Saturday, November 10, 2012

All Kinds of Differences

So far St. Lucia hasn't been terribly different than life in the states. I haven't experienced any drastic culture shock or anything like that but I have noticed some differences:

This is the view from outside the Grade Six classroom
1. Driving -- I hadn't really thought about it but they drive on the opposite side of the road here, which makes sense but also throws me for a loop sometimes. I'm getting used to it almost to the point that driving on the "right" side of the road will come as a shock when I get back.

2. Use of Car Horns -- Although related to driving this deserves it's own place on the list. The streets here are noisy! Drivers use their horns for everything; they honk to say hello to pedestrians, to say thank you to another driver, to say you're welcome to another driver, to alert drivers and pedestrians that they are coming around a particularly sharp turn, and occasionally out of frustration or anger. It's been weird, but nice, to hear so many happy honks on the road.

3. Roads -- Living in the Midwest has meant a lot of long, straight roads driving wise for me. This is not the case here. The terrain of the island is very mountainous, which accounts for beautiful landscapes and scenery but also some treacherous driving. The roads here turn and curve up and down the various mountains and around the different obstacles so that passengers are constantly being tossed from side to side and even jolted forward or back. My bus rides to school can sometimes feel like a carnival ride!

As I said, it's beautiful here!
(This is turning out to be a lot of information about driving... not my original intention, allow me to expand past roadways...)

4. Electrical outlets -- Obviously the outlets here are different, but each outlet also has a switch next to it. Thanks to Mr. Dave Mielke I have often been reminded of how appliances and chargers still drain power from outlets when they are plugged in, even if they are not being used. Here each outlet has a switch next to it; when you are not using the outlet/whatever is plugged into the outlet you can flip the switch to off and it no longer drains electricity. I am personally impressed with this idea; I think it is a great way to conserve energy.

5. Daylights Savings Time -- I always assumed that Daylights Savings Time was an international practice. It is not. It surprised me, but hasn't phased me too much. It has been an adjustment to be two hours ahead of the US where before I was only one hour ahead.

That's all for now, I'm sure I will continue to discover differences and learn more about St. Lucia but I will leave you with some pictures from my week here.

This week I pulled out my camera during break time and while I was trying to catch some candid images of students as soon as they see a camera they flock to it! Everyone wants to pose for pictures and take them....

1 comment:

  1. Cute kids, and it looks like you are having an awesome time! That outlet idea does sound good, I wonder if it would work here? You have a great view from your school as well. Have a great day!