Thanks for joining us as we begin our several day odyssey from Moraga, California, to the Carib Territory in Dominica. Perhaps because we are heading to a place where few tourists flock (or because we made travel arrangements at the last minute after the cancellation of our planned Haiti trip), we are making a series of hops to find our way to our eventual destination. On Friday night, we flew out of SFO to Miami, where most of our group waited for our next flight SEVEN AND A HALF hours later. For today, we will make it to the island of St. Lucia, a primary Caribbean hub. Tomorrow we will hop a boat to Martinique, where we will sleep Sunday night. Finally on Monday we will get on the boat that will take us to Dominica.
Right now we are in the Miami airport crashed all over the floor, taking turns being the "guard dog" for all of the carryons we are sporting. Our checked luggage load is massive, as we are transporting most of the tools we will need to do our jobs in the Carib Territory. We also have quite a pile of first aid gear (ready for almost anything!) and a certain amount of food as a backup to the local cuisine that we will eat in Dominica. It turns out that most of us are really good sleepers, as evidenced by the heavy breathing all around the three current gear guards.
Those who are awake are distraught to watch groups of people in matching t-shirts heading off to Haiti to do relief work during the one-year anniversary of the earthquake. The gate right next to ours contained piles of volunteers heading into Port-au-Prince as we just watched them go. Despite these slight blows, though, we are still eager to make our way to Dominica and see what we can learn about the ongoing destruction of the Caribbean over centuries rather than maintaining our focus on what happened in Haiti in the last year.
Right now we are without our Haiti expert anyway. Claude has already boarded a different plane than the one we await, as our island-hopping adventure would require him -- as a Haitian citizen -- to have visas that the rest of us don't need. He will take a route through Puerto Rico and then rejoin us on Monday in Dominica.
Team Mountain Chicken (see intro video below) is keeping track of today's journey by videotape so they will post a short piece tonight in St. Lucia (internet access permitting).
Here's a shot of the nap crew just getting organized. We eventually filled this entire aisle with alternating heads and feet and lots of loud snorts: