Tuesday, September 18, 2012

And the Planning Begins...

I've started my first foray into purchasing plane tickets. The reality that I will be flying, on my own, to another country in 4 weeks is starting to set in. I'm beyond excited, but also really nervous.

I'm coming to the realization that being in St. Lucia on my own isn't worrying me as much as flying and navigating an airport alone... So if anyone has any tips or tricks about traveling independently please share them with me!! I would love to hear any advice!

Also, I have to choose between American Airlines and Delta for flights so if any of you out in the interweb have an opinion on those airlines I could be swayed either way at this point.

Hopefully I'll have a longer, more conclusive post soon, but first I've got some decisions to make!

P.S. - I realize this isn't the most exciting/interesting post, but I'm trying to get in the habit of updating this blog so that when I do have interesting stories to share I'm comfortable with the site, and I'm in the habit of writing them down. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oh Happy Day!

I just got a confirmation email about my placement in St. Lucia from my supervisor! This is such a huge relief and a marker that I will actually be going abroad in about 5 weeks!! I finally get to make some concrete plans and share information with family and friends.

So, here is what I know:

I will be placed at the Monchy Primary School in the Gros Islet Village, Gros-Islet, Saint Lucia and my principal is named Mrs. Jane Jacob Jean. I will most likely be placed in a 6th grade classroom based on my secondary certification and the fact that my current placement is in a WI High School.

This is a photo of Monchy Primary School where I will likely be teaching
Lucky for me the email from Sr. Marie Therese also described my host family! This is what she had to say about where I will be staying...

"I am happy to inform you that I have found accommodation for your student in the greater Gros Islet area which is in the north of the Island.  The student will benefit from the close and easy access to the main commercial areas, public transportation system to and from school of walking distance from the house.  She will be staying with a retired woman in a three bedroom house with full amenities.  Attached to this house is a small apartment which houses two female students who are in their early thirties.  I have every reason to believe that your student will be comfortable and have the flexibility to attend to her school business with ease."

I am over the moon to finally be placed and have confirmation!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In case you were curious...

This is where I'm going:

Beautiful right? This is St. Lucia, where I will be doing my second student teaching placement. Unfortunately, I do not have confirmation on my placement, my host family, or my departure yet so I'm not allowed to post any information. What I do know is that I am ecstatic!!

I can also tell all of you all kinds of fun and interesting facts that I've been researching on the internet.

Here is some very general information for starters:

Population: 150,000 with a workforce of about 65,000

Currency: The Eastern Caribbean Dollar which is linked to the US Dollar at the exchange rate of US $1 to EC$ 2.65.

Capital: Castries

Language: English, but a French-based patois is widely spoken

Weather: St. Lucia's temperature ranges from 65-85 degrees (Fahrenheit) from December to May and 75-95 degrees from June to November. The winter is relatively more dry as well.

Religion: More than 85% of the people in the country are Roman Catholics. The rest are Methodist, Anglican, Baptist, Pentecostal, Salvation Army, Seventh-Adventist. There are other co-existing religions such as Hinduism and Islam. 

So those are some of the raw facts about St. Lucia, but what I'm more excited to research and immerse myself in is the people and the culture of the island. 

St. Lucia is filled with a rich and diverse culture and history. The "intermingling" of many cultural groups has led to many different "beliefs and traditions" on the island. St. Lucia might be best known for its "cuisine" because of the fertile and volcanic soil. The island is a leading exporter of banana's, which makes me very excited! There are six different types of bananas produced in St. Lucia! They also have numerous other tropical fruits, such as: mangoes, papayas, pineapples, soursops, passionfruit, guavas, and coconuts.

St. Lucia does not just have great food, but great people. The island is filled with a blend of very religous people from all different backgrounds and history. The first to arrive in St. Lucia were the Arawaks and the Caribs. The next group to arrive on the shores of the island were the Europeans, primarily the British and the French. Even though the Europeans didn't settle in St. Lucia in large numbers, they had an major impact on the island's history and culture. The British and French influences seem to weigh equally, despite the fact that the French lost the island in 1814. The British contributed their language, educational system, and legal and political structure. French culture is more evident in the arts--music, dance, and Creole patois which is used along with the official language, English. Also during this time, the African culture was arriving in St. Lucia through the form of slavery. African culture is the strongest element of all cultures in St. Lucia during the present day.

The information provided on this post was found through the following websites: