April 8, 2005
From the files of my recently departed father (only from Grenada...don't worry, he's alive and well)
165 digital photos, 26,000 pencils, 14,000 erasers and 14,000 sharpeners
later, we have left Grenada and Sara. We have been to many of the
locations and places that Sara has written about, photographed and
experienced. We made new friends, and experienced incredible sights and
When was the last time that you were awakened by a rooster - if ever, or
slowed down in the early morning, pre-dawn light to avoid a dog and her
puppies sleeping almost in the middle of the road. It's warm there!
How about going to the island of Carriacou and staying in an inn with large
rooms, showers(cold!) for US $35.00 a night. Or a pig named Ivan wandering
around the restaurant area. Oink-Oink. Probably will be the breakfast ham
in a month or so. "Weed wacker" goats keep the grass short and the area
clean. Ordering three pizzas - delicious. Good thing we were in no rush
because they came one by one over the course of an hour or two. On the other
hand, who was keeping track of time. We snorkeled, saw some starfish, blue
luminous fish some arranged in schools like the Nemo movie, others with
shining purple or turquoise dots. And flying fish too.
And the schools we visited. Arranged on hill sides, some in UNICEF tents,
most still without roofs.
Packed with delightful children producing a cacophony of sound in classrooms
in anything available, dressed in school uniforms in a rainbow of colors.
Ties for secondary students, browns and yellows, blues and whites, red
plaids, marvelous!! We were able to deliver supplies to about 10 scools.
Bringing a bunch of chalk (purchased with the funds collected), the teachers
thanked us and showing us the 4 stubs of chalk they had left for the rest of
Or riding the bus with the school children. A 15 passenger Toyota bus with
18 adults and a bunch of little kids. 3-4-5 year olds stand by the side of
the road. The conductor picks them up, stands them in a small line on the
bus and picks them out one by one and drops them off in front of their
house. The driver scoots off with a little beep on the horn. I am impressed.
Where would we allow that in the USA? Complete trust.
Or getting a bus in St. Georges, the capital city. Sara's on board, in the
back, Ann Mary is half through the door and looks like she has a seat. Not
sure about Chuck but Rocky the conductor pushes me in. Whew! Sara figures
that if she gets in and since she knows Rocky, he will make sure that we get
in. Have to say that getting in is just that, no more. Ann Mary "sits
on/between 2 seats" as she describes with little more than a ½ a bun total.
¼ on either side. 19 people in a 15 passenger van is a bit crowded!
10 miles by the crow, bus time is 55 minutes. I wouldn't have missed that
ride for anything. 30% grade in the road means don't shift until you have
to. Then clutch and rev the engine up to 2800 RPM, down shift and tear out
of there to the next spot like that. Aaagh! How can those buses last more
than a year? Umm, Toyota is good!! although we did see an occasional red
bus carcass along side the road. RIP.
Thank the USA for The Peace Corps! The volunteers are unselfish, forgiving
and accommodating. They put the best foot forward and they are universally
known and respected. Thanks!
And thanks to all of you who donated so generously. The supplies were
Chuck and Ann Mary Dykstra