Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day Fifteen: Of Rasta Jellies and Cutlasses

We cranked things up early today to make a very important run into town: for shopping!  We haven't focused on souvenirs (other than pictures and memories) at all so today we set aside the morning to go to Roseauto buy some (for ourselves and no doubt for some of YOU!).  There are some open air market options and also shops on the streets that sell various items like flags, keychains, etc.  Many of the vendors were calling out to us to get us to check out their wares.

We, however, had different ideas about souvenirs than most visitors to Dominica.  Instead of keychains and coconut hulls, we were more jazzed by acquiring some of the plastic "jelly" shoes that we have seen our Dominican co-workers wear and the cutlasses (machetes) that we have learned to use on the worksite.  We got advice about just where to find what we wanted and made pretty quick work of our purchasing.  We stopped by the grocery store and got a few replacement items for our pantry.  The two most important, of course, were Ritz crackers (we're almost out!  we won't survive!) and Nutella (our newest addition to the staples that we carry with us every day.  (The other two main staples are Tapatio hot sauce and an assortment of Clif Bars.)

From there we went to a local art gallery run by a Canadian woman who focuses primarily on Dominican art.  A few of us fell in love with pieces that we saw there and two of us (to remain unnamed) actually made purchases that will become part of our permanent collections.

We tried to hurry back to our worksite, but because we needed to eat lunch, we stopped to grab something in town.  We were a pretty big group to show up unannounced, but a place called Cocorica took us in and fed us really well.  It took quite a while for them to process all of our orders, though, so we didn't get back to the guesthouse until almost 3.

We hustled right down to the site and saw that there had been a cave-in on one of our walls; our Dominican friends had spent the whole day so far trying to fix that situation.  Once it got cleared, we started prepping to pour at least one of the "teeth" that will hold the tank in to the wall where the water falls.

It sounds like Charles wants to find a way to continue to pursue the old plan of having a huge 24-foot tank instead of a smaller 12-foot one.  We will have to see how things unfold over the next few days to understand what is going on now.  We will be sure to pass the info along just as soon as we manage to grasp it . . .


  1. Hi weary travelers,
    Im glad to see the time spent with the engineer did lead to a better understanding of how your efforts could be best directed, although after reading todays account, it sounds like it may still be evolving. It also sounds like leaving the island may be a 3 day process just like getting there was, and thats going to draw your workdays to an end before you know it, (or more likely then not, your all only too aware of how soon you must leave) making each day even more precious as an opportunity to move closer to finishing your projects there.
    Now that you have such a good start on this water cistern or storage tank, hopefully if you dont get to remain long enough to see the final product,now that someone is finally helping to make good on the ten year old promise, the Carib people will keep the momentum going to the end.
    Looking forward to the next few days reports.
    One question though, If Iris is so handy with a cutlass, should you really be waking her up before shes ready, even on her birthday?

  2. Hello All,
    Just a word of encouragement for these last few days you have in Dominica. Your project has changed in design and scope, sometimes on a daily basis, which must be frustrating. It's hard to envision exactly what it will be. I do hope you are able to complete it in the time remaining (because I know that will be the most rewarding for you), but if not remember you have made a huge difference there and hopefully given the people the base they need to finally have the water storage system they want. I'll be anxiously waiting to see what you have to tell us all tonight! Keep up the great work! Love you Claire!! Mom