The Nature Island

Exhausted; sleep deprived with tired eyes, our weekend packs containing souvenirs and laundry, Jessica and I stepped foot on the tarmac in St. Vincent on Monday after a whirlwind holiday to Dominica. A three-day itinerary of consecutive adventure laden expeditions proved enough to temporarily satisfy the expanding wanderlust for each of us as our soul searching paths intersected en route to the Nature Island.

We arrived on Friday, greeted by friends and fellow PCVs serving in this Eastern Caribbean isle. Heading northwest from Melville Hall airport to “Possie” on the bed of a cargo truck, the topography of Dominica felt comfortingly familiar. The roads circuited along the island’s mountainous terrain as our driver impressively maneuvered the typical road ornaments we also find in St V – speeding vehicles, roadside pedestrians, stray dogs, and the occasional livestock. As we zoomed past villagers dressed in traditional madras, the cultural contrasts between our two islands began to emerge. We had arrived in the height of Creole Festivities, an annual celebration during the weeks leading up to Independence Day, wherein the nation celebrates it Creole heritage with a wide array of music events, parades, and cultural displays.  It felt as if we had found in Dominica the well-adjusted and relatively mild-mannered but playfully mischievious older brother to the exhibitionist teenage rebellion of St. Vincent in her full-fledged existential angst.

As we explored the island through its varied culinary offerings, eco-tourism attractions and the Dominican PCVs’ favorite hangouts, the energy of Creole Fest surged through the air like the excitement similar to that during Vincy carnival. All around, people were smiling and having a grand time – how could they not? it was that time of year again.

Our adventures continued spontaneously into the night and the early morning hours of each new day, some of the resulting stories too sacred, bizarre and/or unbelievable to be shared in this unforgiving public forum. But indeed they happened and those lucky enough to be there were witness to the good fortune given to us by the fabled black bumblebee we came across at Scotts Head.

Two weary travelers, Jess and I returned to our Peace Corps home of St. Vincent depleted in energies but replenished in matters of heart and soul. A trip so wonderful I half wonder if it actually happened.

In Dominica they have a saying when someone is still asleep: “Don’t wake her, she still on her last dream.”

So, please… don’t wake me, I’m still on my last dream….

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Dominica.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jessica
    Nov 04, 2011 @ 00:22:06

    Camille! I love everything about this post. I felt like I momentarily floated back into the weekend, just for a moment. *inhale* An experience forever etched in my heart. Much love to you my soul sista gypsy hearted magic birthing partner in truths 🙂

    Reply

  2. Alex
    Nov 04, 2011 @ 11:47:53

    Camille, Jess sent me your blog and I’m so happy she did. What an incredible way to describe a weekend that I haven’t yet been able to put words to. We definitely had some outstanding luck, but I think it was less about the bumblebee and more about you wonderful visitors drawing in all the wonderful people around us. I’ve never felt so reenergized after having guests. I’ll give the bumblebee a little credit though… and Father Christmas, of course 🙂 Come back soon, please.

    Reply

  3. Bianca
    Nov 05, 2011 @ 16:07:14

    I haven’t checked the blog in awhile :-/ I took a break from prepping for a big meeting on Mon, and decided to do it with your blog. Sooooo glad I did. You are having such an amazing, rewarding, eye-opening adventure over there. So happy and proud of you!! x

    Reply

  4. Molly
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 22:45:48

    It was so wonderful meeting you. Wish we could have spent more time together. You describe Dominica so well…coming back to LA has been so depressing. Be thankful you’re back in SVG 🙂 Send my love to everyone in Chateau!

    Reply

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