A Travellerspoint blog

Island Hopping 101

Easycruise is the best deal ever!

A vacation, finally i got a 6 day trip off my this tiny rock, St.Kitts.(The trip was, April 3rd to April 10th)
I couldn't believe the deal we found taking a cruise ship around to some of the tiny islands near St.Kitts. Usually it costs a couple hundred US dollars, just to fly to one island. But we found this cruise ship that took us to five different islands and gave us a place to sleep for only $120. Was it too good to be true? Nope, its just a british travel company being smart. Check out easycruise.com if you are interested. The ships are cruising around Greece and Holland area right now and the crew is a lot of fun (very international). So lesson 1#: travel with easycruise or easyjet or easy whatever, whenever possible and you'll save $$.

Eight of us, skipped onto the boat Tuesday evening after drinks and dominoes at our local peace corps water hole. After leaving work and culture and computers and Peace Corps "rules" behind I was very ready to relax, put on our shorts, and act like the funky freak loving American that I am. Below is a picture of me and my mate Amber as we explore the attributes of our hostel on water.

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Our first arrival Wednesday morning was Antigua. For they day i hiked around this flat dessert sort of island with Nathan and Annie seeing historical sights. Nathan my favorite histroy buff gave us a great tour and explanation. Apparently boating is big on Anguilla and they had a beautiful harbor. We also so some amazing beach but i forgot to take pics., they have some like 364 beaches, one for every day of the year. Lesson #2 Vist atleast one or two of the beaches on Antigua.
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Antigua is on its last batch of Peace Corps volunteers because it's become quite developed and expensive. I think we volunteers were a bit up tight still the first night in trying to let go of that Peace Corps persona, clubbing was sorta strange. Dinner was Mexican food, O' how i miss variety!

Thursday was fantastic but in a different way. (my camera broke that day as my curse with technology continues, so all pictures from here are a slow accumulation from friends...) We visited Nevis an island close in proximity to St.Kitts and one we've seen times before.

In the morning we took a hike so, to see a beautiful view of from above. Then the afternoon we went snorkling, and i saw tons of crabs. Later, I met up with Sunni, a friend of a friends whom just moved there (and now a friend of mine). She comes from America to do landscape architucture, so we ate a lovely meal and talked design theory late into the night:) Lesson #3 Go hiking and Snorkeling in the same day. The sea cools you and sooths sore muscles.

Friday, Good Friday at that, was almost a disapoiontment. We arrived on St. Maarten expecting phenominally cheap shopping (our home St.Kitts, is $$$) but because of the holiday everything was closed. Fortunalty St. Maarten is a strange island in that half is Dutch and half is French. Really half speaks french and uses the Euro and the other speaks more english/Dutch and uses some other money.
We found out after a couple hours of panick that the French side was open so we explored over thier. Not spending much money though because the french side was full of pretty expensive boutiques. That night at dinner the resturaunt had a crab race. (which Annie won!) As we left we knew we would be back to this island on Monday and hoped shopping would be open. Lesson #4 visit both the dutch and the French side of St.Maarten/St.Martin
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Satuerday, o lovely Saterday. We were on St.Barts, such a pretty island! It is french and very french at that. Everywhere you look you see talk white beatiful people smoking cigarretes and speaking with a lovely european accent. We spent the day looking at shops and liming at the semi-toppless beach. For lunch we went to the grocery store and bought french bread, cheese, fruit and dark chocolate.

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The evening was the coolest part though. We were looking for sushi and a lady gave us a tip on where to go. After telling her we lived on St.Kitts she said, "but it is so boring?" with her lovely french accent. We explained we were volunteers and she understood it was for the experience. But insisted we go out and see the nightlife of St.Barts. So we went of course and had quite the night, mojitos, live jazz music, dingy boat ride to sail boat... :) it was fun. Lesson #5 Enjoy St.Barts night life.

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Sunday, Easter, was a bit fuzzy due to previouse late night adventures. But Anguilla had by far the prettiest beaches ever. They also had a huge reef where we saw all sorts of coral and fish and big fish. And blue fish and one fish, two fish... matt saw a baby nurse shark! We layed on the beach all day. And in the evening did some dancing on the boat. I met a group of medical students from St. Maarten and talk the night away with them. they were quite intruged with Peace Corps perspective of the Caribbean. Lesson #6 Spend the whole day at the beach in Anguilla or many if you plan to stay a while.
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Monday was back to St.Maarten and shopping! Yeah stores were open! I have to say coming from chilly Wisconsin with funky student life clothing, it really wasn't making the cut. Cordoroys are way too hot as were most of my clothes, and working at a school means I have to be teacher conservative. So most my wardrobe now is anew. In the evening we went to an Irish Pub for good beer! (No beer selection available on my little island) Lesson 7# when you find good beer in the caribbean drink it!

And that was the end. much fun, great food, friendly people, blue water, white sand, live music, cheap shopping, and good beer.

Posted by bektrek 09:41 Comments (0)

Catching up on my PC, EC Adventure

Peace Corps, Eastern Caribbean

sunny 31 °C

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Giving you all a glimpse of my Caribbean adventures... Opps, i probably should have started this months and months ago when i left for this Peace Corps extravaganza. But I didn't. O' well. I had know idea that I was going to have a lap top and internet right in my living room. So now I will write. (and post some pics., a few persons have been asking about)

I'll give you a quick jist of things so far, so then future blogs, i hope will make sense. I'll back track a bit too because I already have some great island hopping adventures behind me.

I live on a tiny Caribbean island called St.Kitts, and yes it is a beautiful vacation destination for many, and yes, it is also a developing country. The tourism industry does quite well at showing people what they want to see though. So if you vacation to St.Kitts you might only be seeing a tiny bit of the culture. Not to complain though, I live in a pretty neat place.

I work in Old Road Village and live on the Green Tree Project. My job description is a genral, Community Devlopment Worker, for my area. After months of frustrations and realizations i'm coming to understand my place within this whole experience.

My work seems to change from day to day and i just try to flow and play. I get to choose when, where and how i want to work but that still depends muchly on how people here take my being around. I'm constantly inspired to start new projects too... work with youth, elderly, women...what to do...?

Some things I do pretty regularly, if regularity here is ever allowed. Other projects are here and thier, and coming along, and going no where. And well thats just the reality of Community Development work, you never know whats going to take off. Here are some activities i occupy myself with (but it all can change so fast):

-Three days a week i teach remedial reading, to 14 fun loving kids, at the primary school.
- After setting up the school library i also do the librarian duties trying to make sure all the kids go home with a book each week and bring them back. I'm always looking for more books and donations for our tiny but growing library too.
- I help out with Girls Brigade at the Methodist church on Monday nights. A rambunctious group of girls eager to protrude themselves onto the world, a.k.a. a handful :)
-I help keep the brand new Community Center Library running and play the librarian with a local kid on Satuerday mornings. Tuesday and Thursday evenings I'm most likely at the Community Library too.
- I play with toys (spinning, type flagy, things and such) on Thursdays, but that is sorta post-poned at the moment, as library work and the Cubans have gotten in the way. (strang story...)
-Sundays i go to church, which is no light matter here. Between 3 to 6 hours, but they praise like no other, and so i enjoy the experience.
-I spend lots of time going to different meetings with the Ministry of Community Development, or Peace Corps, or in my community. Lots of errand running and planning, workshops... Summer is coming up and it'll be camp for kids time...

I've come to the realization that i can write for ever and ever about this hole experience but I suppose i should be out experiencing it too right and you the reader would get board quite fast. So Ill try to blog just the favorite of my happenings.

Posted by bektrek 03:50 Archived in St Kitts/Nevis Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

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