St. Lucia

Before dinner in Miami

For the last year I had imagined what my Peace Corps experience might be like.  I pictured myself living in a straw hut with no running water or electricity, little or no access to internet and television, and training sessions filled with hours of dense information facilitated by people who wanted to weed out the bad seeds in the group.

Rather, here I am at the Hotel Bel Jou in St. Lucia sitting on the outdoor patio that faces a beautiful garden with a gazebo, manicured walking path, and a croquet lawn. A steel drum musician is playing ‘And I Love Her’ in the dining room next to us, while the sounds of St. Lucian critters fill the air outside.  After exploring the nearby town of Castries this afternoon, some of my fellow Peace Corps Trainees and I went for a swim in the pool just down the steps.   I have been teaching a good group of my PC-mates yoga, using as my studio the rooftop terrace that overlooks the treetops and ocean, and offers a clear view of the night sky and stars.

Sunrise yoga

Sunset evening yoga

While yesterday we did tackle the anxiety-provoking topic of common health problems Peace Corps volunteers face in the Eastern Caribbean (stings courtesy of 6-8 inch centipedes, scabies, and Dengue Fever, to name a few), we were also given an impromptu lesson on dancing ‘Caribbean style’ so that we would be prepared for those imminent opportunities as well.

In all, this experience so far has blown any expectations I might have had out of the water.  Granted, this is not a typical Peace Corps setting, being in a luxury hotel in the middle of paradise and I recognize it is temporary, but I am savoring every single moment.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. johnny duda
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 23:03:16

    hey camille,

    how cool i this blog! congrats on getting there safely and on all the great work you are set up to do!

    very excited for you!

    be safe!
    always, johnny


  2. Saara
    Aug 28, 2010 @ 00:25:12

    LOVE IT! Cute pics, so glad you’re having fun. Keep up with the blog, I’m enjoying living vicariously.


  3. Cindy Anderson
    Aug 28, 2010 @ 12:08:04

    Camille – you’re such an inspiration you make me want to quit everything and join the PC! Can’t wait to hear about the people you meet and the loving and peaceful connections you make with them.
    all the best – Cindy


  4. Ate Shannon
    Aug 28, 2010 @ 23:11:25

    Reading your blog make me want to leave home too (LOL), but alas I get to do all my peace keeping here at home with the kids! They miss you already, but we are all glad you made it safe and sound. Be safe…we love you!


  5. Bianca Marcolino
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 11:20:28

    Really? Doing yoga in front of the ocean in the Caribbean. Is this necessary? Ok, I’m jealous. I’m glad you are having such a great time over there! I’m wishing you all the best and can’t wait to see you in another part of the world (we’re adding a new place to our list!)


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