and a plane full of angry people while they did there inspection..
Not only angry but hunger and full of rage
We finally arrived on Dominica three hours behind our attended arrival time. Went through the customs line with all the pushing that just comes with the territory of the islands. I was waiting for my baggage and decided to take some pictures for the blog. I however did not see a sign that said NO PICTURES IN THE CUSTOM AREA. Yes the police came right over and ask me if I could read. I said yes and was so sorry that I did not see the sign. They were not pleased but just gave me a look and said don't do it again. My heart was pounding. I just want to get out of that airport and away from all the people.
Finally I was through the door and out. Brother Mike was standing right there and took a picture of me coming through customs.
The drive back to Portsmouth was about one hour and what a nice peaceful drive. I was tried and just wanted to relax a little. Arrived home in the rain and no electricity.
It was a very LONG first day.
More to come!
I open my eyes and did not know where I was
Brother Mike got up around 5:30 and we talked about the day head of us. He was going to take me down to the school that he volunteers at. Then over to a food bank the delivers food to the poor. Finally over to the Catholic Church to meet the pastor. The conversation made me feel a lot better.
We arrived at the school at eight AM sharp. They we having a staff meeting all day to go over the new year and what they were planning. It is a school for boys from sixteen to nineteen years of age. Most with only a third grade learning ability. I sat in on the meeting and by the end of the day I was ask to volunteer two day's a week to help tutor. Can you see me teaching? I can't! But volunteer I did. School starts this coming Monday. The poverty here is more than I have every experienced in my life. It is going to take a little or a lot of getting use to. They are very kind and appreciative to having me here. It did make me feel comfortable and reduced my fears a little.
I know it is going to take a while more me to settle in
Tomorrow we are off to the capital of Dominica, Roseau.The island has a population of around seventy thousand. With more than half living in or around the capital. I look forward to seeing it. In Portsmouth there is a population of around four thousand and the poverty is much greater. We will be meeting the other Christian Brothers that are on the island. There are three that reside in the capital. Brother Mike and I will be visiting the prison while we are there too. All these new experiences are really opening my eyes. I cannot explain what I am feeling because it is all so new to me. The need for help is so large and the poverty so over whelming. With Gods help I will adjust and settle into a routine. One of the most difficult things for me is adjusting to is not having my dog. Champ did sleep with me every night and my heart is yearning for him. I did not anticipate it to be this hard. Just thinking of him make me want to cry. This to shall pass with Gods help.